Toward the middle of the week, Mike and I agreed that if Saturday was a halfway decent day we were going for a ride. Well, yesterday was about that. Halfway decent. We had sunshine, but coolish temps in the low 40’s and a southwesterly wind of 10-12 mph that was just annoyingly cold.
Unlike our last ride, where I did a good job planning our route to take advantage of the wind late, I didn’t today. We went out past Strafford, which meant that we were generally fighting the wind the entire way back. Unfortunately, Mike ended up fighting a cramp from Strafford back to my house, and my legs weren’t up to par after yesterday’s hard effort, so we were pretty much dragging back with our tails between our legs.
Our goal was to just get out, but I decided I wanted to ride a few hills, and it had been a while since I had been down on Farm Road 229 east of Strafford.
Our route took us down the big hill on Farm Road 112 to the intersection with 229.
In the picture above, 112 intersects 229 at the bottom of the hill. That’s a 15% grade to come up from a dead stop, so it’s always a killer. I personally don’t think the 112 hill is quite as steep, but you’ve also got to attack it from a complete stop so no matter which direction you ride that from, it’s bad. One of these days I want to ride on around the corner pictured above and follow 229 until it dead ends to see what the rest of the road is like.
In the summertime, this stretch is gorgeous. The picture at the top of this post is looking out across one of the valleys, and there is something of a lake surrounded by pine trees at one point.
From 229, we rode back up SparkleBrook Road toward Strafford. There are a couple of really huge houses down in the valley along the creek. I suppose that creek is the namesake of the road, but I’m not sure.
We passed a couple of fields with some round bales spread around back in the corner. It looked like one side of the field (to the right) and the foreground had been picked clean, with just those back in that corner remaining. With the price of hay this year because of last summer’s droughts across Texas and the west, guys with that much still in storage are making money.
As we were approaching Strafford, Mike hollered, “Holy cow! There’s a tombstone in the ditch!”. No way. We were sure it was probably a toy, but finally decided to turn around and make sure it wasn’t a real one that had been swiped from a cemetery some place. Luckily, it was just someone’s discarded Halloween decoration.
We pulled back into my driveway with 31.5 miles under our saddles. Not bad for a Saturday in January. At least we got to ride.
Here’s a link to the GPS track.