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Day One - San Antonio to Victoria - 107mi / 172 km


Mile 0. 7am. I pull away from the Best Western, heading east.

 San Antonio Daybreak

I’m quickly beyond the developed areas and into farmland on a grey windy day. From past experience, I tune into property fences, potential open gates and yapping dogs. All clear.

near Boldtville

I’m reflecting on last night’s River Walk and my reverie is interrupted by this “he-he-he” accompanied by this drum roll of padded feet.  At my rear wheel is a Rottweiler with a head wider than my bike helmet. This dog had not announced his presence through barking. He is in attack mode from the get-go.

church signIn an instant I 'm standing on my pedals and accelerating from a leisurely 15mph to 20mph with no gear change.  The animal keeps pace.  The property has a long frontage to protect and he sticks with me until I'm well past his property.

That was quite a sprint.

Over the next 20 miles I encounter another seven dawgs who are able to slip through closed gates because the wide-spaced gates were built for keeping horses in.  The last Dawg-in-Pursuit (DIP) came at me from the front because my impending arrival had been announced by one of his yelping fenced-in neighbours.

As DIP bounds towards me, I take about a second and a half to reach down and pull out my Gatorade bottle from one of my bottle racks.  I hose him, and this is completely unexpected from the DIP’s perspective – he was under attack, his baying turning half-hearted as he veers away and I bolt past. 

The next property is ferociously protected by a pair of yapping fenced-in fox terriers – not a threat, but still startling enough to get me standing on my pedals and looking in all directions.

Thankfully, that was the end of today’s DIP adventures. The lesson learned: Stay in The Moment.  These first-day events inform an acute attentiveness for loose canines for the rest of the trip.


I had approached this first day with some tentativeness.  Given that all my trip preparation had been on a gym bike and the first day in the real world was over 100 miles, I am feeling pretty good at this point. Even with the wind stiff and continuous with occasional gusts, I am determined this trip to not let the wind colour my emotions. I instead focus on my cadence – my RPMs and tension in my legs.

Mile 25 - Stockdale's claim to fame


Mile 40 - Back to open highway

open highway

There are lots of cows of many breeds along the road, ignoring cars and trucks but looking up blankly at this yellow-clad creature flaying away on flimsy machinery. A dim form of awareness, quickly replaced by attention to the important tasks of eating grass, chewing cud and belching methane.

Highlight of the Day: Running with the Cows – I'm cycling past one group that starts running beside me for a quarter-mile, pacing me and turning their heads to keep me in their line of sight as they stampede to the end of their range.

running cows

Cows run funny – it’s amazing their front legs don’t snap as they lumber stiff-legged, almost pole-vaulting foreward.

Mile 50 - Downtown Gillett

downtown gillett

Mile 70 - South of Yorktown

Mile 90 - Upper Mission Valley Road

Mission Valley

Victoria - 107 miles.   I feel like I could have gone a bit father, but I was happy to stop and, anyways, tomorrow was going to be a longer cycling day.


Sign on Pelican's Wharf family restaurant door - one of many examples of American Gun Love:

restaurant door

I was given a ride to the restaurant by one of the part-time Hotel workers, who also gave me his cell number to call him for a ride back to the hotel - very nice.

On the ride back he told me about his work around developing his evangelistic business (if I can use that word). He was writing a book and as well would go from town to town, leading meetings in existing church buildings, building his flock one believer at a time while he worked part-time jobs.

Sounds very similar to what a rock band does - get out the CD and perform, building your audience.

The Day's Summary



Dawgs in Pursuit





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