Day 62 – WTALOT III: Hill Country (January 2, 2021)

Night 62- San Marcos, Texas

The longest day and the latest day.

And a whole lotta Texas.

This day we planned on riding 100 miles. Speaking for myself, I’ve only completed one “century” ride before and that was just last June at a sanctioned event in New Jersey. This day would be my second longest ride of my life. I’m glad I’ve been nearly every day for the last 2 months, because centuries hurt. The time it takes mean keep up with your metabolism longer. It’s a trade off. You ride faster, you ride for a shorter time. We rode slower for a few reasons, but we would be on the road for nearly 9 hours of pedaling.
Why put ourselves through this? Partly for our own achievement, but also to make up some time after resting and enjoying NYE. We had a host and a will. Now we just had to ride.

Which brings me to the next chapter of the “whole Lotta Texas” story. The newest chapter is titled “we found hill country”. We haven’t climbed over 1000 feet since December 17th going into Florida’s highlands. Today we would climb 2500 feet. A laughable height compared to the mountains to come, but a mean wakeup during such a long day and after such a hiatus from anything resembling hills. So that was one reason we rode so slowly.

We still managed about 11.5 mph pace and only had one flat (this time it was Russell). We are both looking forward to the treads we had delivered to my brother. Just a few days away now.

Our day ended after a dinner stop at another Buc-ee’s. By ended, I mean 30 more miles in the dark. It was nice though. After a bit of back road riding, we have 20ish miles of route 80. A road that had a full lane of shoulder, just as paved as the road. The worst part (other than the dangers of night riding, if any) was the rolling hills and temperature. After riding for 15 miles at a nice temperature, we would ride down into a gully and get slapped across the face with a cold breeze 10-20 degrees colder than what we’re just in. Suddenly your eyes water and your fingers freeze. This was followed by pure confused and frustrated yelling into the void.

The sky was clear and we were nearly done. No matter how bad the day was, the evening rides are some of the best. There is a strange “second wind” that comes when the day’s wind stops and traffic dies down.

So we roll in to our host. The yellow house hostel. We are greeted by a small group of people who have stayed in the hostel during the pandemic as they switched to an apartment setup. The hostel remained “open” only for bike tourists. So here we are, sleeping on an indoor stage, packed away as a pseudo living room during the 2020 fun times.

I’d say it was a good day. So I hope you all have a good day today. Coffee in my belly, I’m going to go remember the Alamo.

As usual-

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