Sunday, April 16, 2017

Recent rides and runs

Another set of random photos from around Austin, as I've been enjoying exploring while getting in a few training miles.

I spent one day trekking to all the Trader Joe's in town, because well, Trader Joe's.  I started with the one downtown, a favorite spot that I pass by all the time.  And I can't pass by without going in.  One of my favorite treats:

Some of the newer buildings in the area (new to me, at least):

The trail to the Nature Center with a nice little arch:

View of downtown from under Mopac bridge:

A trail I just "discovered" - neat!  No idea how long this has been here, but you can get from the Mopac bridge parking lot over to Zilker Park this way:

Running along Mopac (and there appears to be another trail and bridge further south by 360 that I need to figure out how to get to):

Obligatory bagel break, I sure am going to miss Bruegger's!

Fun mailbox in Rollingwood:

Love these signs:

TJ's stop #2:

The last Trader Joe's is the crux - way up in the Arboretum.  I had decided to combine this with the quest to run to the end of bus line #350 to make the day more manageable, then I could ride the bus all the way back to the house.

The route took me up Exposition, through Tarrytown to Balcones.  Somewhere along there I found public art (along with a few hills):

TJ's #3, check!

A quick stop at Genuine Joe's (no relation to Trader Joe's, I don't believe) for a delicious decaf iced coffee, which I didn't really have much time for because of the bus schedule.  So if you saw a runner on Anderson Lane carrying a water bottle in one hand and an iced coffee in the other, that might have been me.  I did make the bus  :)

More food porn!  This one is from the Manor 290 Cafe, which I didn't expect to be all that great, but it actually was pretty good, especially the sweet potato fries.  Oh, and the workout was a ride from our place near the airport, up the east side Walnut Creek Trail, past Decker Lake and over to Manor.

I had ridden 7.5 miles of the trail before but never over to the lake so I was happy to finally get that far.  Very nice trail!

And a very quick view of the lake, which I missed on the way up in between all the trees (don't blink):

Lovely view of Austin from off Montopolis near the river:

Oh, and the best find in Manor was Tamale Addiction, seriously, I had no plans to return to Manor but now I'm plotting going back up there just for these.  They sell at (and will deliver to) weekend farmers markets around the area and the tamales are a-ma-zing.

Next quest!  With less food involved, sorry?  I rode the first loop of the Tour das Hugel route, stopping early on to get a photo from the overlook on 360.  Very nice.

The rest of the ride was all UP and DOWN and UP and DOWN, well, I did expect a lot of hills, but wow some of them are steep.  Mostly short, but many many of them.  And that was only 1/3 of the whole route, what?  It's a doozy!

Now for a shorter day, which turned out to be a bit more challenging than expected.  But not in the "running" way - we went to an orienteering meet at Chalk Ridge Falls put on by the Austin Orienteering Club.  The navigation this time took some real focus.  Very early, when I couldn't hardly see the trail that was supposed to be there, I realized I should pay close attention and maybe take it slower than I normally would.  Good precision nav, slight missteps but never too far from where I should have been, and a very slow portion in the middle of the course where there was too much confusion on the map to do anything other than take a bearing/distance measurement and guess which of the multiple trails to take based on that.  Somehow that was good enough for the fastest time overall, well, I'll take it!

Thank you Leslie for the finish line shots!

Oh my, that was an interesting course!

John pretending to drink from a bottle he found on the course:

Dave is still smiling!

A colorful team photo:

One last workout, an excellent hill and gravel ride starting from Bastrop State Park, with Dave, Sheila, and Sheila:

Sheila R. is a master of the selfies:

A fun bike mailbox and the beautiful piney woods:

Thanks for the company - and the lunch stop with pie afterward!  Sorry, no photo of the pie... we were too focused on eating it  :)

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