Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Riding From Austin, TX to Little Rock, AR-By Bicycle
I've been cycling since I was a little kid. I began to get more serious when I got into BMX racing back in the late 70s. I was sponsored by Hall's Bike Shop in Big Spring, TX during that time. If anyone knows Tony Hall or any of his family please let me know. Above is a picture I took this year of the shop in Big Spring that Hall's occupied.
At 13, cycling provided me a way to relieve stress and the freedom to wander away from my home and see the world beyond our house. If not the world then at least the immediate neighborhood and miles of trails on the side of the hill we lived on.
In college I bought the 89 Centurion pictured above. It is sitting next to a 'No Bicycles On Sidewalk' sign. I rode it for a few years until I got plantar faciatas in both feet. A 16 year break from cycling followed. Then I decided I was ready to re-enter the world of cycling. It was only two years ago that I bought a mountain bike for riding in Austin's beautiful Greenbelt where I was able to recreate my childhood joys. This led to me deciding to rebuild the Centurion road bike last summer. Encouraged, I bought a new fully accessorized Surly Long Haul Trucker in February of this year, which now has 2200 miles. The picture below is of this bike sitting at the McDonald's in Mustang Ridge, TX, between Lockhart and Austin.
After reading the transcontinental cycling adventure books 'Riding With the Blue Moth' by Bill Hancock and 'Momentum Is Your Friend' by Joe Kurmaskie, I was inspired in 2010 to do my own long distance ride. Austin to Arkansas would be the logical choice since my parents live there. An ear infection and a cold that I caught two weeks before I was supposed to leave prevented that trip. Although I was disappointed by this, in the long run it was for the best. When that 20 year old bike was redone the wheels were not rebuilt. Before I could put 500 miles on that bike, those 20 year old spokes started breaking. This was without any traveling load on the bike. If I had not gotten sick and had attempted the trip on that bike I would have never made it. This and other reasons made it necessary for me to get a better bike for such a journey.
This coming Saturday morning, I am attempting it again on my new bike. As is suggested by the name, the Long Haul Trucker is built for long distance riding. It is designed to carry 200 lbs of weight in addition to the rider. I won't be carrying that much weight so I expect no problems.
I plan to follow this route:
My current plan is to update this blog from my smartphone and announce on Facebook when I do. My Facebook website is https://www.facebook.com/#!/C3Hamby