“After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”
— Nelson Mandela
A trip to the Texas Hill Country this week provided a sobering look at some of the terrain along the Adventure Cycling Association’s Southern Tier Route.
More than 1,000 miles of the 3,160-mile ride from San Diego, Calif., to St. Augustine, Fla., are in Texas — a significant segment in the Hill Country.
The Fort Worth Bicycling Association organizes an annual three-day autumn ride in the Hill Country called the Leakey Death Ride — “215 miles of killer hills,” as the association’s Web site says.
Some of those “killer hills” are on the southern tier route, which passes through the towns of Camp Wood, Leakey, Hunt, Kerrville, Blanco and Wimberley on the way to a rest day in Austin.
I’ve done long tours in the Rocky Mountains — one in Montana and Wyoming and five in Colorado. But all of those rides were supported, meaning that our gear was hauled in vehicles. This ride along the southern tier of the United States will be self-contained, i.e., we’ll be carrying all of our stuff on the bikes.
Some of those climbs in the Hill Country are more reminiscent of southern Colorado than the rest of Texas. They could prove to be one of the toughest parts of the ride. It’ll be head down over the handlebars and in the granny gear all the way.