Monday, April 5, 2010
Messin' with Texas Pt 2: Texas messes back
I had one of those rides planned that looked perfect on paper. The Gooogle maps showed that the Barton Creek Greenbelt as a bike only super safe path — but in actuality it is completely an off-road trail that littered with large rock garden of limestone.
My ride started with a drizzly but scenic ride out Austin's 360 loop — a highway with an entire lane on the right where cyclists can play. I was having a blast. 360 is very hilly and the drizzle was keeping cool for rizzle.
I got to the beginning of the Barton Creek Greenbelt and tried riding down a gravel hill with tons of drop offs. I took a side trail hoping it would lead me down into the valley. There were some scenic views of waterfalls and pastures of flowers. But quickly my soul ride became terrifying as the trail began to resemble a downhill course with drop-offs taller than the front wheel of my cross bike.
I finally get down the hill and ride a few miles over some really fun trail. I was having a blast and it was interesting to see the different lines I chose with a fully rigid bike. Eventually the trail gets tougher and I encounter extremely technical rock gardens that just whooped me. I got some directions from a guy and he said I should cross the creek because it runs out of trail on my side of the river!
So off come the shoes and I cross. It was very novel and I was still having fun. I rode a bit more but the trail remained technical. Even my shoes were slippery on the wet limestone and I fell down with my bike on top of me just as a trail runner came by! At another point I had to walk along a limestone ledge while shouldering my bike. Still, a lot of nice and cool people gave me directions and kept me going.
After a few slips and falls and a few more creek crossing I come upon some rock climbers. One guy was amazed I was riding a cross bike and we talk for a bit. He also raced cross and it was cool to meet another hip dude. He basically let me know I still had a few more hours of ass-kickin' ahead of me. So I gave up and ascended back up to another part of 360.
I was so bushed. I rode for almost five hours but barely went anywhere. That Barton Creek Greenbelt really f'ed me up.