Sunday, April 5, 2009

Biking to Blanco

Sorry this is a day late -- couldn't get an internet connection strong enough to update the blog in Blanco.

Today's ride took us from Kerrville to Blanco. Riders were well rested. Our new guide Carol was ready to join the fun. She is replacing Michelle, and will be with us to St. Augustine. It will be interesting to see the different guiding style and how it will fit in with this group. We have our own patterns and routines. Michelle is a superb guide -- she is quiet and let the group develop its own identify and ways. I was told Carol is a retired Navy Captain and she is much more outgoing than Michelle. I'm sure she will add to the dynamic in a positive way and will be able to give us different tips and insights.

The ride out of Kerrville and into Blanco took us on primarily 2-lane back roads along rivers and through ranches (goats, sheep, cattle, and horses). Just when I think we've seen the prettiest countryside yet, along comes a new day with even prettier scenery. Lots of hills, but nothing truly steep like the two days into Kerrville. We passed through the town of Comfort, which has a really neat historic district. Had I been cycling I would have wandered a bit through town, but I was driving the sag wagon and had a stop to set up. I set up the stop down the road near a winery in Sisterdale, just in case any of the riders wanted to buy some wine (I could put it in Bo Peep and carry it for them). Also figured it would be a good sobriety checkpoint. But alas, no one was interested in wine. They were more interested in water and snacks.

Further down the road a handful of riders took a wrong turn. I figured it out when they didn't show up at the next sag stop, but by the time I drove back to where they made the wrong turn and followed it for about 10 miles, they were long gone. I finally found a spot with cell service and discovered they had left a message that they found another way to get to Blanco and were heading in. So, I gathered up the remaining rider who wouldn't make it in for dinner and we headed for the hotel. For next year's Southern Tier riders -- if you have the cue sheet that tells you to "bear left" at the stop sign at Crabapple Road, don't make a hard left turn!!! Go somewhat left of straight.

My sister Terri and her husband Marty joined me for dinner tonight and then spent some time visiting. It really was nice seeing them again. The group had a few other family members here tonight too, but they'll all be gone tomorrow and we'll back in our bubble again.

Tonight at dinner we wished Michelle well, and had a birthday cake for Donna. Donna can't eat things with gluten, so Linda baked a gluten-free chocolate cake and it was fantastic. I really don't understand how Linda can ride for part of the day, then cook up a fantastic meal (tonight - polenta, salad, melon, sausage or tofu with the polenta). And Lois, our sous chef, rides the entire day and helps out at breakfast and helps make dinner. These people are awesome.

No bike stats. Food: scrambled eggs, hash browns, biscuit, and some melon for breakfast, A stick of jerky and some applesauce for lunch. For dinner, see above.

I'm back in the saddle, again tomorrow. Supposed to be about 94 miles, some hills, and who knows what the weather will bring.

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