Monday, November 2, 2020

Tour de Honey

Tour de Honey
Beeville, Texas 
October 31, 2020
Line up time was 0830; even so it was a chilly 47 as I recall. 
Chilly forecast did not deter the cyclists, and a good number of riders showed for the tour.
I forgot how many layers of clothing Christine had, but she wasn't complaining of the chill...yet.
Most of the ride was on narrow country lanes which kept the traffic low.
Beeville is close to the Gulf coast and therefore relatively flat terrain.

Rest stops were well placed about 12 miles apart, all with friendly volunteers.

There were enough hills to keep one interested. Most were as above, long but not over 6% grade.

Nice arch entrance to another hill. The graceful live oak was dripping with Spanish moss.

There were horses behind the hay rolls that I was trying to show, but it didn't work.
Rest stop near the end of the ride. The porta-potty off to the left not in the picture, had fallen over. Didn't hear if any one was in it at the time. It would have been one of those freak accidents if so.

Nearing town and close to the finish line. Nice smooth wide shoulder. Just an example that highway departments CAN produce smooth roads if they wish. But, most use the #3 aggregate; the roughest grade they can find without resorting to cobble stones. (I feel better getting that off my chest). 

At the finish line, there was something to make all riders feel better--the Coastal Bend Distillery tasting room was open. Coastal Bend was one of the major sponsors of the ride. Thanks, even though we did not take them up on their generosity. 
What we did take them up on was the pizza lunch provided by the tour directors. T's Honkey Tonk provided beer and a place to sit while eating.\

One thing about a honkey tonk is that you never know who you will meet there.

Another impressive thing about Beeville is that all along the main streets there are pictures of residents who served or are serving in the Armed Forces. 
Christine got all excited as she spotted a WAC (Women's Army Corp) member. Christine identifies with all WAC members as revealed below.

1st Lieutenant Christine (Plumley) Jones
(It is close enough to Veteran's Day (Nov. 11) that I felt it was OK to slip this in. She also served in the Berlin Brigade behind the Iron Curtain.) (Editor's note: What great hair she used to have.)

Our next treat was the attendance of local Amish who displayed a booth of Amish products. We picked up bread, honey, soap, lip balm, and, of course, chocolate chip cookies. Incidentally, the Beeville Amish are the only Amish community in Texas.

Beeville is an old community first settled in the 1830's. Present day location was established May, 1859, after the Republic of Texas's petition to join the United States was approved.
The courthouse was built around 1908 and has the distinction of the lady of justice on top as not being blindfolded as most are. No reason for this was found. \
Naval jet on courthouse lawn. Chase Naval Air Station (called Beeville Air Station at the time) trained pilots from 1943-1946. Chase operated from 1952-1992.

128 years old and still looking good.
As does this grand old house near downtown.
As if having a bicycle tour, free pizza and beer, Coastal Bend Distillery tasting room, friendly volunteers, Amish products, and yummy German food at Gasthaus Berliner Bear weren't enough to please someone, then one was probably not impressed with the gas prices in Beeville. We were impressed enough that we have another repeat tour wish list for next year. 

Thanks Beeville Tour de Honey. Keep up the good work.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Trick It Up

Trick It Up

Historic Farmersville, Texas

October 24, 2020

Parking lot quickly filled up, so we knew there would be a good crowd.

Registration was well organized; no long lines developed. 
Front of line up. Stretched for over a block.

It was a little chilly, so Christine had multiple layers (as did I). Brrr. And we do this for fun and health.

Chilly weather did not deter this cutie from lining up. I asked his Dad if he were going to do the "20."  He said maybe 20 feet. But give him a few years, and I bet we see him way up front.

And fast forward to the 1st rest stop. Once again, between the bunched up crowd and rough roads, I chose not to try to take any pictures until absolutely safe. Besides, my fingers were numb from the cold.
As rough as it was, it was still smoother than some of our roads in Tom Green County. These tiny round pebbles are the best kind. 
Occasionally, I would pull off to the side to take a picture. Safer that way, but Christine would give me no slack and make me pedal really hard to catch back up to her.

Hills were long but not steep so a good workout without the fear of cramps.
And some good downhills.
Solid patriotic farmers/ranchers in the area.

This area of Texas is the black earth prairie lands. Fairly flat and moist.

Not sure what I was aiming for but left it in as a mystery picture.

In their wisdom the road folks seal-coated the last few miles of our route two days earlier, but at least the rocks are the smallest and roundest of the types available. As long as we stayed in the tire track we were OK.

Coming up to the finish and we were on an old original brick road.

Finish line. Now the sun comes out, and we really appreciated it.

Trick? No.  

Also appreciated was the lunch treat at the finish.

Menu was varied, but we chose the barbeque sandwich, chips. and 

good beverages. I chose the St. Arnold's Root Beer and Christine chose the St. Arnold's Octoberfest beer.

The Trick It Up ride encouraged bikers to dress up their bikes and themselves. I saw the skeletal bikers several times on the road and you could spot them from afar.
They graciously granted me permission to take their picture close up. They clearly were having fun.

And notwithstanding my grumbles and self pity, Christine and I enjoyed the ride also. All made possible by the ride organizers, sponsors, and great volunteers. Thanks for the ride despite what the country is going through at this time. Thanks for your courage.