Tuesday, September 20, 2016

150: Going back to Houston

My family used to play a game in the car when we were traveling. We'd sing songs that had place names in them as we were traveling along. So at some point, we were all singing, "Goin' back to Houston, Houston, Houston" like Dean Martin back in 1965.

Well, that's been running through my head for the last couple of days as we got close to Houston, my home town. We are approaching the city with mixed emotions. On the one hand, I am thrilled to be able to visit old friends and family in the city. On the other - Houston has such a poor cycling infrastructure that we are not going to ride the tandem into town. We are getting a rental car, and driving in. And that breaks my heart. I feel awful about it, but I just could not face the size of the city, the traffic, the terrible condition of the roads, the lack of bike lanes and safe routes, and the general lack of tolerance of Houston drivers for cyclists on the road.

This is the city where I learned to ride, and what I learned was:  you do not ride in this city.  There are places where you can go with your bike, and then ride your bike, but you do not ride your bike through the city.
30 miles out from town, inbound in the afternoon, and this is the traffic!  Yikes!

So we have rented a car, and we'll be taking it in to my friend Linda's house in the Museum district, where we will be staying for several days. While in Houston, we'll do as the Houstonians do - and drive!

Thank you, Bruce and Marguerite, for a beautiful meal!
But before that, Roger and I had a great rest day at Marguerite and Bruce's.  Roger took care of the bike, giving it a good washing and cleaning and lubing the chain.  Marguerite invited me along to lunch with her friends, and what a treat it was to sit and talk with half a dozen smart, engaging women!  Boy, I have missed that camaraderie.  In the evening, we enjoyed another fantastic dinner from Marguerite's kitchen - tonight was Gulf trout with spicy pecan crust, grilled vegetables, and saffron rice!

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