Since my jump to self-employment in late July, I’ve longed to take a cycling trip for some quality soul-searching. Nothing hits the reset button for my heart, mind and body more than a challenging bike ride. After ruling out overnight adventures due to my current schedule, I finally decided that November 25th would be the day for my big solo ride. The Tuesday before the Thanksgiving holiday.

It turned out to be the most perfect of days.

Inspired in part by Strava’s monthly Gran Fondo challenges, I selected a 70+ mile route that took me from Fredericksburg to Kerrville and back. I went just above the 130 km / 80.6 mile mark to unlock November’s Gran Fondo jersey, a motivational (and marketing) strategy that I find to be very appropriate for the cycling community.

Countless cattle guards and low-water crossings, plenty of roadkill (mostly armadillos), herds of goats and alpaca, one minor mechanical issue, a mystical moment with three deer running alongside me, the most picturesque Hill Country views this side of the Guadalupe River, a few leg-breaking hills on the return — just a few of the sights and experiences that befell me on the road.

A few tips and recommendations for this particular route:

  • The Pioneer Museum in Fredericksburg has public restrooms. Parking at the Marktplatz worked wonderfully.
  • There is a Jack & Adam’s and Hill Country Bicycle Works in Fredericksburg for any last-minute supplies.
  • Make sure to carry everything you may need. There are long stretches where you won’t come across a convenience store, much less another human being.
  • Just to reinforce the above, bring plenty of water and food.
  • In addition to the usual items for more than one tire repair, make sure to bring your chain tool.
  • Even with next to no traffic in the middle of nowhere, it’s always a good idea to stay as far to the right as possible.
  • When in Fredericksburg, go German for your post-ride feast at the Fredericksburg Brewery.

Overall a fantastic reminder that it’s the journey, not the destination, that counts.

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