Felt like Fall, so let’s ride the Fall Creek Loop

I stepped outside at 6am and it was a mere 60 degrees! Wow, fall may be on the way. Big  plans had been made for a cycling adventure with Don Bynum, Richard Golladay, Mike Clark and anyone else who might show up. First stop: take on fuel at Atwoods Cafe. Whole grain pancakes with sugar-free syrup and two strips of turkey bacon. Oh, and the usual dose of BS with my coffee, but I digress.

The route was RR2147 East to Burnet CR404 and the “back way” toward Spicewood, then CR408 crossing TX71, then Fall Creek Rd around to TX71 again, couple of miles on TX71 to the Paleface Ranch Rd (f/k/a Haynie Flat Rd), winding up at Opie’s BBQ in Spicewood. Lunch, then CR404 returning to the starting point.

We gathered up at 8:30 and commenced the preparations. (note: click on thumbnails for full size photos)

Check for full water bottles and tires 10 110-120 psi, helmets and gloves gathered up, and, in my case and Don’s, fire up all the electronics. Good grief, is this a bicycle or an airplane cockpit? He and I also have a ton of flashing red lights on the rear of our respective machines — yes, I am paranoid about overtaking vehicles!

Of course, we were prepared with our special nifty riding outfits as explained here

 

Richard Golladay joined us (yellow jersey at left in above photo) as did Mike Clark for an inaugural jaunt with the “HillyBikers” consortium. We in fact departed close to 8:30.

After an initial hill the run to CR404 is basically downhill. Fun run in the crisp morning air. The temperature remained very pleasant right up to our stop at Opie’s at about 11:00.

Here is the track (more photos and videos below):

Turn to Spicewood Winery

We took a little break on CR408 at the winery turn because we knew the ensuing 1.5 miles would be “interesting.” I had made slight mention of “the climb” to Richard and to Mike but probably had not made truly full disclosure.

From the start on CR408 there is a climb of 1.5 miles that varies from 4-7% grades over most of the distance, with small pitch-ups of 10+%. And then, there is a final, long, relentless hill with sections of 20% grade.

First, I had to make the climb as I intended to film the arrival of the others. Then you will see the others arrive:

httpv://youtu.be/0afGzIpCzVw

Everyone survived but as you can tell from my breathing, it’s a chore for this 67 year old body!

From that point we had nice downhill runs followed by small climbs and gentle curves. I continue to be amazed at the beauty of this country in spite of the extreme drought that has gripped us for a year plus now.  Fall Creek Rd loops around to re-join TX71 near the Paleface Ranch Rd. A portion of that run takes us across the bridge over Fall Creek as we approach TX71 and shortly thereafter we would view the devastating burn area of the “Spicewood fire” of 2011. In addition to the many homes that were lost, it was shocking to see places where the fire had incinerated the terrain to bare dirt.

You will see some of that in the video following, along with snippets from the entire ride.

httpv://youtu.be/c8-upp2tL-k

 

Mike (left) and Richard ready at the entrance ...

 

Naturally, Opie’s BBQ was a large part of the ride, and very possibly was the only reason Mike joined us … he had an unusual fixation on ribs as we got within the last five miles or so of arriving there. We’ll see if he shows up when food is not discussed    🙂

This is a great route and we can’t wait to ride it in the spring after some rain. It WILL rain, right?

As always, the stats:

38 miles, total climb about 1600 feet, burned about 2500 calories, average speed moving 12.9 mph.

 

And the most important part:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlV2wh-8INQ

 

Confession:  I got overheated and accepted a ride the last two miles from Mike who had finished first and came looking for us. The heart rate monitor was telling me to be smart.

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