Click on the thumbnail photo to enlarge the image. Listen to the clicking on this 12-second video. My rear tire picked up a twisted nail in the bike lane on Cornwallis Rd this afternoon. I haven't swept the bike lane with my broom lately, so it's full of schmutz. There's never any debris on roads without bike lanes. I'd much rather share wide roads with cars than have bike lanes. Meh.
Last week in Texas, I got a flat in my front tire as I walked my bike up steep hills off-road, in brushy ground cover that turned out to have a harvest of thorns. I found one thorn in the tire, removed it, and finished my ride. But when I got home, I discovered there were actually *two* punctures in the tube, which means there was another protrusion somewhere in the tire waiting to puncture the tube as I finished my ride. I was really lucky those last 30 miles...
I rode the RUSA Born To Be Wild 200K permanent, north and west of Austin TX, on Friday. I was in Austin for the week on business, so I brought my bike. This ride is one of several permanents hosted by the Hill Country Randonneurs. This ride passed through the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge. See Online Map.
The route owner warned me 'it was hilly'. He was right. It was the hilliest ride I've ever done.
Another rider warned me about traffic on one road, and long stretches without services. Excellent advice. I was ready.
The cue sheet was perfect and easy to memorize. I never got lost, and I never needed to power on my GPS. No bonus miles.
Scenery was beautiful. Weather was like springtime. Most drivers were incredibly cordial.
The wind all day was tough. I made the first checkpoint with only a few minutes to spare. Luckily, my time buffer improved throughout the ride.
One of the clerks at the first checkpoint squealed happily when she saw my perm card. "I haven't seen one of those in forever", as she grabbed it and signed it.
I forgot sunblock. Not good.
The night before the ride, I bought six tacos from Taco Cabana with chicken, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and salsa. I froze four, chilled two, and they survived the day in my insulated bag. Delicious. Those, plus my usual powerade, powder, and candy bars were plenty.
I got a puncture in my front tire about 30 miles from the finish. I found a thorn, dug out as much as possible, and lined the inside with an inch of rim tape. It held air until the finish. And, as a bonus, it felt great to sit and relax while fixing it.
Outside the CVS drugstore at the finish, a gaggle of girl scouts were selling cookies. Much to their surprise, I bought two boxes. Great post-rando food.
Here are a few photos of checkpoints and random shots along the ride: Photos
And here is a short video (1:20) from my new helmet cam. See me, my shadow, and a few descents. Listen as I say "whee" at 0:50. Video
The biggest difference from a ride in North Carolina? It wasn't the endless hills. Nor the springlike weather. It was, drum roll please... no dogs! I like Texas.
Another great day on the bike.
Many thanks to the route owner for answering my questions before the ride, and for processing my results.