Day 30 - Austin, Texas

Another gray, overcast, drizzly, cool day. Luckily, the bike remained in the hotel room while Debbie and I shopped for provisions and enjoyed exploring Austin.

The goal was to get enough calorie-packed, lightweight food to get me across the wastelands of West Texas.

First, we went to a local sporting goods chain called Academy Sports. I learned here that in Texas, barbeque is considered a sport, because the sporting goods stores have sections with grills and grilling accessories. Check out the big display right when you walk in the door:

TurkeyFryers (263K)

I'm loving Texas more and more. What they're selling here is great big deep fat fryers for cooking your Thanksgiving turkey.

This Academy Sports place is really great. They have tons of camping stuff, for really cheap. I got almost everything I needed, plus a new shirt to replace the one that got shredded in the disk brake the day before.

Let me take this opportunity to make a product endorsement, for a product I have learned about on this bike trip, and it is about the greatest product ever.


The most incredible sweat-wicking workout clothes I've ever worn. The perfect first layer. You can ride in the rain wearing non-breathing rain gear and sweat like a pig dog, and if your first layer is Underarmor, you will be warm, dry, and comfortable when you stop. I can't say enough good things about Underarmour. So even though the shirt I shredded was a really nice sweat-wicky shirt, I was glad for the chance to go by more Underarmor. Underarmor, fleece, and a GoreTex shell, and you can handle anything.

After Academy Sports, we went to REI, which has the gas canisters for my cook stove. I also got a pile of Luna Bars. No, I am not growing breasts, and my butt is very small at this time, thank you. Luna Bars, unlike Clif Bars and Power Bars, do not taste like dirt.

Next door to REI is a Whole Foods Market, and I got a bunch of bulk dried fruit.

I now have a whole entire pannier dedicated to food and cooking gear. I can barely fit all my stuff in the panniers. I can just hang the one food pannier from the tree every night and I have nothing to worry about.

After the shopping spree, we had lunch, which was a great accomplishment because it was Pho. My goal is to eat Pho in all 50 states. I now have Texas on the list, along with Maryland, Virginia, Oregon, and Hawaii. Austing is definitely a hip, cultured place, because they have Pho, and because there were bobo tea shops on either side of the Pho shop.

I spent the afternoon repacking my bags and working on the bike. The bike now has new tires and a new disk rotor, and everything is all lubed and perfect.

We had dinner with an old friend of mine from my college co-op days and his wife at a great restaraunt they recommended called the Eastside Cafe. I forgot to bring my camera, and I don't have a picture. This place reminded me of the gone but not forgotten Wild Mushroom in Baltimore.

Then I ruined a terrific and productive day by watching football. Our glorious but horrific Baltimore Ravens were the Sunday night game on ESPN. I didn't read the paper today, but I am sure they gave that completely worthless embarassment of a backup quarterback Chris Redmond his walking papers today. They could get anybody, even Tony Banks, and do better than that loser. They could exhume the body of Johnny Unitas and do better. Ray Davis is the best player in football. I feel so bad for him after he and the rest of the defense completely shut down St. Louis' offense, only to lose the game because of the offense turning the ball over every other possession.

OK, I'm done venting.