Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Not the only cyclists in the Village

As promised, tales from yesterday…

Realising that we had a 77-mile day of “rolling” hills ahead of us, we made an early start. We had the feeling that it was a tad chilly, which was confirmed when we gingerly drew back the curtain to our hotel room and saw one of the other guests scraping ice off her windscreen. However, the sun soon burned through, and we were quite toasty as we made our way out along a road with the widest shoulder we have ever come across…so wide in fact that we (1) wondered if it was actually supposed to be an extra lane but the white-lane painter had forgotten to put the spaces in; and (2) were aware that we couldn’t think of anyone with shoulders wider than LeBron James, and felt that we might therefore have peaked too early in describing shoulders earlier in the trip in this way. So, let’s just call this one a “LeBron Plus”.

We rolled the first 25 or so miles through the beautiful Sam Houston National Forest, with a clear blue sky, and thought again how different this was to what we had expected of Texas. And then, emerging from the distant heat haze, we saw it…another cyclist, with panniers! Stopping to have a quick chat, we soon realised that we were dealing with another Brit. Dave, who had cycled all the way from Argentina (!) was on his way to Florida to complete his trip. It was a mutually beneficial exchange, as he was able to give us tips about what we had ahead, and to reassure us that he had just ridden the route from El Paso to Del Rio and on (i.e. near the Mexican border) with no problems whatsoever. We were able to offer routes into New Orleans and out again, a route not covered by the Adventure Cycling Association maps that both he and we are following.

On our way again, we had more perfect views (though not so perfect shoulders or road surface) and even more rolling hills. After climbing more than 2,700 ft, we were ready to get to our hotel, which we did with a good margin before sundown. Logging into the internet when we got in, we were fascinated to see some of the expeditions which are recorded on the crazyguyonabike website, where Dave has his blog. We have to say that there are people out there who are a lot more intrepid than us, who promote the fact that they have to wash and dry themselves with a Chamois as it takes up less space than a towel. We did chuckle at some of the photos that people have taken of the contents of their panniers together with Laundry Lists of all (and we mean all) the items they are carrying. We were thinking of laying out Kat’s hair straighteners, eyelash curlers, black patent spiky heels and Anthony’s miu miu loafers (similar to those worn by Nigerian airline pilots) for the delight of all of our followers…

Anyway, we spent so long glued to the site and its illuminating facts that we were too tired to write the blog! But what it did do was convince us that we should stick with the original route through Texas and New Mexico as recommended by the ACA maps. Hopefully, that way we’ll avoid some of the colder weather which is forecast for the more Northern part of TX/NM, and allow us to take advantage of the work that we put in before the trip in terms of accommodation planning etc.

Today was a typical rest day. The most exciting thing that happened was that Kat bit the bullet and dyed her hair dark brown…photos to follow over the coming days…

Us x


  1. Kitty Kat and Ant,

    A big hello and congrats on your efforts. You are amazing! Kat a big happy birthday for Sunday; I hope you are taking time out to celebrate! Much love, Marshie xxx

  2. sorry to seem think (dur) but how can I access your photies? xx

  3. Hi Gorgeous Girl!

    Great to hear from you and thanks for the birthday wishes. We will be taking a day off and partying in Austin... To access the photos, click on the map of America (on the right of the screen) and they should load up. Hope all rockin' with you.