Laura Makes
Posts tagged ride
Training log update: May 13 - 15, 2011

Well, you’ve probably read by now that I’m training for the Escape to the Lake Bike MS Ride in Pennsylvania which takes place on June 11th & 12th. I’m super excited to make the trip home and visit with my family while taking part in this great fundraising event.

I’ve been training for this event since March. This weekend, I rode Friday - Sunday. The weather this weekend was wonderful, much cooler than it has been recently (although still kind of windy!).

On Friday, I commuted to work and then after work headed down to Jerry’s Artarama to use a Groupon and pick up supplies for some linoleum print making that I’m working on. My current subject matter is beer ingredients. In high school, I made a linoleum carving of the Cape Hatteras light house that I considered pretty awesome and desired to take up the craft again.  The ride was pretty easy, following city bike routes most of the way.

Saturday, I signed up for the Austin Cycling Armadillo ride, an annual fundraiser for the Austin Cycling Association (ACA). The ACA is a great organization that does a lot of cycling outreach and provides nice route maps for riding in the areas around Austin. They use the money from this ride to buy helmets for kids. 

It was windy for the ride, although not the worst wind I’ve ridden in this year, and cool enough in the morning that I needed my arm warmers. We left from Liberty Hill High School. The ride was mostly nice but the roads were rather bumpy in spots. I was undecided about doing either the 78 or 63 mile route and due to the wind, the bumpiness, and general aches from my shoulder, I opted for the 63 mile route. I also got my first flat in quite a while about 15 miles in to the ride. This didn’t surprise me as my rear tire was completely flat when I got to Liberty Hill. The tire seemed to be holding air to some extent so I decided to start the ride and see if it was just a fluke.  Luckily, a SAG wagon (this is a bike support vehicle, not sure where the name SAG comes from) showed up right behind me and the kind driver proceeded to change my tube far faster than I ever could have, and he gave me a spare tube! A very kind man.

I had to make my decision about which route to take at the “Dillo Door” rest stop at mile 30. If you didn’t make it there by 10:30 am, you couldn’t go on the 78 or 105 mile routes, which turned out to be completely OK with me even though I made it on time. At that stop, they had tons of volunteers, a big blow up arch from Clif Bar and a ton of Clif samples to try out. The stop was on a small country road and apparently there was at least one driver not too happy to see us as he laid on the horn of his gigantic red truck the entire time he approached and drove past the rest stop. The prettiest part of the ride was after that stop - very little civilization and lots of gorgeous views. 

One interesting part of the ride was the passage through Oatmeal Texas. There is apparently an oatmeal festival every labor day there and there was a giant fake oatmeal container in the area of the festival!

After finishing the ride, Carl and I headed to Houston to visit with his friend. We took my bike so that I could ride on Sunday. On Sunday, I rode back and forth on the Brays Bayou trail which was very near where we stayed. The Bayou was on the smelly side, but the trail was decent and the land is FLAT so riding was pretty easy except for the headwind in one direction, but what else is new…. I was able to get in 30 miles on that trail.

That’s all for this week… stay tuned for next week’s update!

Making a bike trip to see the knitted trees!

It is 5 pm on a Friday. I grab my bike leaning against my cubicle wall, strap my purse to the rack, throw on my helmet and roll up my pants. I am ready to ride.

Down one flight of stairs and out the front door. Through the parking lot and gate, under Mopac and into the Domain. I watch the shoppers cross the street with their packages as I ride by. South on Kramer, I see a few folks waiting for the MetroRail to head downtown using the special weekend extended service.

Metric, Parkfield, and across 183. The weather is gorgeous and the drivers friendly. I follow the confusing bike route that gets me across Anderson Lane without getting lost this time. On to Woodrow, a wonderful route to ride. Woodrow is an eclectic mix of Austin, all on one wide road with a nice bike lane. Small old houses meticulously cared for. Larger houses that aren’t. Big, modern houses with every environmental friendly upgrade imaginable belonging to Austin’s rich nestled between. Lovely xeriscaped yards, my favorite. The house with the chicken coop that we visited last year during the  Funky Chicken Coop Tour (Try it sometime!). Riding Woodrow has almost too much to gawk at and I find myself not watching the road as closely as I should.

I turn left on North Loop and ride past the vintage stores. Some random little band plays out in front of the shopping plaza. It is SXSW after all.

The turn on to Duval always surprises me. The trees cover the bike route and street sign but I remember this obstacle and find the turn. Duval has a nice smooth bike lane, old houses, and large trees that make for a peaceful ride. I make the turn by Posse East and smell the French fries.

On to San Jacinto and its smooth thoroughfare. It’s spring break so only a few students are on campus. A lonely maintenance worker drives a golf cart.

On to MLK and the Blanton Museum of Art. I am attracted there by the “Knitted Wonderland” exhibit where the trees have knitted cozies on their trunks. Being a knitter myself, I’m awed by the encompassing exhibit and the sheer number of tree trunks covered.  I get in the way of a group of skateboarders in the plaza while looking for my husband. They’re polite though and I don’t realize I’m in their way until I leave. We wander around in the trees snapping photographs and then head further south for some SXSW action.

Riding into central Austin during the spring just can’t be beat.

Author’s note: this was also posted to Austin on Two Wheels.

Permalink | April 4, 2011 | #bike | #blog | #knit | #trees | #knittaplease | #blanton | #ride