Day 1: 63km from Lakeway to Wimberly
Day 2: 108km to Stockdale
Day 3: 109km to Hwy 16 Tilden
Great first three days! First day was slow… sore legs, hills and headwinds. Camped on the river Blanco in a decent spot but didn’t sleep too welll… need to adjust to stealth camping mentality. People all day were super friendly, lots of waves, honks and inquieries. One lively conversation with an older gentlemen resulted in an entire congregation from Wimberly First Baptist Church praying for me (“tell me your first name, son”…. “Tom”) once a week for the next 7 months! I’m going to take that as a good sign.
By day two I was sore but ready to ride… happy to be getting everything organized and sorted on the bike… already a few items I don’t need have been left. Nicer routes with better shoulders… very beautiful and rugged country. Camped in a giant public park in Stockdale which was perfect except some annoying dogs were barking at me all night. Forgot about dogs…. several have been chasing me so glad I have the pepper spray in my handlebar bag, but not sure I could grab it in time if one was right on my heels. They really sneak up on you. Yay for rabies shots in Mexico.
Yesterday I was rolling – surprised at how well body has held up. I’ve been keeping high cadence over grinding out long and strong so that’s helping get more little muscles involved and not tearing my big muscles as deeply for easier recovery. I hammered out 60 or so km in the morning then took a big break at a nice public library in Pleasanton. After that I was a little late getting on the road and rode right into the night, not able to find a spot. It was warm and totally surreal cycling at night through the oil patch with little open flames of oil taps decorating the landscape. Hwy 16 south is just a massive oil trucking route, so not the best from a cycling perspective. I finally found a open spot behind a big 10,000 barrel oil tank and slept surprisingly well. Reminds me of Alberta!
Feeling really good so far! Have been keeping it pretty high paced, not much taking in the sights, but it’s good to be able to break things in a bit while still in the US. I imagine I’ll slow down a bit once I cross the border. I’ve been loving my Kindle – these things are amazing! Much preferred to carrying books and trying to read with a headlamp. Right now I’m reading “El Narco” by Ioan Grillo bout the birth and state of Mexican drug trafficking and cartels, and I’m also starting on Eduardo Galeano “Open Veins of Latin America”. Any suggestions on good reads set in or related to Latin America most appreciated! About three days out from the border – can’t wait.