Out of Beaumont

Greyhound to Austin

I finally gave up on getting the bike fixed, I could have tried harder to be completely honest, I could have asked every welder and mechanic in Beaumont. No-one I asked offered me any help or hope tho, the frame is Nickel plated steel and welding it is kind of specialist. The steel is so thin it'd be hard to weld at the best of times and if the nickel plating was removed it'd be even harder.

So, I admit defeat. I don't feel all that defeated tho, I did 2000+ miles and I made it to Texas. Not bad I don't think. I was hoping in those last few days riding to get some big miles in, maybe a 90 mile day. I was also hoping to get better at free camping. It always worked out but I always found it stressful and I'd hoped that would pass with practice. Hey ho...

So, all being well I'll be in Austin at 9pm (we just left Beaumont 20mins early!) and it'll be nice to get there cleanish and freshish rather than filthy and exhausted. It would have been nice to ride in tho...

I did go out and get fairly drunk on Monday night, just had a burger and a few beers in Starvin' Marvin's. I spoke to a guy who claimed to know the best welder in Beaumont but when I called him the next morning it went to answerphone. I couldn't handle another day of uncertainty so just paid for another night in the motel and settled down to enjoy my hangover.

Eventually I had to get out to eat and get a bag to put my panniers in on the bus and, eventually, the plane. I'd used a big laundry bag on the way out here but my search for a replacement was fruitless. "you know, red white and blue plastic bags, like bag ladies use" drew blank looks from all sales assistants. In desperation I tried a charity shop and scored a big sketchy looking leatherette portfolio bag or something. It does the job anyway.

Mission accomplished I headed for the pretty old part of town, Crockett Street etc. It looked better in the dark...Crockett Street did anyway, the street of half a dozen clubs and bars that make up the entertainment district. There are some beautiful old buildings in Beaumont tho, it must have been pretty posh back in the day.

Beaumont was at the centre of the oil boom back in, eh, the old days. It's pretty poor now tho. The cab driver on way to the greyhound station (12 miles out of town...) told me they had to close the bus station in Beaumont because it was always full of homeless people and hookers. They did it for the customers he said. Hmmm.

I went back to the motel to use the pool but made the mistake of switching the TV on and watched garbage till hungry again o'clock. I ventured out for more bad food and returned to watch more bad TV.

So today has involved loading the bike up again and riding as carefully as possible to the bike shop. The guy there was as helpful as he could be, trying to think of a temp fix for the frame. Such interested input might have kept me rolling a couple of days ago but it's too late now. He gave me a bike box and I dismantled and fought the bike in there and waited for said taxi cab. $20 for a 12 mile trip, and he expected a $5 tip, he got $3. I hate the tipping thing over here but am too nice to just not tip. He got me there anyway.

So I'm back on the bus. It's pretty full and sweaty, shouldn't be too bad tho, I got my bike on without too much grief and I got music. All good. I've retraced my steps a bit, passing through Port Arthur again, it's not so bad doing it by bus. I guess I didn't have to retrace mysteps much on the ride at all. Weird, it's all over. Anyway, next stop Austin, after changing at Houston. Hopefully there will be no opportunity to use the famousest line involving Houston...
Out.

Wow, there's wifi on the bus, how civilised!

To Austin please driver, don't spare the horses!

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Best blog on the Internet

Iain, it's been great reading all your adventures, real shame about the bike but as Lance famously said "it's not about the bike" ha how right he was!

Enjoy your time is Austin and your Hamburgers....

Chris H

Nooooo!

Hi Beardy

Gutted to hear of your bike collapse. But a great accomplishment nevertheless going 2000 odd miles. Guess the best thing you can do is chill and enjoy not having to cycle any more. Well done and chin up!

Pip

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