Dennis in Texas, again?!


I am on another work related trip to the Rio Grande Valley.  The upside of this travel is warmer weather which affords opportunity to ride outside in better than winter conditions and get one of the better beers I can find on my other work related destinations.  I am also lucky one of my colleagues here is a cyclist and willing to loan me a mountainbike to ride when I visit.

There is virtually no actual mountain biking here with exception of a small trail system in Mission Texas (10 miles away) at which I hope to do a group ride with some locals tomorrow evening.  (I wrote about Mission Trails a few months ago).

So, with little access to trails and little desire to ride road here due to high traffic and few roads to accomodate cycling, I’ve taken to riding levees.  The area between McAllen and the actual Mexican border of the Rio Grand River is crossed and lined with levees which help channel water diverted from the river to various farm fields. The levees also separate the various properties.  Atop the levees are hardpacked dirt roads. Tuesday evening I rode 1-1/2 hours east then south to the next levee then north then west, for nearly the whole ride I doubt I was more than five miles from my hotel however.  I also got a flat on the way back, expending my only air cartridge to make it to the hotel.

Wednesday I got back to the hotel later and had to change the tube from the previous day flat. But with no air I went to Walley’s Bicycle (small high end shop operated by two guys selling Felt and Scott) to get compressed air and another tube. The end result was a 45 min ride.

Thursday, my last evening here, allowed a pleasant one hour ride.

My favorite place to stop to end an evening is BJs Brewhouse.  It is one of several outlets in a regional chain and it’s not a brewpub like Founder’s in that they don’t actually brew beer onsite.  But they do have a line of their own beers encompassing stouts, reds, blondes, wheats and IPA.  As an IPA fan, I generally order the Piranha Pale.  This IPA is a little less hoppy than Founder’s Centennial. A little less robust (and lower alchohol content at 5.7) its lighter than even Bell’s TwoHeartedm. The closest comparison in west Michigan I can think of is New Hollands MadHatter.

I’ve sampled the Jeremiah Red, an Irish style sweetr than Red’sRye.  The Tatonka Stout is very mild and doesn’t have the thckness of Imperial.

My week in 60-70 degree beezy temperatures ends Friday and its back to wintery Michigan.  See you all soon
Dennis B Murphy

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