Navasota to Shepherd 81 miles

Day of discovery and recovery!

Today, I was still hearing the strange sound but I had talked to our “mechanic/group leader/support, Eddie. He said we would check it out at the first rest stop, which was at mile 20 in Richards. First he checked the chain then the front derailleur and ruled out any problems there. Then he went to the back wheel. He check the cassette and still nothing. Then he narrowed it down to the bearings. He had me hold the axle and he spun the tire. I could feel what he found. The bearings were rough and from my past experience working in a garage in high school I could understand.

The next stop that would have a bike shop, that could repair the wheel would be Baton Rouge La. I was worried that I might have a problem if I waited that long. So as I was riding from rest stop 1 to rest stop 2 in New Waverly, my mind was at work trying to come up with a better solution. My solution was to call my bike mechanic at Urban Bicycle Gallery in Houston to see if he had a replacement wheel. While on the phone he checked his inventory and he had one that would work.

I asked him to get it ready and put on a tire and tube so all we would have to do is move the cassette from the old wheel.

The last step, Kye to the rescue. Kye would have to go to the bike shop at 2:00 p.m. and drive to Shepherd where we would be spending the night.

All this was put in place. but mother nature and the roads still had a couple of challenges for me today. First, after rest stop 3 a light rain started, followed by a hard rain for many miles, then to top it off a flat on the my back tire. It was still raining when I started to fix the flat but before I got too far into the repair mother nature took sympathy on me and she stopped the rain.

I found the leak, and I found the steel sliver that caused it. I removed the sliver and put on a new tube but what I didn’t know was there were two slivers not just one the one, so now I had another leak. Now I didn’t have another tube so I was faced with another decision. Patch the tube or pump it up and make a run for it. I was only 2.5 miles out of Shepherd so pump it up  I did and then I rode as fast as I could.

I made it to Shepherd but not until I had stopped 4 times to put in more air.

I went to the only hotel in Shepherd, checked in and called Kye. Her timing is great because she was just pulling into Shepherd. So off we went to the team campsite where Eddie performed his magic. What a day, but just another part of theday in the life of a tour bike rider.

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La Grange to Navasota 68 miles

Today we stopped just outside of La Grange, past highway 71, at the Texas One Stop for breakfast. They have a bakery with a large selection of pastries. Kye followed us until we reached Burton where she took highway 290 home. She got to experience all the antique places around Round Top. This last weekend they had their big sales. I had never seen so many tents.

Today, I also started noticing a strange sound when I was in my top 4 gears. I though my chain was dry since we rode in the rain a lot, so I stopped in Round Top and purchased some 3 in 1 oil. I really don’t like to use oil but I thought the chain needed something. It didn’t seem to help much.

The day was basically up and down rolling hills but we didn’t get rained on, but only by the shortest margin. We did pass a drilling rig and Ed and Frank had to get pictures.

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We pulled into the First United Methodist church in Navasota just before it started to rain. A lot of our team were not so lucky. We stayed in the Fellowship Hall, which also had a shower in both the men and women’s restroom. Nice, clean and hot water. What else could you ask for.

After the rain stopped and I had written the update for 10/07/18, we explored the town for a place to eat. The choices were not great in the downtown area but we did have some good ice cream in an old time ice cream shop.

Then an early quit for the night.


Austin to La Grange 86 Miles

Kye took me down to the Catholic Church where the remainder to the team had spent their “rest day.” We got there about 6:30 so we had time to get organized again. I didn’t move my gear from our car to the trailer or the Rest Van cubby because I knew it would be easier to do in La Grange. This is just another one of the many benefits or having Kye follow us on the trail another day.

Ed, Frank and I took off at 7:15 a.m. not knowing where we would find a place for breakfast. We started out by going south on Guadalupe then turning east on 4th street, then on 5th street until we got to Montopolis Drive. We were in hopes of finding something close to the church but that didn’t pan out and we didn’t find anything until we got to Highway 71. There we settled for Jack in the Box.

The ride to Bastrop was good. The leadership team made an executive decision to move the first rest stop up 6 miles from Clear Creek on Highway 21. This stop gave us a lot more room and a better convenience store in which to pick up supplies. Kye did not have access to the text messages so we had our own personal rest stop in Clear Creek.

We rode on to Bastrop and stop at a Whataburger just as it started raining for the first time today.

Kye took at trip down memory lane at the Bastrop park and boat ramp. In 2010 Kye, once again, supported me as I did a Kayak race (the Colorado 100). This race was on the Colorado river which ran from Bastrop to Columbus, and by river this is a 100 mile race. While walking around the ramp area the rain hit and Kye got a little wet but I think she will tell you it was worth it. She took some great pictures of the area.

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After we finished our lunch and the rain stopped, we took off to ride in the Bastrop State and Buescher State Parks. The roads in these parks are fun to ride, for the most part, but there are some steep climbs. And today, just to add to the excitement, mother nature decided to treat us with a very hard rain. Those of us that carried our rain coats stopped to put them on and those that didn’t just kept riding. The rain came down so hard that at times I couldn’t make out the rode so my progress slowed greatly. After about 30 minutes of this we got to our Rest Van and we were able to get under the dinning fly which gave us some relief. We waited another 45 minutes until the rain blew through. We had to be careful for a while until the roads dried.

After leaving the park and getting back on state highways, the rest of the ride was uneventful but long.

We spent the night at the Church of Christ in La Grange. After getting cleaned up and our sleeping arrangement set, we took advantage of Kye’s support. Ed, Frank, Kye and I took the car to find dinner.