Chevys, Dodges, and Fords...Oh My!

As Chelsea mentioned everything is bigger in Texas, but mostly the amount of trucks on the road. If you don't have a truck in Texas then your...well... I guess your not from around here. Or at least that seems to be the common trend.

After leaving the Carlton's house in College Station we headed for Conroe to visit more of Jane's old buddies from the Air Force, the Frangos. Not my favorite days of riding. Everyday in Texas we have been battling 25 mph head winds with gusts up to 40 mph or rain. We have been stuck on the shoulder of big roads like Texas 105 with trucks whizzing by. There was no shortage of shoulder space, but the shoulder on most of the roads in Texas are a rough gravel, asphalt mixture. The bumpy ride makes for a sore bum and back. All the elements are giving us a challenge and keeping us on our toes for the second half of the trip. No one said heading west would be easy. Who's idea was it to go from east to west anyways? Thankfully all of the blooming wildflowers have been a lovely distraction to all the wind and traffic. I was told we might be lucky enough to see some wildflowers in Texas, if it rained, but I have been shocked at the their distribution, fragrance, and beauty. It is definitely a wonderful surprise for me, being a first timer and all. I guess all this rain has been pretty nice after all.
Flying lessons in the Cozy with General Carlton in College Station. Stephanie is so excited she can barley contain herself.  Not the smoothest ride but Soooo fun!

Chelsea's turn with mom in back. Watch out
We had a great stay with the Frangos Family and we were able to catch up with Jennifer, Steve, and the kids, Sarah, Zachery, and Matthew over a home cooked meal with Blue Bell for dessert (of course). Thanks for letting us show up sopping wet, take a warm shower, and showing us a good time.
Family Jam session with the Frango's in Conroe. Rock on!

We all got to visit with Jeanie's friend  Katherine and baby Ellie at Ziggys in Houston. These two go way back. Ellie is the sweetest thing with the prettiest blue eyes.
From Conroe we headed 45 miles into Houston in the rain, which at this point of the trip is a rather easy day. When we got closer to Houston we were able to take the White Oak Bayou trail and the Heights trail to get off the main road for a while. Both trails were very well maintained and convenient to get to. Excellent source of transportation for city commuters in the surrounding neighborhoods. Good work Houston! It looks like you are making head way for people who choose to bike instead of drive. On the other hand the bike lanes in and around the city are less than desirable. These could use some TLC.

BIKE HOUSTON: Thank your for giving us the opportunity to come and speak at your annual meeting. Daren is doing a great job as Chairman and getting the Houston area involved in lots of bike activities (congratulations on getting re-elected). Thank you for the generous donation and getting us in touch with Margaret Shelton.

Margaret and Mike you are amazing. Thank you for letting us stay at your home and for the yummy breakfast, spare tubes, and donation. It was great to chat with you all and learn about your big MS ride in April. Good luck on the fundraising. We had such a fun time in Houston and ended the night on a high note by indulging in the most delicious dinner at El Meson on University Ave with Regina Garcia. AMAZING food and atmosphere. I would highly recommend it. If you have not been there you need to try it.  Thank you thank you to the bike community in Houston for spoiling us while we were passing through.
Bike Houston annual meeting and social event

Regina Garcia and Margaret Shelton at Le Meson with the RASR girls. Looking full and happy.

Riding on the 290 Frontage road leaving Houston. No fun

The Blue Bonnets, they are everywhere

Heading west again: we made our way to Brenham for an overnight stop before arriving in Austin. The weather was perfect after being in the rain for the last few days. We had to ride on the busy frontage road of 290 before we made our way back to the country side. In Chapel Hill we met David Young, a former co-worker of Jeanie and Stephanie's from The Mountain Institute in West Virginia. Brenham is the town that David grew up in, and he just so happened to be in town for a wedding. The stars must have been aligned because David was able to make time to meet us and ride 20 miles into town on a very scenic Texas road. Thank you Linda for letting us stay at your country home, and making us a healthy Whole Foods dinner (And for the Blue Bell desert. I can't forget to mention the ice cream, especially in the town where it is made).
Morning after our night in Brenham with David and Linda. Such a beautiful home and property. It was so nice to see you David. Have fun back at TMI this spring. We missed you LIZ

Had to keep stopping to admire the wildflowers. Perks of riding slow on the bike, free smells
Posted by Stephanie

1 comment:

  1. Wildflowers and wild Texas women! It just doesn't get any better than that.