I love those first 2 seconds right after you wake up and don’t realize where you are. You take that first breath of the day and allow the morning sun to pierce your eyes for the first time as you acknowledge the day has begun. Then you remember you spent the night under an interstate, you smell a way in which putrid is the only appropriate adjective, and there’s a huge black spider 5 inches from your face that you know is asking “Ready for another day of Texas, Tom?” that promising breath turns to a defeated sigh in record speed. I stare at the spider for a few seconds, then I turn my head to the flat tire. I close my eyes and sleep for another ten minutes.
Eventually I get up, fix the flat, and decide to switch tires to avoid anymore flats. I look around and notice something. The wind’s not stabbing me in the face anymore. It’s finally at my back! I hop on my bike and ride. I get about 5 miles and there it is. FLAT TIRE ALERT! I’m tired of playing the guinea pig in West Texas’ sick social experiment. I can only imagine what the onlookers thought when they passed a cyclist simultaneously kicking a guard rail, throwing rocks into a field, and making threatening gestures towards the clouds. I begrudgingly fixed the second flat of the day and rode. I thought about all the assclowns that ask me how many flats I’ve gotten on this trip while they sport a huge shit eating grin (they always have a shit eating grin when they ask that). I thought about how badly I want to strangle them with an inner tube but somehow muster up the ability to refrain.
Thankfully, with the wind at my back, I was able to make decent time. Throughout the past three days I build up Ozona (the next town) as a mecca of sorts. Wine flows freely down the streets, people would be waiting for me with a feast of various animals and make it their goal to spend the day entertaining me as I bit into a turkey leg atop a throne of beef jerky and cotton candy. Yeah, there was none of that. All I got was a town with no wi-fi. A Sonic cashier with an attitude that I can only describe as “sexually frustrated meets 3 day amphetamine withdrawal”. I hate you, Ozona. I cycled my tits off for this?
I still had miles to rack up and daylight to burn so I left Ozona and never looked back. I decided to deviate from the frontage roads and take a more scenic route. Day turned to night and I found myself in the midst of a pitch black evening. I pulled over to adequately absorb the crisp, empty Texas night. I listened for any audible indication that there were other life forms beside myself .A tremendous feeling befalls a man when he realizes there’s not another soul for miles. Relaxing is an appropriate word.
There were no other cars for miles on this road. The absence of motor vehicles brought on a new level of freedom. I owned this road tonight, and it me. On this night, we shared the sensation of endless conquest.
A light rain began to fall. I opened my arms and encompassed every drop. The water was so pure. It cleansed me. All the anger and frustration I was harboring towards the wind or really anything else for that matter, washed away with the shower. I looked up at the few stars that snuck around the clouds. Their freckling light glistened off the road beneath me. All the tension in my shoulders dissolved. With a deep breath, I exhaled the entire world’s fatigue. I savored the moment and wanted it to last forever.
I roared down the final hill of the night and saw a blanket of illuminations off in the distance. Sonora. That’s a good a place as any to rest my head for the night.
Total Ascent: 2185 ft.