March 2007


This past Saturday was the weekend for the annual Rosedale Ride in Austin. The Rosedale Ride’s been going on for years and is a benefit for the Rosedale school. You can read all about it at the link above.

It’s always been a well supported ride and well attended. The route is over the mostly flat terrain east of Austin. The difference between riding east of Austin and riding to the west where I live can be dramatically different. To the east, plains. To the west, craggy hills. As this article on the Balcones Escarpment describes, to the east: farmers, to the west: ranchers.

Saturday turned out to be a nice day for riding and the route is a pleasant ride through farmland and pastures. It always reminds me of many rides in Iowa. It looked doubtful earlier in the week whether I’d even go because it’s been pretty rainy here. But on cue, the clouds parted and a blue sky emerged just as we were about to take off on the ride. Too bad the wind was blowing at 15+mph out of the southeast though. We slogged through most of the 2nd half of the ride against it. The tailwind at the start was awesome though!

Kem and I had other things to get to on Saturday and opted for the 45 miler. The other people in the picture to the right were doing the 62 miler (100k).

This is probably the best time of year to do a ride out on the east side of Austin. Things are really green and despite the flat nature of the farmland, you get some pretty nice vistas. And as the picture below of Kem rounding  one of the country roads will attest, some nice looking fields of colorful flowers.

kem-yello-rosedale

The spring weather continues here and lots of things are blooming in Austin. The picture here this time is of a Redbud tree – or so I’m told that’s what these trees are. I got out for a couple of bike rides this weekend and these trees are in bloom everwhere. I had no idea there were so many Redbud trees around here but right now they’re really showy so you can’t miss them. I pulled over at one point and snapped this shot. Not that this is any more full of flowers or beautiful than so many of them. But the foreground plants here were really nice. Looks like some kind of Agave.

Despite the blue skies in the picture, that seemed to be one of the few times the sun was out this weekend. Lots of clouds and plenty of wind – at least it seemed so on a bicycle. The blustery winds often made the cycling slow going. Still though, it was good to get out.


I snapped this picture on the walk back to the office from lunch today.

It’s probably hard to tell, but like a lot of wildflowers here in Texas at this time of year, this flower is really small. You can get some perspective by noticing the 3-leaf clover just to the upper left of the flower. The whole flower is maybe an inch across. Anyway, this is pretty representative of the types of things you’ll find sprouting around here at this time of year.

We’ve finally gotten some much needed rain around here. In fact, it’s raining here again today and everything is greening up really fast.

This little one had popped up next to the parking garage, along with several others like it. I noticed them on the walk home at lunch and brought the camera with me on the return trip. The same area has Bluebonnets growing but they’re nowhere near flowering yet. I’m bound to snap a shot of them if/when they do emerge.

Saturday was the 2007 Spokes ‘n Spurs bike ride in the Liberty Hill area. I did the 60 miler with Kem and Jim Moore. It was ideal weather for cycling. The Spokes ‘n Spurs ride is a benefit ride for the Spirit Reins ranch and was really well attended.

The route takes you from near Liberty Hill to Burnet and is quite nice. Not really all that hilly. Just rolling and pretty countryside. Excellent rest stops with great snacks. Better than average, that is. In general, it’s a well run event.

Would loved to have done a ‘recovery’ ride on Sunday but it’s been off and on rain most of the day. More on than off in the afternoon and this evening.

Not everyone would probably be all that thrilled to bike to work. But there’s a few of us that like the idea and I have a very, very short haul to go – thankfully – to my office. It’s actually easier and faster to go by bike than by car.

Here’s a shot of my Breezer that I snagged this morning. It’s just perfect for the short ride in. Classic commuter style bike. Fenders, rack, chain guard, lights, rubber pedals, big ‘ol tires, kick stand and a pretty cushy seat. Oh, and a bell. Weighs a lot but then I’m never going to be going too far on this bike anyway so it doesn’t matter. Great for a ride up to the coffee shop too.

Maybe I’ll post some more on other bikes I’ve got some time.