I got an early start at 6:30 AM, beating the heat, leaving
Atascocita, TX. I streamed through the neighborhoods, east on FM 1960 across the Lake Houston Bridge and over to 2100 North.
2100 strings North through piney woods. Lucky for me the morning was overcast. When the sun came out it was defeated by a continuous line of trees to my right.
On Plum Grove Road to Cleveland I was chased by these two vicious critters. Later some of their more enthusiastic and larger cousins would cause me to let the adrenaline kick up my pedaling a notch. No problem though... unless a chain were to break!
Plum Grove City Hall.
No marble statues here.
Cleveland, thirty easy and cool miles. In Cleveland I refilled water bottles and asked the gas station clerk where a good restaurant was. There happened to be a breakfast buffet next door. Outside a man had overheard me asking and insisted I take ten dollars for eating. I tried to explain that I had money but he insisted so I had an awesome free breakfast and the waitress got a nice tip.
One of many drink water and stretch the legs and feet breaks.
A new county!
Through the Sam Houston National Forest. I thought it would be a beautiful drive through unspoiled wilderness. Instead it was 30 miles of pine trees, hills, tons of houses and no stores or facilities. Who knew the National Forest was full of houses?
Richard had met me at the restaurant and suggested I take a vitamin pack with potassium for cramps. He had a brand new pack of them and actually went home for them, meeting me on 1725 in the woods to give them to me. Second very nice person to help me out.
One of the coolest rest spots I found. Trouble is when you take off your shoes and lie in the grass people tend to stop and ask if you are OK. It happened a couple of times with concerned motorists and I realized that you have to rest sitting up, lol!
"Think This Is Hot"
Actually, I do, hellishly so.
Soon after this I needed to refill my water. I knocked on the door of the only home without three dogs and a No Tresspassing sign. Mr. John Lewis filled my bottles with water AND ice! Nice man.
(BTW, a No Tresspassing sign salesman could make a fortune in these parts! And they take it seriously here. A few weeks ago some lunatic man and woman shot two people on thier land, and Texas law favors the landowner. Not in your house mind you, or stealing or threatening, they shot them just for trespassing in the woods!)
East Texas farms love fanciful mailboxes.
Another funny mailbox.
All that said, the first day went smooth and not so hard, but It left me wondering if this is really the way I want to see the world.
I had read 'The Long Ride' by Lloyd Sumner ( a great read) and it seemed fun and incredible. I took the MS 150 mile ride to Austin for charity before and had the time of my life. (With 10,000 other bicycle riders of course!)
But after 65 miles I am thinking that the overwhelming feeling I had on the road on a bike was not of accomplishment (I know I can ride, I have done it in the past), or of adventure, the main emotion was boredom.
I want to see things and stuff, and after 65 miles of pine trees, pine trees, pine trees, farm house, more pine trees, I am considering if maybe I should find a faster conveyance to the stuff that is cool?
After 8 hours on a bike I can be camping in the woods somewhere. After 8 hours on something motorized I can be in a museum or natural attraction.
What do you think?
If I change the ride please bear with me and continue along. I am still going to go around the world, and possibly the blog will be better with more interesting things because of the decision.
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