Texas Hill Country
October 12, 2020
Back to Plano, Days 2-3
My goodness, the tailwind.
The day started off great and only got better. Oh, sure, it was cold in the morning, but it was sunny, so it didn't feel too bad. And the tailwind helped warm me up. But mannn, that tailwind!
I got to Temple, roughly the halfway point of the day, at around 11:00. I had left around 8:00. And the tailwind was only picking up! I barely paused for a snack, since I hardly needed the energy, and kept going.
I started doing some math in my head. When would I arrive in Waco? It was starting to look like I'd get to Waco only a little after 1:00 PM. Could I even make it to Waxahachie today? Maybe...I checked the weather again. Well, that's interesting...
The tailwind would only continue through the afternoon, if not get even stronger. But tomorrow, an equally strong headwind would be in effect, about 30 mph all day. And much colder. I wasn't sure if I wanted to ride in that at all. I had a thought: maybe I could stay in Waco for the day? I think with my host in Waxahachie, that wasn't an option, but the guy in Waco, I think that would work. Sounded like a plan.
It occurred to me that with the steady tailwind yesterday, I could've made it to Waco from Austin (~130 miles), and with the huge tailwind today, I could've easily made it from Waco to Plano (~130 miles again). Could've gone from Austin to Plano in two days. Now it'll be four, with a day off in between. That's the difference wind can make. Just the fact that I'd considered going all the way to Waxahachie, 160 miles in one day, speaks to that. That would've been the longest ride I'd ever done, and would've been in winter, with a touring load, and not only did it not sound impossible, it sounded like a good idea.
Now resolved to Waco, I put my phone back in my frame bag and picked up my foot. Before I got a chance to pedal off, the wind pushed me forward, accelerating me to about 10 mph all by itself. Up an incline. This was too easy.
I took my time getting into Waco and arrived somewhere around 1:30 PM. Floyd was waiting. I mentioned the wind today, and what it was supposed to be like tomorrow.
"I'm honestly scared of tomorrow," I blurted out. "Doesn't sound pleasant. I don't even wanna do it."
"Well, you can stay here another day if you need to!" I didn't even have to ask. I texted Dana in Waxahachie, and he said it'd be fine if I showed up a day later.
Floyd took me over to Cameron Park in Waco, a large city park with running/mountain bike trails, disc golf courses, and plenty of open space for whatever. Right along the river, there was one high spot called Lover's Leap with a nice view. Floyd kept raving about the new pavement on some hilly roads in the park, repeatedly talking about longboarding out there.
"So is longboarding your thing more than biking?"
"Yeah, definitely. I mean, I like biking and all, but longboarding's definitely my thing. We took our longboards with us on that tour to LA."
Now that's something I'd never do. I generally wouldn't even bring an extra pair of running shoes.
"Running's more my thing than biking too. Or at the very least, it has been lately."
Weird how of all the people I've met recently, most of them had some other interest, and biking was second place. For me, running. For Floyd, longboarding. And for Luise, you could make that argument for speed skating.
Floyd and I went to dinner, then Starbucks with his friend Jordan. I, of course, didn't get coffee. Then we went home and watched the end of Inglorious Basterds.
On my day off, Floyd and I both woke up late, him because he always does, and me because the past few days of touring and staying up late had left me exhausted. Floyd spent the morning cleaning his longboard's ball bearings, I did basically nothing. Went out for a burrito for lunch.
Between mouthfuls of Freebird's, Floyd described his idea of opening a cereal bar.
"You go in, and there's all these huge vertical canisters of cereal, every kind you can imagine. And you can mix and match anything you want. And you know how some cereals have marshmallows or something? You could get an all-marshmallow cereal, 'Marshmallow Madness' or something like that."
"Or mix together Cocoa Puffs and Count Chocula, call that 'Death By Chocolate," I added.
"Yeah, exactly! Whatever you want, whatever you can think of, whatever you've ever thought was a cool idea. Put this in a college town, have free wi-fi, I think this could work."
We spent most of the rest of lunch, and a lot of the rest of the day, talking about this cereal bar. Different kinds of milk, possibly yogurt, paying extra for a "bottomless bowl," and what all our favorite combos would be. I think just about anything would go well with Rice Krispy Treats cereal, if they still make it...
Over the course of the day, Floyd subtly revealed a few things; his dad getting cancer and dying roughly a year ago, how his dad had left the house to him, his mother currently getting a divorce from her second husband. He seemed comfortable talking about it; I get the idea that those things didn't come up until now just because Floyd isn't the type to demand a whole lot of constant attention. He doesn't need everyone to talk about him, definitely doesn't need everyone to feel sorry for him. Basically, a level-headed guy. He had the idea to take a year off from school and whatever else and just go live and work in a college town for a while (Waco apparently doesn't qualify), leaving the house to his mom. I pointed out that there are worse college towns than San Marcos, and it has plenty of hills for longboarding. His ears perked up. I think he'd like it there.
Floyd had to work from 4-10 PM. I hung out at his place and took a nap, watched some TV, read my book. A lot of characters got stabbed. Floyd swung by after work and took me to his friend Jordan's place, where six guys were hanging out. All of them, down to the last man, had a screen of some kind (laptop, desktop, or TV) and most were playing a game on it. No two people playing together, all on their own. But amazingly enough, they were all carrying on a conversation, to the point that they were doing this all together, in a way.
Not long after Floyd and I got there, we put in a movie. It was...OK. Good for a few laughs anyway. Everyone went home afterwards. Floyd and I hit up Whataburger on the way home, apparently about the only place in Waco that's open past midnight.
"Waco's a terrible college town," Floyd explained.
I hadn't eaten much of anything since lunch. Hit the spot.
from Austin New Year