What's the best way to shorten a cycling route? By lengthening it via a detour, of course! Since towns are far apart in Texa with literally no services in between, our options for daily destinations are limited. And today's new target was only 20 miles away – unacceptably short in my book. So I devised a solution that made us both happy, and resulted in a great day on the road.
Instead of heading straight to Comanche, we first rode to De Leon. That delivered two immediate benefits – it got us off the busy highway we'd been traveling, and it gave us a respite from the wind as it became a cross-wind while we went west. It was very pleasant cycling through the countryside flanked by ranches, farms, cows, horses and a donkey. Rich was buoyed by the easier travel and day 2 was off to a great start.
I'd scoped out a couple of places for breakfast in De Leon, and we indulged in our favorite routine of getting some miles under our belt before relaxing over a good meal. The Two or More Coffeehouse turned out to be a delightful place that served up a bountiful breakfast for Rich and satisfied my latte cravings along with good fresh fare. All with good ol' country music in the background.
Inevitably, we then turned south to face the wind once again. But continuing on a smaller road helped us cope better. The landscape was pastoral and green – probably the only time of the year that it is so lush. And the promised Texas wildflowers were thriving. The purple, pink, yellow, white and blue hues dotted the roadside continuously, and for the first time we saw a whole field ablaze with yellow flowers. Naturally, we scouted out the famous bluebonnets, and took time out to enjoy them along the way. Oh, and we did check for rattlesnakes before settling in among the blossoms – we were well warned about that.
With a shortened itinerary, we reached Comanche by early afternoon. It was fortunate for us that the sun remained behind clouds most of the morning, as our arms and legs were already a rosy shade of pink. It also helped keep the temperature down to a tolerable level.
A quiet afternoon to relax and dinner at a local Mexican restaurant completed our day. I'll admit that I prefer the full days of cycling to these abbreviated versions. Hopefully the wind will abate somewhat, and Rich will acclimate to the heat and the routine so we can we return to our full schedule soon. But for now Plan B it is.