The latest forecast for the Llano area is for us to have clear skies, temps in the middle 50′s – low 60s, and a strong north wind (it will be mostly a crosswind) during the 10am to 1pm period when most will be on the road pedaling happily along. That is rideable but you might want to wear long-legged and sleeved gear and pay attention to the crosswind. Besides, doing it will make a great story for Monday when some co-worker starts to tell about the harrowing drive to the grocery store they made.
Live music is set for the Gazebo on the courthouse square (I suspect that if it gets too cold/windy for the musicians they will relocate to the stage in Fuel (The Coffee/Smoothie joint just east of the square on East Main St.)) Riders leaving from Llano (doing the 18 mile Llano to Castell one way ride) should gather near the Gazebo then plan to roll out at 10:30. Riders planning to do the full 36 mile ride should be ready to roll out of Castell at 10:00am sharp and plan on taking a break in Llano to recharge at Fuel (Coffee/smoothie joint just east of the square) then head out with the goal of being back to Castell not later than 1:30 so you get in on “the deal” on Lone Stars.
The Castell General Store is going to be selling Lone Star Longnecks from noon to 2pm for $1.50 each, so we should be able to afford to soften the pain from the ride. And of course they will have their usual excellent brisket carved by Chef Victor!
The Llano Chamber of Commerce has been extremely helpful in assuring that we will have a good mid-ride break. They have also touched base with the Sheriff’s department to let them know there may be a few extra cyclists out for the day. In addition the Doris Messner Llano Chamber of Commerce Exective Director has arranged discounts/freebies from Stonewall’s Cafe, Acme Cafe and Joe’s Bar on the Llano square. When you arrive at the Llano end of the ride find Doris (either at the Gazebo or inside at FUEL) and she will give you a stack of coupons and tokens. Doris will be wearing a Tour de Longneques shirt, though it may be buried under layers of warm clothing.
For anyone wanting to start the ride on a full tank… I plan to have breakfast in Llano at Cazadore’s Mexican Food Joint at 8am Saturday. They do GREAT juevos rancheros and are getting used to seeing people in our strange cycling garb. For a map, go to maps.google.com and enter Cazadores Mexican Restaurant, West Dallas Street, Llano, TX as your search term and you should get a map immediately. The restaurant is just west of Bessemer Ave (TX16 and US71) one block south of TX29.
An unrelated but sorta related report on a ride that involved Llano and Castell by 4 of us seasoned citizens Wednesday: Gil Jones, Don Senzig, John Chalmers and I rode the 83 mile loop which will constitute as possible Tour de VERY Longneques later this year. We left from the Llano square and went south out to RR2323, then southwest out RR2323 to US87, then north on US87 to RR152 then east to Castell, then on east to the Llano square. 82.9 miles by my GPS and it reported 3,500 feet of vertical. Two of the riders either got a lift from the SAG vehicle we had arranged or walked up part of the toughest climb (near the west end of RR2323) and two of us rode the entire distance (I was one of the two!!!! Yea!). Gil has already posted a report on the ride ( http://captjustice.com/2011/03/03/67-x-3-74-83/ ) I include this in the TdL final announcement to tease the idea of the longer ride (and MUCH tougher terrain) for those who are accomplished or aspiring tri-athletes. If three 67 year olds and a 74 year old can do this, so can you.
Also, … Sunday some of us Hill Country hicks are planning to make an approximately 50 mile loop from Castell, west out into Mason County and up to Doss then back across Doss-Cherry Springs road and back to Castell. If anyone wants to join us, you are very welcome. We plan a stop at the Doss Country store (25 miles into the ride) for lunch and a break. Departure time is still being debated, but I would guess it will be sometime in the 10-11am range. By the way, the wind is forecast to be only 9mph on Sunday with temps in the upper 60s.
As always this is a fun ride and there is no “organizer”. We will have a couple of volunteers driving the route for Sag Wagon duty. If we get a really large turnout, we will arrange to start in waves to avoid problems seen at some rides in 2010, where many hundreds of riders showed up and everyone was just turned loose at once. But… we will do that without having anyone be responsible for each rider, except each rider herself, or himself. Got to be grownups. Besides, we have yet to break 100 riders. The more we get out for these rides the more enthused local businesses get and from them will come support for stuff like paved county roads and actual paved shoulders here and there so we all gain from a good turnout.
Oh yeah… please wear your helmet. If you do not, we will all, loudly, make fun of you.
Some new “cool stuff” will be happening! The level of activity on TdL last year reached the point that cycling “got the attention” of some local business folks who recognize cycling as an economic activity source for the area. The Llano Chamber of Commerce has already lined up some live music to be performing on the square from 10am to noon to make the break and rest stop on the square more fun. There is also an effort underway to get a couple of local businesses on the square to offer discounted ice cream and/or smoothies to riders. The Chamber of Commerce will have bottled water available at the Llano break/turnaround.
As usual, I am sure we can depend on the impresario of Castell to find a way to add to the experience. As a result of all the cyclists he has seen in the last six months, Randy now owns a shiny new mountain bike which he has been rumored to be planning to ride around the parking lot before we head out!
Sooooo. Please join us this Saturday March 5th for the first Tour de Longneques of 2011. The weather forecast shows showers EAST of Llano Friday night, but it looks bone dry for western Llano County with temps in the upper 50′s at our 10 am roll-out time and the upper4 ’60s about the time we will all be getting back for Longnecks and Brisket. There is NO REGISTRATION, no registration fee, no great terrifying bureaucracy associated with the rather organically spontaneous Tour de Longneques (how’s that for exercising some buzz words?). There will be a 10am start from Castell for the 38 mile ride. A 10:30 start will be used for those riding from the Llano Square for the 18 mile ride. Enjoy a nice rest stop with live music, and no telling what else, at the square in Llano (some sort of access to “facilities” is being arranged). Then have a ride back to Castell to see what, in addition to reasonably priced Longnecks and Brisket, has been conjured there. To help those generous souls who are volunteering their support for the event, some clue as to likely headcount would be a great idea.
Please use the Facebook event at: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=192471320777744 to let us know you are coming.
Tour de Very Longneques – a possible future ride.
Several riders have asked about having a longer route. Adding one to the fun and simple Tour de Longneques would greatly complicate keeping TdL simple. However… Maybe in June or early July we could do a very separate, and therefore almost as simple, Tour de Very Longneques on the roughly 83 mile loop from Castell to Llano out RR2323 to US87 to RR152 and back to Castell. Such a ride would sure as heck require soaking in the Llano afterwards. More on this later, but we may have one or two renegades who make that ride this time anyway (but with no committed SAG WAGON support, water, grub, facilities or psychiatric help after leaving the Llano square.) Texas is still free so they can make that ride and we will all toast their toasted buns when they make it back to Castell.
For those new to the concept of the world famous (at least it is on the internet) Tour de Longneques see posts on previous TDLs.
For any questions please contact me viua email at email@example.com.