Seeking Comfort from the Heat in Comfort, Texas

 

A bald cypress tree stands watch over Cypress Creek in Comfort, Texas.

Drip. Drip. Drip. That’s the sound of the sweat that rapidly dripped off my forehead as I pedaled slowly up a hill on the access road of Interstate 10 at about 12:30 p.m.

The temperature was over 100 degrees and marching swiftly toward a high of 106, marking one of the hottest days of the year, in the hottest August on record for the region. What a weekend for an overnight bicycle tour!

My destination was Comfort, Texas, and finding comfort from the heat was foremost in mind after leaving my house in San Antonio at about 6:30 a.m. The small town of Comfort is nestled in the Texas Hill Country, and my planned route was about 47 miles one way with approximately 2,500 feet of climbing.

Fortunately, I chose a route that seemed to offer opportunities to replenish my water supply at almost the exact times I needed it. ”Ice, please …” I often asked as I stopped to re-fill two water bottles at each stop. Water became a critical lifeline as the mercury blasted through triple digits, so I made sure that I stopped often to drink or just stand in the shade from time to time and rest.

I had a “cheesy pig” during a late breakfast at the incredible Bear Moon Bakery in Boerne, and enjoyed talking to a number of cyclists out for their morning rides. One of them took a photo of me and my loaded touring bicycle, seeming to marvel at the concept of someone using their bicycle for travel to a destination.

 

Lunch at the Waring General Store made the final stretch to Comfort possible!

For lunch, I enjoyed a cheeseburger and fries at the historic Waring General Store. The cook even branded my burger with a star! I felt strangely honored. I also knew that consumption of the entire burger and fries would have all but ended my bid to make it to my destination, so I hate half and moved on before I could change my mind.

 

Riders are greeted with small-town charm and historic buildings like the Comfort Public Library (right).

It was time then to make my final approach to Comfort, so I headed due west. Like most of the other segments of my planned route, I encountered very little car traffic. I’m always amazed at just how easy bicycle travel can be with a little planning. There are so many small roads that have been long forgotten by motorists lured to wider, faster interstates. This has left a huge network of smaller, slower roads perfectly suited to the bicycle tourist. 

In another hour or so, I was crossing the Guadalupe River and making my way to the Heirloom Bed & Breakfast, where gracious hosts Tom and Frankie Parsons were awaiting my arrival. So, I found that bicycle travel in oven-like temperatures is indeed possible, even if it isn’t high on my "smartest things I’ve done" list. 

 

Rest came easy in the "casita," a two-bedroom apartment at the Heirloom Bed & Breakfast.

The Heirloom Bed & Breakfast turned out to be just the remedy for a tired, dehydrated traveler on two wheels. I stayed two nights in the “casita," a small two-bedroom apartment on the property that was full of Southern charm. Frankie Parsons' breakfasts were amazing, and sipping one of her homemade Orange Julius smoothies soon made my trials and tribulations in the heat a distant memory.

My family arrived and we enjoyed local favorites such as the Cypress Creek Grill, PoPo’s Restaurant, and even the emergence of a half million Mexican free-tailed bats at nearby Old Tunnel Wildlife Management Area!

In the end, I did find comfort in Comfort, Texas. And bicycle tour number-six became another experience I know I will look back on fondly.

Get more information about bike overnights.

View a slideshow of images from this bicycle tour or review a log of the experience on the Track My Tour web site.

 

7 responses so far ↓

David - Nov 23, 2011 at 4:10 PM

sounds like a great weekend, thanks for the write-up. I live in Seattle now, but my wife and I just got married in Comfort last month! Great bike riding down there, but I can't believe you went in August. That heat would kill me.

Justin - Nov 25, 2011 at 5:40 PM

Thanks David! I plan my trips often months in advance and it was my tough luck that this tour ended up on basically the hottest weekend of the year!

S C - Dec 14, 2011 at 4:00 AM

Thanks for the story and photos. I am from Texas, but it is a big place, so I have wondered about many places here that I have never gotten to visit, or missed after passing through.

Keith Edmiston - Apr 10, 2012 at 11:58 AM

Very inspiring! It's now on my bucket list.

Megan - Jun 26, 2012 at 7:57 AM

I love this idea! I've been looking for a motivation to get back into cycling, and having a destination is such a great, practical enticement, to my mind. I live in San Antonio but will probably think of destinations to the south first before I would tackle the uphills heading north. Happy cycling!

Michael McCoy - Jun 27, 2012 at 10:23 AM

Thanks Megan!

Justin - Jun 28, 2012 at 8:54 PM

Megan - I did a bicycle tour to Castroville and would be happy to share the route with you. Much less elevation gain and a wonderful place to stay overnight at the historical Landmark Inn. The Comfort Tour was a lot of fun, glad you liked my write-up!

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