Day Thirty-Nine: Wheeler Express

Today was my fastest day of riding to date.

We woke at 0430, two hours before sunrise, in anticipation of sunrise at 0635. We'll be waking two hours before sunrise every day for the rest of the trip, to be out the door for civil twilight, twenty minutes before sunrise. After gathering our laundry and eating some breakfast, we hit the road at 0610. I decided to push myself on this 77 mile day, after yesterday's unpleasant experience with the heat and the wind.

I rode quite fast, and didn't get off the bicycle or stop at all. My next stop was lunch, at about mile 38. I stopped for exactly 2 minutes and 11 seconds starting at 0807, just long enough to refill my Camelbak with 1.5 liters of water. I won the state line sprint into Texas at 0932 with no contest. After that, my next stop was the host, at 1025. I averaged at most 19 MPH on the slight upgrade.

Since the host was not available, I decided to poke around the town. My first stop was the town square. There were a couple of local farmers selling their wares. One of them, the Jones', a pair of retired math teachers, were selling organic apricots. They donated a dry gallon of apricots and a small jar of apricot jam to the cause. My next stop was the town park. I hosed off from a faucet, changed, and caught up on phone calls while munching on apricots. As I was getting ready to leave, a grandmother arrived with five of her grandchildren. Kyle, age 5, was very impressed with my bicycle, and tried on my helmet, gloves, and sunglasses.

At the host, I rested for a while and ate more apricots. We were treated to a delicious dinner of beef brisket. We got to meet the Baptist church’s very active youth group as well. Matt, our host, and the youth and music director, is a funny man:

“Are you looking for just, a little bite to eat? No? Well, good, because you’re in Texas.”

“We know y’all have some vegetarians in your group, but this is Texas. We made brisket.”