Wildflower 100 - San Antonio, TX
May 2, 1998
50 Miles, 14 MPH
The Ride Down
- Left Dallas @ 1pm
- Book-On-Tape: "Pretend You Don't See Her" Mary Higgins Clark
- Incredible Skies - 100 miles visibility with major storm to south and
west and with great rolling clouds.
- Got to Austin @ 5pm -> BIG MISTAKE! We moved at under 5 mph when
moving at all! until 6pm. There are 18 different types of fruits
and vegetables depicted on the wall of the Fiesta building on the
left side of the I35 lower level. We know, we counted and inspected
every one. In and out of storms.
- Arrived in San Antonio about 7pm and stopped at the Rollong Oaks
Mall to pick up our ride packets. From there we took 281 and found
out the Wildflower 100 map had our hotel shown on the wrong side of
- Arrived at the Drury Inn and Suites about 8pm, but the room had 2
very small double beds. Stewart raised a stink and they put us in a
suite with a nice kind size bed, microwave, and 2 sodas in the
fridge... and honored the $63 deal.
- Dinner at Red Lobster w/tons of birds in the trees outside Paragon
Cable; we watched from the porch while waiting for our table.
The River Walk
- Awoke to fog. We had a liesurely continental breakfast (heart
shaped waffles) and then hurried via 410 -> 35 -> 1604 to Rolling
Oaks Mall. Only had 2 pins so I put my number on my rack but
volunteers made me wear it on my back. They helped pin it through
the thick paper. Stewart recorded the start on audio tape.
- Staggered start - 100 and 62 milers @ 8am, 50 @ 8:15am. Road was
wet from dense fog and good sized downhill led us out the mall and
left onto Nacogdoches. No sign of bats on Bat Cave Road but _nice_
homes being built from Hill Country limestone. Past a winery with its
own vineyard. Fog kept the temperatures low (~70), no wind at all,
and it was a wonderful ride. EWvery color wild flower lined the
roads, mostly yellow (brown eyed susan?) salvia, like tall thin
purples, and larg headed white, along with the now typical evening
primrose and Indian Paintbrush. There were several challenging hills
early on which Stewart took sitting down and I tried out my cycle
class lessons of standing when I get to a "7".
- Sun burned off the fog and the sky turned gorgeous blue. Animals
made their appearances: ostriches close to the road from behind their
their fence, a dog chased the bikers ahead of us, skirted us as I
raised my water bottle over my head and barked "STAY!", then chased
the bikers behind us. A road runner skitched across the road directly
ahead of us and danced in down a side road, beautiful horses in a
field full of flowers as we turned off a busy highway on to a quiet
winding country road, all variety of cattle including tan dappled
longhorns lined the road.
- It got very hot later in the ride. The temperature hit a record 100
degree high today.
- Heading out of the quiet winding road we looked back and saw the
cliff of a giant quarry we had skirted.
- We were alternately drafted by and then drafted two strong riders as
we headed east and the wind picked up a bit. Soon the road opened to
a wide, well pavved street lining a huge horsetrack across from a
massive park where lots of soccer games were going on. It turned out
to be Retama Park and made for an interesting stretch before the hills
we knew were coming.
- Toward the end we turned back west and could clearly see the mall
right over there with still 10 miles to go. The route turned us
south and then west again on to the 1604 frontage road and some
humongous but luckily short hills, reminicient of the Three Sisters
near home. A short sprint and we were back in the parking lot.
- We packed up our pins but passed on the baked potatoes. We felt
really good so we opted to take old Nacogdoches Road back to the
airport and found a Schlotsky's sandwich shop not too far from the
hotel. We took lunch back to the hotel, got showers, rested up and
went to see the move "Good Will Hunting" at the matinee. What a great
We had some popcorn and chocolate covered peanuts at the movie so even
though it got out at 7pm, we weren't hungry. So we headed downtown
and roamed the River Walk a while. It was very quiet and peaceful
with clumps of teeagers in formal here and there. But as the sun went
down, the crowd picked up and oddly, the temperature stayed up near
100 degrees and humid. So we opted for dinner indoors and went back
to Texas Land and Cattle near the hotel. It was a long line on a
Saturday night so we didn't eat until nearly 10:30, but the food was
good and topped off a really great day!
The Trip Back
Out by 8am after another continental breakfast, the trip home was
uneventful. We were through Austin in 10 minutes, ate at the same
Lubys we hit after Fredericksburg, and were home by 2pm.