I can't say I felt much better today as far as the actual cold symptoms go. But I did have a ton more energy. Three cheers for sleep. Speaking of which, so tired.
It was nice and warm starting out in LaGrange this morning. I closed the door on the "hotel rooms that look like my grandmother's house in 1957" chapter of my life around 9 this morning and headed out into a beautiful and sunny morning.
I rode through rolling hills and ranch country for most of the morning until I reached Bastrop around 1. Fixated on the thought of a delicious lunch, I didn't even think to check the location of the bike shop and unknowingly rode a mile past it....downhill. A really steep one. Oops! But I got that delicious lunch.
I ate at Bastrop BBQ, where I feasted on a brisket sandwich with a side of Cole slaw and an ice cold coke. Yum! I was surprised by how courteous everyone is there. A young man, probably 13 or 14, was outside polishing a saddle when I rode up. As I was getting my things together, I saw him rush over to open the door for a man who had a tray full of bread. The man said, "thank you, sir." and the boy replied, "you're very welcome, sir." it was awesome. I remember thinking, "wow, that's just great. You sure don't see that from kids anymore." and then I felt old. Next thing I knew, the boy was still there holding the door and asking, "excuse me ma'am, will you be needin the door now?"
"yes sir,"I said. "thank you very much."
And then he asked me how long I had been riding. I said about a month. He said, "well, that's just great." and he meant it.
What a great little town. Bastrop, TX. Visit if you get a chance.
After lunch I made my way back up to the bike shop and tried to find myself a new pump and cleats. Scored on a pump. No luck on the cleats. Thus, the return to Austin. My cleats were so worn down they were starting to pop out on the pull. It only takes a few times of hitting your unmentionables on the seat with the full force of gravity before you start actively seeking out new ones.
I took the busy highway 71 all the way to Austin instead of following the adventure cycling alternate out of Bastrop. Today I decided I would rather ride with more traffic on a smooth surface in a shoulder two of me could span than take back roads with no shoulder and a super rough surface for five miles longer. Plus, the highway is graded so the hills were cake.
I made it into Austin right around rush hour, which wasn't actually that bad. I checked into the hostel and then headed downtown for bike parts and food.
"doing your dishes is metal"
Mellow Johnny's had just what I needed. The new cleats looked so thick I was sure they weren't the same ones. But they fit like a glove in my pedals. The old ones were SO thin. I still can't believe they were functioning even a little. I also got some of those powder drink packets the racers use to boost endurance. I figure it will at least make me drink more water cause they taste so darn good. On the way back to the hostel I saw a man dressed up in a pig costume holding a sign saying "lawyers are pigs." I laughed and waved. He thanked me. Then I wondered if he was a lawyer. I do love Austin.
After I came back to the hostel I was able to have a great shower and do laundry. Finally! I installed the new cleats and organized gear again, something I have to do pretty much every day because I am messy. I chatted with a kid from Australia who is basically wandering around the country trying to find reptile farms. Killer accent.
Annnnnd then I got hungry again so I went out in search of food. On the way I saw a nighttime critical mass with probably 300 riders. Sweet! I ended up eating some fabulous Mexican food at Al Pastor. I had four tacos with al pastor, onions, cilantro, lemon, and a spicy guacamole sauce, all washed down with the biggest glass of horchata I have ever seen in my life. So cheap. So good. So full.
Ok kids, I gotta get some sleep. Haven't yet decided if I'm moseying on tomorrow. I think I could kick it here another day. My cold seems to agree. Plus Steve and Amy are in town! And it would be way, way cool to see those guys.