Bike 2:44:56  97.09 km (35.3 kph) +801m
Paluxi Pedal 60mi
Yowsa! Blazing fast. Covered 38k in the first hour. Great weather: dry and low 60s at the start. Folks were supposed to wear masks at the start. Lisa said those around her were. Up front not many. I stayed off to the side with my mask on. Lots of guys itching to go fast and the front peloton heading out of town had to have been at least 150 riders and I was well in the back half. Cranking from the get go. Each turn was a hard scramble to close gaps. After an hour I looked back to find that I was the back of maybe 50 riders. I started feeling draggy in the hills near Fossil Rim. The guy in front of me let gaps open up twice and it was hard to reconnect. I eventually decided I needed to ease off. Looking at my data afterward this coincided with my HR breaking 170 and so it makes sense that I was feeling at my limit. Eventually the back of the group started disintegrating and I started passing guys again on the hills. But once it flattened out they regrouped and formed a little peloton of about half dozen and re-passed. I figured I should do my own thing. Eventually I recovered but I was in no man's land with the little group too far in front and no one in sight behind me. I tried to take a little break before The Wall but there is an annoying little hill just before it. I had had hopes of cranking up this thing but I just survived. The Wall is a short 400m but it is very steep with sections over 24%. I was only 17s faster than when I did this in Aug on the Ibis. However, I did close up a bit on a couple of guys. Out on the back side loop I caught a couple and rode for about a mile with one. He dropped back on the hill out on Hwy 203. I was on my own again on Rt 2010, passing one guy and catching another just before Hwy 67. Rt 2010 was fun because it has manageable ups and down and is twisty turny. Out on 67 the guy I was with dropped off but I caught another and we took turns leading all the way to the finish. That was fun too.
Pretty pooped. Averaging 151bpm for that duration is a significant effort. I was 32 on the strava leader board for the day, which I'm pretty happy with; they guys in front of me were all mostly on race teams (Elevate, Trek, McKinney Velo, ...) I certainly got a lot of help from the peloton but I also had to do a fair amount of solo work.
Riding in that big group was probably not the best idea Covid wise. Given the people I was with and that we were outdoors, I think it was a low risk activity. However, riding on my own would have been lower risk.
We went farther south to Stephenville for lunch to hit a BBQ place and checked out Tarteton State Univ. The BBQ place was much too busy with cowboys and motor-bikers so we ended up at decent burger place that was much quieter.