Sunday, October 25, 2009

Gotta get away.....Wrapup

Well, I made it back home in one piece. Never really worried about it, but there were a few moments of WTFO..... On the whole it was a very calming ride. Day one saw me up and out of Austin around 9:30. The rule for the day was 100 miles or more between gas stops, and ride till I was sick of it. I made it all the way to Norman, OK before I was ready to stop. Once I crossed the border into OK, the wind shifted and started blowing across the highway. The last 120 miles in a 30mph crosswind took the steam out. By the time I hit Ardmore, I was ready to stop so I figured Norman would be a good place to end up. I got in around 5:00 or so. I probably could have made it all the way to Edmond, but that would have put me in downtown OKC during rush hour, and I really didn't want that. I figured, hit the shower, hit dinner, then hit the bed.

Saturday morning it was up and on my way to Pop's Route 66. Turns out they were having the Route 66 Corvette show that day. I rolled in on a classic BMW surrounded by Corvettes. It was almost surreal. I parked in motorcycle parking.....being on RT66, Pop's has a large area set aside for motorcycle parking. I don't know if they plan it this way or not, but the Harleys fill in the parking from Right to left, and the Beemers fill in the parking left to right. The others park from the middle out. This was where I heard the conversation that showed me the difference between people who ride Harleys and people who ride BMWs. While I was at the BMW end of the line, people were comparing gear. One guy was talking about how he can't imagine riding in anything other than armored boots. When I got down to the Harley end of the line, I listened to two guys discussing exactly how little coverage the helmet could have and still be legal. It really shocked me to come to the realization that it seally came down to that the Harley riders laugh at you for wearing too much gear, and the BMW riders laugh at you for not wearing enough. I never guessed it would come down to something that simple.

After Pop's, I followed old 66 down to I-40 to stop by the OKC BMW dealership. I like to stop by dealerships whenever I am near to have a cup of coffee and hang out for a few. It lets me rest and chat with locals and find out where the road construction is. After leaving there, I went up to Yukon, and followed Old 66 down to just outside of Bridgeport, OK to turn ad go to Red Rock Canyon over by Hinton, OK. I promised Angela I would bring back a red rock for her. I forgot that the place is made of sandstone, so I started off with a fairly sizable rock, and after riding back to Denton, I found a much smaller rock and a lot of dust..... While I poked around the canyon I saw another person on a BMW R1200RT. We chatted for a few minutes, and I saw a patch on his jacket that made me chuckle "I ride too often, too far, and too fast to ride a Harley". That just made me chuckle a bit. The rest of the day was spent filtering down various back roads and secondary highways to get back into Denton, TX.

When I made it back to Denton, I checked the forecast. It seems that Austin had been put under a fairly significant thunderstorm warning, and I really didn't want to mess with riding in a thunderstorm all the way home after such a nice trip, so I decided to head back on Sunday morning. I still have Monday and Tuesday off from work, so I will likely do some riding then, weather permitting.

Once the decision to head back was made, the ride was fairly easy. I rode straight through from Denton to Waco, and stopped at the Starbucks to have coffee. Of course, there was the same group of guys that are there every weekend on their bikes, so we sat around and talked for a couple hours while I had coffee and let my hands stop vibrating. I ended up having to shuck most of my layers in Waco, and I still ended up being hot by the time I got back to Austin. When I left Denton this morning, it was around 40 degrees. When I rolled into Austin at 3:00, it was over 80. I love Texas weather....Hope for the best, plan for the worst, deal with what you get.

Oh well, I am home and alive. My brain is in buch better shape than when I left, and I can really tell the time I have been spending in the gym is paying off in mileage. 350+ per day and I am not as tore up as I really thought I would be. My brain is mushy, but my body is still good.

Here is the last day's route:

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