Austin, TX

7 day forecast
High temps expected. Usually, it has been fine before noon, then really hot.

I went back to the Donut shop early and got coffee, a fritter, and a kolache. Still managed to get out before 8 am.

I decided to follow the ACA map this morning, as the route went right by my doorstep.

The route had a lot of short but steep climbs. It was like doing Wilhelmina Rise in Honolulu, one or two blocks at a time, except with no Sierra Drive option.

water crossing
This crossing was about 6 inches deep, and a dozen miles from the nearest alternate road. I walked the bike across instead of trying to ride, and my socks and shoes got soaked. F you, ACA map.
road doubt
After miles on an unmarked highway, the mind starts to doubt. 30 years ago, there was nothing to do about it except perhaps ask a local, if one could be found.
gps
But today, we have GPS.
The wet shoes were starting to hurt my toes. I had to stop, and switch them with my kung fu shoes. So basically, I was riding with slippers. I could feel the rat-trap pedals thought the flexible soles.
pork rib stew
At about the 30 mile mark, and 11:45 am, the ACA route intersected Hwy 290. If I had just taken 290 from the start, I would have been there much earlier. There was a gas station there with a restaurant, Taqueria La Escondida. I got Costillos de Puerca.
big jamaica
In case the picture didn’t show it, the agua fresca was Texas sized. I see why they have big drinks – a person gets dehydrated in the heat.

By the time lunch was over, my shoes had dried sufficiently, but not the socks. I took the sleeping bag off the bike, opened up the panniers, and got out my other pair of socks. With mostly-dry good shoes again, cycling up the hills was easier. LEARNING: if there is a river crossing, take off the shoes and socks.

Google told me to follow Circle Dr to Thunderbird Rd, but I found that Circle Dr terminates at a church parking lot. It was new construction, so perhaps Google was out of date. I went back and looked for an alternate route to Thunderbird Rd. Actually, I could have stayed on Hwy 290 all along, and that would have got me there.

The navigation mistake was actually a blessing, because I saw this sign on the lawn. This Island Boy had to try it.
shave ice truck
It’s just a small shave ice truck with one guy.
Blue Coconut Shaved Ice
Well, how do you think it tasted?

It was so junk! Like Robitussin poured over crushed ice. I wanted to hurl, but kept eating it because it was $4. Finally, I gave up and threw it away. I felt a little sick from the sickly-sweet taste, and started laughing out loud because it was so bad. I take back what I said about the mis-turn being a blessing.

I missed another turn that Google wanted me to take. I went back and forth on the street searching for where it wanted me to go. Now I know they don’t want me to go on that dirt trail!
dirt bike trail
After narrowing down the position, I determined that they really did want me to go on the dirt trail. It got worse, with rocks and roots so bumpy, I had to zip up my front bag to keep things from flying out. F you, Google Bike Maps.

Now remember, it was in the high 90’s all this time. But at least there was usually a little breeze.

wild grapes
The bike trail did get a little better. I ran into some guys examining some fruit on a vine. One guy thought it was wild grapes. He smelled and tasted it. So the bike path was a blessing, if only for this discovery.
tastes like a grape
Looks like a grape inside. Smells like it. It was tart, but not poisonous-tasting (yes, I tried it).

I checked into the Austin Hostel (Lakeside), a bed in a 14-bed men’s dorm for $35 plus tax. And I think they provide breakfast in the morning. The hostel is cold, and so are the sleeping quarters. Unlike when I stay in a motel room, I don’t feel bad about wasting energy, because the institution set the thermostat, not me. I should sleep well tonight.

bidirectional bike lane
I got to the hostel in the late afternoon, due to all the pit stops. One thing I noticed was this sweet bidirectional bike lane, isolated from traffic by a line of parallel parking.

I decided that it was better to go and get dinner before showering, as the afternoon was still quite warm. I was pleased to find black grapes on sale at HEB for 98 cents a pound. I also got 6 peaches. On this hot day, I just wanted fruit.

food trucks
This is for Marilyn – a saw a lot with Food Trucks. But I already had food in my pannier.
My dinner – canned spinach, banquet spaghetti and meatballs, some grapes.

Mostly young people at this hostel. I didn’t really socialize much. There was a happy hour, and I visited with my Mango Nectar (I don’t drink, so ignored the free wine and beer. I also set out the remainder of the 3 pounds or so of grapes.

body from river
There is a river right next to the hostel. A news crew is there because they just pulled a body out of there. In other news, a man recently shot a random cyclist in Austin with a shotgun.

Tomorrow’s goal is Bastrop, just 35 miles away. Were it not for the heat, I might go for La Grange at 71 miles.

Miles: 54.2

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  1. Thanks for the food truck shot, Rod! That looks about right. We’ve dined from a couple of food trucks, and in each location there were 2-3 different trucks (BBQ A, BBQ B, Tex-Mex) with assorted picnic tables and other seating.

    Sorry that the shaved ice was bad. We discovered a shaved ice place (NOT a truck – a small building open half the year) not far from Dear Daughter’s apartment; Dear Daughter and Dear Husband both pronounced it good. (Apart from the food truck culture, Austin has all sorts of small hole-in-the-wall eateries that are really quite good. On one trip Dear Daughter took us out to breakfast at two such places (we don’t normally do breakfast), and the food was fantastic. Who would have thought that bacon, pears, and green onions all work in a pancake?!!)

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