Escape from Winter - 2012 travel blog

geezers gathering

ain't it the truth?

One of our favorite activities here is to meet up with about 150 campers and ride bikes to a local spot for breakfast. Each week three restaurants are selected and a sign up sheet is posted so that the restaurant's capacity is not exceeded; generally most have a back room that can feed about fifty. The roads have no bike lanes, although some of have wide shoulders. Each group is lead by volunteers in bright safety colored vests and tailed by a vehicle with a sign warning automobiles that come up behind us, that we aren't going to get out of their way any time soon. Drivers rarely act annoyed when they have to wait for us. Generally they smile and wave. Perhaps seeing old people doing something active gives them hope for their future. At each major intersection the orange vested people guard the lane until all of us have gone by. It's an impressive operation. None of the restaurants are very far away; today we rode seven miles round trip.

Because the breakfast menus are simple, one waitress was able to efficiently serve us all before the food got cold. It was a nice chance to visit with fellow campers. Now that we have been here a few times, we are beginning to make connections and sometimes have some good advice to share with newer arrivals. Most of the Winter Texans we meet here are from small midwestern towns. They tend to have less disposable income than we do and are delighted to be in such an affordable spot. For less than $10 both of us ate more breakfast than was good for us. The plan is to skip lunch.

Because it was still cool (44ยบ) at 8:30 when we left to ride, some folks bailed out and drove their cars to the restaurant, but by the time we rode back the bright sunshine had warmed the air considerably and they were sorry not to ride back to the campground with us.

On Wednesdays a much longer twenty mile ride is on the agenda, but it leaves even earlier in the morning and riding a bike with mittens on is not something we generally do for fun. Understandably there are far fewer people involved. Here's hoping things warm up again a bit more.

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