February 4, 2016 – Sunny, 60 degrees
Miles Today: 11
Miles to Date: 11,390
States to Date: 28
I finally broke down and bought a gun. Not from Adam Turcotte, General Manager of Ranger Firearms, who spent an hour with me this morning discussing the gun business and what it heralds for tomorrow. I bought one from Valerie, proprietress of the San Antonio General Store, one of the many souvenir shops opposite the Alamo. It doesn’t shoot bullets. It shoots water.
Many people along my route have counseled that I’m foolish to cycle through this great land unarmed. I have two responses to their warnings. First, I don’t feel unsafe. Second, even if I did, having a gun wouldn’t make me feel any safer. I shot a gun once (in Texas, naturally). I acknowledge how few talents I have in that department.
Many cyclists along my route have discussed the trials pedaling the South, a region famous for roaming dogs. I have solicited advice from anyone who’s ridden Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee or Kentucky. Some outrace the dogs. Some dismount and put the frame between themselves and the beast. Some spray mace. Last week a couple that traversed the South told me they sprayed dogs with water bottles, a harmless shock that stopped the dogs cold. I like their strategy and upgraded it – to a squirt gun. So watch out, Fido; Tex here is coming your way fully loaded.
In addition with dealing of all manner of guns today, from water pistols to assault rifles, I played San Antonio tourist. I visited the Alamo, strolled the Riverwalk, and the Milam Building, where air conditioning was born.. There are few visitors mid-week in February. Nothing was crowded, yet the weather was perfect for sightseeing.