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It was another warm morning as I started out. Myrtle was packed up by 9 am and I left the motel to find a parade gearing up. My timing was excellent. Another 10 minutes and I would have had to wait for the parade to pass. I thought about watching for a bit but then noticed it was mostly kids in trailers behind cars and trucks decorated with colored balloons. Not exactly flash. The parade was led by Kountze firetrucks with the lights and sirens going - yoohoo!
As I turned on Farm Road 418 I saw a SAG wagon. The driver waved as he drove off. I wondered what he was sagging for. Aren't SAG wagons always for bike rides? As I've traveled across the country I keep hearing about a 'women's tour' and they might be close by now. I seem to be staying in the same motels as this 'women's tour'. But then I started seeing colored arrows in the shoulder. This typically indicates an organized local ride. The ride was probably associated with the parade.
There was little wind as I road under overcast skies. Farm Road 418 was fantastic. The scenery was nice and there was hardly any traffic. I waved at a couple more SAG wagons as I rode east. I thought I was on the Adventure Cycling route but checking the map discovered it takes another road into Silsbee. I think I made a much better choice. Texas roads allow for extra wide loads often without a lead or follow vehicle. Sometimes the loads are so wide I have to pull off the road to let it pass. It happened again today. There was very little traffic and the truck pretty much took up the whole thing. Crazy!
After 10 miles I rode into Silsbee and McDonald's for a cup of coffee. A couple of SAG wagon guys followed me in to find out if I needed help. There is a muli-distance ride going on as part of Big Thicket Days and they thought I was riding it. That was very thoughtful. I explained what I was doing and they both went online with their phones to check out my website.
I continued on making the turn for Hwy 96. This road wasn't nearly as nice. It was basically a freeway with on and off ramps. The shoulder was wide and very rough to start. At Evadale it became smoother. Ten miles later, I took the business loop through Buna hoping to find a park and a picnic table to have a snack and take a break. What kind of town doesn't have a park? Some pecans and an orange would hold me for the remaining 12 miles into Kirbyville. The ride was very flat through lush farmland. When I got back on Hwy 96, one of my Mirrycle mirrors completely sheared off and flew into traffic. This happened once before coming down the Pacific Coast. I think I need to write the company to tell them about this.
The day also got quite warm. The skies cleared and I think the temperature was in the 80's. An hour later I got checked into the Gateway Motel for $45. This Motel is on the Adventure Cycling route and the owners said they have cyclists staying almost every night. Maybe I'll meet some tourers today.
Kountze to Kirbyville, TX
Wide load on Farm Road 418.
Parade outside my hotel.
Crossing the Neches River.