Friday, March 19, 2010

Texas Hell Week

On Friday the 12th we headed down to warmer country for a bicycle training camp called Texas Hell Week. 

Located in Fredericksburg, Texas in the Hill Country of Texas between Austin and San Antonio.

Although much warmer than Colorado, it was still pretty cool every morning and we were glad we had brought all our stuff!

Texas Hell Week is in it's 20th year and has about 350 riders from all over the US show up.   They provide no support and give you a turn by turn cue sheet for 3 different rides each day of 50, 75, and 100+ miles.

There are every type of ability and body geometry present.  From racers to raisins. 

The routes primarily follow back country routes with very little traffic for very relaxed riding.  However, most of the roads are chip sealed and some are very rough which take it's toll after numerous long days.
The local Texas drivers mostly drive huge pick-up trucks and are super courteous when they pass.

The major dangers are the occaisional super slick low water crossing and countless cattle gaurds.
The first day of riding was about 108 miles, 2nd was 56 miles, 3rd was 106 miles and on the fourth day we woke up to rain.  So, with sore butts and tired legs we decided to take the day off for Joanne to do laundry and for me to spend a couple more hours in the brand new Museum of the Pacific War.

The museum opened up in Dec. 2009.  I spent 6 hours there and did not get to see everything.  It is incredibly well done and well worth your time to come visit.  The museum is in Fredericksburg, Texas because that is where the Pacific commander Admiral Nimitz grew up.

One very cool feature of the museum is this garden area with stone walls with many, many plaques.  The plaques are memorials of WWII veterans, squadrons, ships, etc.    It was very heart touching to walk and read them.

It reminded me of my grandfather Albert Phillips who served in the Pacific campaign, and like a lot of vets did not share many stories of the war with me.

Several of the things I will always remember about this trip besides the museum on the Pacific War are all of the amazing ranch gates, beautiful ranch homes, and goats.   Lots of cool looking goats! 

The weather has been nice for the last three days and our last ride was today to Luckenbach, Texas.   Where I almost hit a musician while I was gawking around as we were leaving.  I am sure it wasn't Hank or Willie, but he was definitely one of the boys.
The weather is turning bad again tomorrow, our butts of had enough of chip-seal roads, and our legs are now toast from countless 13% + hills.  So, we are skipping the last day and heading into San Antonio to play tourists and see the Alamo, walk the river walk and probably have a nice glass of wine. 

There won't be too many more of those until we hit race weight for Leadville, if that is even possible this year.

1 comment:

  1. Wow!! and Wow!! The museum and San Antonio do sound like MY kind of vacation. I was wondering how it was all going. Somehow, goats don't fit into my mental picture of The Republic of Texas. That's what travel is all about, expanding our understandings. Right? PK