One of my biking goals this year is to get out and ride in areas where I haven’t ridden before. A friend shared some ride ideas with me, and mentioned that he and his son would not be able to attend the Kingsbury air show. They were planning on riding from San Marcos down to Kingsbury, about 20 miles away, but the boy had some scouting obligations.
It sounded like a great idea to me though, so I decided I would make the trip. I tossed the bike in the back of the SUV and drove from Austin down to San Marcos, about 30 miles south. San Marcos has the best outlet mall I’ve ever seen (Tanger on one side, Prime on the other — it’s huge). Lots of parking around back for cyclists to start their trips. I had ridden from here a couple of times, but not for several years. A check of Google Maps the night before reminded me of which roads to take, and I started out about 9 a.m.
Some of the roads were in good shape. Some had a rough chip seal surface, that I couldn’t wait to leave. Lots of rolling hills all along the route, although the farther from San Marcos one gets, the more the land flattens out. The corn is looking pretty good already, but we’ll need some rain soon.
Kingsbury, Texas, is a forlorn little hamlet on U.S. 90 alongside the railroad tracks, about halfway between Seguin and Luling. Glad I could clear that up. There’s nothing in Kingsbury, but about a mile south, on Farm Road 1104, is the Old Kingsbury Aerodrome. A group of aviation buffs has assembled a collection of old planes, and has built replicas of several World War I era planes. About twice a year, they have an Air Fair day, and all the planes are assembled on the grass field outside the hangars.
I took too long looking at the planes and such, and it was past time to leave. A cheeseburger and a Diet Coke were on the agenda before heading back to my bike. “What’ll it be?” I asked the nice lady at the food stand. “Just a donation, whatever you think it’s worth,” she replied. I was generous.
I was looking forward to the return trip to San Marcos, because I would have a tailwind. But I also remembered the rollers I dealt with on the way down, and figured I could bypass them if I took a different route. So I turned west on Farm to Market 20, and headed for Geronimo. Bad move. The turn took me right into a strong headwind. The 10 miles to Geronimo were a slog, and I began to tire.
But then I could turn north on Texas 123, a straight shot back to San Marcos. It’s a four-lane highway with a small shoulder, and I made great time. Amazing how a tailwind lifts your spirits. Even five miles from the outlet mall parking lot, when I got off 123 onto country roads again, the rollers weren’t so bad as long as the wind pushed.
So, I had a great time, but the downside of a great time on the bike is that domestic chores go by the wayside. Instead of my usual Sunday ride with the club, I stayed home to cut the grass, trim the bushes, rake some stubborn leaves, and sneak in a short ride late in the afternoon. It was a tradeoff I was glad to make.