April 2011


The Seven rides the TX Hill Country
Easter Hill Country Riders
Bieler Pére et Fils, 2010 Provence Rosé

Despite the very gusty winds of the last few days, it’s been fun getting out to ride on this year’s Easter Hill Country Tour. There were some longer and more challenging rides among the menu of routes but I didn’t opt to take them. Instead I took a shorter (but hilly) ride on Fri morning and then later rode in Fredericksburg up Lower Crabapple Rd.

The first part of the Fri ride was very hilly. The hills started almost immediately. Saw lots of folks walking up ’em. At one point I saw a guy on a recumbent bike just topple over because he was moving so slow. More like he just rolled off. Maybe that’s how he gets off one of those bikes going up hill. (?)

The Fri morning ride was marred by coming up on the aftermath of a very bad bike wreck. At some point we had to come down from the hills we’d climbed and we had some steep, fast descents. I’m not sure what happened but as I rounded a corner I saw lots of folks around a woman that was down on the ground. Looked bad. Lots of blood. Very scary. Someone later said they helicoptered her down to San Antonio but I don’t really know. I just hope she’s ok.

Later in the day I rode out of Fredericksburg and up Crabapple Rd. That’s where I snapped this picture of my bike. I love heading out that road. Pretty country. Couldn’t help snag a photo of the bike too.

The other photo of bikers was taken as we took off on Saturday. The ride I did Saturday was only 35 miles. Knowing that at least half of that would be against a strong wind, it seemed like it’d be plenty. We did finish with an excellent tailwind though, on a quiet road along the Guadalupe river. I ran into a couple friends from Austin, Joel & Eileen, and their friend Charles, just as I was starting the ride. Seemed we were all happy with a reasonable and leisurely pace, so we stuck together. Made riding against that wind a little easier.

With temps pushing into the 90’s this weekend, some nice chilled wine on the patio of the B&B at the end of the day was just the ticket. I’d brought along some rosé that fit the bill just perfectly. Brought back good memories of France last summer. Speaking of France, coincidentally the Lavendar at Becker Vineyards is in bloom this weekend so I took a side trip over there to check it out. Snagged the photo below.

Texas Lavendar

Wild Flowers Near Burnet TX

It continues to be ridiculously windy here on a regular basis this spring but yesterday we were treated to a fantastic morning when the temps were cool and the winds were light and out of the north east. Jim, Tony and I planned to do a route we’ve done before: a 40-miler out of Bertram that goes to Burnet, and then back to Bertram. It’s a great route of rolling hill country backroads.

While we’ve seen few if any Bluebonnets this spring the weather’s at least been conducive to lots of yellow flowers. I snapped this one along the way. Seemed appropriate to get some of the old barbed wire fence in the picture too.

The picture of me on the bike is only a few feet from where I took the pic of the flowers. In fact, you can see the flowers and fence off behind me. I’d just gotten back on the bike when Tony snapped this one of me.

Chas on The Road Near Burnet TX

Willow City TX hill country bluebonnet 

 

We’ve had very little rain this year, so it’s not been a good year to see wildflowers in central Texas. But while it’s been a bad year for the flowers, I still love to get out around Fredericksburg and Stonewall in particular and cycle the [mostly] quiet roads.

This is the first year I’ve done the LBJ 100 ride, but I’ve ridden all the roads of their routes. That one was a couple weekends ago. This past weekend was back to the same area and some of the same roads on the Pedal Power Wildflower Ride. The Pedal Power ride includes the Willow City loop route. It’s always one of my favorites. The picture here in the corner of Bluebonnets was one of the few along the way. Very few to speak of this year. Contrast that picture with last year. What a difference some rain makes.

We had good weather for both rides this year. Chilly starts but it warmed up quickly. Thankfully only light breezes. It has been almost perpetually windy this spring so to have a couple mornings when it wasn’t routinely gusting to 20mph was a blessing.

The 2nd picture here is of me having a beer after the LBJ 100 ride. It was close to 90 that day by the time we finished so the brewsky was welcome. You wouldn’t know it by looking but this tent/table was set up smack dab in the middle of the tarmac of the airfield on the LBJ ranch. It’s kinda weird. There’s a huge landing strip out in the middle of a field of cattle where LBJ used to land the Air Force One of the day. On the day of the ride, the landing strip was used as a parking lot and road. It felt odd driving down the runway where LBJ used to land his plane. LBJ’s daughter Luci was there to lead the ride out. Not surprisingly perhaps, there was a fair amount of speechify’ing at the start of the ride. Someone even sang the national anthem. Mostly people just wanted to get on their bikes and ride.

The picture below was taken by Tony at one of the rest stops along the LBJ ride.

Somewhere in the TX hill country