Day 20 – Granny gets a workout

For those not familiar with the term ‘granny gear’, it’s when you use the smallest gear in front and the largest gear in the rear. That was my combination of necessity as I scaled four 400 to 500 ft climbs each lasting less than a mile – that translates to at least an 8% grade. While I did not get out and push, the last one required 3 or 4 stops. Looking at the ridewithgps data, I was only expecting 2 ridiculous climbs. The ‘twisted sisters’ of the Texas hill country did not disappoint. I thought I had a better picture but this is it

During those climbs, I did get to return the waves from many motorcycle riders, seems that if there were 2 on a bike, the 2nd person had a camera taking a picture. Aside from the occasional pickup, it was all bikes plus one phalanx of Ferraris that I saw twice, once coming down as I was going up and then going up as I was going up on another climb. One Ferrari’s occupants even waved enthusiastically and gave me some happy horn beeps!

Surprisingly, going down gave me more issues than going up as the turns encouraged me to use the brakes lest I wish to go through the guardrail. By the end of the day, the brakes were squeaking to the point of embarrassment. ( taking a rest day Monday to re-hydrate and look at the brake pads which requires front wheel removal to open up the drums).

This was the first day with fairly high humidity and morning cloud cover, within the first hour of climbing I was drenched. I nearly depleted all my water reserves and that’s another reason for the rest day.

I met an interesting fellow at the top of my last 2400 ft summit. He was sitting by his motorhome on a lawn chair looking off into the distance when he saw me and ran to get his camera. He could have been Gary Busey’s uncle with his eyes and hair. He’s ridden his motorcycle all over and been to WI to a town called Butternut.

I rode the last 15 miles along the Guadalupe river, very scenic and recreational. Not something I had expected to see, need to take more pictures but it was getting to be a long day.

Today was the last day I will be over 2000 ft, after Tuesday l will not be over 1000 ft for the rest of this journey. I’m also now at the halfway point which makes me hopeful for completing this in a reasonable amount of time.

P.S. couldn’t sleep, so I looked at the brake pads and they have plenty of material, so a little cleaning and if that doesn’t stop the noise I won’t be concerned.