Life On A B-I7

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Southern Tier - Wed Oct 23, 2019

Day 39

Austin Texas - Rest Day #3

I spent a good part of the morning hanging out at Mello Johnny’s Bike Shop and Cafe. My bike is getting a new chain, tune-up, new tires, and a new seat. This is a cool place. My bike will likely be here all day, but I do need to leave the cafe at some point and go to REI to pick up some additional gear for the remainder of the trip.

Why additional gear?

I have left the tour behind. I’m going to complete the remainder of the journey to Florida solo.

I couldn’t stay with the group any longer several reasons. I enjoyed the experience and the people were great, I will miss them. Probably the best way to explain this is to say that the group was just too dissimilar in terms of food preferences. We had hearty eaters (as I have described earlier) and those that I refer to as not-so-hearty. Specifically we had vegetarian, vegan, and also food allergies that we had to take into consideration with every meal. This meant cooking “deconstructed, mix-and-match” dinners. My preference is hearty one-pot, spiced/flavorful dishes. Of course that doesn’t work under these circumstances. I finally decided a few days out of Austin that I would be better off, and happier, just trying to cook for myself.

That’s not the only reason I decided to leave the tour. The structured routine required to get a group of people moving in the morning and settled every night became too much for my looser style of travel. If you look at the top of the page, you’ll see my tag line is “I ride just how I like.” It turns out that is an important factor for me. I need time to stop during the day and write if the spirit moves me. I can’t be on a schedule every day. I want time to write and paint. I haven’t had time to break out the paints that I am carrying around with me. (I’m not a painter, but I want the time to play around with them.) As far as the food goes, if I see a cafe or restaurant that looks good (there are many along the way) I want the freedom to stop and enjoy them if I don’t feel like cooking for myself.

All of this probably makes me a solo tourist, or at the very least, a tourist that functions better in a small close-knit group of friends with similar taste and interests. One of my goals (it did not start out to be a goal of this trip) is to do an epic solo tour. It turns out now that I will accomplish two goals, an epic cross-country tour and an epic solo tour. I’m planning to reach St. Augustine two days behind the group. The ACA won’t let me rejoin even if I catch up to them. I probably won’t anyway.

I’m going to try and watch some Game Two tonight, and if all goes well, I’ll be on the road again tomorrow morning.

My third day of rest is over. Austin is a great town to have a little rest.