Sunday was the annual Tour de Pink bicycle ride, starting out of Prairie View A&M University. This ride supports the Pink Ribbons Project charity, which raises awareness for fighting breast cancer. This ride is always one I look forward to given it effectively kicks off the fall cycling season, and is the first big ride after the summertime lull.

The good and bad thing about this ride is it brings out a tremendous number of newbie riders. I like seeing more people ride and hope they get more involved in the sport. But newbie rides are very, very dangerous. It always amazes me how much of the road they take up without being aware of what is around them and how the rules of the road work. Many of them have clearly just taken the bikes down from the garage and haven’t tried riding them around the block, either. All of these rides point out rider safety and even point to material about safely riding in groups, but clearly most of the new riders don’t look at or take this information in.

The majority of the ride’s route follows the standard FM 362 / FM 359 / FM 1887 triangle between Waller, Brookshire and Hempstead that so many of the local ride routes follow. I probably ride these three roads a couple of dozen times a year, and even though they are great cycling roads, I am starting to get very tired of riding on them. Not to mention, FM 362 is the site of my friend’s bad wreck so riding past that point wasn’t very much fun.

I am also finding that my new bike must have some sort of fit and setup issue that is wearing me out more than my previous bike. It must be very subtle, because the bike feels very comfortable, but any ride over 40 miles on it absolutely wears me out. On this year’s ride I finished 20 minutes slower than last year’s ride, even though I was on a faster bike, the weather was better and overall I’m in much better shape. I do believe it is time to visit the bicycle shop again and spend some time fine tuning the fit.