Monday, October 25, 2010


La Quinta Inn to Outdoor Adventures Bike Shop...4 miles


Deming, NM to Las Crusces, NM....63 miles

Did you notice that Las Cruces is east of Deming and that after 1800 miles of west bound travel we are now headed east? Folks...20 plus mph winds will make you do funny things. After just one 60 mile day into this wind we weren't crazy enough to do another 65 miles to Lordsburg, not stupid enough to do another 75 miles to Safford and 80 miles to Globe with predicted 50 mph wind gusts would be insane.

So...we turned around and had a nice wind assisted ride back to Las Cruces where Ron went shopping at Wal Mart, I had a few martinis, Lucky did a few tequilas and Jan hung out with the guys.

Tomorrow we drop the horses off at the bike shop for boxing and shipment back home and hop the shuttle to the El Paso Airport for the trip home.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Las Cruces to Deming, NM....60 miles

We got a barely daylight start to beat the winds. There is a nice climb out of the river valley up to the southern desert of New Mexico. This is when we met The bad ass wind which was blowing over 20 mph at times. A reasonably flat ride turned into by far our hardest ride of the trip.

Ron and I drafted each other most of the day. Jan and Lucky got a ride about 10 miles out of town from a farmer and beat us to the motel. Cal had a hard time. We're all beat and a little depressed since we have more of this stuff tomorrow.

We got to the motel in time to see the Auburn LSU game. I knew someone was going to be disappointed and am glad to say it was Lucky.

We had pizza in the room.


El Paso, TX to Las Cruces, NM....37 miles

We got a late start and had a nice easy ride up to Las Cruces which is just up the Rio Grand River valley from El Paso. We cross the Rio Grand a few miles from our motel. The river at this point would be considered a creek in South Carolina. The once mighty river has been drained almost dry by El Paso.

We past a slew of pecan orchards, alfalfa fields on the ride which are kept green by the river.

In Las Cruces we checked into the Day Inn and 15 minutes later checked out when we discovered their Wifi Sid not work. We ended up at a Hampton Inn and ate at an Applebees.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Fort Hancock to El Paso...65 miles

We had major storms last night including temporary loss of power. We were lucky that the storm roll in after dark and not while we were on the road.

Today's ride was nice and flat till the last 9 miles when we climbed 1100 feet--they don't call it Mesa Street for nothing. El Paso is the first large town we've visited on this trip.
After riding in the traffic we are ready to hit the country again.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Van Horn to Fort Hancock...67 miles

After breakfast at Micky D's we hit the interstate and spent the day riding on or parallel to I-10. Riding on the interstate isn't that bad. You have a rumple strip between you and the trucks and your own 5 foot lane. It would be great except for the truck noise. Another problem is the steel belted tires on the trucks leave bits of steel wire on the road when they fly part which play hell with bike tires. Cal had a flat from steel wire in the first few miles.

We took a break in Sierra Blanca where it started to rain. We put on rain gear and took it off again in a few miles. The predicted rain never came and after the down hill it became kind of hot.

We had an easy day. Between the 10 mile down hill and a tailwind it was almost like a rest day.

We are in a motel that the Minute Man stay at when they are in this area. I really don't have a dog in this hunt but having met a few of the MM think they should spend their money on fixing teeth before going off on this task.


Marfa to Van Horn, 76 miles

On this ride the only services for 72 miles are in Valentine and consisted of a water fauset behind the post office. That about sums it up. Pedal, pedal, post office,pedal,pedal...motel.

There was a 3.5 mile long pecan orchard about 12 miles out of Van Horn but not much else for vegetation.

Van Horn turned out to be a large truck stop on I-10 with 4-7 motels and not much else. After the Gage hangover we choose Motel 6.

The area around here is high desert country with cold nights and warm days. With the population density around these parts it's not a problem to see the stars at night.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Marathon to Marfa...57 mi

Marathon took one last shot at me when they tried to charge 9 bucks for coffee, Danish and a small piece of pumpkin cake. I got the coffee but turn down the other stuff.

The ride today was nice even with a headwind. We stopped at the bike shop in Alpine and spent a bunch of money. Lucky and Jan had their 3rd flat at a bike shop, which has to be some kind of record.

Marfa is off route. We met a west bound rider--a vet from the mid-west--who recommended this route as a way to miss the big climb across the Davis Mountains. We ended up getting over 5,000 feet anyway but will save a few miles getting into Van Horn.

The History Channel did a special on the desert lights of Marfa which light up out in the desert and there is no scientific explanation for this happening. Yea right. After seeing a viewing area about 5 miles out of town I have a very reasonable explanation. I mean the increased border patrol in this area is a dead give away. The Marfa lights are folks crossing over the border after dark...ever heard of a flashlight?


Sanderson to Marathon ..56 miles

The Sanderson to Marathon leg was about a 1 to 3 percent grade most of the way and I got tired of slogging along at 9 mph. We had a house reserved a half mile from the Gage Hotel--famous place around these parts. Turns out the house was half a mile from the Gage and another half mile up a road to rough for a pack mule.

We ended up at the Gage Hotel, Ron and my room cost $225...nice room but NO TV. Can you believe that? On Sunday no less, so no football. Talk about deprived...ride your ass off all week long and no football.

Marathon has yuppie written all over it. Everything nice and clean and very expensive. We ended up watching football in a bar down the street. Among other things they made a great Absolute martini and stir fried vegetables. Everyone except Jan floated out of the place after dinner.

After Marathon I'll be booking us in Motel 6.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Comstock to Sanderson...90 miles

AND...2800 feet of climbing. Whew, what a day.

We were already to go before 7:00 AM but had to wait around till about 15 after for enough light. Man I hate to say this but Ron's head lamp, that he bought a Wal Mart the day before came in handy.

Last time I rode here we were in such a rush to beat the heat we crossed the Pecos River without stopping so it was a must stop this trip. While Ron and I were on the viewing platform Jan and Lucky flew on by and missed a great view. No problem, like me they can stop next time.

We went up what seemed like the same hill all day long. On the steep parts of the climbs it was extra hot because the wind at our backs was about the same speed as the bikes were going so we had no breeze. It's funny how on these long days you seem to get a second wind and the hills get easier later on in the afternoon. Maybe your just tired and more relaxed?i

For sometime now we been looking forward to meeting our good friend Rich Gallo who is leading an Adventure Cycling group doing the Southern Tier west bound. Wouldn't you know we finally meet up out in the middle of no where...30 miles from anywhere. It was old home week for about 20 minutes. It was great to see Rich again, he looked fit and happy. We got to trade a few war stories but not nearly enough of them.

We really needed to get water at Dryden but were not sure the store was open so when Ron and I ran into a local guy a few miles out of Dryden we asked if he had any water. Mr. Baker was a nice guy with about 20 dogs. The dogs job was to keep the guys in green--border patrol-- off his place. They seemed to be doing a great job. It took awhile for a one armed man to sort out the dogs and get the water but we came into Dryden with bottles full. Mean time Jan and Lucky are sitting in the shade at the store drink a cold coke.

If a movie company wanted a ghost town to film in Sanderson would be a good candidate. Lots of stuff left when the railroad and sheep business went away. Another case where the kids could not find work and moved to the city which in this case is a long way from home.

We had a great paste and salad meal at a little restaurant that just opened and a good nights sleep at the Oasis Outback Motel.

Friday, October 15, 2010


Del Rio to Comstock...32 miles

We got a late start.  It's like I kept saying, who wants to get to Comstock early or for that matter EVER?  So after at late breakfast at the motel we hit the road about 9:30 and rode down to the local Wally World so Jan and Ron could get a fix.  Lucky was grumbly at Jan cause she keeps adding weight to her bike and he thinks the added weight is can cause mechanical problems.  "You buy one more thing and that bike breaks you fix the damn think."

On our second try we finally got out of town.  We had a nice ride and pasted Amistad Resavoir which is the last big water we'll see on this trip.  Nice lake.

After the lake we saw it for the first time. I just had to point it out to the newbies. Look, look, can you see it? What, what they yell back. NOTHING! Just absolutely nothing.

I'm looking forward to seeing the Milky Way tonight. The first time in several years. Cool.

About 3 miles out of Comstock we passed through a Customs Check by the Border Patrol.  There is also another check going east bound out of Del Rio.  I guess it's a back up to catch folks who might slip in at Del Rio from Mexico.  The guards were friendly but the drug sniffing dog want a piece of our ass. 

Comstock is about 50 houses, 8 communication towers, one cafe, one filling station and the Comstock Motel. The motel has been renovated and has real nice rooms. At the cafe you service yourself beer and keep up with the total. Not much of a menu but Shelia will put anything on the menu together in any way you want it. A egg on your burger? No problem.

Tomorrow we jump into the 90 mile marathon ride to Sanderson.


Uvalde to Del Rio.....72 miles

Have I mentioned lately how much we hate Texas chip seal roads? Today's ride had plenty of climbs but they weren't steep but the chip seal was awful. It's hard to enjoy riding when your bounding all over a bunch of darn rocks these people call roads.

We met some east bound riders. There are some Special Forces guys doing a charity ride for their fallen comrades and we saw a couple of them around Bracketteville. Later we met a nice young lady who had enough gear for a small army who hauled all that stuff from San Diego. Her camera equipment had to weigh 15 pounds.

Jan and Lucky had three flats--two when their bikes were sitting in front of the bike shop-- and I had another broken spoke which we all blame on the rocks. We are thankful for the nice folks at the bike shop here in town who got us back on the road.

Stayed at a nice La Quinta where the wifi works in the rooms. Had dinner at an upscale Mexican restaurant with down scale food...give me the joints with great grub and low prices anytime. Well they did make a adequate martini.


Leakey to Uvalde....45 miles

Oaky, we chickened out today and rode our bikes down the Frio River to Uvalde. Nice easy ride even if the hills managed to hold on for 20 miles.

It's been several days since Ron had a Wally World fix and it was all we could do to keep him from flagging down one of their trucks to do a little in the trailer shopping.

We stayed at the Comfort Inn and Ron got them to give us a ride to WW. Uvalde is a busy town but restaurant options stink...we had pizza in the room.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Kerryville to Leakey....63 miles

At breakfast at our motel in Kerryville we ran into a lady who knew the area. Years ago she
rode her bike to Leakey. In a nutshell, if you travel east and west you are in for bad ass climbing. By the time she was done describing how she had to walk up hills I was ready to give her my bike for a ride to the nearest airport. Sometimes it's not as bad as people say...but this time that girl was right on.

Years ago when Bill and I rode the route Tom told us a easier route would be to stay on 39 out of Hunt, Tx all the way to 83 and bypass Vanderpool. I forgot this advice but after looking at the topo information available to us, we ended up doing the same thing. Smart move, Cal who stay on route was ahead of us ended up coming in one hour or more after we arrived at the D'Rose Inn.

I have to say Leakey, Tx looks tacky. However: 1. Turns out we had a nice clean room at a motel that won't let you stay unless you arrive on a motorcycle or her weird cousin a bicycle. People Riding Harleys around the hill country of Texas is big biz for the locals. 2. We had the best dinner of the trip at great little Italian restaurant. Best pasta in the west.

Monday, October 11, 2010


Lockhart to Blanco to Kerrvile, TX...128 miles.

On the ride from Lockhart to Blanco we went off route and rode through San Marco which was nice and flat till we hit a wall in San Marco. I got to say it was kind of a shock to go from cruising along at 15 mph to doing a 3.5 mph up a bad ass hill. It did't get much better for the next 110 miles. Much harder than riding the big mountains out west where you NEVER see these kind of grades. From Blanco to Kerrville we climbed 3,100 feet with some 15 percent grades.

The Blanco County Inn was cool. A retired couple has fixed up this 30 year old property which still has old time charm with a like new condition. The Wifi worked in our room which is more than some of your better known chains can say. As I predicted before the farther west we go the better the Mexican food. We ate in a joint that couldn't have cost more than $150 a month to to rent that had better food than any of the yuppie stuff back east.

On the ride into Kerrville today both Cal and Ron took off like a bat and I could figure out why until I remembered there was a bike shop in town. Both the boys need a retail fix. I guess they need more stuff to carry up and down the the Texas Hill Country.

Saturday, October 09, 2010


Odd and ends...

I was a little worried about Jan and Lucky being able to keep up. That have been a pleasant surprise and are giving us a run for our money. They also fit in nicely with the rest of the group. Lucky has been a big help on bike repairs and Jan is good company and washed cloths last night.

Cal is our navigator and keeps us on the chosen route. Ron is busy running for president of the U.S. I make reservation at the next motel. We're a team.

We have over 800 miles under our belt. Everyone is sleeping great and eating all the time.


Navasota to LaGrange to Lockhart....about 130 miles

The last couple of days are kind of run together. Mostly up and down the hills, mostly bad food--unless you consider Subway for dinner good--but some decent motel rooms.

We stayed at the Oak Motel in LaGrange which was on the Adventure Cycling Maps and I figured it would be a dump with a capital Dee. Surprise, surprise it turn out to be a nice clean older motel with large rooms and a great price. The owners name is Mystery which Is carpenter in India or Pakistan. Ron and Mystery bonded and Mystery's wife made us fresh cupcakes--which made up for that other crap they call food in LaGrange.

The biggest change I've noticed on the trip since Bill and I rode here 10 years ago is there seem to be many more chip seal roads and believe me these roads are rough as a cob--big stone country. There are also more Wally Worlds and we have been right next door to one on two different nights. We were even in one that sold liquor.

We have had some bike problems. I broke a spoke-- I had a spare and tools to fix-- Jan had some shifting problems early on and Cal had another flat. He had to buy a new tire at Wally World in Lockhart. Considering the road conditions we've been lucky.

We are taking and off day in Lockhart. Everyone is a little worn down by the hills an two weeks on the road. Plus there are football games to watch on TV.

I've given up trying to find some healthy food to eat and decided to go native. Steak, eggs and grease. Want to be grossed out? Go into a buffet and watch would be embarrassing to a Land Race-- that's a bred of pigs to you city slickers. Ron saw a guy the other night carrying two large plates of food and holding one up to his face to eat off on the way back to his table.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010


Cleveland to Navasota, TX....65 miles

We Hit the Texas hill country today. Lots of long rollers and a little more chip seal than I would like.

We stopped,, at a bike shop in Conroe where the guy tighten up Cal's bottom bracket which you need special tools to do right. No charge. The man and wife owners have been in the bike business 22 years in Conroe but are in the process of selling out and retiring. Sounds like the business has been good to them and their 3 childern--not that the kids were interested in taking over the business. Nice Folks.

Ron bought us another bottle of vodka in Conroe. Naturally, the stuff won a taste contest and is called Ivanabitch--no kidding. I took one taste and now I want-a-bitch.


Link to Cal!s pictures of our trip

Tuesday, October 05, 2010


Silsbee to Cleveland, TX...60 miles.

We took and off the route route today in order to stay in a nicer motel. The Adventure Cycling Route motels are a little third world and the chicken grease on blankets are enough motivation to find a different route. Later on we won't be able to deviate unless we switch to mountain bikes and ride onto the prairie.

You don't get much better riding than we had today. Nice shoulder, tail wind, flat and cool. AND....our Super 8 is right next to Wally World. Plus there is an upscale Chinese restaurant in the neighborhood. Can't wait to have Kung Pow Cat.

You might be wondering why no pictures? someways this Ipad suxs. Apple better be careful or they are going to be the next AOL.

We are in a no hard liquor county and low on vodka. Hope we don't have to rent a car.

By the way, shopping at Wally World is frustrating with our weight limits.


DeRidder to Silsbee, TX...76 miles

Nice ride into the lone star state...looks a lot like LA to me. Staying at he Pinetree motel of maybe it's the Pineview Motel..wait, wait it's the Pineview Motel. Aw who cares! Anyway it be the same motel Bill and I stayed at on our trip 10 years ago. Our host was Rodney and his 87 year old mother..Mama. Rooms were a pleasant surprise and big enough so that Cal stayed with Ron and me.

Ate mexican food. I stuffed myself and had a margarita for about ten bucks plus tip. Watched some of Monday Night Football and bet we'll never know who won the game OR care.

Sunday, October 03, 2010


Ville Platte to DeRidder, LA. 75 miles

For our first over seventy mile day we went off route again for the 3rd day in a row. Good decision because we did the north direction early and had a tailwind heading into town. Plus we cut off a few miles. We've been pancake flat since St. Francisville but we picked up some hills the last 15 miles today.

Jan and Lucky are the doing a great job keeping up...errr waiting on the old guys. Of course Cal, who is carrying camping equipment, is out riding all of us. Speaking of Cal and his camping gear..I vote he just ditch the stuff and starting carrying my bags. If this isn't enough he can also lugs Ron's gear. Team work.

Another Best Western tonight with a Wally World right next is good.


Simmesport to Ville Platte. 58 miles

Off route all day but no problems and cut off about 20 miles by not going to Washington. Nice Best Western motel. Cal, Ron and I stayed in a suite and payed about 30 bucks each..Cal slept in a big closet in the room.

We watch the LSU-Tennessee and Alabama-Florida games. Ron kept telling Florida to NOT run up the middle and it got to be a big joke when he was always right. We're thinking the Gators may want him to come down next year and help out calling plays.

We ate low end Mexican food but the joint had a reasonable margarita.

Saturday, October 02, 2010


St. Francisville to Simmesport 61miles

We crossed the might Mississippi River on the ferry this morning. Bicycles were suppose to pay twenty five cent each but for some reason we got a freebee. The west bank greeted us with a stiff head wind as we headed north. Average speed today went down about two miles per hour.

We're staying at the Sportsman Inn. On the one to ten dump scale this motel ranks a number three with extra points given for being a bed bug training facility. Several rooms have a small child bed next to the regular size bed. We figured this is where they train the baby bed bugs to jump up on the bed.

Ron got a little freaked out when a 2" roach ran inside his pillow and I was grossed out by the dead chick grease they used to wash the bed spread. A couple vodkas got us stress free and we enjoyed another night on the road.


Skipping ahead

After joining up with Jan and Lucky in Popularville we eased over to Bogalusi and had a great lunch at Miss Vickies..other than Miss Vickies there is not much to say about this stop. Rode 62 miles.

Next day we got off the Adventure Cycling route and rode to Amity, La. We just couldn't find rooms on the AC route. Good dinner at Katfish Heaven. Rode 51 miles.

Next day it was off to St. Francisville a ride of 64 miles. Nice ride till the last few miles where construction on highway 61 made for some scary riding. Stayed at the Magnuson Inn which was Quality Inn when Bill and I came this way about 10 years ago.

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