What?! We have an extra week in January before school starts? Let’s do another ride!
That was the gist of the conversation that I had with students at the beginning of the Fall semester. Although our most recent ride to Canada was barely behind us, we were ready for another cycling adventure. A winter ride, with the possibility of cold and nasty weather, seemed like an adventure worth exploring. This ride, BRAT6, would be different from the others in a number of ways.
We have a trailer!!! A contribution from an HSU alumnus, who is a ultra-endurance cyclist, allowed us to purchase a custom-built trailer that could haul eight bicycles plus gear and supplies for the entire team. For a long-distance ride, where gear has to be packed and repacked every day, to have a quick way of loading an unloading gear was a huge benefit. The bicycle rack system on the trailer also allowed for bikes to be loaded and unloaded quickly and easily day after day. The trailer is truly a game-changer for our program.
BRAT6 was not only the first cold-weather ride, but also the first to head from north to south. The steady decrease in elevation heading to sea-level, we thought, would make for a slightly more pleasant ride as we rolled to the Gulf of Mexico. We had also hoped that prevailing winds would be from the north to help push us along. That hope never really materialized.
As a winter ride, we had short days of sunlight. Where it is not uncommon to be on the road by 7 a.m. on summer rides, we often began rolling between 8 – 9 a.m. on BRAT6. We had to finish riding and be off the road by 5:30 p.m. each day compared to 8:30 p.m. or later during the summer due to daylight issues.
We used BRAT6 as a forum to remind people about continuing recovery needs from Hurricane Harvey and the damage that it caused to people along the Gulf Coast of Texas. We were able to raise funds and awareness for relief efforts.
Overall, BRAT6 was a great ride. It was cold, windy, tiring, and wonderful. The five students, two faculty members, and one alumnus averaged about 100 miles per day and created memories to last a lifetime.
Ride Report: BRAT6 — Texico to Surfside Beach
Music Video (KP): BRAT6 Music Video by Kirsten
Music Video (CP): BRAT6 Music Video by CP
Video Blog: BRAT6 Video Blog
BRAT6 – Farwell, Lockney, Jayton, Abilene, Comanche, Briggs, La Grange, West Columbia, Surfside Beach