No I’m not talking about cosmetics, so don’t go freaking out on me and thinking that I got all girly on y’all. Actually I’m talking about making up or maybe a better way to put it would be catching up on my route rides. When I first decided that I was going to start this big trike riding adventure I had done a google map search for a route in which to travel to my final destination but I noticed that the suggested route showed me traveling too close to the Texas/Mexico border and I said no way in hell am I going to be riding that close to Mexico. I figured that there was a lot of violence in the area, lots of shooting, illegals crossing the border and doing mean things to citizens, etc. Another words, I was listening to the news and watching all of the sensationalism they were talking about along the Texas border. Now don’t get me wrong there is some violence and we all know how dangerous it is for people in the area but because the news stations are trying to get your attention, they are over dramatizing the few headlines and like many other things in the news (no we’re not going there with the latest nonsense in the news) they are trying to get ratings and it seems that only sensationalizing things is what gets the ratings. So back to reality. Yes there is violence but it is all around us, heck I see way too much of it in the area where I work but it is a part of life.
Now back to my original thought pattern or something like similar !
I didn’t want to ride close to the border so I chose to go along the IH-10 corridor because I knew that it would eventually take me to my destination. So that was why I started out and started planning my rides close to the Interstate but I noticed one thing, I was having to take roads that really diverted me far away from the main interstate and it put me into areas where there was very little businesses and mostly residences or more correctly ranches and big lots of land. Which in simple terms means that if I break down then I might be SOL (Shit Outta Luck) and that could mean a very long walk to a point where I could get help while pulling my trike. Not cool and having already faced a part of that dilemma when I used to ride a DF (regular bike) it was not something I wanted to do with my trike. At least with my bike people would be more inclined to try to assist rather than seeing me drag my trike and they would pass me thinking there is no way I could fit that into my vehicle so let someone else help her.
Wow, that’s twice already that I’ve started to go off on a tangent. My apologies!! So where was I…oh yeah route changes. I found that I was having to take several different roads that didn’t really keep me close to the Interstate and some of them really took me out of the way. I ran the google map search once again and then took a check at the other routes, one would take me up through Colorado and having lived in Colorado I knew that there were mountains, lots and lots of mountains. Heck, I saw that at one point in the route the elevation would be reaching 7,000 feet and although it might be groovy to go downhill, I had too many problems driving uphill in my poor V-6 engine truck when I lived there. Oh and by the way I still have the same truck.
So that was when I decided to do the US Hwy 90 route for most of my ride to my destination and that was how I ended up staring in Brackettville, TX. I had added up all of the previously ridden miles on my trike and that meant that I could start in Brackettville.
However, shortly after that ride I ran into a few problems, one of them being the weather, it started raining again so I would postpone my ride and finally one time I got fed up and knew where I was supposed to be riding it would be storming but meanwhile it wasn’t going to be storming close to where I live. Another point I have to consider is the fact that my poor little V-6 truck needs new front bushings and a whole lot of maintenance work which is going to be very expensive so I have to borrow my brother’s nice V-8 truck which is great because I don’t have to rent a vehicle but not good because V-8’s really suck down the gas. Oh and my other car had just been put into the shop for repair work, see it had been dead for 3 years and finally I decided that it was time to get it fixed. Also my brother was loaning out his truck to his son because his son’s vehicle was needing some mechanical work done too.
Since I was limited by how far I could push my truck, I decided that I wanted to take a ride but not the typical ride that I do in a city not far away called Castroville. so I loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly…Hills that is, swimming pools and movie stars. Ops, so sorry memories of my childhood television show popping into my head and my fingers there. Back to loading up the truck, I drove to Castroville and decided to take a different route than the usual 31 mile ride, so I started off down Hwy 90 with Castroville as my start and D’Hanis as my turning point. D’Hanis is about 25 miles away from Castroville so that would give me a good 50 mile ride to do and I thought that I was getting started early but a few things slowed me down on getting started and also while prepping my trike at the site of the ride.
I did the ride and was burning up at the end of the ride. The summer sun was burning down on my arms and legs as well as on my head and I was beginning to wonder if I was ever going to finish the ride. Oh wait, I forgot the starting part….silly me.
So once I got going things were okay and it looked like a good hill to climb, nothing much more than what I usually do on the 31 mile rides I do around the Castroville area…..WRONG!!!!! Oh my god, I thought that I was dying, my heart was beating so fast and hard and I found it hard to breath as well as making me wonder just how badly out of shape I was because it had been almost three weeks since I had done the Brackettville ride. I almost turned around and went back to my truck, ready to give up on everything because I couldn’t make it up the hill but thankfully I stuck it out and Pedaled On and finally I got up the hill. I was disappointed that there was not a good downhill at the other end of the hill but I kept on riding. It wasn’t too bad of a ride and I came into a city called Hondo which was really quite nice looking with some okay drivers.
Prior to reaching Hondo, I had a chance to be a deer insulter again. I call it deer insulting just to be different which we all know that I am…weird!! So I had passed a correctional facility that said do not pick up hitch hikers because they could be escaped prisoners and of course this make me chuckle because I thought wasn’t going to happen because I don’t have any room for a hitch hiker but what it did do was make me more aware of things around me. Which also made me look a lot more to the side and I could hear some rustling in the tall grass so I would toot my air horn which usually made the thing in the tall grass/field run in a different direction.
Because I was looking around me I also observed a winery which I wish I could have stopped at because I thought it would be great to visit a winery just to see how things are done but it wasn’t open at the time which is probably a good thing for me since I needed to get to D’Hanis. then it happened, I hit the button for the air horn because I could hear a deer coming towards the road and it changed direction only to go towards a section further up the road. Finally the deer jumped out of the tall grass and was standing on the side of the road about 30 yards in front of me…I could see it now…tricyclist attacked by deer…she should have used her air horn. Oh wait a minute, I did use my air horn, several times and thankfully it shook the deer out of the type of trace (which was probably it just trying to figure out what the heck was riding towards it) and it started running across the highway and started to stop in the median but I kept on using the air horn and it ran across the other side of the highway and then jumped a fence, taking it away from the road.
So by insulting the deer’s hearing with my air horn, I at least encouraged it to stay away from the roadway or at least for the moment to stay away from the roadway because I was there. Now I’ve insulted deer and decided not to pick up hitch hikers on my trike and that brought me into Hondo but not before I got to wave ‘Hi’ to a train engineer as the train passed to the side of me. It may seem silly to you but being out on the road by yourself you look for things to break up the boredom of riding and look at things from a different point of view and even notice more of the road and not only because I’m trying to avoid getting hit.
So I come into Hondo and got a good long stare from a police officer who had just finished writing someone a ticket. I smiled and waved and he nodded his head, probably wondering what in the heck am I and please don’t let it stop in my city….LOL. I continued on for about 7-8 more miles until I reached D’Hanis and had forgotten that in so many of these small little cities, many of the businesses are closed on Sunday. I found a burger joint that was providing a touch of shade and pulled in the shaded area and put on my suntan lotion but it was already too late, two and a half hours had passed and I’m supposed to put lotion on every 90 minutes according do the instructions. Needless to say when I put on a fresh batch of lotion I could already feel that my face was sunburned. I rested up for a bit and drank some Powerade as well as had some snacks and then about 10-20 minutes later I got back out on the road. Now this is where the fun begins.
I had noticed that as I rode into D’Hanis, I was on a slight downhill and it was great because it allowed me to make up some time but boy did I pay for it on the way out of D’Hanis and the whole rest of the ride back. The vast majority of the ride back to Castroville seemed as if it had a slight uphill grade that never seemed to end. Just as I would reach the top of a slight hill, it was only a decrease in elevation and then I would start back up another slight hill. I kept on wondering when I was going to get a chance to go downhill and was really tiring out very fast.
The winery was now open but it was hot outside and I didn’t want to stay out in the sun any longer than necessary so I rode past the winery and didn’t see any so I guess I didn’t have to worry about picking any of them up. My face was feeling raw as I continued to wipe the sweat off my face which was probably wiping the sun block lotion off my face and when I looked at the clock I could see that I was beginning to lose all of the time I had made up earlier. I will freely admit it, the road was kicking my ass and I was feeling as if I was about ready to collapse.
When I saw the sign stating I had reached Castroville, I was very happy but I was still in an uphill climb (bummer). So then it sort of leveled off a bit and then there was one more hill and I put everything into it wanting to swear very loudly as I pushed up the hill and then it happened. I had reached the top of the hill that made me feel like I was having a heart attack in the first part of the ride.
I gave a few good pushes at the top of the hill then just let gravity do its thing. It was such a great feeling to have the wind blowing on my face and not struggling to pedal. I looked down at my speedometer on my bike computer and saw that I was at 35 mph. I know I couldn’t believe that I was going that fast and gravity still wasn’t through with me. I ended up getting up to 37.7 mph and I had thrown only one arm up in the air and let out a whoop of joy. A lady driving in an SUV came up beside me, rolled down her passenger window and shouted out, “You go girl!” She smiled and wave at me as they drove past me. It was an incredible feeling to be traveling this fast and know that I was still in control of the trike and just taking it easy. It was almost enough momentum to get me back to where my vehicle had been parked.
On a regular DF bike the fastest I had ever been without loosing control was 26 mph and that was going down a steep incline and quickly riding back up so brakes were quickly applied but even then I had to fight for control of the bike so I did not ride off the edge of the cliff that was at the top of the ravine I had gone down so it was nice and a little fun but nothing like what I went through coming downhill on the back part of the 50 mile ride.
So once I got to my truck, I burned my arms and hands touching my truck which was not a pleasant experience. Then I rolled off my sun blocking sleeves and almost instantly I felt so much better. I know it is supposed to block the sun with 50 SPF but they just didn’t seem to be doing such a great job of wicking away moisture so once I took off the sleeves my body really started to cool down. Moral of this is to not wear the sleeves…not really an option though.
I finished the ride and wanted to get a doughnut but no such luck. The place across the street was closed but I went by and saw my brother from another mother that she didn’t know she had. Okay so a friend from high school who was also my younger brother’s friend. It was great seeing him but finally exhaustion took over and I had to go.
It was a hard ride but I had to put on some miles since it was thunder storming out where I was supposed to ride which would have been around Langtry, TX. But that is another ride and another post to later come.
So why call these the make up miles, well I called them make up because I didn’t actually ride on this area of my adventure so far and since I couldn’t go out there this weekend, I decided to just take a look at the places I had only driven through to get to places like Brackettville. It was nice and the scenery was okay but I’m glad that it is over because that long uphill ride back to my truck was hard on my body. But there is another ride coming up soon in my calendar so until I post about that, I’ll catch up with later.
We all travel on the road of life, just make sure that sometimes you look at the scenery around you. There could be a deer lurking in the tall grass!!!
Bye for now.