Tuesday 6/4 – Left Cary at 7:45 AM and headed southwest to Ellijay, GA. Arrived at Mulberry Gap around 3:00 PM, took a rest in my closet-sized cabin, then rode Pinhoti #2 trail. It was a long climb and I needed a few rest stops along the way. After about seven miles I turned around and bombed the descent. Good fun. Showered then ate a meal of steak, baked potato, green salad, corn-on-the-cob, jalepeno poppers, and bread. Friggin’ delicious. My plan was to ride again in the morning, but I then decided to get an early start to Houston and maybe surprise Anna at her work.
Wednesday 6/5 – After another fantastic meal provided by the MG staff, I hit the road. I took 85 to 20 to 59 to 12 to 10 and then stayed the night near Beaumont. I had to scrub the plan to surprise Anna, since she was not working that night. Instead, we rendezvoused Thursday morning at Salata on I-10 in Houston and beat the lunch rush, then went to Starbucks and relaxed some more while catching up. It was a brief visit but a good one. Anna seems to be happy and doing well. I then headed to San Antonio where I found Elizabeth’s stashed key and settled into her place. After watching a few episodes of The Office, I went to bed. Chris and E showed up in the wee hours.
Friday 6/7 – Met Chris (nice guy) and got some excellent Mexican food on the south side of SA where Chris grew up. Met his mom, Juanita, as well. We then went to the mall where E bought a Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Air sound system. Before going back home, we visited some of Chris’ relatives who live near Boerne. It was a graduation party with lots of food. Everyone was very kind and generous. We then went home and set up the Zeppelin and watched some Game of Thrones.
Saturday 6/8 – Got up and rode the trail at OP Schnabel near E’s place. Luckily, I found someone named Gary who was willing to shepherd me along the intricate trail system. We got a good 12+ mile ride in. Felt awesome. After returning home and cleaning up, we attended a San Antonio Missions baseball game. They lost but we a had a good time.
Sunday 6/9 – Went to a giant flea market with C, E and C’s mom. It was pretty hot, with a generous host of fat people milling about and perusing all varieties of junk. After that, we went back home and I hit the trail once more at Schnabel. There was no one to lead the way this time, so I was not able to retrace the path from the previous day. I did alright, but still managed a wrong turn at one point and got lost. I found my way out just as the skies opened up and unleashed a vicious Texas thunderstorm. After cleaning up, we went to a sports bar to watch the Spurs lose to Miami. I drank quite a bit and E bought two rounds of shots to boot. We had a grand time.
Monday 6/10 – I set out to ride Government Canyon trails, but they were closed due to all the rain. Instead, I rode an exercise bike at E’s apartment gym. Boring. We ate a hibachi supper at Osaka, then returned home and finished the third season of GoT. Amazing. E and C needed to get to bed since they had to get up early and leave for Austin/Boston.
Tuesday 6/11 – Said my goodbyes to E and C and slept until about 9:00 AM, then did some laundry. Headed to Fort Worth via 281. No way was I getting on I-35. Got to Barbara’s and settled in. Took B to Milano’s in FW for some good Italian fare. Watched some more of The Office on the laptop and helped B straighten out some issues on her PC.
Wednesday 6/12 – Met old friend Jana Johnson at La Madeleine at 8:30 for breakfast. It was good to catch up; had not seen her in 18 years. Then had lunch with Ben Cobb at Hoffbrau steak house. Went back to B’s and prepared for a ride at Sansom Park MTB trail. It was very hot. I took my standard two bottles of water, but I ended up running out because the trail had been lengthened during the intervening two years since I rode it last, and it caught me unawares like. I thought I was going to pass out from the heat and the stupid burst climbs on the Lone Wolf section of singletrack. Anyway, I survived. B took me out to Railhead for some Texas BBQ. Dee-lish.
Thursday 6/13 – Said so long to B and drove to Dallas to meet Pete for lunch. We went to Pie Five near his work and had a quality pizza. I then went back to P&K’s place to hang out with K’s mom Linda and little baby Ellie. She is getting cuter all the time, but she did not know what to think of me. Maybe she was confused because I resemble and sound a little like Pete. I’m talking about Ellie, not Linda. Ate a pork roast dish that had been cooking all day in the crock pot. It was the first home cooked meal in days and it was fantastic. Later, we met Adam at Lakewood Landing where John Harrell also showed up.
Friday 6/14 – While P&K were at work, I went to Erwin Park in McKinney to ride the trail. It was the only MTB trail in the ‘plex that I had not yet ridden. It was way out in BFE, but what a sweet trail! East coast-style hardpack with a few roots and some easy climbs. It twisted around in the woods for a bit then broke out into open prairie, where the heat blasted me real good. I was bunny hopping roots and stuff at a pretty good clip when I came upon a somewhat gnarly root system at a slight left turn in the trail. I hopped it with ease, but was not prepared for the small trench running diagonally along the trail afterward. My front wheel landed awkwardly and over I went. Hard. I tumbled a few times and probably did three or four rolls before coming to a stop. I bashed up both legs and got some scrapes here and there, but my ribs took the brunt. I was in pain. I wanted to cry but there was nobody around to give me any sympathy. After lying there and wincing for a bit, I got up and mounted the bike, which thankfully was unhurt. What sucked was, I did not know this trail and I had lots of miles to go before getting to the car. I managed okay, but took it real easy. The fun part was when I encountered a series of whoop-de-doos, but I refused to walk them. Any exertion whatsoever and my ribs were aflame with hurt, both from breathing deeply and from standing and mashing. I made it back to the car sooner than expected, where I laboriously changed clothes and headed home to P&K’s. K went to a girls’ get-together that night while P, A and I ate black bean tostadas and listened to music. I feared I would not sleep well because of my bruised ribs, but I slept okay.
Saturday 6/15 – Ribs still hurt but I don’t think they are fractured. Went to Jason’s Deli for lunch with P, K and E then to Best Buy where P bought a new MacBook Air. Sweet. Hung out back at the house then went to the store to get food for a cookout. Adam brought Italian sausage from Jimmy’s and we pigged out. Spring and Laura Driscoll also came over. A, P and I watched a couple of Futurama episodes, then A had to go to work. P and I listened to music, trading songs and playing DJ until about 1:00 AM.
Sunday 6/16 – Slept kinda late. I got up and made french toast for the crew. It was a yum. P set up his new MacBook. I don’t remember what we did for lunch, but we ate supper at Teppo Sushi and it was aces.
Monday 6/17 – Said goodbye to my bro and Ellie then hit the road at 9:00. Drove almost to Knoxville, TN. Checked into a motel around 10:00, just in time for Cracker Barrel to close, so I got two bean burritos from Taco Hell. I had sworn that I’d never eat there again, but I was desperate. This town had no alternative; everything good was closed. By “good” I mean Shoney’s.
Tuesday 6/19 – Got home to Cary around 3:00 PM. 3,258 miles.