It was another University of Texas home game weekend, and we spend many such weekends with family in Smithville. When we do, I try to take my bike and ride from Buescher State Park to Bastrop State Park along Park Road 1C. This weekend, just L (my 3 year old daughter) and I made the trip, and thanks to some generous volunteer babysitters, I was on the road before dawn.
I rolled into the park, dropped the $4 entry fee in the "late" arrival box, and was at the first scenic overlook before the fog lifted. The moon was still high in the sky when I snapped this photo with my phone.
Park Road 1C is loaded with rollers, and I logged 1750 ft of climbing in my 24 mile out and back route. None of the climbing is sustained, although some of it is steep enough that the State of Texas felt compelled to warn me, as well as post a speed recommendation. I coasted faster than that...several times.
The ride was great: relatively cool temps for September in Texas, white tailed deer crossing my path, getting out of the saddle a few times, and I only met one other vehicle on the road. Early in the ride I was a little nervous because the road was wet and there were a few new washed-out potholes. That was compounded by areas where I had to follow car tire tracks through beds of pine needles. But I was cautious, and after 5 miles of focused riding, I rode out of my fear.
As usual, my Garmin hiccuped a few times, and turned itself off during the ride. It seems to happen when I'm moving fast, typically on the downhill side of a roller. I had my eye on it, and turned it back on quickly and resumed the timer, but it screws up the speed data. Regardless, my ride data is here.
I've posted about this ride before, and I still highly recommend that if you're near Bastrop, get on your bike and ride this route. It's worth making a special trip, or even setting up base camp in one of the parks and riding from there. See you on the pine needles.