We carried our gear on our bikes and tent camped overnight at Left Fork Park on Lake Lavon. We rode back to home today.
Below is our route:
Day 1 route
Day 2 route
Michael's trusty Fuji Touring Bike was very well equipped but not overloaded. You have to see some of the enhancements he has made to the bike, in person, to appreciate it fully.
Aligator Gar. This was a rather large statue.
We saw some interesting yard ornaments in this front yard in Wylie, Texas. If you zoom-in, you will see some of them.
After checking-in, we went straight to our campsite, setup our tents and started preparing dinner. I had taken my Trangia Alcohol stove and the Clickstand kit with me. On the other hand, Michael had created his own alcohol stove. Here is an adaptation of a alcohol stove that Michael has made out of a Heineken beer can, a copper-rich (1966) penny and parts of a bicycle spoke. It worked like a charm!
Today's ride was challenging, although it was much shorter than yesterday's, because of the wind gusts. I think the wind was blowing at a steady 20-30 MPH from the South West, the exact direction of our return route from Lake Lavon.
Areas to improve:
- Pack less for S24O: I have gotten better at this, having done 2 S24O's before this one, but I still have a ways to go, in some areas. For example, I want to carry less fuel next time. I carried an entire Trangia bottle full this time as well. I might try taking a pair of pajamas next time instead of carrying my sleeping bag, if I am camping in warmer weather.
- Take a Chill-pill/Sleep-aid: It is okay to take your sleep-aid at night during a S24O. At least in my case, I am wary of new places and don't quite fall asleep, even if I am dead-tired. A non-habit-forming sleep-aid, might be quite alright. I slept roughly 4.5 hours last night and I was groggy all day today and not getting enough sleep takes the fun out riding.
- Improvise Charging Electronics: I want to check out some of the devices for charging USB devices from the power generated by the dynamo hub. This might actually be a better idea than carrying two cell phones or extra batteries, especially given such a device might charge the GPS and the camera battery. If you know have any good pointers in this regard, I would greatly appreciate it if you could please share it with me.
- Buy a Water Purification System/Filter: Sometimes I do wonder about the quality of the water coming out the taps at campsites. I would like to research portable water filters and water purification systems a bit more. Any pointers?
- Spend more time composing: I hurried through taking photographs on this trip (my own personal choice) as I wanted to get to the campsite before dark. Chris and I had to setup our tents in the dark during our trek to Lake Mineral Wells last summer and I did not want a repeat of the same experience this time around. But, I do want so spend more time photographing the scenery next time around. I might even consider taking a SLR with me.
- Eat well and drink plenty: During my LCI certification back in February, I was required to make two presentations, one of which was on Nutrition and Hydration for a cyclist. I remember the contents of my presentation almost verbatim to this day, but the key takeaway for me was that it is important to drink plenty of water* and eat healthy meals during a long distance ride. I think I did very well in this area during this S24O.
- Sleep is critical: I slept well on Friday night and so Saturday's ride was reasonably easy for me. I think I did a good job getting the essential shut-eye Friday night.
- Choose a reliable riding partner: My riding partners for the last two S24O's have been nothing short of fantastic. Thanks to Chris and Michael. Need I say more?