Another day, new discoveries

(edited 3/14/2011, 8pm) Now that could apply to almost anything at all. Spiritual discoveries, new techniques at work, a new love or an old one re-kindled. Or realizing that surely, God must ride a bicycle!

And indeed he must and he has created a magnificent earth upon which we can not only hang out for a while, but which we can discover. I once wrote a piece entitled “God rides a motorcycle” and I knew that to be as true then as I know now that he rides a bicycle. Therefore, I deduce simply that he prefers two wheels. That seems simple enough, and easily observed on a day like today.

With two new friends (John and Don — the ‘other’ Don)

Gil and Don S. at Lake Victor

we struck out on a familiar route out CR200 East of Burnet to downtown Joppa where we turned North. (hint: click on any thumbnail for the larger picture)

That is where the familiar trail ended for me.

We then struck out East and North on FM 963 winding our way around to the West and Lake Victor where we waited for the fishing boat but it never appeared! From there it was true meandering first North then SW to cross US281 and catch CR108 back to Burnet. The full route and details can be seen on GPSies.

Elk on CR200

The first of two iron bridges at Joppa

The first stretch out CR200 yielded a look at some elk, with two of them dueling — see them in the center of the photo and zoom in closer.  The bridge is one of two in this area. Just a bit downstream is the other one which I have photographed many times. Then we got into more critters.

Llama on CR209

Two colts and family

The stately dude on the left was eyeing me very carefully as I wheeled up but his curiosity got the better of him and he stayed. Barely a 1/4 mile later I came up on these horses while one of the colts of nursing. Naturally, mom pulled away immediately upon my arrival. A private thing, you know. It appeared that there were two colts on this mare.

Don S. on CR209 climbing

John, climbing in the distance

This route has right about 2,000 feet of climb — more than I would have guessed, but then I am always surprised (and with sore legs the next day). On the left is Don S. climbing after we have just had a nice downhill which you can see in the distance. A bit later we see John (and some very brown countryside) in a climb in the midst of the snaking roadway to carry us steadily upward.

Here is the profile of the ride with an interesting marker and calculation of the overall elevation change in about the last half of the route.

The cumulative climb from all of the fun downhills from which one then has to come out again was around 2,000 feet over the course of the entire ride. Sir Isaac Newton had it backwards. Actually, it’s “what goes down must come up again.”

Route map with windspeed indicators (click for larger image). Interesting new feature from SportTracks software.

14.4 kph = 8.95 mph

The day was perfect with moderate temperatures, until the wind in the last couple of hours. But it was cool and the roads decent for the most part, excepting of course, the many cattle guards with openings at dead center (yes, parallel to the direction of travel) and just the right size to seize a skinny bicycle wheel and throw the rider face down on the tarmac! But I digress, Commissioner Graeter ….

Aside, entirely, from the specific route I continue to contend, indeed to insist, that there is just something about being on two wheels that allows you to soak in the countryside. It happened on the Beemer and to some extent with convertibles I’ve had in the past.

You get the smells (albeit some not so wonderful), the breeze carries sounds ranging from animals nearby to equipment working miles away. You can hear the whirring of your fellow rider’s tires on the pavement as he comes up from behind. Bumps in the road are felt — large and small — but are not so distracting that you miss the red-tailed hawk or the nursing colt. The pity of sad little broken-down houses long devoid of paint or windows is not lost on you as you glide by. If you slow just a bit you can almost hear a little history of the families that once made a home there.

The hills come and go, and around each curve is a new vista. The panorama develops slowly before your very eyes and you yearn to see around the curve or over the hill, and you understand exactly why the bear went over the mountain. To see … what he could see.

And thus I ride, as do countless others, to see … what we can see.

Summary of the 3/13/2011 ride

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About Gil Jones

CPA/Attorney/Judge by training and trade. Hobby nut at heart with BMW m/c, computers, ham radio, kayak fishing, photography, hiking and, starting in 2010 some semi-serious running and bicycling (road and mountain bikes). Retired after 16 years on a Texas District Court bench and since 2013 have been mediating cases. I am a Credentialed Distinguished mediator (TMCA).
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One Response to Another day, new discoveries

  1. Pingback: Daily News Roundup March 13th – Texas Bicycling « Texbiker.net

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