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Fort Davis Forays: Mile-High Cycling in the Empty Spaces on the Map

All of you day-tripping cyclists and out of town wanderers are invited to join Charles Riddel for an adventure with his Austin Hike & Bike Touring Group.

If you enjoy cycling off-the-beaten-path, then Fort Davis is your kind of place. Good roads, sparse traffic, clean air, and interesting mountain scenery make the Fort Davis countryside an extraordinary region for cycling. Typically, you can spot a solitary, approaching pickup a mile or two away. Don't be surprised when it pulls to the opposite side of the road a half mile before reaching you. You might get a full wave from the driver as it passes you -- but more likely you'll get the four-finger lift from the steering wheel. West Texas is a big land of few words and efficient, minimal gestures. It's all friendly -- but very concise.

We will plan three rides:

  • Davis Mountain State Park to McDonald Observatory Visitor Center (and back): The round trip is only about 24 miles, but there is about 1500 feet of climbing involved.
  • Davis Mountain State Park to Marfa (and back): This is our ride on Friday. It will be the longest of the rides, about 54 miles. We will have lunch in Marfa, an interesting town that has experienced a renaissance as an artist community in recent years.
  • McDonald Observatory Visitor Center to "the rock pile" (our turnaround point), and back to the visitor center, along Texas 118 and Texas 166. Our Saturday trek is our most remote ride, requiring complete self-sufficiency. However, we are rewarded with beautiful mountain scenery, including a vista of the rugged Sawtooth Mountains at our turnaround point. The total distance is about 42 miles and includes some substantial up-and-down segments.

There is great more detailed info on Charles' Meetup page here:
http://www.meetup.com/Austin-Hike-Bike-Touring-Group/events/78496972/

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi Charles. Just saw you were stepping down as organizer. Will this trip still happen?

    September 10, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm considering joining, look like fantastic rides and good fun. It's about a 7 hour ride from where I live, are there recommendations for places to stay?

    August 23, 2012

    • Donald L.

      The three times we have been out there we got a time-share house. It was important to have a kitchen.

      August 23, 2012

    • Donald L.

      (sorry, posted prematurely) and we brought all our own groceries. There isn't much at all in the way of groceries anywhere in the area. My daughter lives in Marfa and she manages some of the time share houses.

      August 23, 2012

  • Donald L.

    I have been out there three times. The riding is GREAT! Most spectacular of all, however, is from Marfa south to Chinati Springs -- the last 25 miles after the pavement ends.

    August 23, 2012

1 went

  • A former member

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