Monthly Archives: November 2011
Ramble 2011 Details
South Texas, Thankfully
Our Thanksgiving tradition includes a trip to south Texas. During the drive down, we very nearly change seasons.
We assembled as family and we feasted. We were thankful. We expressed our thankfulness to Him who provided all that is good.
We rested from our labors, and we refreshed our minds. I was able to visit with both of my daughters in the same place at the same time.
As you might imagine, my son-in-law and I found time to get out on the bike for a while and ride through rough, scrubby, rolling terrain among the mesquite trees.
Third Annual Fall Finale Forty-Mile Country Path Ramble
The Third Annual Fall Finale Forty-Mile County Path Ramble is scheduled for Saturday, December 17. Get it on your calendar now, before you read the rest of this post. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
This event has sort of become an end of fall tradition for me and a few of my fellow bicycle aficionados. I’ll have more to say about specific details later. For now, however, I plan to ride an unsupported, approximately 45-mile mixed terrain (mostly gravel) ride from my house, and you are welcome to join me.
Since there is no support, no sag, and no T-shirt, and since this is simply a group of friends riding bicycles, there is no cost to participate. Last year about 28 persons joined me, and it was great fun.
I conducted my reconn ride today and took a few photos along the route. Due to the fierce wind today, I seriously doubt that there will be this many colorful leaves left on the trees by then. But at least you can get a little taste of what the route is like.
The route is generally north and west of the northwest corner of Denton County. There are some rolling hills out there. Some of them are a little steep in places, but they are not terribly long.
There are no services of any kind along the route, except the fabulous and historic Rosston General Store somewhere around the mid-point of the ride.
But there are tree-lined creekbeds, wide-open wind-swept prairie hilltops, and a heaping helping of rolling, rural landscape. And lots of gravel.
Some of these roads are a bit rugged in places. In some areas, the loose gravel has been worn/rolled away and there is a smooth, fast dirt road exposed that allows paved-road like speed. However, there are also a few areas with recently placed deep, marble-y gravel that forces my skinny legs to slow it way down.
I’ve referred to this ride as a “ramble”. That means the basic intent is to ride at a conversational pace, stop for photos, and maybe even pause for a snack a time or two. I’ve been known to pack a thermos of coffee for myself, and would encourage others to approach the ride the same way if you like. If you do, plan the entire day.
Others might be interested in riding the route as a “tempo” ride. That’s fine. I’m thinking about preparing a map and/or cue sheet for those who wish to ride faster than a “ramble”. I’m not committing to the map/cue sheet thing, but I am thinking about it.
As in years past, I’ll follow this post later with a few more details about how all this works. The objective for today is to formally announce the date so you can make plans. I hope that everyone who came last year will come again. And if your friends are well-behaved, and will not get me in trouble with my pickup truck driving neighbors, you are welcome to bring them too.
Oh yeah, one more thing. For all veterans of the Ramble, you might remember the guy with the catfish heads on his fence posts. Well, it appears that he’s added some variety to his fence decorations lately. I’m not sure this coyote will still be here on December 17, or that you’d want to see it up close by then anyway, but I’m sure there’ll be something to amuse you somewhere along the route.
What is the significance of the the number 96? I’ll get to that.
Down in the lower areas, where creeks wander and gurgle, trees grow. When November winds finally arrive, leaves array themselves in color and fall like the rain we thirsted for all summer. Puddles of golden sunshine sparkling on the side of the road.
Making the best of a work-spoiled S240, I investigated a potential new lake access point. I had spotted something on an aerial photo that looked promising. If I couldn’t camp last night, I’d pack a lunch today at least, and explore.
Turns out my hunch was correct. This spot is a little farther from the house than the spot I usually visit for a lake view, but it is also more remote. It might serve well as a future S24O spot.
Since the lake is down a few feet, I was able to ride along the beach a bit. I found a place out of the blustery wind and set-up my picnic lunch. Compared to the work week, it couldn’t have been more luxurious.
I took my time. The clouds sailed by. The warmth of the sun came and went. Ducks moved from one spot to another, low to the water, against the wind, like cyclists in a paceline. I found a flat, grassy spot and imagined what it would be like to wake up to the sound of the lake shore and this view.
It was decided that last night was the time to put Daylight Savings Time back on the shelf for awhile. That means there was an extra hour available before meeting with other christians this morning for worship. Since I was starved for physical activity, I spent my extra hour on the country bike.