From Maps

Saturday’s Ride in Southeast Texas

I wanted to experiment with my Flip camera by taking video while I was on my Saturday ride. Rather than attempt to video large chunks of time I took a tip from Leo Laporte and shot 5-10 second clips and then blended them together to form a collage of my ride route. When you watch the video do not be surprised by what sounds like jet engines. Those are cars passing me. The Flip camera audio pickup was much better than I expected.

I now have a better idea about how this will work for my next long ride. One of the problems I had was where to keep the Flip while I was not shooting. I ended up using the short cable that is attached to the camera and putting it on my wrist. This was handy but I am concerned about making sudden moves and the Flip getting caught on something on my bike or elsewhere. So after my ride I stopped by a Big Lots store to see what they had in cheap cellphone holsters and camera bags. I did not find a big enough cellphone holster so I settled for a small camera bag with a belt loop connector ($5.40) that I will attach to my Camelback shoulder strap. This should keep the Flip out of the way but handy enough for shooting.

Kingwood-Conroe-Kingwood
Kingwood-Conroe-Kingwood

Now for the actual ride. I created a map at Bikely.com. (Click on the map image to go to the actual map at Bikely.com) While the route shows 60 miles it was actually 63.2 miles when I got to my house. Lately I have been trying to change up my routes even though I go on some of the same roads. This ride I rode in reverse of my typical direction. It is interesting that I saw some things that I did not remember from the other direction. Construction activity is almost gone. Last Saturday I saw many bikers on this route but this time I saw only one. There was a ride sponsored by Northwest Cycling so many of them may have went there. Most of the riders are probably from The Woodlands.

As you see in the video the road conditions are good and traffic was moderate and the weather was perfect, in my opinion. As I wrote earlier, this video is an experiment so there are times when you will see and hear some unexpected things. Right off you hear me clip into my pedals. There are a couple of sections where I show my bike computer for distance and such. I am not a threat to Hollywood, yet.

Lone Star Bicycle Route

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I had found a map from 1976 for the Lone Star Bicycle Route. With the rain today I decide to complete the project. In the 33 years since it was published I thought there would be many changes in the route and/or the route designations. As I plotted the route on Bikely.com I was surprised that the original route is still intact except for just a couple of road numbers.

I plotted the route in two parts and have added the links to the Bike Ride Maps page. The page link is also at the top of the page.

From the back of the original map, “The Lone Star Bicycle Route was researched and developed by the Texas College Bicentennial Program and the Texas Cycling Committee. It provides a scenic, safe and reasonably direct route across a large sweep of southern and southwestern landscape. Following paved rural roads and hard-surfaced urban bikeways, the Lone Star Route is designed for cross-country, regional and local travel. For the cross-country bicyclist, the Route connects with major transcontinental routes on either end.

In 1976 bicyclists Brian McCarron and Phil Burden made a 9,000 mile tour of the United States. Their tour included the Austin-Amarillo portion of the Lone Star Bicycle Route. Brian’s evaluation: ‘Both Phil and I felt that it was well routed with excellent camping options. The farm roads we followed offered fantastic scenery with good road surface and virtually no traffic.’ Average riders should be encouraged by Brian and Phil’s tour. Neither rider had extensive bicycle touring experience prior to their trip.”

The back of the map cautions bicyclists between Amarillo and Austin to expect periodic heavy winds, steep hills and long distances between towns. Tire eating stickers may also be present.

Lone Star Bicycle Route

Last evening I was looking through a drawer and found a map from 1976 with the detailed route for the Lone Star Bicycle Route. The route stretches from around Sabine on the Louisiana border through the area around Austin up to the panhandle to exit on the Oklahoma state line.

Since the map is over 20 years old I suspect that some of the roads have changed and maybe even disappeared.

I thought it would be a worthwhile project to bring this route up to date using the Bikely.com mapping site. So over the next few weeks I will map sections of the route and post the links as I complete them.

When it is finished it will be interesting to have someone check the roads out and report on the route.

If you have any thoughts or comments please let me know.