Tuesday, March 30, 2010

About My Friend, Chip Seal

I tried to warn them.....I really did!  I told them......Texas in the spring--fields of bluebonnets and candy tuft, migrating butterflies, Chip Seal  and big wind....everything is bigger in Texas.....they heard the part about butterflies and flowers, and wanted to know when they could met this bigger than life fella I kept talking about, Chip Seal. Well, they've met him during the last couple of days, and aren't overly enamoured.  It's just not me suffering from a sore fanny anymore, and many are glad that thier significant other isn't here...if you get my drift.  The only B.O.B. these days is Chip Seal.  mmm-mmmm

So, you neophytes that don't know what chip seal is---it is really nasty material Texas uses for their roads.  It is cheap and easy to lay.  Essentially, it is made up of very large hunks of gravel pushed into tar, but only far enough so that it sticks.  It makes a very, very rough surface.  One feels like a jello jiggler after a day of riding on it.  The good news is that you can hear traffic coming up behind you from a very far distance.

Then there is the wind.  Lynn rolled in one day and said she needed poligrip on her behind just to say in the saddle--boy, did she hit the nail on the head.  Even an easy day of riding is difficult with chip seal and wind. Both really create hard work--more effort for less result.  But, hey, we're in Texas, and all that is worth being in the Lone Star State.

We keep looking for the armadillos?  Where are all those little buggers?  Haven't seen a one--not even road kill--and we know that's what they do best.  I think all the rednecks are selling them to the tourists as possum on the half shell!  Or perhaps they are being used as tour guides; you know, take one in the woods with you, and if you get lost, just let it go.  It will lead you straight back to the road!

Speaking of roadkill--there have been so many deer carcasses on the road.  I came upon what one would expect to be a typical Texas scene today--take a peak
Turkey Vultures!  Nasty, but necessary creatures.  It may be my imagination, but when they fly, they sound like harbingers of death...(or it just could be me slipping into delirium from the chip seal)--heavy, ponderous wing flaps. They don't make any noise except for the wing sounds.  And they're greedy too--they don't fly away until one gets very close to them--they just keep eating away, watching.....then when they do fly, they circle over head, waiting..... (for the chip seal to do us in).  Nature's miracle.....they remind me of Snape in the  Harry Potter books. Creepy.

But I met some new friends along the way, also.  Look at these sweet faces.  It took me almost 20 minutes to convince them that all I wanted to do was take their picture.
Of course, they don't know I had Swiss Steak a couple of hours later......

Well--I need to get my bike ready for tomorrow--heading for Hill Country and some steep grades. There also won't be any internet for the next couple of days, so if you don't hear from me, don't worry--Mr. Chip Seal hasn't done me in and the turkey vultures aren't circling.............yet.


  1. A direct quote from your post: "It is cheap and easy to lay."---That's what she said!!! Sorry but I couldn't resist on that one. I crack myself up (and that's a clue to my secret identity!) For anyone who doesn't get the reference, watch the Office.
    that bit of immaturity aside, it sounds like an interesting ride, albeit a bit painful. I bet your glad to be back in the Lone Star State! Can't wait for your next post.
    -your secret friend

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