Miles today: 85
Total miles: 1,380
Weather: Sunny hotness - Must've been in the 90s on the road. Feisty wind out of the south.
Christ of east Texas: check
"The time for resting is upon you, my child."
Yes! It is! Looks like I'm going to have a week off including travel days. It couldn't come sooner. I did a lot of climbing today and I think my legs are the most tired they've been yet.
I hit the road earlyish, leaving camp around 7:40. My route took me along winding roads and rolling hills, a mere taste of what is to come in hill country. I wondered fairly early on if my tired legs would be able to push on for the 85 miles I needed to cover today. I'll never doubt them again. Each time I crested a hill they burned like they were on fire. But they were ready and willing to go by the time I coasted down and hit the next one.
By 9:30 I could see granola bars for breakfast just weren't gonna cut it. I had to eat real food. I stopped in New Waverly and had an order of biscuits and gravy, bacon, a large bowl of grits, and a big glass of milk. Milk was probably a bad choice. But I didn't feel hungry again until about 3.
Soon after I crossed Lake Conroe
And then I climbed for pretty much the rest of the day, up and down, passing one ranch after another.
One cool thing about today is the number of cyclists I saw. Not touring cyclists, but normal people just out riding on a beautiful Texas Sunday. Not that touring cyclists aren't normal, but....well, actually we are kind of a little crazy. I mean, riding across the country is sort of a crazy thing to do. But also awesome. Anyway, I haven't seen many bikers at all until today.
As I passed all these day riders heading east, I was reminded of how nice people in the biking community are. At one point, I was stopped on the side of the road to see how far away from the next turn I was and a passing cyclist stopped to ask if I was okay. Then, a couple of hours later, I was taking a rest and another one stopped to again ask if I needed help.
There were also a lot of bikers out today, as in motorcycles. I probably saw more motorcycles and bicycles than cars today. Awesome! I've always felt a certain solidarity with bikers. Maybe it's because we are both experiencing the landscape in a similar fashion, or maybe because we are both pretty likely to get creamed by a car without a moment's notice, but every time one passes I give a wave. Sometimes they wave back, most of the time they don't. But I enjoy seeing them on the road, nonetheless.
One thing I've always wanted to do is have someone follow me with a camera and perfectly capture the moment when I'm riding along giving a motorcycle the motorcycle wave (you know the one - kind of like a low-five) and the guy on the bike is motorcycle waving back. I would blow that picture up and put it over my fire place.
Well, overall the ride today was good. Tough, but good. I had no tiny dog pursuers (TDPs) and the nice cross breeze kept me somewhat cool. I did have to ride directly into the wind for the 10 miles between Anderson and Navasota, during which time I unwisely taunted it (you would think I'd have learned my lesson by now), saying things such as, "you can't beat gravity, wind!!" as I began my descents and picked up speed. I also often reminded it that it would be pushing me for the last 25 miles - which was totally great, by the way - and, thus, there was no way it could possibly rain on my parade today.
Finally, Finally!! that joyous moment arrived when I pulled into the driveway of my wonderful hosts and dismounted Ida for the last time for a week!! Oh, legs, have your cake and eat it too, cause after this rest it's a long haul and we are in it to win it. It just may have been the best cold shower I've ever had in my life.
Chris and Sara cooked a delicious meal of steak, risotto, and collard greens from their garden (the maiden harvest!). Mmm! And berry crisp with ice cream for dessert. As we ate I answered questions from the little ones, Madeline and Maeve, two very adorable blond haired and blue eyed little ladies. Then I showed them Ida after dinner. They've been following along on the blog and are very excited about my visit. Thanks for reading, girls!
Okie dokie artichokies, I reckon it's about time to retire. Tomorrow I catch the bus to Austin to do some exploring and then board a plane on Tuesday morn to keep some lumberjacks in line. Can't wait.