Now time to cycle back to Dallas after Fredericksburg. After the headwinds on the way down, I was hoping for tailwinds today and wasn’t disappointed. Got some good winds to blow me along, particularly to Lampasas.
Last night caught up with Shanna Armstrong over dinner. Shanna is an impressive athlete who has done quite a bit of endurance cycling including competing (and winning) two Race Across America bike races. We met at Gator Hell Week a few years ago, and overlapped a few times since (e.g. when we were cycling/hiking to top of Mauna Kea, Shanna was competing, and winning, the Ultraman event – essentially a 320 mile triathalon). Shanna is currently training for Gigathalon, a five sport event (road biking, mountain biking, inline skating, running and swimming). If you are looking for someone to cheer on this summer (or even better send a few $ to help sponsor her racing or help the Lubbock Boys and Girls Club), check out Shanna’s website.
This morning I loaded everything on the bike and set off a little before sunrise. The bike was noticeably heavier, though still handled well.
In general, I noticed the roads I was cycling were considerably flatter than the Texas Hell Week rides, so I was making good progress. I was a little wary of the roughness of US 290, but with loaded panniers, the roughness seemed to get smoothed out a bit. A brief pause at Stonewell at mile 14 and then at Hye at mile 20. They had a big scale outside the post office. I stood on it, and best could tell, still roughly the same weight as I set off two weeks ago. From here a few winding hills before coming through Johnson City at mile 31.
From Johnson City, the cross winds changed over to tailwinds. Hooray! Made sure not to cheer too soon as there were some gentle slopes to cross over. At mile 42, a brief stop in Round Mountain where I met a local cyclist who had also cycled some of the Hell Week rides. From here some gentle ups and downs and into Marble Falls at mile 53 for lunch. Overall, on this part and other routes today I was on a four lane highway with moderate amounts of traffic and not much for (smooth) shoulders. I’m glad I made it to Lampasas since I remember the road getting better from here.
After lunch a slow steady climb up the hill and into Burnet. This had been my initial stop for the day, but it wasn’t too late and I had some good tailwinds, so decided to continue another 22 miles to Lampasas. Found a hotel with wireless internet. There isn’t much of a real center to this town. All a bit spread out, so walked around and then came back to update the web site. Happy to have tailwinds!
87 miles today.
Best wishes on your big trip! It was our pleasure and privilege for you to join us this year.