Friday, March 9, 2012

Accident March 8

This is Kristin, Chuck's daughter. Unfortunately, Chuck was hit by a car at 11am on Thursday, March 8 in Kerrville, Texas. He was air lifted to University Hospital in San Antonio and is in stable but critical condition. Chuck and the entire family appreciate your prayers and support.

To those of you in the biking community, our family would appreciate your support in publishing the danger of this particular portion of the route. This road, junction highway, did not have a shoulder and through our recent research we discovered many other cycling accidents including a fatal hit and run just this week in the same area. The article describing the accident can be found at


Again, we appreciate your prayers and will update the blog periodically.

The Ayres Family

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

March 4, 2012 ride to Vanderpool

The ride to Vanderpool was a short 32 miles but it had 4 steep climbs.  The cabin I rented was about 10 miles off my route on a dirt road. It is a very nice cabin and the owner went to the store and bought me some food. I told her to just get me some chicken and vegetables. Well, that is what she did. The vegetables were ok.  They came in a microwave bag. Now the chicken was not so easy.  It was a big hunk of raw frozen chicken. I have never cooked raw chicken in an oven in my whole life. It is amazing how necessity is such a good inspiration. I defrosted it in the microwave and put it in the oven with salt and pepper for seasoning and it came out pretty good.

March 4, 2012 ride to Camp Wood

This was a long ride of 80 miles. I got an early 7:30 start on the road. The wind was not a factor and there were no long or steep climbs.  Just a lot of miles.

I made it to the city limits about 6:00 when I had my second flat of the trip. Camp Wood has to be the most helpful city in Texas. By the time I had the flat repaired, 3 people had stopped to ask if they could help. This is where I met Randy. He is a bicyclist traveler going to California. He asked where I was staying and I told him the "River Motel".  He said "if it has 2 beds he would split the cost".  I said sure, and off we went to check it out.

When we arrived no one was there and no one else was staying at the hotel. I called the manager and it I went to voice mail. I left a message and while we were waiting we found a picnic table and proceeded to cook our dinner. It was our good fortune that as we were finishing dinner,  a guy showed up and let us into our room. It had 2 beds, so I had a roommate. We swapped stories of our travels and talked late into the night. Randy has been on the road since November.

March 3, 2011 ride to Del Rio

This was one of the easiest rides of the trip. I left Langtry with a strong tailwind that blew me all the way to Del Rio.

I checked into my hotel and went to a nice Mexican restaurant and had goat for dinner. It was very tasty. After dinner I did my laundry and went to Walmart to restock on sun block and cliff bars. By the time I got back to my room it was 10:00 time to get ready for
tomorrow and go to bed.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

March 2, 2012 Ride to Langtry

This is the most desolate day of the journey. This part of Texas is a whole lot of nothing. The winds were favorable but a lot more hills than yesterday

I arrived about 3:30 and met my host, Keith.  He showed me the trailer and told me the other bicyclists were coming in later. He suggested I stake out the bedroom if I wanted it. The deal was that he rented out his trailer to bicyclists and had canned and dry food to pick out and cook yourself for dinner.I took his advice and promptly put all my stuff on the bed. The 2 others slept on a bunk and a pull out couch. Later they showed up and we took turns microwaving our dinners. I had met these guys several times on the trail.

I am going to get my stuff together and get ready for an early start tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Feb 29, 2012 ride to Marathon Texas

This was probably my easiest ride. The 30 mile ride was mostly downhill with favorable winds. I rolled into Marathon about 1:30PM and checked into the Gage Hotel, a Texas landmark.

I went to check out the rest of the town but there wasn't much to see. The hotel restaurant was too pricey ($20 plus) for me so I went to the only other place in town, a small pizza place.  I met Eyla, a fellow bike rider,  and we split a pizza.  He is a graduate student riding across America but taking different routes then mine. Eyla told me about the hostel and suggested I check it out.

I rode out there and found it to be a very interesting place. The buildings were made out of recycled newspaper, cement and plaster. They even had some drifters staying there, a lady and her two kids in a tiny trailer. The price was $8 per night. It was quite a unique place but a little too communal for me. I headed back to my hotel to get some sleep.

Feb 28, 2012 ride from Fort Davis to Alpine

Steve and Carla, owners of the bed and breakfast, fixedly a great breakfast with a great twice baked oatmeal.  Steve tuned up my bike and adjusted my pedals so I can get my feet out of the clips easier.   Maybe I will quit falling over!

Fortunately, the ride to Alpine was only 23 miles because I had strong head and side winds all the way.

My host, Lisa Goynes, was very nice with a really nice home. I had a king size bed and a private bath with piped in music. Lisa made us a good spaghetti dinner with salad and hot bread. We both had two helpings. By evening, I felt like I had recovered from my hard ride the day before.  I don't think I had eaten enough during that hard ride and it took 24 hours to feel normal.

Lisa also had three friends over who are also school teachers so I got to learn all about the Alpine school district.
When it was time to go to bed Lisa's friend, Chuck,  announced that he had too much to drink and asked to sleep on the couch. This worked out pretty well because I did not have to get up early and he fixed me a big breakfast!