Sometimes we just get lucky and have time for a cycling adventure on a crisp pre-fall morning. 60 degrees at the start and 77 degrees three hours later — it doesn’t get better!
There are so many good routes to take in Burnet and Llano counties that it is sometimes hard to decide. My time limit of three hours and John Chalmers (we being a couple of the HillyBikers) suggestion of the “Oatmeal Loop” fostered a quick launch that direction. Heck, it’s not the destination or even the route, it’s the ride that matters.
I had in fact begun the morning with oatmeal at Atwoods Cafe in Marble Falls, topped with a banana and sweetened with honey, so an intermediate destination of Oatmeal (Texas, that is) was appropriate. Some of our intended number flaked out, opting for more sleep in lieu of the ride, a decision to their detriment!
(as always, click on a thumbnail to see the larger image) (and there is a video at the end of the article )
Oatmeal, Texas is an interesting spot in the road — and that’s about all there is to it at this time. It is the second-oldest town in Burnet County and the namesake of the annual Oatmeal Festival held each Labor Day, in nearby Bertram.
There is a community center there also (see the windmill at the extreme right of the photo) which houses an annual festival complete with cakes and pies, a beauty contest, great BBQ, and more than a few politicians in election years.
As we headed out CR200 John and I began to see directional signs and arrows typical of an organized bicycle ride. We were puzzled as neither of us was aware of a ride in the area. It turns out to have been the Mamma Jamma ride — a ride to “leave breast cancer behind.” We met a number of riders head-on until our route deviated from theirs where we turned on CR258.
A couple of rides ago John had shown me the CR258 deviation that takes you southward to TX29, West of Bertram, and crossing Hwy 29 to pick up CR303 and tees into FM243 South of Bertram.
That section has good road and nice terrain and foliage, even in our drought-ridden period. I can’t wait to ride that in a springtime after good rains.
The route (hover your mouse over the elevation profile to see location on the map):
At Oatmeal we ran into a couple of ladies who were out looking for the Oatmeal Cemetery but were glad to see the oatmeal can and visit a bit. Turns out that the daughter of one of the ladies is also a cyclist and the lady was most interested in the GoPro HD Hero helmet cam growing out of the top of my head. 🙂 After a short chat we cranked on our way.
The route would eventually take us to Don Bynum’s downhill run which I took at a mere 36mph whereas Don usually hits something over 40mph.
This video was shot with the camera on my helmet. You can see where I am looking, but it is a bit more shaky than when using the chest-mount as I did on the Fall Creek Loop posting.