Monday, March 8, 2010

What's new in Roanoke, Texas?

On Saturday (3/6/2010), I was itching to ride a 50 miler. I thought of riding to WRL and doing a couple of rounds around the lake, and heading back home. This might have given me the mileage I was desiring but I decided to go some place I haven't been in a while and it was a great decision. I rode to Roanoke, Texas and back - roughly 53 miles. This is the route I used!

Things that made this ride interesting were:
  1. I rode Gikma, which is always fun!
  2. She was partly loaded. I loaded my Bug and the Utility Basket.
  3. Majority of the route is on Dove Road, which runs through Grapevine and some nice neighborhoods in South Lake. Dove road has a few nice climbs, not the kinda grades I saw during the Ramble though.
  4. I saw two roundabouts in Grapevine/South Lake. I have seen these in my past life. I find them fun to maneuver, especially on a bike.
The Bug carried my tool kit in my stuff sack, my Burley rain jacket. In the Utility Basket, I simply carried my bike lock (which is not a light weight object) and a couple of odds and ends. I was glad I left some room in it and you will see why as you read on :)

BTW, Burley don't make the Nor'wester Recumbent Jacket anymore. It is a great jacket. It breathes well and you get complete protection from any kinda rain. I have had mine for close to 3 years now and I love it. I think I have grown a bit since the purchase and I bought a size S, women's, because I got a great deal on it. I could use a size men's size L, I think.

On my way, I rode by the USPS Coppell Sorting Center. It is a nice looking, office building, don't ya think?

After passing through Grapevine and South Lake, you will suddenly find yourself in the middle of a country-like setting. Here is a bunch of tall grass. Wonder what's hiding inside the grass :)
Not sure what to call the next few pictures, really! I think they all look beautiful in their own right.
Awww...puffy clouds and an azure sky!
 Here I am just about to cross Highway 170 and enter into the City of Roanoke. Mind you, this is a quaint little town with lots of potential!
Highway 170 was busy even on a Saturday afternoon!
While I have ridden to Roanoke, at least once before, I never bothered to check out the town itself. Shame on me! This time, I rode into town and I found all kinds of interesting places. My first pleasant surprise was The Book Carriage.
The Book Carriage, which is an independent bookstore, offers a decent selection of books, great coffee and some snacks. The store has a downstairs and an upstairs. I love independent bookstores and try to support them as much as I can. They are refreshing than many chain stores. In my opinion, the independents tend to carry a more eclectic selection of books, not just the bestsellers.
The upstairs offers nice seating and quieter reading area.
In addition to books and snacks, The Book Carriage also sells all sorts of knickknacks. I found some very nice greeting cards for some upcoming birthdays. I also found at least five books on Bicycling, including one on Bike Touring (which I purchased) and one on Commuting. The books I bought were on sale, 35% off.
Back in the day, when I used to read lots of books, I always had at least one good bookmark. Talk about a nice bookmark!
Did I mention The Book Carriage sells chocolates for the chocoholic in us? I bought one but saved it for someone else.
Although the town of Roanoke is small, it has a few nice places to eat. Mi Familia, for instance!
Babe's Fried Chicken --- not my cup of tea but still favored by many!
A very nice painting on the wall of one of Roanoke's finest eateries!
I found a shop that sold homemade fudge, all kinds of'em, including Chocolate Peanutbutter! Yummy!
Well, I suppose the idea is to eat a bunch of good tasting food and go shopping at the Chic for a fancy outfit.
What are you in the mood for today? Some Cowboy food may be?
How about some fine German cuisine at Gerhard's? I hear they have a live Polka band at dinner time.
So, if you haven't ridden to Roanoke, I would recommend it, especially if you have the option to ride Dove road. It is simply a great ride and Roanoke does have some fun things to check-out!
Peace :)

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