It’s mid-November and eighty-five degrees. Where? Texas. I grew up in Austin – a great place to grow up because it’s a great place to visit, especially when Seattle is weather is getting annoying. I’m going down to meet my new niece, Katherine, and also renting a bike from Cowboy Harley (a Buell Blast, which is their only non-staggeringly expensive option). I’m excited to ride a motorcycle around my hometown for the first time.
The Buell is OK – it’s 500ccs and feels kind of like a dirt-bike but it’s still fun. I broke it in by riding around Red Bud Trail, 360, 2222, and Mt. Bonnell – my old stomping grounds. I hit Mt. Bonnell right as sunset and then stopped at the house I grew up in which is only three blocks away. The new owner arrived home and I struck up a conversation with him and he took me inside to show me all the remodeling he has done. What a trip!
I found a great site called Sunday Morning Rides that has 30 Texas motorcycle routes mapped out with GPS and picked a few to ride this weekend. If I’d had fewer obligations I would have gone out to the Three Sisters Rally in Leakey but it looks like it’s 3 hours just to get out there. Maybe I’ll go next year – the runs they are going on are legendary. Even my dad suggested I ride them and he didn’t even know they are famous bike roads.
Today I rode the "Ride in the Texas Hill Country" out 2222, Lime Creek Road, Marble Falls and Spicewood. The roads are the best I’ve ever ridden – Washington may be beautiful but these roads are grippier, hillier, twistier in all the right places, and just more fun. I guess it’s just the difference between the Northwest and Texas: the Northwest is mountainous and Texas is hilly. Hills are more fun on bikes – you can go faster and really enjoy the multitude of hills and turns. The scale just seems better.
I stopped in Marble Falls at some "Texas Furnishing" stores. If you don’t know what I’m talking about you won’t believe what they are. Stuffed filled with wood, iron and taxidermy, you can buy anything from a barbed-wire toilet paper holder to a couch made from furry cow hides to an entire stuffed javelina. It’s awesome. I bought a little wooden box that has a cowgirl painted on it that says, "If you done it, it ain’t braggin’."
And did I mention it’s HOT??!?!?! Jeez! I wish I’d brought my mesh jacket but I just couldn’t wrap my mind around the difference in weather.
I took 281 just out of Marble Falls and then hooked a left on 2147 and onto some farm roads that were pretty um, adventurous. They aren’t maintained by the state and there were constant crumbly edges, low water crossings and signs that said Warning: Loose Livestock". The sun set over the farmland and I sped back on 71 enjoying the cool breeze. It was a great ride and I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s to visit my friend Amy in Comfort and go sailing on Canyon Lake.