Tour de Geezers V
April 2001

Freda and I joined fifteen other Geezers to spend a week in Fredericksburg, Texas (known as Fred Burg by the locals) where we did daily loops into the country to admire carpets of bluebonnets, acres of Indian Paintbrushes and skads of little yellow flowers that no one knew what they were. Of course, we had to have a beer and get our pictures taken next to the statue of "Hondo" at Luckenbach.

Fred Burg is actually two towns; from about noon on Friday till Sunday afternoon it's a tourist mecca with bumper to fender traffic and at least 10,000 tourists milling like cows on main street. At exactly 4:00PM on Sunday, it's like someone blew a whistle or fired a gun; everyone climbs back on the tour busses, hops in their Beemers or mounts up their Harleys and all roar out of town. By 4:30, you could fire a cannon down main street and not hit a thing. All the restaurants close, T-shirt shop doors are locked and the antique places go dark. Everyone simply locks the doors and goes home. The only thing left moving on main street is the trash carried along by the wind. One restaurant stays open to feed the locals.

Fred Burg has about 75 restaurants; 72 German, one Italian, one Mexican and one Chinese. Instead of going German on the night we arrived, we had dinner at the Italian place where we were served by a Chinese waitress. Can't get any more cross-cultural than that. Nearly every restaurant there (except the golden arches) closes at least two or three days a week. Only the locals seem to know which one will be open for which meals. Out of perhaps 20 meals we had there, I think we had no more than a couple in the same place. One thing about it, no matter which place we visited, it advertised as having the "Best Cheeseburgers in Fredericksburg." We know from the menus that Opa (Grandfather) makes all the sausage and Oma (Grandmother) makes all the cheese served there; perhaps some little old lady makes all
the cheeseburgers and delivers them to the restaurants.

Other than our bicycle helmets, once the tourists were gone, Fred Burg turns back into a dusty Texas town of about 6000 residents. Whatever restaurant happens to be open for breakfast has the usual tables of the
courthouse crowd, cowboy hats, school teachers and old men wearing caps advertising farm machinery. Of course while we were there, we had our own tables of lycra shorts and jerseys with more advertising than sandwich boards but no one seemed to notice. Fred Burg is a popular spot for cyclists and we must have seen fifty of them plus a couple sag vans for commercial tours.

Due to a dog bite, broken leg and an auto accident, I hadn't been on a bike in over a year and it was a struggle for me. My muscles had turned to silly putty and the broken leg still swells after a few miles. Oh well, it's a start down the road to recovery and that's what counts.

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Copyright 2001 by Jim Foreman