Still in Texas
Clouds came in last night! It’s going to be much more civilized today. I’m in a coffee shop in Marathon. Great place. I’m warming up with an egg sandwich, fruit cup, and coffee before the day’s ride. Tonight we are staying in a Budget Inn. Shower and a hot meal that we don’t cook on mini-camp stoves. The goal today is 56 miles. Trail Boss mentioned last night in map meeting that it was mostly down hill. I’m finding that a bit hard to believe. We shall see.
Time to get to it…
Much to my surprise, it was a near perfect day. I was able to do the “big-little dance” most of the day. That is where you leave the rear cassette on one of the smaller rings, and just shift the front chain ring from high to low. (I have two chain rings up front.) It’s efficient and simple, and makes the ride more enjoyable. My kit today was just what I needed as well. I wore long pants, a long sleeved base layer, a shirt, a puffy vest and a light rain jacket. It sounds like a lot, but in windy conditions you need extra layers. The rain jacket came in handy because it did actually rain lightly for about thirty minutes mid-afternoon. I covered the 56 miles in 5-½ hours, including stops to rest occasionally and to eat lunch. I felt good about that timing. That’s an overall average of 10mph, with a fully loaded touring bike, that’s pretty good, at least for me. I left an hour behind everyone else because I had “second breakfast” in a coffee shop. About twenty miles out I passed two people, at mile 25 I passed another.
Trail Boss was right, we did descend about a thousand feet in the course of the 56 miles that we covered. With only modest climbing involved, that means you are covering a lot of flat ground.
We all agreed to meet for dinner at 7pm at a nearby restaurant. I got to town at 4:15pm so I had lots of time before dinner. I got cleaned up and went across the street to a little bar with one of my companions. There were two people in the bar, the owner and one of his regulars. We sat down and watched the ALCS Game 1 preview show before going to dinner. I told the owner I’d be back after dinner. I did drop in after dinner for one more beer and watched three innings of the game. The population of the bar had grown to four by this time. Everyone in the bar was rooting for the Astros. I guess that’s not surprising. The owner was very nice. When I did finally leave, he walked me to the door, we were like old friends. Of course if I ever got back to Sanderson, I’ll go see him, but the town does not have a lot to offer. It’s a living ghost town really.The economy here does not offer a lot of opportunities for people.
We have a couple of 60 miles days the next two days.