Texas Hill Country
October 12, 2020
San Angelo State Park, TX
Elevation: 1,883 ft.
Distance: 125.6 mi.
Odometer: 3,452.0 mi.
Pumped both tires and did a quick stretch routine before taking off. While I was stretching, a tube let out all its air. Removing it revealed a one-cm tear next to the stem. Flat #6. Had to totally replace the tube. It already had about nine patches in it, so I'd say I got my $3.50 worth out of it. It wasn't until about five miles later that I realized I'd left the tube on the floor of the garage instead of throwing it away.
I'd checked the weather and saw that the wind would be coming from the SSW. In reality, it came from the NE, almost the exact opposite. Not the first time weather.com has been way off when it comes to wind direction, and from my experience, weather forecasts are notoriously inconsistent with wind direction. Either way today though, it was crosswind and it never got too strong.
I was setting out to cram two days together in the interest of getting to Austin a day earlier. Long mileage on a hot day in Texas. Made it to mile 70 at around 1:30 PM, the original planned destination and the bailout point. Still felt good and pressed on. It was starting to get hot though. Really the only bad thing about the day, since it was flat and the wind wasn't bad. Only a few miles later, flat #7. Couldn't find the source and patch it, so I replaced the tube. Changing a flat on the side of the road at 2:00 PM makes you very hot.
I'd been dealing with rough pavement all day, until mile 91 when I hit a county line and the pavement went from horrible to perfect. I'll be damned if I didn't get 2-3 mph faster with no added effort, and it's a more comfortable ride to boot. As Andrew Lintz would say, "champagne for my ass." Thanks, Tom Green County!
Was getting tired by the time I got to the turnoff for San Angelo State Park, and I had to ride around the entire park to get to the entrance, and another few miles to my campsite. Pitched my tent without the rainfly since I figured I'd want as much ventilation as possible on a warm evening. Made the three-mile ride to the showers, and on my way back, noticed dark clouds rolling in. Fast.
The moment I got back, the wind kicked up to 40 mph, instantly. I worked fast to stake the tent and put on the rainfly, not an easy task in the wind. Put everything inside my panniers, which are all waterproof, then buckled them through each other's loops and put the chained-together mass under the picnic table. By the time I was finished, a torrential downpour had started and I was soaked. I got in the tent, took off my wet clothes, and didn't leave the tent for the rest of the night. I gotta say though, my tent proved awesome! Stayed dry and held its shape in a severe thunderstorm.
Had I known that storm was coming, I might've gotten a hotel in San Angelo. Oh well. Hell of a finale to the longest day on record.
from Pedal for Potatoes