Saturday, December 12, 2009

Break Time

After three months of being on my bike most everyday, it's time to go skiing! The ride into Austin was foggy and damp, no what I'd hoped for to be able to enjoy the Hill Country-all that I wanted to do was ride so that I could setup camp to get warm and dry. Fortunately, the weather improved a little as I neared Austin and I even got a few rays of sunshine.

Oh no, flooding!

Upon entering Austin, I explored the Botanical Gardens and Barton Springs in Zilker Park. Barton Springs is a natural outdoor swimming pool that people use to train in year-round. Making m way through town, enjoying the numerous bike paths and views of the capital building, I found Kacie, happy to see a friendly face and make myself at home.

Botanical Gardens


Once I'd sorted, cleaned, and dried most of my gear, I freed myself to wander the city. I first set out to meet up with some connections I had in town. I first met Adam and Marty Butler, Bill's brothers (Bill loaned me his sunglasses when I lost mine in Big Bend). he Butlers are an absolutely incredible family! After Bill told his family about my ride, Adam offered me a pair of sunglasses that had been sitting around his house unused. I was amazed to find that they were the same style I'd lost, just a different color! Adam and Marty are highly creative and fun guys, super helpful and generous. In need of a rain jacket so that I could stop improvising, Adam suggested a Jack and Adam's bike shop and called them to try and get me a good deal.

Before going to the bike shop, I sopped at the Lance Armstrong Foundation and got a tour of their beautiful Gold LEEDS certified headquarters. What a great place to work! It seems like such an open and friendly environment.

At Jack and Adam's, they'd run out of rain jackets (just given them all to Texas 4000), but one of the owners offered to order me whatever I wanted and to sell it to me at cost! I couldn't believe my luck with all of these fantastic people being so generous and really helping me out, it's very touching.

Jack and Adam's, KFC turned into bike shop

Austin is a very neat city, bot what I'd ever imagined city in Texas o be like. I enjoyed my wandering thus far and look forward to further exploration once I return.

For now, I'm excited to have a little break, see family and friends in the northwest and hopefully get lots of skiing in. It was sure a crazy feeling to fly in 4 hours what it took me 3 months to ride. The flight was miserable, I hate flying more then ever, but I made it back to the very cold NW. Now it's back to old times, the whole family up at Silver Star Mountain in British Columbia to ski and watch our sister race. I feel so out of shape skiing, but conditions are incredible, temps in the low teens and great snow, pretty awesome!

Excited to be waxing skis instead of fixing flats.

Sister, Holly, winning the race!

Family, sporting Holly's "sponsor" OIA

Three Month Inventory:

Miles: 4951.4
Flats: 22
Tubes: 10
Tires: 3
Jars of PB: 15
Nights under a roof: 21
States: 8
National Parks, Monuments, Rec Areas: 20
Warmshowers/Couchsurfing Hosts: 5
Bike-free days: 9
100+ miles days: 3
Days of Rain: 8
Days riding in Rain: 4
Days riding with a companion: 5

That's it, I'll be back in Austin at the end of the month to continue my journey.

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