Day 30: Austin, Texas, to La Grange, Texas

Hey James, I thought east Texas was going to be flat?

What a great couple of days in Texas. I got to ride my unencumbered bike all around Austin with my pal Russell. I replaced a bunch of parts that needed fixing after 1,500 miles. I got the 1985 Raleigh Team USA worked on by a great guy who’s actually a mechanic for Team USA.

Seth Mazow of YearOfThePizza.com bought me a solid pizza at Home Slice and provided great conversation about all kinds of things, including his strategy for keeping his hand on an eggplant sub sandwich for 31 straight hours, which won him a year of free pizza. We’re honored to be featured on his blog this week, as part of his yearlong series of interviews with intriguing folks in Austin.

I got to sit down for an interview with Scott Cannon from The Dropout, and be there as their just-printed third issue was dropped off.

James Duke, who climbed two 17,000-foot-plus volcanoes in Mexico in November of last year as part of Big City Mountaineers’ Summit For Someone fundraiser, showed up on Saturday morning to ride with us all the way to La Grange, and the next day.

And then, after about 50 miles of riding, as James, Tony and I were sitting in a bar/store in Winchester, Texas, drinking Cokes, I was just about to say to James and Tony, Hey, that guy just drove a tractor to the bar. A woman walked in, tapped me on the shoulder and said,

“Hey, do you know how to get to La Grange?”

Except it was my girlfriend’s voice, which has only come to me out of my cell phone for the past month.

But I looked over, and there was a woman who looked exactly like the picture of my girlfriend that I carry around in my head, except maybe a little better.

I said nothing, and just looked at Tony, as if he was going to tell me, Hey, this is real.

And then Syd Jones, the executive director of Big City Mountaineers, walked in with a video camera, beaming. And I whipped my head around, and there was Mitsu, BCM’s director of operations and safety, laughing and taking photos.

I have no idea what I said next, but I’m sure it’s on Syd’s video.

Syd and Mitsu had decided to fly down to Houston and track us down this weekend. And then at the last minute, they invited Steph, which is a daydream come true, when you spend a month straight staring at the road rolling by at 10 mph and counting down the hours until you’ll see your girlfriend again.

Syd Jones is a crazy, big-hearted man. After I picked my jaw up off the floor, and had a few minutes to realize what was going on, I told him so.

So we all rolled into La Grange, former home of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, and inspiration of the ZZ Top song of the same name. And for two days, we’d have a bunch of friends to eat dinner with, and take breaks with along our route. Incredible.

Ahow how how how.

These people are crazy. From left, Mitsu, Syd and Steph.

-Brendan

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10 responses to “Day 30: Austin, Texas, to La Grange, Texas

  1. Well, is the click gone? We all want to know….

  2. Nice to have surprises like that!

  3. Syd, et al. You are the coolest. You’re pretty decent there too, B.

  4. Brendan, the friends you have, and the girlfriend you have, and the people you work for, and the Cause you are dedicated to….Buy a lottery ticket. You are the luckiest man alive.

    I am looking forward to your return to CO. I have some gruesomely fun outings planned and I need a partner. I know you will be up to the sufferfest.

    Ride on.

  5. Just amazing, just truly amazing!

  6. I love this story! Yay!

    I look forward to reading this every night. Thanks for keeping us in the loop. And keep stretching! ~:)

  7. The measure of ones friends, buddy. What a blast of energy to get you through the 2nd half. Keep on pedaling.

  8. Dang…didn’t realize you were going so far south into Texas. I grew up about an hour north of Austin in a small town named Temple. Hope you are having a great time! Scott tells me we’re doing a presentation on our tours at Salvagetti this summer. 🙂

  9. Aaron & Krista

    What great friends, you are very lucky! I bet Steph was a sight for sore eyes…….

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