Follow my journey through the southern tier of America on my bicycle through my blog.

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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Day 25 (23 riding): Total overall distance: 1702.26mi Total distance today: 75.40mi Total time: 6.01.51 Avg speed: 12.5mph Top speed: 27.5mph

Random thoughts of the day:
-Good thing I slept inside, my tent would've blown into the river...holy wind gusts
-I'm either walking out to a retirement party or a search party. In other words, I have tailwinds and have to do very little work. Or I have headwinds and a lot of work ahead of me.
-Yes! Tailwinds!
-But like real life where the economy is forcing people out of early retirement and back to work...I changed directions and got headwinds :(
-You can hear a car coming from miles away on these roads
-I feel like the guy in the car commercial where he is standing on a corner and tries to guess the car coming around the bend...except I always know it's a truck....every time
-Oh great, one last hill...the hill country just won't let me out...I hope I fare better than the Andrea Gail (bonus points if you get that reference)!
-This highway is the worst road I've ridden on...I'm embarrassed that it's even in America
-This road was apparently made in 1942 and forgotten about
-IIII hhatteee thhhee rroocckkiinnesss offf riddiinngg onn gravvveelllllll
-Interesting place to see my first Border Patrol truck: 20 miles outside of Del Rio and on the northern side of the road...coulda saved a few bucks there Obama
-And put the money saved towards paving Highway 90 will ya
-I am officially ridiculously aggrevated
-Walking 1.5 miles from WalMart to my hotel room with $50 of groceries and a Pizza Hut box with a couple pieces of pizza in it...was one of the toughest things I've done to date! Go figure

Today was a tale of 2 rides. The first 40 miles was from the campsite to Bracketteville and had no services. I had a quick breakfast of mini-donuts and water and went outside to see how lucky I was with the wind. I heard it gusting all night, upwards of 40mph. Luckily, or so I thought, I walked out to tailwinds of about 5-10mph. I flew down the road for about 12 miles or so and then turned dead right and had a cross wind. Not too bad, just a little annoying but not really helpful or hurtful. The ride on this road was peaceful. I was surrounded by mountains and then by knee high grasses for the next 38 miles. I saw 3 buildings, all abandoned and collapsing, and saw 7 cars. I rode in the middle of the road because it had the best gravel, and listened to music on my Iphone. Overall a pleasant ride. I had a nice burger lunch at a local eatery in Bracketteville, as you can see in a picture below, and then headed out for the last 35 miles to Del Rio.

This would be the second ride of this tale. I merged onto US 90, not an interstate but a pretty big highway that goes from coast to coast, and expected a nice road. The map I was following stated that it was relatively all downhill to Del Rio (lie 1) while riding on shoulders with good surfaces (lie 2). The first 30 miles on 90 were absolutely miserable. It was more uphill than downhill for sure, dead into 10mph headwinds, and on loose gravel that is like a car driving over a layer of softball sized rocks. That made me the most angry. How could America have a highway like this? I mean seriously, it was miserable. I posted a picture below of what I rode on but I can't stress enough how bad it was. On top of that, I was going uphill and into the wind. That combination, multiplied by the fact I was expected a nice flat to downhill road, really really aggravated me. It was hard to pedal on this gravel, especially uphill, especially into the wind. At one point I had to stop because I just wanted to scream! I was so irritated! But anyway, I digress...the last 5 miles were paved and it seemed like i was floating. I eventually made it into Del Rio and began my research. My plan was to find one of the closest hotels to the only sports bar in the city that was in my price range for 2 nights. I found one within a couple hundred yards for $36 a night...perfect. I checked in and was happy to see I even had extended service for cell phone reception. A couple quick calls and a hot shower later, I walked about 2 miles to Pizza Hut. I love ordering 5 cheesy breadsticks and a large deep dish pizza and having the waiter bring over two sets of utensils. Understandable but incorrect. I ate all but 3 slices, which I decided to save for later. I then walked over to WalMart to grab some stuff, mainly snacks for tonight, tomorrow, and the road ahead. I then had to walk 1.5 miles back to the hotel with the $50 of stuff and a pizza box. Not to mention one of the "stuff" was a 1 gallon bottle of water. Not easy to do but at least my arms finally got a workout. On a side note, I am addicted to Blue Bell mint chocolate chip ice cream. I was planning on writing this blog early and heading to bed early...but then found The Patriot movie on tv. So now it is 12:20 but I'm full and tired and happy to have watched a great movie! I'll get up around noon tomorrow probably, grab a bite to eat in the room and then head over to Buffalo Wings and Rings Sports Bar early to grab a seat at the bar in front of a big tv. Go Pats!!


  1. The photos show quite a contrast from the day before. Just looking at the topical map would have made me turn around. Keep up the good work, Devin.

  2. Great blog!

    I just checked Google Earth and the route from Bracketville to Del Rio is all "net downhill" - net loss of 100 feet but some hills nonetheless. And the current trend in poorer counties is to put "rock seal" on the roads because it gives cars and trucks more traction. They do not care about cyclists.

  3. Thanks for the comments! Tim, the wind probably made even the slight downhill seem up! It was brutal but that I've seen better roads in the middle of the Dominican Republic! I thought the US gov't dealt with highways but I don't know much about it, just glad I'm past it!

  4. I hate those bumpy roads too. There oughta be a law to blacktop all roads. Just think about NM & AZ and how smoother your rides gonna be. I hope the mountain rodes are much smoother for you. I cant imagine descending at 30 mph on a road like the ones you've posted. Anyways goodluck and good job so far.....Richard

  5. Devin..... You may not remember me but I graduated from MU w/ Rashley, Scotty P and Sara.... but I LOVE reading your blog! Great stuff for a great cause! Its funny to read that you ate at a Buffalo Rings and Wings.... back home in Indiana we've got one that was just built in my hometown but also know a man that owns a couple in Indiana/Ohio. Good luck with the rest of your trip!
    Alex Hunt

    1. Thanks so much for the comment Alex. I do remember you an it's always nice to hear that people are enjoying the blog. It keeps me going!