Working steadily toward my goal of riding 67 miles on my 67th birthday, Don and I had a great 44 mile ride today. It was a new area for me — West Lake Buchanan around the back way to Llano and back. Started off in 56 degree weather with my new cold weather duds from Performance Bicycle and was comfortable the whole way. Riding through the winter is now assured. It was also a new distance for me as my prior longest trek had been 32 miles.
The route was FM 261 off of Texas 29, to CR216 to Texas 16 to Llano. Along CR216 is a game ranch with an assortment of buffalo, zebras and other exotics. Here is a distant shot of the zebras, probably hard to see.
We were headed to “Fuel” a nifty coffee shop near the square with smoothies and such, but since it was closed we jumped over to Stonewall’s where I scarfed up two scoops of Bluebell Tin Roof ice cream. After the ice cream, some rest and a considerable portion of stiffening up of the joints, we struck off again.
As we rode across the Llano River bridge and stopped to admire the always beautiful river, we noted that the flow was certainly not up to kayaking standards. Time to move on as I recalled that daylight savings time had long since abandoned us. Hate that.
Just out of Llano going East we grabbed the Bluffton/Tow road which wound us around back to FM261 and Don’s house.
The trek was good for a calorie burn of 2173! Now I wish I had gotten three scoops of the Bluebell. Top speed was 29mph as we came down Hwy 16 into Llano. From about where CR215 comes in it’s overall downhill and there was one long sustained sprint where for only about the 2nd time since I’ve had the Peugeot Triathlon bike I shifted to the big ring on the front. Frankly, that’s fast enough on two skinny wheels! Heart rate avg/max was 133/156. The cardio health continues to increase as the average rate is trending less and it’s increasingly harder to get the rate over 150. That’s a good thing. Average speed to Llano was 10.4 mph, 12.9 coming back. Ascent total was 1,394feet, most of that being between mile 10 and mile 17 on CR216 until we hit TX 16.
Don is a good riding companion. Amiable, affable and flexible. We tend to push each other a bit — a good thing — but he understands when I say I’ve had enough.
After the ride Don and Peggy showed me their place on the lake and we relaxed with a cold beer and had a nice visit. This bicycling has really become a mainstay of not only my exercise but simply recreation. Being out in the countryside — especially in the Texas Hill Country / Highland Lakes — with a good companion is hard to beat. This fall-winter-spring riding is going to be quite enjoyable. I need to get back on the mountain bike some too as bro-in-law Bill is over in Memphis pounding away every day and will be ready for some serious offroad single tracking.
I’m rambling, so that’s enough. Hope you enjoyed riding along with me for a moment.
Don has a very good and far more extensive writeup on his blog.