Monday, April 4, 2011

April 4, 2011. Bastrop to LaGrange, TX. 41.5 miles.

Because this was such a short day we started out all together, and a bit later than usual. Here is our chef Linda mugging for the camera on the left side of the photo below. We rode about 3 miles and then entered Bastrop State Park. There was very little traffic, and the road through the forest was paved and smooth. We were warned ahead of time that there were some steep hills in the park, and it was true--up to 17 degree grade! That is indeed steep. We were also warned of the high winds that were predicted for today. 20 to 30 MPH with gusts up to 40 MPH. Unfortunately that prediction also proved true. The wind was howling as we rode out of Bastrop State Park right into Buescher State Park. At one point a wind gust blew a tree down not very far from the road on which we were cycling. It came crashing down with a frightful noise. One of our riders took shelter in a large (empty) garbage can... it was that bad.

We left the park system at about 16 miles into the ride, and Lisa was there with the SAG car. There was a convenient stone wall behind which we could do our private thing.... not so convenient was the poison ivy growing on the wall.
After the sag we had a 3 mile stretch on Farm Road 153 with a cross wind--that was the most dangerous part of the day. I hunched down over my handlebars and pedaled like a mad woman. I'm sure I looked a lot like Miss Gulch in the Wizard of Oz. But I managed to keep both wheels on the ground and we soon changed direction, making it a quartering wind instead.

We saw some Brahma bulls and cows along the farm road, and a roadside shrine, Texas style. There were a few isolated oil pumps, like yesterday, and small farms and ranches. Seven miles before the end of the ride we turned on to Highway 77, and there was a lot of traffic but a very wide smooth shoulder. This put that gusting wind at our backs and we fairly flew into LaGrange, where we saw this interesting warning sign.
We planned to ride into town for lunch, but town was at the bottom of a l-o-n-g hill, which we would have had to climb with a head wind to get back after lunch, so we opted out of that and ate at a little taqueria that was very busy with local traffic. We had our fill of fajitas and tacos, then headed straight into the wind for the short ride to the hotel.
It was still so windy when we got here that Chef Linda decided not to cook (it's all done outdoors in a little trailer). So we had pizza and salad in the hotel breakfast area. Every day is a new adventure!

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