Margaret and Dick   

     

    
Atlanta to Austin - Day eight: Giddings TX to Austin TX
 

Distance:  60 miles

Rolling speed:  15.0

Total time:  5:15 including time waiting for the police

Calories burned:  2,331

Weather: low 90s with just enough headwind

Close encounters of the dog kind:  0

Irate motorists:  one in particular comes to mind...

Other cyclists seen:  1 (Jerry)

Roadkill report:  two cats

Road surface:  unbelievable

Muscles:  just fine

Mental state:  so very glad to be in Austin safe and sound

 

You won't believe it.  I don't believe it.  We're in Austin.

 

You are responsible for your front wheel.

When cycling in a group, the general rule is that you are responsible for your front wheel.  The same is generally true for cars, although the phrasing is different.  This morning Jerry was leading me along the Presidential Parkway that leads from the George Bush library in Bryan.  To celebrate the last 60 miles into Austin, Dick was escorting us, following at a distance of 50 feet with blinkers flashing and "Atlanta to Austin BY BIKE" written in big white letters on the back window.  We had just crested a hill and were traveling at about 20mph when a sports car came screaming up behind us.  After fishtailing in an effort to avoid collision, he steered off-road, careened around, and plowed his car butt-first into a tree...a very nice sports car totalled, but no injuries.  We headed back to the scene to wait for the police.  It was the opinion of the assembling group that Dick was at fault for driving too slowly; the police saw it otherwise.  After explaining that the concept of "driving too fast for conditions" was not speed-dependent, he ticketed the other driver and then gave Dick some further pointers on escorting us safely into Austin.  We gave a little prayer of thanks for a cheap (for us) lesson and continued through horrific traffic in to the Omni.

 

I've developed quite a cheering section and have gotten some advice that's been very useful.  In particular I want to send out thanks for the following:

Veloman Mike:  "It's not all about you.  It's not all about the bike.  It's all about FOOD!"  This from a man who knows.

Tony:  "Cheer up!!!!!  The Holy Spirit will lead and guide you along the way when you open up to listen to Him."  He was clearly with us today.

Many emails:  "You go girl!"  Thanks for that.  It was my litany when things got tough.

Train:  Yesterday I crossed over a bridge as a freight train passed under.  I signaled him to blow his horn, and he gave me ten toots.  There were truckers in the vicinity that had serious air-horn envy.

Riding through Austin with Dick driving behind, we got honks-and-thumbs-up from about fifty drivers.  It was incredible.

 

Thanks also to those of you who have been with us in spirit.  The good vibes were received and appreciated.  Upon arriving at Peloton sign-in, so many people said "Oh, you're Margaret!  I've been reading your website!"  Pretty incredible.

Summary