Day 28: San Marcos, Texas, to Austin, Texas

At about 1:30 p.m. today, I turned from Barton Springs Road onto Congress Avenue in Austin, got a face full of tall buildings and was riding in 6 lanes of traffic. I felt like I was home in Denver again, complete with some fashionable dude on a fixie riding towards me.

I felt like a sailor pulling into port, after 14 straight days of riding, and looking forward to a rest day in Austin tomorrow (except, of course, I have to find someone to look at, and possibly replace my bottom bracket since it’s making noise).

We stopped at Mellow Johnny’s, Lance Armstrong’s bike shop, so I could pick up a new cassette, chain, an extra tire and some new brake pads, and Chad was welcoming enough to give me the “super touring discount” and let me reassemble my bike in the outdoor seating area of the coffee shop there.

My host while I’m in Austin is my pal Russell Williams, student, pedicab driver, and owner of a dog named Sue, who is a boy. (Here’s Sue’s Facebook page.) Russell has had a couple interesting jobs in his life, one of which was delivering fuel to fishing villages in western Alaska. We met on the old Salvagetti Breakfast Ride, and Russell still has his old-school 1234 Speer Boulevard Salvagetti jersey, which he wore today.

Within a few minutes of riding around Austin with Russell (and without my BOB Trailer), I had met Carlos Urreta, who also biked across America last year, and just happened to bike past us in downtown Austin. And I met Chris, who works for a fruit company in Austin but pedicabs with Russell on the weekends for fun and profit. Our waiter this evening seemed to actually be impressed with the Team USA, but I can’t be sure since we had already tipped him by the time he saw the bike. And man, is it good to see so many people on bikes again.

This guy is taking it easy tomorrow by not biking 50+ miles with a big trailer behind him, but biking around Austin and eating good food until he is seriously uncomfortable.

In other news, we have now raised $12,447 for Big City Mountaineers, just over twice our original goal for this ride — thanks to Barbara Bain, Brian Heying, Ian Haldimann, Paul Andrews, Elliot Scott, and an anonymous donor. Thanks to all of our donors, BCM will be able to provide weeklong wilderness trips for six groups of five teens each in summer 2010!

Some of the last bits of country before we hit the city.

Goodbye, old cassette and chain. After several phone conversations with my pal Josh, I thought the problem with my bike was the loose rings on my cassette, so I replaced it. But ... the noise is still there.

Pelota = "ball" in Spanish. This is the coffee shop at Lance Armstrong's bike shop. One of their slogans is "a singular cup of coffee." I think you can see what we're getting at here.

Russell and Sue!

Russell riding around the capitol building in Austin, with Commerce Avenue behind him.


5 responses to “Day 28: San Marcos, Texas, to Austin, Texas

  1. Nice. Do the bats fly out from under the Congress street bridge during the winter?

  2. Give me a call if that noise persists.

  3. Awww man. The noise is still there? Are you sure it’s not your knee?

  4. Pingback: Texas Bicycling Blog and News Roundup for March 5th «

  5. Matthew Olin Day on Facebook

    I’m still following your progress…way to go on the progress of Fund raising for the kids…that’s great…

    Are you all on facebook?
    I’m learning so much from you all….
    I’m leaving out on June 1st and I am trying to make mind up on what route to take…
    Leaving out from Portland OR going to Louisville Kentucky…my home town..

    FYI I’m praying for your safety….
    “God Be with You”
    “Fellow Amatuer Bicyclist, on a Journey from here to there”
    Matthew Olin Day

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