This weekend, my wife and I traveled down to Corpus Christi, Texas, for their 4th annual "Conquer the Coast" endurance ride. We originally signed up for the 25 mile ride, as my wife had just purchased a new road bike and we wanted her to be comfortable, but she told me she wanted to do the 65 mile ride instead (the only other option apart from an 18 mile time trial).
We got into Corpus at about 9:00pm and made the registration book just before they closed,upgrading to the 65 mile ride for an extra $10.00 each. No worries. Then, back to the hotel for an early night before the ride.
At 6:30am on ride day, I was awoken by a massive clap of thunder! Lovely... A major storm had hit the area, and roads were being closed down. Even the local Naval Air Station had closed down, which was supposed to be part of the 65 mile ride. We got in touch with someone at the starting area while we were still at our hotel and the decision was initially made to delay the 65 mile ride for an hour. We ate some of the hotel's free continental brekky, then another call - 65 mile ride canceled, 25 mile ride still on! My wife and I loaded up the bikes onto the car real quick and headed to the start line.
We were still getting sorted out at the start line when the ride started. We joined in the back, and for the most part had an okay ride. It rained through the ride a fair bit, and we got utterly saturated. At the turnarounf/half-way point, we took a quick rest for drinks and snacks before heading back to the start/finish line. Shortly after that point I came across a lady who was having issues with a flat tire. I stopped to assist, telling my wife to continue and I that I would catch up. Thirty minutes, a broken tube valve and impossibly tight tire to put back on the wheel later, and I was off again. I hooned past everyone to catch my wife, averaging about 33 km/h, but couldn't reach her. I crossed the finish line just fine, picking up my finisher's medal and meeting my wife for some free pasta and beer!
Because we had left the kids with their grandparents back home, we could then enjoy a relaxing afternoon and evening in Corpus. We toured around a bit in the car, and enjoyed a nice seafood dinner at Landry's too. After that we hung out on one of the piers drinking coffee and watching the local fisherman.
The next morning, it was rather nice! We awoke to sunny skies and gentle winds coming in from the Gulf. With a few hours to spare, we popped on our bikes and rode another 25 miles, just for fun. Despite the two flats I got en-route, it was a very nice ride and took our weekend tally up to 50 miles! Not a bad effort!
Next year we'll be back, and the coast shall be conquered!