Texas Hill Country
October 12, 2020
Elevation: 4,711 ft.
Distance: 36.0 mi.
Odometer: 1,883.0 mi.
Packed up a little slowly and late, then scarfed down a leftover cheeseburger, the breakfast of champions. Got on the road a little after 9:00 AM, leaving Matt, Rhonda, and Jordan behind for a while to pack up the last of their stuff. About seven miles down the road, I heard repeated honks coming up from behind me, then saw a blue truck pass with a Hook 'em Horns out the driver's side. I grinned.
There was an awful lot of construction and I wound up getting stopped by a flagger who was younger than me and had just gotten back from his Mormon mission in Portugal. Later on in the day there was a section of road where it looked like a bunch of dirt had spread over the road, and they were now trying to hose it off. That meant I had to ride over a thin layer of mud, which splattered up all over Freebird, then dried on. I had to clean her later.
Most of the day I was able to hold a solid pace, much faster than normal. I credit that mostly to the day being a long, slow descent, having little wind to fight, and having fresh legs and a full belly from resting last weekend. Spend most of the day on empty roads parallelling the interstate, so it was a fun day too. Got to Matt's place in only a few hours, where he was waiting outside to watch me climb the 16% grade he lives on. Upon hopping off of Freebird, I noticed I had another front flat. When I changed it later, I couldn't find anything in the tire.
Spent most of the week just hanging out, which is pretty much exactly what I wanted to do. Went with Matt to one of his favorite bars, where I learned I'm terrible at horseshoes, though Matt and I held our own as a team and even won a game. Saturday I went with Matt, Jordan, and Glen (Matt's boss) up to Mackay and rode ATVs all over some trails in the mountains. Of course, I was thinking about how cool it would be to mountain bike those trails, and late in the day, we saw a few mountain bikers. I guess I hadn't noticed how steep the trails were, since I was riding something with a motor. The bikers were barely moving, and one was walking his bike up.
After a week of rest, I'm now at the point that I'm looking forward to getting re-acquainted with Freebird. I guess it's good that I want to ride when there's still 1,800 miles to be done. Halfway through and I'm still feeling strong and enjoying the ride. Here's hoping the second half is even better (and easier) than the first.
from Pedal for Potatoes