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February 11th, 2008 | categorizilation: all categories,USA (Texas),vids

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Today’s distance / ???????: 32 miles / 51km
Average speed / ????: 7.3mph / 11.8km/h
Time on skateboard / ????: 4h 22m
Total skateboarding distance to date / ????????????: 2519mi (plus 266mi) / 4055km (plus 430km)
Ascent / ??: 410m
Descent / ??: 270m
End-of-day GPS coordinates: N30.02.05.4, W097.56.22.7
Changed my wheels today.

Old and new wheels in Austin, Texas, USA

I had thought that with 2,700 miles on the suckers, that they would be about half the size of the new ones with all the wear. They weren’t however. Only about 1mm or so less in diameter. I should have just kept the old ones on for the rest of the journey. I doubt that I’ll be changing the new ones out in any great hurry.

So I got away from Austin, leaving from the point I had stopped at on Friday – Epoch Coffee Shop on 53rd Street, Dawn kindly dropping me off there.

I made my way through the Austin downtown area.

Capital building in Austin, Texas, USA View from capital building, Austin, Texas, USA

Seeing the Fox 7 News station, I did a cold call, this ending up in a story shown later on that evening on the 5pm news:

Fox 7 News Report

So I ended up leaving Austin late at about 1pm. Despite the late start I made reasonably good progress in the afternoon despite headwinds, rough chipseal, and once again no shoulder and moderate traffic. Having to get off the road every time a car comes is a real pain…

I pushed on to past Kyle. Seeing no state or other public land, I had to jump a fence and camp under a tree near a cell tower on private property. Houses are sparse here in ‘hill country’, and trying to find a suitable place to camp is tough.

It was dark when I was setting up camp, and as I waved my headlamp across the grass where I was setting up, I saw little dots of reflected light in the grass. There were hundreds of the little ‘lights’. Upon closer inspection, it turned out that the reflections were off the eyes of hundreds of spiders, about the size of a 25 cent coin. I am not a fan of spiders by any means, but I had no choice but to pitch my tent amongst the friendly arachnids. Needless to say, I was happy to be inside a tent with ample insect netting…

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    Permanent Link     Comments (9)

Comment by Wendy — February 13, 2008 @ 2:35 pm | post a comment

Hi Rob,

We just met outside the BBQ restaurant in Wimberley. I have to say it was exciting to meet you after just hearing your story last night on FOX.

Good luck on the rest of your trip. Hope you enjoy the hill country. Today is a beautiful day to be travelling!


Comment by Patrick — February 13, 2008 @ 4:35 pm | post a comment

Hey Rob,

great stories, it seems like good meals find you wherever you go. I hope you enjoyed Austin, it is one of our favorite cities, the "live music" capitol of the world. Congrats on your extension through China, that should be a blast, I can't wait to see the pictures.

God Bless you on your journey.

Patrick and the McInnis Clan

ps-Colleen gave birth to Hailey Angela a week ago Monday, 8lbs 11 oz and both Mom and Baby are healthy, cheers…

Comment by Brandi Schatte — February 13, 2008 @ 5:32 pm | post a comment

HELLO! I met you a couple of hours ago (on the side of the road)…me and my husband had also seen you on the news last night, so it was exciting to get to meet you in person. What you are doing is AMAZING, on many fronts,and we send you best wishes on your journey. Brandi Dawn Schatte in Wimberley, Texas

Comment by Lazarus — February 13, 2008 @ 10:30 pm | post a comment

I bicycled out to Big Bend National Park from Austin a couple years back and I think you're definitely going to enjoy things out west moreso than back east. I did the adventure cycling route as well and just wanted to point out a couple of spots that, in my opinion, shouldn't be passed on.

>> The so-called "Swiss Alps of Texas" between Vanderpool/Leakey/Camp Wood. Some of the steeper bits you'll find in the state, but quite pretty as well.

>> The Marathon Motel & RV Park in Marathon. Tacky name, but the adobe courtyard with its covered roaring outdoor fireplace is not to be missed. If anything, catch it as you swing through. It's off to the right as you're heading west out of town.

Also a plus is that traffic should thin out more and more as you head west – if I recall correctly, that is. Stay safe!

Comment by Chris J — February 14, 2008 @ 8:17 am | post a comment

Hi Rob,

As usual I enjoyed the most recent video update. The music was sweet. It is still going through my head as I type.

You ended up camping with the coyotes on my birthday. That was probably more exciting than what I did that day. A few more months and I will be out of the office. Man, I can't wait.

You might want to keep at least one of your old wheels as a souvenir. You can put it on the mantle along with your other trophies from around the world someday.

Comment by Rob Stevens — February 14, 2008 @ 2:58 pm | post a comment


I just was checking on you. Look's like you are having fun in Texas.

Comment by Aunty Les — February 15, 2008 @ 4:50 am | post a comment

I see you did have some ups and downs today. Does it make the going any faster being able to coast down a slope or can you not get really going because of traffic?

Comment by Rob Thomson — February 15, 2008 @ 10:46 am | post a comment

@ Lazarus – Thank you for the advice on the route. Unfortunately, I have found that the route I take is being dictated almost completely by whether there is a shoulder on the road or not, and how smooth the road is. Texas roads, expecially the back roads, seem to be all chipseal – terribly rough on a skateboard. In answer also to Aunty Les's quiestion, I often cannot get much speed up on the downhills because of the chipseal. Go too fast and the board is impossible to control. It just vibrates all over the place. This is a real soul destroyer after labouring up the slope on the other side.

Comment by Rob Thomson — February 15, 2008 @ 10:47 am | post a comment

@ Patrick and the McInnes Clan – Congratulations on the new child/sibling!

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