An Enlightened Century

Todays ride would be our furthest to day. Unloaded we crushed 101 miles averaging 12.5 mph in under 11 hours with breaks.  A mostly flat ride we hit a top speed of 33 mph. A century was a goal of mine for a while on this trip and thanks to both our families with became a reality today.

Five days of rest and relaxation while living the luxurious life we don’t get to enjoy bike touring came to an end far too quickly. However different our lives are we enjoy the grind each day, seeing the world slowly, and being at the mercy of weather and the kindness of others. Thanks to an arrangement between Jane & Dave and my uncle Craig in Friendswood we had a minimum of bags complete with repair gear and some snacks.

Goodbyes were long and tender between family and our beloved dog friends. Awkwardly without a load we pedalled off south to Houston an attempt at a century ride from Amanda’s family to mine outside of Houston.

Goodbye Norton’s!  We zoomed away lighter than ever.

Due to a lack of roads, a lake, and a national forest we were forced to ride down the busy truck-filled US-59. Not our first choice but the only logical one we stayed in the shoulder when possible and rode through the torn up grass of the construction sites. The road is in the process of a conversion to an interstate was honestly a complete mess.

Somewhere on 59 Amanda found a spike and her first flat of the trip. The massive piece of debris punctured through both sides of her tube and into the rim liner. Nice find!

Amanda's First Flat

Frustrated with the construction and traffic we turned off the first possible exit. In hindsight this was a great idea as we avoided entering the outer loop of Houston’s highway maze. US-59/I-69 in downtown Houston is the busiest freeway in the US with daily vehicle counts exceeding 330,000/day.

The side road added mileage while reducing stress. We cranked thousands of pedal strokes putting miles behind us as the sun arched overhead during its daily westward dance. Travelling light we stopped at Subway for an overloaded tuna sub with double of every veggie! Five hours of riding and we covered 70 miles crossing I-10 and putting us within a few hours of reuniting with the rest of our gear and more importantly family!

We rode down Independence Parkway to the Lynchburg Ferry where we entered into the Houston-metro area. We took a break and a few photos at the Battleship and San Jacinto Monument. Both our GPS and Google Maps gave up at this point routing us onto roads with no shoulder and into intersections that could kill us in a tank. Somehow we found a bike path taking us past the L.B.J Space Center and rode it into Friendswood.

A Ferry ride past refineries, a battleship, and a monument. Welcome to Houston!
Hello NASA. Hello bike lanes!

Our final turn was at 100.8 miles so a few circles later we crossed the 101 mile mark.  Great ride! Hello Texas Hoods!

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