I finally had a day off and was excited to go for a bike ride. I looked through my ACA rides and found one called Creedmoor Cruise which they start at the elementary school near my house, so perfect for me. And it was a good day to ride- overcast, slight breeze, maybe 10 mph, and 70ish at the start around 9 am. So off I go and not two miles out, in front of the WalMart this bitch in a convertible cuts me off making a right turn across the bike lane. I'm yelling at her, and she can hear me because it's a convertible and the top is down. A guy in a van shouts "she totally cut you off" and gave me a fist pump, to which I respond "I agree!" But by the next block, I'm out of the main traffic and shopping area, so it's all good.
I have my turn by turn instructions I'd written down, and am having a good time. Not three miles away from the WalMart I'm in cattle and trailer land. There are a bunch of dogs- dogs sleeping in yards, dogs trotting across pastures, dogs running out to greet me. And I do the recommended tactic of stopping and getting off the bike if a dog comes to chase- and it works! The chasers immediately stop and turn around and I can almost read their minds "oh, I was having such a good chase, and now what is that, it stopped, and it's coming towards me, I'm outta here!" Which is fine as long as there's not car traffic around as the dog runs across the highway. Of course I notice they're mostly intact males, and a fine specimen of indeterminate breeding- lab/heeler/brown dog.
But I do see the safari animals at the Texas Disposal Systems property near Creedmoor and it reminds of the YO. There are blackbuck antelope, emus, scimitar horned oryx, red deer, and fallow deer. And those are just the ones I can see from the road- I'm sure there are more. The wind has been a little bit of a problem, always seeming to be a crosswind and blowing me around, and now it's getting stronger. But I'm feeling good and am coming on to the last section before I hit 35 to get to the home neighborhood. And then I turn the wrong way on 1327 but I don't realize it. And of course this is the little section where they are tarring the cracks in the road and have made it a one lane highway for about 3 miles. So I wave and nod at all the workers and am glad they are there to improve the road, and am glad this section has nice wide shoulders so the cars can go around. The friendliest is the pilot car driver, who gives me a thumbs up and something to the effect of "go garble garble yeah!" Which is nice.
And I get to the light and instead of saying IH 35 it says 183, Austin 12 miles. Hmm. I've never been in this area before and now am confused- how does 183 fit in? So I stop at the gas station on the corner, get a gatorade and crackers, go to the bathroom, and ask the attendant if IH 35 is the other way on 1327, and it is. I'd turned left instead of right. But now I'm still backwards in my head and can't decide if I've made another wrong turn before 1327. And I've gone 17 miles at this point and am a little worried that I can't keep riding forever and who can I call to come pick me up if I'm more lost and too tired to keep going. And now I have to go back and face all the highway guys again.
So I turn around and head back- it's probably only 3 miles back to the wrong turn. And I wave to the guys again. And pilot car guy gives me another thumbs up as he goes by. Then a fist pump as he goes back the other way, and the last drive by it's a wave. It made my day, and I can only imagine driving the same 3 miles back and forth all day must be mind numbing, so a funny looking girl on a funny looking bicycle must be a treat! And then I'm back at the turn and it says Austin with an arrow pointed back the way I'd come to the wrong turn, so I stop and ask in the gas station on this corner, and yes IH 35 is 5 more miles down 1327. And off I go.
Now at this point though, the wind has picked up some more, about 20 mph with gusts up to 25, and though there is a nice wide shoulder, there are a bunch of trucks working the highway construction project up ahead at 35 and 130, plus the dump trucks for the Texas Disposal Systems landfill. And every time a truck passes, it pulls me forward and then the crosswind slams me sideways. It's tough. But finally I'm back at 35 and know how to get home, except the construction has closed the road overpass. So I have to get on the frontage road and find one section where I am flying (turns out to be 39 mph from the bike computer!) and the winds and trucks are just pushing me all over the place. I have to do some manuevering because the roads are not conveniently placed to get from here to there and while I could go the wrong way on a road, I won't because it's against the law. I want other vehicles to respect the law and bikes' rights, so I should too.
But then I'm finally home! It wound up being 32 miles in 2:36, average 11.9 (lots of wind and stopping and starting) and max speed 39. My hands are the most sore, followed by my butt- but I like this saddle MUCH better. I do want to move the seat post down a bit- I think that will alleviate some pressure on my hands. And I did get into aero a little, but the cross winds make me nervous and I have less control in aero, but it was nice to have options for changing position.
A good adventure and there are some roads I want to ride again, but I'll have to figure out some different ways to get around the construction. After I had some Mexican food, a shower, and a blog posting, now I'm ready for a nap. Luckily the Lumpy Dog has been keeping my bed warm all morning!