Time was short again this morning. Woken by the sound of rain drops the size of golf balls hitting the roof of our B&B, we decided to try and ‘sleep out’ the storm… 2 hours later… it dawned on us that we had to complete 65+ miles of 2600ft hill climbing. So, rather than opt for the time consuming routine of having breakfast, we scoffed a few CLIFF and MOJO energy bars in our room for breakfast, covered ourselves from head to toe in wet weather gear and set out. The first stage of the ride was very wet. At one point we were confronted by a very fast and deep running river billowing over the road that was meant to deliver us safely to our next destination. Queuing (waiting in line) behind several cars as each driver considered whether it was worth the risk to go for it and potentially end up stranded in the river below the road, Kat was conferring with one of the motorists about alternative routes. When she looked up to consult Anthony, he was already half way across the flood with water up to his pedals… all the cars then followed suit realising it was safe to cross!
Arriving slowly into Blanco, cold and wet and having gone without a proper breakfast, we were ready to eat. Anxiously turning our heads from side to side scanning the High Street hoping to find a warm and friendly place to tuck into some hot and hearty home-cooked food, the pained looks on our faces were obvious as we passed Burger joints and Pizza Pasta parlours quickly becoming disheartened at the prospect of yet another additive packed fast food lunch. All of a sudden we heard: “Hey guys, come grab something to eat over here”, it was Bobby our saviour, “you’re gonna love this place, they serve the best lemon meringue pies in Texas” (no offence to Royers of Round Top). That’s all we needed to hear and promptly turned our bikes around and cycled toward the source of this welcome calling. We dismounted Trusty and Steed, parked them against the wall of Blanco Bowling Club and sat down at a table where we were immediately fed with Coffees, Tortilla soup and Carne Guisada… just what the doctor ordered. Did we forget to mentioned the LEMON MERINGUE PIE, check out the photo, it was amazing … sorry for not saving you any Susie Bean, we know it’s your favourite dessert.
The rain was still causing mini tsunamis to run down the streets of Blanco and Kendall county, but we still had 38 miles to go and 1000’s of ft to ascend, so with soggy wet helmets and freezing gloves back on, we said “adiós y’all” to Bobby and the Blanco Bowling Club and set off for Round 2 of ‘rain in ya face’ and ‘wind in ya rear’ (yes we finally had a tail wind today). And what a round it was! Killer hill climbs, many more flood rivers crossing the road ahead and fast descents into countless Creeks: Onion Creek, Curry Creek, Holiday Creek, Jacobs Creek and Mespokes Creek were some of the scariest.
There are several elements that make for the perfect cycling experience: wind, road surface, traffic, rain, elevation, lane width and temperature. It’s very rare that all the elements will balance to maximise cycling perfection (CP). More often than not the ‘God of Cycling’ will know when one element is in your favour and control the others to prevent CP. In our case, max’ing out at 1650ft of hill climbing whilst traversing across very scary flood rivers in the torrential rain, with no bike lane on a pretty rough road surface in the freezing cold somehow outweighed the tail wind and minimal traffic.
It was a tough ride today, but we made it, all 65 miles. Problem is we had Mexican food for dinner tonight as well as for lunch, so despite the fact that evil ‘Edwin’ is forecast to return tomorrow, it’s still likely we are going to have a tailwind.