Beer Bicycles

West Texas In My Rear View

West Texas; Chihuahuan Desert, skeleton mountains pushing 9,000 feet above sea level, wind that sculpts solid rock. My co-tourist and I set off from Alpine with a quartering tailwind and make good time up to Davis Mountain State Park, a little over 27 miles away. I imagine western movie gunfights in the rocks on the hillsides, and I wonder if the natives and the soldiers at Ft. Davis actually had similar gunfights.

The highways in West Texas have a great bike lane, called a courtesy lane in Texas. Not something Idaho DOT would understand.
No rumble strips!

It’s spring break time in Texas and tough to get reservations; we made this one a few weeks ago. At the first grocery store in Ft. Davis, buying a six pack would require one of the employees making sandwiches over at the deli counter to notice me and to give a shit. So I leave the beer on the counter and we ride to the next store- bonus; they stock one of my favorite Texas beers!

After a fit-full nights sleep (actually, neither one of us had a fit but there was a lot of activity and noise from other happy campers after what I consider to be bedtime) we got up and packed and rode away. That is, after I spent about one hour attempting to get the tree sap out of one of the sleeves into which I pack my hammock. After getting denatured alcohol poisoning through my skin and not fixing the problem I jammed everything into the pannier. Then I realized my sunglasses were in the bottom of the pannier. I rode without sunglasses.

Before leaving the city limits I realized I had a problem. The last time I experienced this feeling was several years ago after eating some Bob’s Red Mill Granola. My throat felt like a vacuum cleaner hose plugged with hair and lint. Inside the bolus was a little demon punching and kicking to get out. My partner becomes smaller and smaller before disappearing around the bend leading to the pass. I stop and try to figure out what is happening; is it Covid-19? Is it really wood alcohol poisoning? Is it just an allergic reaction? Am I going to die here?

Stacy waits at the top of the hill and gives me some of her antihistamines which seem to help. Then we stop at the picnic area and I lay down for ten minutes. My co-tourist leads the way into the howling headwind the last ten miles- until she drops me and I ride slowly into town. If I were to disclose fully, I would say I told her to ride ahead and that I would just “let the legs drop” the rest of the way. Good times.

When times were good and I was sitting at the picnic table drinking my El Chingon, I took some detail photos of our bicycles. Those follow.

Gilles Berthoud himself brazed this little piece of design wonderfulness.
Ultegra seat post
Shimano Ultegra seat post. Poetry.
no caption needed
image of IRD crankset
The IRD compact double crankset. Both bikes have the same gearing.
image of bicycle saddle
Gilles Berthoud saddle

One reply on “West Texas In My Rear View”

Ohhh, to toil for awhile on the open road sounds good. Remember that windy day on Mayfield Road? Put some miles in for us and thanks for sharing a bit of your day. P.S. sweet bikes 😉

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