Day 17: Alpine to Sanderson

Started: Oct 4, 2010 8:50:57
Ride Time: 7:08:57
Stopped Time: 1:19:09
Distance: 83.32 miles
Average: 11.65 miles/h
Fastest Speed: 25.67 miles/h
Climb: 2153 feet
Calories: 3630

Today I rode though some of the emptiest country I’ve seen on this ride—but empty in a peaceful way that I enjoyed. I would stop periodically during the ride today and just listen to the wind.

The day started out with my host from last night, Ron, fixing me a nice breakfast. I was a few minutes later getting rolling than I had planned, but it was worth it, and I wasn’t especially afraid of racing the sunset today.

The ride into Marathon was unexpectedly chilly, with a stiff headwind and what felt like a long, slow climb—but that might just have been the headwind talking. In Marathon, I stopped at the first café I saw for lunch, which was quite pleasant. Everybody there seemed to know what the Southern Tier is, and knew right off that I was riding it. Funny thing—in some small towns, it’s well-known, in others, not at all.

After lunch, I pushed on to Sanderson. That was the big empty part. During that leg, I noticed the rocks changed from dark red to limestone, reminding me of home.

In Sanderson, I checked into a hotel, got cleaned up, and went directly to the restaurant in town for food. There I met a group of three Southern Tier riders heading west—the first westbounders I’ve met. We traded tips on what the others were about to encounter, places to stay, that sort of thing. It was great getting to just chat with them and share the experience. They told me that at the pace I was going, I could probably knock out the part east of Austin in 10-15 days, which is encouraging.

Austin is now less than a week away, and I am hot to get there. Following is my fairly conservative estimate of where I’ll be stopping over the next several days:

Tue: Comstock
Wed: Bracketville
Thu: Leakey
Fri: Kerrville
Sat: Wimberley
Sun: Austin

3 thoughts on “Day 17: Alpine to Sanderson”

  1. Unless you have a reason to stop in Wimberley, you can easily do Kerrville to Austin in a day. I think it’s only a little over 100 miles, and I did it in a day last year, riding a loaded-down mountain bike and not being in the best shape.

  2. Thanks, Jenny. Apparently my ACA map has a convoluted path into Austin that adds at least 40 miles. I’ll go for something more direct.

  3. Then again, my path was utilitarian and not (especially along 290) so pleasant; maybe ACA has some pretty scenery in store for you on those twists and turns!

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