For me bicycling is about community, and while spending two weeks down in Houston I was happy to find a loose affiliation of riders known as the Houston Gravel Grinders. Via the HGG Facebook page I met Mandi, owner of Race Ready Repair in Conroe, Texas, who invited me on a 44 mile gravel ride up near Huntsville.
I met Mandi, along with Benjie, Jon, Mike, Brian and Kenny at the Four Notch Hunter’s parking lot/campground the morning after a subdued COVID Halloween. The return to Standard Time had given us all an extra hour of sleep, which was needed in my case as I was still struggling with some jet lag. We rolled out of the parking lot and turned left onto some ideal gravel.
My vision of east Texas gravel riding was rolling hills and open pastures and I was surprised to be rolling through dense pine forest. I reveled in the fact that I was rolling on the first day of November in short sleeves and shorts – I could get used to this southern living.
We rolled east towards Livingston Lake at a good steady pace. Though we saw nearly no traffic during the entire ride the roads on this route seem to be well-packed by vehicular traffic. The well-packed roads, gentle grades and almost no wind made for fast travel. We sped along at a fun pace, talking and enjoying the warm sunny day.
At the lake we turned around and took a lollipop route up over Snow Hill before finally retracing our path back to the parking lot. On the way back we got into some good spirited riding, which was welcome given the flat packed road surface and idyllic fall weather.
This was my first experience with Texas gravel and I must say so far so good. I looking forward to some more adventures during my stay here.
For route information see: https://www.strava.com/activities/4273077756