Guest Blogger – Fredericksburg Cycling

/ Cherry Mountain Cottages, Sports

Our dear friend, Nina and her sweet boyfriend, Pieter came to stay in our cottages in Fredericksburg and we asked her to blog about the cycling they did and their stay. Here’s what she had to say:

Hill Country ClimbingPieter and I went to Fredericksburg for a relaxing weekend away from bills, stress and everyday life. And that’s exactly what we got, lots of sleeping in late, great food, great cottages and amazing cycling. My dear friends Susan and Steve, who own the cottages, were so welcoming and those cottages, I can promise you, the pictures don’t do them justice. After a 3 hour bike ride, the air tub in the spa bath was just what my sore muscles needed.

Hondos2The first day we were there, we went to Hondo’s for lunch. The beef tacos ($6 for 4 tacos) were really, really good.

der+kuchen+ladenThen we went and did a little shopping on Main Street. We ended up spending most of our time in Der Küchen Laden (The Kitchen Store). This store will put Williams-Sonoma to shame. The store is in an old hospital and each room is a different theme – coffee room, tea room, cookie cutter room, cast iron room, knife room, you name it, they have it and at reasonable prices.

Sunset at Cherry Mountain CottagesWe enjoyed a wonderful sunset that evening surrounded by great friends.

On Saturday, we planned to ride, like the wind. We’re from Dallas. It’s flat in Dallas. Really, really flat. Hill Country + flat Dallas = one sore puppy. We rode our bikes directly from the front door of our cottages – which is amazing, as there’s no need to drive anywhere to go for a ride. We didn’t have an exact plan of where we were going, even though Susan and Steve have cycling maps of the area. I haven’t done more than 30 miles this year on the bike in one sitting and with the crazy hills out there, I wasn’t all too sure I could pull off a 40+ mile ride. So armed with an iPhone and Google Maps, we made our way out for a ride.

Climbing HillsWhat a beautiful route with lots to see. Goats, baby goats (aww), cattle, sheep, rolling hills, great vistas, hills, more hills and did I mention hills? We probably only saw 10 cars in the entire 3 hours on the bike. The roads are chip seal, but were in pretty good shape. The only rough road was on US-290 E on the shoulder. There’s a bit of climbing on that road, but there’s a very sweet reward when you get to the top – downhill before you turn left on Reeh-Weinheimer Rd. My Garmin clocked me at 32 mph down that hill, only to be smacked in the face with 3 miles of climbing.

Here’s the route we took:
Right on Cherry Mountain Loop (0.9 mi)
Right on 87 (briefly with a wide shoulder) (1,070 ft)
Left on Old Mason Rd (0.5 mi)
Right on Pecan Creek Rd (8.27 mi)
Left on Crenwegle Rd (.28 mi)
Right on Reeh Rd (5.89 mi)
Left on Old Harper Rd (1.95 mi)
Left on US-290 E (3.57 mi) – There is a shoulder on this road, albeit not a smooth one. This takes you all way back into downtown Fredericksburg, if you take it all the way.
Left on Reeh-Weinheimer Rd (3.14 mi) Let the climbing begin
Right on Weinheimer Rd (5.04 mi)
Continue straight on Pecan Creek Rd (2.66 mi)
Left on Old Mason Rd (0.5 mi)
Right on US-87 S (1,070 ft)
Left on Cherry Mountain Loop (0.9 mi)

Word to the wise:

– It can be very windy in the Hill Country, especially in the hills. The closer you get into town, the wind dies down. Luckily on our ride day, we had no more than 10 mph winds, blue skies and warm. The day before it was 25 mph.
– Cattle guards. Make sure to hit those straight on – the faster you go, the smoother the ride. And there are a lot of cattle guards.
– Watch for livestock on the roads.

Gillespie County AirportAfter our ride, we headed into town (by car which is only 10 minutes) to the Gillespie County Airport (T82). Pieter is a pilot and we had to check out all the goodies at the airport. There’s a hotel, a classic 1940’s diner (open during the day) and very nice bar in the hotel. Rumor has it the locals hang out at the airport bar. For any of you who are thinking of flying in, you can rent-a-car at the airport.

auslanderAfter the airport, we went to dinner at the Auslander on Main Street. German food. Schnitzel. Need I say more? Nom Nom. They have live music on the weekends. Fredericksburg is always busy, even in the winter. Expect to have wait times at restaurants. The first one was 1.5 hour wait, the Auslander was a 40-minute wait. If you are prone to getting hangry, eat a little snack before going out to dinner.

Pacific WarSunday, was our last day in Fredericksburg. Before leaving, we went to the National Museum of the Pacific War, thinking we could do it all in 2 hours. Make sure to allot yourself 5-6 hours of time. This museum is amazing, with lots to read, interactive screens, movies, exhibits, etc. We were running out of time, so we had to blitz (no pun intended) our way through the last part of it. We also did see the Nimitz Museum, very interesting family.

Fredericksburg breweryThen off to lunch at the Fredericksburg Brewery just down the street from the Museums. A quick lunch of sandwiches and bratwurst and then into the car and back home. We had a great weekend in Fredericksburg. We didn’t get to do everything, like the Bat Caves, Wineries, beer tastings, etc., but there’s always next time.

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