This is by far the largest collection of Fairdale kits every assembled and I’m not even in the picture! Texas summer bike rides requires a thorough group sunscreen coverage session. Here the Full Factory/ OTX office and Sandy Carson prepare for the 85 miler.
The Real Ale ride is a group fun ride through Blanco, Texas’ hill country roads. Thousands of people do its different length courses every year and all the routes end at a fun BBQ party at the Real Ale brewery. Routes range from 15-85 miles and there’s a few cutoffs you can chose from along the way if you bite off more distance then you can chew.
To make the ride even more fun there are pit stops along the way with food and drinks and Pickle Juice.
Sandy, Chris and I charged up to the front of the start to do the 85 mile ride. I saw Chris disappear over the first couple hills with the lead pack and never saw him again… he’s fast!
Bobby and Ruthie rented a tandem for the ride which happened to be on their wedding anniversary. Logan borrowed Mutiny Gaz’s extended headtube bike and powered along with the tandem.
I wore spandex! I was so embarrassed at first, but screw it, on a hot day it is awesome.
Sandy Carson showed up in flip flops and only after suiting up and being ready for the ride did he realize he’d forgotten shoes. In a frantic sweep of the event he found a BMXer who lent him some flat pedals and wore JC’s shoes.
I hung with Sandy for a while on the ride which was pretty impressive since he’s in really good shape and rides a lot and I’ve had strep throat for he previous week and never ride road bikes. After about 15 miles of Sandy pedaling in Jim Cielencki’s shoes Jim himself caught us and joined up with us. After not very long JC and Sandy dropped me and I found myself alone in the Texas hill country. The ride had started out with huge groups of people but all of a sudden I was all alone for as far as I could see. It was really quite peaceful and beautiful. Desert-ish hills and valleys stretching off in every direction and so quiet.
I’ve discovered that the challenge for me with road riding is the sun. My ginger skin is not tough enough to spend hours in the sun. I was very careful to keep reapplying sunscreen but in the end I still got baked beyond belief.
I’m currently working on this Fairdale prototype sun screen roof that mounts to aero bars. I think it could be the future of ginger haired cycling.
Or maybe this suit will work for me.
I thought the ride was pretty challenging but I also found I was able to just sort of keep going. I caught myself marveling about how amazing bikes are… such simple machines but they allow you to travel so far with relatively little effort.
There was also goats on the side of the road which would cheer anyone up!
At the end of the ride we were rewarded with Real Ale beer and BBQ (or mushrooms for the veggies).
Cycling kits are weird.
This guy looked a lot scarier when he walked on his hands.
At the finish: One tandem, one couple, 85 miles and smiles… one marriage still intact!
Our final reward for the ride was a dip in the Blanco river. Ahhhhhhhhh……
I highly recommend checking out a fun ride near you. It was a great experience. And if you think you need an expensive bike to do it just remember at the Real Ale ride 2 years ago Sandy Carson found this bike in a dumpster, pumped up the tires and did the ride with no problem! Of course you would have even more fun on a new Fairdale probably.