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Old 05-24-09, 01:59 PM   #1
rainycamp
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Texas Hill Country ride (illustrated)

Got out with friends for a ride in the Texas Hill Country southwest of Dripping Springs, Texas (west of Austin). Temps in mid-70s, humid, rain in the forecast. Little Sunday traffic on country roads. Lots of hills, but none of them killers. This has to be my favorite ride in the area.

I'll bet we saw fewer than 10 vehicles (mostly pickups) on the roads all morning. The stats: 34.3 miles, 14.7 mph avg. We wrapped up the ride, met some other friends at a cafe for lunch and bike talk, and pulled into our garage just as the skies opened up with a much-needed downpour. Can't get much better than this!
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Old 05-24-09, 03:24 PM   #2
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I did some great riding in the Hill Country earlier this year. How do such empty roads get to be paved quite so well?
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Old 05-24-09, 05:03 PM   #3
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I enjoy your blog. I might become a regular reader. You may some day rival BikeSnob.
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Old 05-24-09, 07:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boudicca View Post
I did some great riding in the Hill Country earlier this year. How do such empty roads get to be paved quite so well?
The back roads and trails of the Hill Country areas of Texas tend to be paved for a several reasons.

1. Erosion takes a severe toll on gravel roads in the area because, well, its the Hill Country. The infrequent but heavy drainage can really tear up roads. Over the years it has proved cheaper to pave the roads than to try and maintain gravel or dirt.

2. Texas laws have provided for local "Bridge and Road" taxing districts which have afforded property tax funds to counties for improvement. County taxes have always been available for use (I think).

3. County commissioners are elected by precincts within the counties, not at large. The main thing most county commissioners in the rural counties are charged with is road maintenance and, the more you keep the roads up, the more likely you are to get re-elected. Go figure.
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Old 05-24-09, 08:55 PM   #5
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Monoborracho, thanks. You explained it more clearly and succinctly than I could.

Weak Link, I appreciate your kind words, too. But hitting the rarified heights of BikeSnob may be just a pipe dream for me.
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Old 05-24-09, 09:38 PM   #6
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Nice looking area. I've ridden some in Kimble County near Junction. It is not quite as grassy as the country side in your photo, but the small oaks are certainly a familiar sight. I was impressed not only by the scenery but also by the courtesy of the motorists in the Hill Country. Makes for a good ride.
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Old 05-24-09, 09:43 PM   #7
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Nice report and pic.

I love that area and can't wait to surf the rollers on our tandem. So many fun places to ride, so little time. I need to retire early.
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