"Over the Hill"
|New Braunfils to Fredericksburg 87 miles ~ Day one|
Monday, February 06, 2006
Well, this was originally going to be called the Over the Hill (country) Ride, in honor of the location. For those of you not familiar with Central Texas geography, The Hill Country starts at I-35 and continues West until one is found dead at the top of a bloody hill in the middle of nowhere. To paraphrase my good friend Mr. Hart, when speaking of his performance at a not to be mentioned Senior Olympic ride, "I got my ass handed to me today”. I will be the first to admit to being fat and old and all that other tacky stuff, but this was a rough day!
First, I was wildly optimistic about the mileage I could cover in one day. I have a new to me touring bike (see the site for more on that) and it has performed very well. When I rode from Galveston to Corpus over Thanksgiving 70-75 miles was not a problem. Well it really wasn’t a problem today, it was simply impossible. Remember the old story we tell the kids about how we had to walk to school, ten miles, in the snow, up hill, BOTH WAYS? Today was the living embodiment of that story.
First the good news. It did not snow. It did not rain. I was not chased by a dog nor hit by a car. That’s it.
The day started early as I was at my daughter’s house in New Braunfels. They had left on Sat to go house hunting Dallas. Not only did they leave on Saturday, they left very early on Sat. And set multiple alarms to ensure the early departure. I DID NOT KNOW ABOUT THE ALARMS. First one went off at 4:45 AM. I finally found it and ripped it from the wall. Alarm #2 went off strategically at 5:45. I hope they can get it fixed.
So, up early and fix some stuff on the bike, eat mass quantities of stuff at IHOP and start pedaling. Maybe 9:30? Close to ten? I did not get to Boerne until after six PM. It is only forty miles away. Do the math.
The hills are quite steep if short, but the wind instantly deprives one of the well-earned coast down the other side. I had to peddle DOWN hill all day.
The road was fine, a lot of good shoulder but man I’m whipped. I freely admit to being a slow rider, but this was ridiculous. Stopped about ˝ way for lunch at a C-store. They have those Oscar Meyer hot dogs on a broiler for 59 cents. Loaded up with mustard and "chowed" down. Did I mention that my sunglasses do not have the bifocal part for reading? Anyway you can eat a Jalapeno dog but it takes a stout heart.
So I finally got to Boerne at 5:00 PM. No City Park Camping so off to an RV park. Which of course is three more miles straight up by the Interstate. Which of course no longer takes TENTS!! They offered to let me rent a “KABIN” from them but I pointed out the lunacy of paying them for the privilege of not using my tent, but would still need my stove and sleeping bag, etc. I left. Am now in a not very cheap motel, soaking my aging knees in hot water and trying to figure out if I can make Ramen noodles in the microwave in the office. God I love this stuff.
The Pics aren’t much today. I was just real busy trying to keep the bike going in one direction. More to come.
Happy Monday to all. Philip
|Fredericksburg to Brady 71 miles ~ Day two|
Tuesday February 07, 2006
Ok, yesterday I started out with the bad so should I not start with the bad to balance things out? Fine.
The rural roads of the Hill country area do not have shoulders. They don’t really have much traffic but even a hint of some place to go would be nice. Nope. Just a white line and broken glass, provocatively mixed in with animal carcasses and shoes. No, I don’t have any idea whey there are shoes on the roadside out there in the middle of nowhere. I saw everything from house slippers to Nikes. Too weird.
Secondly, just because a place has a name does not mean it is a town with facilities. OF any kind.
Now for the good. Although the hills were still there the wind was not! I got a picture of a Texas flag hanging straight down. Lovely. I am still slow and fat so my plan of attack consisted of start pedaling. Stop. Pant and wheeze. Resume. It takes a while but you will get over the top. Around noon I was just sitting there, on the right side of the road, thinking about it when this old gent stops his pick up in front of me. He slowly got out of the truck, sorta' bent over and slow, and walked back. He said,” You know, you can’t out wait that hill”. Then he smiled and got back in the truck. Smart man. You can in fact NOT out wait a hill but you don’t have to climb it all at once. So in spite of the day I did just that.
I stopped for lunch about noon and fixed some noodles and tuna. So nice to have my stove back working. I find the hills are not much worse than on the other touring bike. I am still slow.
Not much else for today. The highlights were of the” you had to be there type. Stopping for a moment and hearing nothing. Nothing at all. Wait. Five minutes to get used to the stillness and then the birds start. A fine serenade for lunch.
I did get passed by a bunch of folks on motorcycles today. They came roaring down the hills blasting their Harley howls like motorized banshees. What did they see? Just a blur, some green. Some Brown. Heard nothing. Their loss.
Am at Lady Bird Johnson municipal park about three miles south of Fredericksburg. Nice enough place and only nine bucks. Had my shower and my dinner and now to read for a bit and then sleep. We shall see what tomorrow brings. PG
Forgot the stats for yesterday and today. I will get them on the web site. Basically about 45 miles each day, took all day to do it too. PG
Brady to Llano 75 miles ~ Day
Wednesday February 8, 2006
So thanks for riding with me. I will holler at you soon as I can get back on the road. Philip
|New Braunfils to Fredericksburg||87 miles ~ Day one|
|Fredericksburg to Brady||71 miles ~ Day two|
|Brady to Llano||75 miles ~ Day three|
|Llano to Blanco||79 miles ~ Day four|
|Blanco to New Braunfils||47 miles ~ Day five|
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