U.S. 360 Tour – Day 4 from Vanderpool TX to Montell TX (Gear Ratios Are Now Important To Me)

Latest update on my purpose-driven cycling journey around the American perimeter.

47 miles (76 km) – Total so far: 223 miles (359 km)

Got started before sunrise, contemplating the three climbs that looked vertical on the ACA elevation maps. Two of the climbs were pretty short, but not exactly sweet (1.5 miles, 2 miles respectively). Both lay between Vanderpool and Leakey. The third climb, the steepest and longest (about 3.5 miles) fell between Leakey and Vanderpool. I used my “granny” gearing today for the first time, and was thrilled that I didn’t have to dismount even once. Having said that, during the steepest part of the climbs, I was going so slow my odometer couldn’t even register.

It was a tough, but fulfilling day, knowing that my next major climbs are waiting for me in the Davis Mountains far west of here. Saw very few services or people, other than a number of weekend warriors on their Harley Davidson’s. Apparently, this whole area is quite the draw for motorcycling. The scenery was pretty spectacular today, although, given all the climbing, I didn’t have tons of chances to completely enjoy it. I only passed through the towns of Leakey, Camp Wood, and Montell. Of notable mention in Leakey was a motorcyclist joint aptly named the “Hog Pen”. I tried to fit in with the other two-wheeled regulars, what with my bandana and my iron steed. But alas, I was the only guy there with spandex cycling shorts, so it was not to be. Wildlife sightings today included wild turkey, rabbits, an deer.

I did connect with my lovely parents today, who caught up with me. They are adventurous souls, so I’ve invited them to hang out for a while if they’re interested. Camping on the Nueces River tonight, right next to a couple from Northern California who are headed Eastbound on the Southern Tier . It’s quite the oasis on the western edge of the Hill Country.

It’s all good.

This ominous sign greeted me on the first of three climbs
This ominous sign greeted me on the first of three climbs
Feeling pretty good after the first climb
Lots of winding roads
At the top of climb two. Looking a bit frazzled.
Hanging out at the Hog Pen in Leakey
I fit right in!
Last climb of the day. Trying hard to smile.
This house at the edge of the Hill Country
Surly Pearl and the Nueces River. Definitely an oasis.
Mom greeting her baby boy.
How about this campsite??!!
My new friends Peg and Jerry, who are cycling the entire Southern Tier, eastbound.

Click Here to read my daily tour journal entry on crazyguyonabike.com


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