Sunday, December 7, 2008

Brazos Bend State Park Ride

Liz and I thought about dropping out of the Saturday ride out of Brazos Bend Park Saturday and staying in our warm beds instead. We're glad we didn't as it turned out to be the best ride we've had this year. The temperature was forecast to be in the low 40's so we dressed warmly. The Flevo back to back tandem was already on the trailer in the garage, so that's what we decided to ride. It has the biggest cargo carrying capacity of my three tandems and I figured we'd need somewhere to stow all our cold weather clothing if it warmed up as we rode.

Brazos Bend State Park is about 30 miles southwest of Houston and covers 5000 acres. Three miles of the Park front on the Brazos River.

We formed up at 8am just inside the western entrance to the Park. There is a $5 admission fee per person to enter the park. Liz and I were joined by David, Debbie, Patrick, Robert along with Jim and Lena and three of their friends.

It was pretty chilly when we pushed off from the Park, but after an hour or so it began to warm up rapidly.

Robert planned our route well. From the Park entrance we headed south on 762 a mile or so to 1462. This took us to Damon, Texas, population 647. From Damon we cruised south on back roads paralleling the west side of the Brazos river all the way to West Columbia. From there it's a short jog east on highway 35 to the Bar X Ranch. For all but the short stretch on 35 there was virtually no traffic. There were wide paved shoulders for 95% of the trip.

Here's Robert, our ride captain. Robert has joined us on several of the Fulshear rides and did Oklahoma Freewheel with me and Aimee last year. He did an excellent of leading the ride yesterday. He kept us well informed of each leg of the trip and took care to see that everyone was following.

At our first real rest stop Liz and I shed most of our clothes.

Debbie and Pat generously volunteered to furnish food for a picnic at the end of the trail. Why does food always taste better at the end of a good ride?

In addition to leading the ride Robert brought a keg of his home brew for us to enjoy. Here's David filling a bottle.
We need to do this ride again soon.