Day 24: Austin, Texas

Elevation gained: 1740 ft/Miles: 57/Total Miles: 1,157/Total Fast Food: 13

It’s amazing what 10 hours of sleep and a windless, sunny, 70 degree day will do for one’s disposition. The ride in from Giddings today was uneventful. Rolling through Page, Butler and Elgin there were carpets of wildflowers – Bluebonnets, Texas Paintbrush and Square-Bud Primrose – on south facing hillsides energized by the sun. Raptors were everywhere. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many in one day. Diving across the roadway were a large number of Red-tailed, Red-shouldered and Swainson’s hawks and others I couldn’t identify. In one area, I counted 17 Black vultures around the base of a large oak. They looked up as I rode by, but thankfully didn’t follow.

As I passed Elgin and moved closer to Austin, the landscape changed. I started to see the occasional oil derrick in the middle of a cattle grazing area. The number of commercial establishments increased as it does when you approach any urban center. Fast food restaurants, gas stations, automotive repair shops, tractor sales lots, and junk yards became more frequent. But, I didn’t care because it meant that I was finally in Austin.

When I planned the first part of this ride, I set as a goal to reach Austin by March 25th. My daughter’s swim team has a competition here on that date (Go Big Red!). As a consequence, W.C.C. will be moving her base of operations here for the meet. I can’t wait to see my two favorite girls. I’m also looking forward to exploring Austin, a city recommended to me by many. I’ve already mapped out a week’s worth of things I want to see in the next two days.

Tomorrow, I plan to start the day by paying homage to the Patron Saint of All Things Velo. He has a bike shop in Austin and I will be bringing in my rig in for new brakes, chain and to get the wheels trued.

I wonder if I can remember how to walk.

11 Comments

Filed under Biking U.S.

11 responses to “Day 24: Austin, Texas

  1. gary kissiah

    Here are four things you must do in Austin:

    1. Swim in Barton Springs
    2. Listen to music at the Continental Club
    3. Eat BBQ at Stubbs, Sams, Rubys, Green Mesquite or all of them
    4. Listen to music at Antone’s

    gary

  2. MD
    I was just there last week – you missed SXSW by 4 days. Good times.
    Some key places other than “The Bike” store, visit his restaurant http://www.sixlounge.com, Ables by the Lake, Great for a sunny day, GUEROSTACOBAR.COM, Awesome food/Stay at the San Jose Hotel if you camp another day… and finish up at Shady Grove. Enjoy
    KS

  3. Craig

    I can’t believe I’m commenting before Polish Super Hero. He must be sick; I hope he’s okay. Congratulations on making it to Austin three days early. That makes your decision to be seduced by the Sirens of the Road yesterday all the more perplexing.

  4. Polish Super Hero

    Craig,
    The psychiatrist says I’m fine but thanks for asking.
    Mike,
    Leg 1 is done! Congrats on making to Austin on time and before the family! Why don’t you treat yourself to a beer…and 3 shots of tequila. do they have beer and tequila in Texas? You’ve got a week to bulk up for the final push home. Order a side cheese burger with every meal and if you go fast food “SUPER-SIZE IT”!!!
    Enjoy your family and your rest…you’ve earned it.
    Peace brother,
    PSH

  5. Greggy B

    Will you pick me up a Mellow Johnny t-shirt?

  6. Mike – if you’re at Mellow Johnny’s check out the upcoming MTB race at Lance’s ranch in Dripping Springs, TX May 29-30th. http://www.mellowclassic.blogspot.com Will be part of the 2010 pro XC Tour. Keep pedaling –
    You’da man!

  7. pedro

    Miquel,

    So I want to know one thing, big guy…are people scratching their heads when they watch you put down your camera on the side of the road, bike away, then circle back to pick up the camera again?

    Am thinking of getting in shape and meeting you down the road for the last few miles home.

    best,
    pedro

  8. David Stabler

    Congratulations Mike!

    You are truly A Man on a Mission.

    Just west of Austin, The Sirens of the Road will turn you over to Pleiades for your last leg–the Seven Sisters will be leading you home.

    http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap091103.html

    Best of luck to your daughter and her team.

    W.C.C. to receive Nerves of Steel Award.

    Buenos Dias!

  9. Erika

    congrats on reaching austin, and even a few days early! we’ve all been keeping up on your blog and are enjoying reading about your days on the road. 🙂 i sent it to my parents too!

    stay safe cuz!

    erika

  10. Doug Dillon

    Yahooooooooooooo! You are there!!! Forget what everyone is saying, and just stay in bed for a couple days and watch tv and order room service, you deserve it. Keep us posted on the plan and route for the next half.

  11. jeannette

    You’re a legend. So impressed — and also jealous that you get to visit the shrine of all things yellow. Have a blast!

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