As I write this I’m watching the Tour of Romandie coverage on Versus. I’m blown away by the conditioning of the riders and how fast they can ride. Equally impressive is the countryside there in Switzerland. Hard to believe how green the fields are. Just awesome.

I took Friday evening off from riding so that I could do some work on my bike and be fully prepared and rested for a hard Saturday ride. I planned on getting up early on Saturday, heading out to White Rock Lake for an early morning ride and, in the words of Phil Liggett, “suffer like a dog”. At least that was the plan.

Friday evening I did something to my bike that was long, long, long overdue. Get my point? I don’t think you do. I mean something like 8 years overdue. You see, 8 years ago was the last time that I think it could have been replaced when I had my bike overhauled and the brake cables were replaced. I’m talking about replacing my handlebar tape.

I had never done this myself but wasn’t afraid to try. I watched the video over at Bicycle Tutor and did it with no problems. The feel after I was done was amazing. I couldn’t believe I had waited so long to do it. I also gave everything else on the bike a good once over and it all seemed in order.

I got up early Saturday morning, had breakfast and headed down to White Rock Lake. I knew something was amiss when I started seeing orange cones at the entrances to the parking areas along with police offers. I stopped to talk with one of the officers and he said the lake was closed for the race….like I knew what ‘the race’ was. I could see some runners with numbers on their jerseys so it had to be a running race (yuck!) but I could see a few cyclists out there riding. I tried to find another place to park but they had everything blocked off. I finally gave up and decided to head to the .8 mile loop where I’ve been doing my group ride training. That’s when the rain started.

And it rained almost all day. There was drizzle, lightning, thunder, gully washers and wind. You may have heard about the Dallas Cowboys practice facility that collapsed. That’s probably about 20 minutes or so from where I live. There was no way I was riding on Saturday unless it was on the Ark.

Chicken and Linguini

Chicken and Linguini

Saturday night I put my culinary skills to use and decided to give the recipe I saw over at Cycling Tips a try. It’s super simple and turned out great if I do say so myself. It’s linguine topped grilled chicken, avocado, tomatoes and olives. There’s a picture of the dish to the right.

Sunday morning dawned overcast but it wasn’t raining. It was chili too at only 58F. I suited up and headed out to the lake. In the parking lot I was putting my bike together when a runner went by and said, “You’re brave riding today.” I asked why and he said because of the wet roads. I said I need to get it in and he responded that that’s the right attitude. I agree.

Spillway at White Rock Lake

Spillway at White Rock Lake

I headed out and within about a half-mile noticed a big problem. The huge amount of rain we had gotten yesterday had caused the lake to swell overnight. The water wasn’t a problem because it had receded but the debris it left behind was. I’m talking big tree limbs, small limbs, slush, and trash. Huge amounts of trash. I couldn’t believe the trash. Totally unreal. There were three of four spots where this debris covered the trail and you were really taking a chance riding through it. I did with no problems but could have easily dumped myself too. The picture to the left is of the spillway at the South end of the lake. It’s hard to see but the water was seriously moving over the spillway and throwing up a good spray and a lot of noise. Totally cool.

The rest of the ride around was no problem but I decided to only do one lap so I didn’t have to mess with the debris again. It was a short 10 miles but tomorrow is group ride training day. Looking forward to that. And suffering like a dog.