I absolutely LOVE fall! Everything about it; the cooler temps, the crisp smell in the air, burning leaves, wood fires and the beautiful splendor of the changing leaves. But I live in Texas and, at best, we get the smell of a wood burning fire and a few interspersed days of cooler weather. Then I discovered the wonders of spring!
A few years back my husband and I decided to give riding road bikes a try. As we built up our stamina, we ventured out onto rural back roads. We both enjoy a good road trip and we were amazed at how much we had been missing when traveling by car. Being out in the open you experience so much more. Dave has always been a speedster – get there a fast as you can, while for me it’s more about the journey. So we decided to change up our rides, some “going the distance” while others were the “stop and smell the flowers” kind of experience.
On one such occasion, Memorial Day weekend, I decided we needed to do a Wildflower Ride. I printed off a sheet of our local native wildflowers and tucked it into my backpack along with some snacks. It was awesome to identify and capture all the little flowers as we peddled through the countryside. We also saw some wheat being harvested along with a smashed snake in the middle of the road. Definitely would have missed so much if we had been zooming along in a car!
Another time Dave told me about an old rural cemetery. I have inherited my love for old cemeteries from my Mom. We decided to take a picnic lunch with as we traveled to this hidden destination. We have ridden our bikes out in this locale before and had noted the names of the streets. The cool thing was that the families buried in this cemetery were the same names as the streets in the surrounding area. It was a great day spent with the founding families of Argyle.
We’ve also found some quaint little family run restaurants as we’ve cycled round the great state of Texas. It’s delightful to stop and take a load off, recharge, refill and rejuvenate with some good home cooking.
One of my favorite rides was in Fredericksburg and Luckenbach in the Texas Hill Country. It was a beautiful day, sunny and warm but not too hot. We saw deer, bluebonnets, Indian paintbrush, rolling hills and a gaggle of bikers. It was a sight to see my honey, in spandex bike shorts, looking for a restroom amid leather-clad Harley riders in Luckenbach!
Touring urban locations is a great way to explore; we’ve peddled our way around the Trinity River greenbelt, White Rock Lake Park Trail, and The Katy Trail. It’s so fun to be in the heart of the city and safely ride through parks and nature.
We’ve also participated in charity rides and The Ride of Silence, which recognizes cyclists killed by motorists.
As for conditioning training, we’ve discovered some killers to climb in the way of hills. We’ve given them names if they don’t already have one. Some of them that can really get your heart rate going are: the Camelback, Just Kidding, Belle Cote and Hilltop. Hilltop is The Mother of all hills in our area. It’s one that can get you coming and going. But OH THE VIEW from the top! We’ve even been fortunate enough to see wild turkey while ascending this doozy.
Reminiscing about these great outings and the memories they bring makes me want to get back on the saddle and seek out some new adventures while its still spring!