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Jessica

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So we are dipping our toes into the vagabond cycling scene and are starting with an overnight to Fredericksburg.  Any advice on what to bring other than dinner/breakfast clothes and some collapsible flasks?    

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11 hours ago, Jessica said:

So we are dipping our toes into the vagabond cycling scene and are starting with an overnight to Fredericksburg.  Any advice on what to bring other than dinner/breakfast clothes and some collapsible flasks?    

I've done credit card touring twice: C & O Canal/GAP  (Pittsburgh to DC) and from Frisco to Glenwood Springs, CO, so notes based on those trips.  

  • be ready with layers for whatever the weather throws at you (rain, cold, hot). Arm warmers and leg warmers can be really useful
  • charging cable and cell phone/Garmin which has your route loaded up on Ride With GPS, Map My Ride or whatever you're using. If you are using your cell phone, make sure your app shows routes even if there's no cell coverage
  • paper map showing all main and secondary roads (for primary or backup navigation, depending on preference) 
  • reliable headlamp with extra batteries and a red flashing blinky in case you end up pedaling after dark
  • usual repair kit, multi tool, tire levers, CO2 cartridges
  • one set of light-weight, quick-dry off-bike clothes, socks, shoes (flip flops?). I used a pair of nylon capris and a mid-weight long sleeve base layer; leggings and tee shirt would also work.   
  • toothbrush
  • chamois butter, even if you don't think you'll need it, because if you need it, you really need it
  • lip balm & sun screen even though it's almost winter
  • credit card and cash
  • wherever you're staying will have soap, shampoo, hand lotion so don't worry about those
  • In these crazy times, decide where you're going to get food and confirm that they are actually open; check if your accommodations have breakfast

We have some friends who do multiple international and US bike tours every year.  They take a piece of Ensolite foam and cut it to fit the size of a pannier.  Makes a dry comfy thing to sit on during breaks if the ground is rocky or wet and only weighs an ounce or two. 

This sounds so fun!

Please share a trip report, mileages, route and any useful notes.  Mr. June Bug would love to do a ride like this, as would a close friend and her husband. 

 

 

 

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Thanks for all the feedback @June Bug!

Fredericksburg may be out because hotel prices look crazy over the Thanksgiving weekend. But we're considering other options like north San Antonio or Llano. Or maybe somewhere south east. We'd like to do 60-90 miles one way. We'll circle back around to F'burg when prices normalize. 

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55 minutes ago, Barry said:

Thanks for all the feedback @June Bug!

Fredericksburg may be out because hotel prices look crazy over the Thanksgiving weekend. But we're considering other options like north San Antonio or Llano. Or maybe somewhere south east. We'd like to do 60-90 miles one way. We'll circle back around to F'burg when prices normalize. 

You might want to consider starting in Fredericksburg and riding to Junction to stay. You can take some very remote gravel roads north of 290. Head towards Doss and then take gravel heading west from there. Very isolated area, the only store *might* be in Doss. I took the southern route home stopping in Harper for a store stop. 80-90 miles each way. Pretty sick, almost too isolated when solo. I did this pre GPS so it should be easier now. 

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A buddy and I did a weekend tour from S.Austin to San Marcos (Day 1- 35-ish miles). San Marcos to Wimberly (Day 2- 26-ish miles). Wimberly back to S.Austin (Day 3-38-ish miles).

Stayed at a b&b in San Marcos, walking distance from downtown. Stayed at cabins in Wimbery, riding distance from downtown (<0.5-mile).

 

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F'burg is a covid red-zone - are you guys still planning this trip?

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We had changed this plan to Killeen instead. And you're right, every time I drive through F'burg the sidewalks are stuffed as are the restaurants and shops. We intended to go to Killeen this weekend, but we look certain to ger rained out. So this is on hold for now. 

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We watch Texas Country Reporter TV show from time to time. Mr. JB was watching an episode about the Regency Bridge, a suspension bridge over the Colorado River.  Could be closed to car traffic, bike or foot traffic is OK.  Regency Bridge Wiki

Alert me noticed that the access to the Regency Bridge was on a nice dirt road so I plugged "Regency Bridge, TX" into google maps and it popped right up.  It's west of Goldthwaite, way south of Brownwood, with a San Saba option thrown in. Lots of potential for nice gravel/low traffic paved Ranch to Market roads and maybe a side trip to Colorado Bend State Park as part of a big loop. 

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14 hours ago, TheX said:

I really like Colorado Bend.

Native Texan here and I haven't been.  Tried to go one time, but it was closed for hunting. 

Hunting closure dates are on their web site but summary: 

  • From 10 p.m. Nov. 30 until 2 p.m. Dec. 4, 2020 
  • From 10 p.m. Dec. 7 until 2 p.m. Dec. 11, 2020 
  • From 10 p.m. Dec. 20 until 2 p.m. Dec. 23, 2020 
  • From 10 p.m. Jan. 4 until 2 p.m. Jan. 8, 2020 

The entire park is closed except to hunters on these dates. 

tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/colorado-bend 

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18 hours ago, June Bug said:

Could be closed to car traffic, bike or foot traffic is OK.  Regency Bridge Wiki

It does look like they plan to reopen it to car traffic eventually. And Strava heatmaps show the bridge is a popular bike route. Navigating there from north Austin--while using popular routes on the heatmap--puts it at 150 miles one way! Similarly, Goldthwaite is 146 miles one way. Using popular routes (heatmaps) is really the only way to know that you're not going to end up on a dangerous highway when you otherwise haven't seen these roads. We have quickly discovered that impromptu Google Maps navigation (even using "bike routes") can lead to some sketchy scenarios. 

 

17 hours ago, TheX said:

I really like Colorado Bend.

I like Colorado Bend as well. We've been a few times and I find it to be a fun mix of trails. I'd put it at very similar to Pedernales. Although interestingly, the park was regularly selling out of day-use passes before Covid. 

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17 minutes ago, Barry said:

It does look like they plan to reopen it to car traffic eventually. And Strava heatmaps show the bridge is a popular bike route. Navigating there from north Austin--while using popular routes on the heatmap--puts it at 150 miles one way! Similarly, Goldthwaite is 146 miles one way. Using popular routes (heatmaps) is really the only way to know that you're not going to end up on a dangerous highway when you otherwise haven't seen these roads. We have quickly discovered that impromptu Google Maps navigation (even using "bike routes") can lead to some sketchy scenarios. 

 

I like Colorado Bend as well. We've been a few times and I find it to be a fun mix of trails. I'd put it at very similar to Pedernales. Although interestingly, the park was regularly selling out of day-use passes before Covid. 

Have you compared Garmin "popular routes" to Strava heatmaps?  I've used it to create routes.  So far it's mostly good and the dangerous roads are tagged even if they are popular (sometimes the choices are limited).

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I haven't looked at the Garmin route builder (even though I have a Garmin). I did recently get a month subscription to RideWithGPS, which I started using for the TdH. Although I don't like that route builder at all, I prefer the actual navigation function over Strava. But given the easy cell phone access, I have to think that Strava has the most well populated heatmaps.  Probably whether you're running Strava or not! 

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2 hours ago, Barry said:

And Strava heatmaps show the bridge is a popular bike route. Navigating there from north Austin--while using popular routes on the heatmap--puts it at 150 miles one way! Similarly, Goldthwaite is 146 miles one way.

Thanks for the Strava heatmaps tip! 

Also, we'd drive out to that area and start from Goldthwaite or San Saba or whatever looks good.  Also might get my maps out and check what can be linked up from Mason or Brady.   I have zip interest in riding on highway shoulders or, especially, two lane roads with no shoulders and too much traffic.   It's very low traffic roads (paved or gravel) for me, which is why that area is of interest. 

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35 minutes ago, June Bug said:

  I have zip interest in riding on highway shoulders or, especially, two lane roads with no shoulders and too much traffic.  

Same here, no way in hell.

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