We Salute a Rider
The luckiest woman in Flour Bluff had the big yella bike packed and ready to be on the road at 7:00 a.m. of a Saturday morning; we needed to be in Leander, Texas by noon. We were going to join fellow VRCC members in a ride celebrating the life of Laser Pat, who has left this world to ride into the land of souls.
Gravity, as we all know, is an invisible force that drags you down. “Escape velocity” is the speed required get free, in this case, 70mph. In short order we’d freed ourselves from the city and were bound north-west on US-181
The day began overcast and the air became misty as we rode, the predicted high temperature of 83° F. (28 °C) looking more like wishful thinking, all the time. Despite the gloom, the spring wildflowers lined the roadside, showing off their finery.
The road is familiar and, despite an increase in truck traffic, we were able to relax and enjoy brilliant flowers that, in some cases, stretched for as far as the eye could see, maybe further. The sun finally made her appearance and, in good time, we were making our way through Austin,
While making passably good time in traffic, I spotted the familiar back-patch of our cruiser club and made a friendly overture (grinned like a madman). Introductions were made at a traffic light and member “Bull Goose” fell in with us.
With next to no trouble we found our way to the Lucky Star Ranch, home of the Big Red Bunkhouse.
We rolled into the circular drive and parked our bikes. Eventually, thirty motorcycles lined the drive waiting to be ridden on some of Laser Pat’s favorite roads.
There were Honda Valkyrie motorcycles of every description as well as a few Gold Wings, Harley-Davidsons and dual-sports.
At, or near, the appointed time, we rolled out in three groups of ten to honor our departed friend and brother by doing what he loved to do in the place he loved to do it. Some of us think it no coincidence that the weather was perfect.
The Texas Hill Country is recognized as having some of the finest motorcycling roads in the country. While I’d ridden over lots of it, the area just west of Leander and Austin was new territory for me.
The land begins to roll, here, north of Lake Travis.
There are long sweepers where we let the old girls stretch their legs.
The route was about 50 miles, all told, and entirely enjoyable.
We returned to the ranch where we saluted Laser Pat in words and song.
The Lucky Star Ranch is thoroughly charming place, replete with folk art and pleasant surprises at every turn. Never one to miss a chance to fondle jugs, I posed, here, alongside one of the many fountains.
There was a camper trailer on site…
… as well as a tree house with a spiral stairway.
Not everyone knows this, but I’ve always wanted to own a wooden white man.
In short, the location for the celebration was well chosen. The observance was something memorable. We did what we believe Pat would have wanted: we had a good time doing the things he loved to do, riding the Hill Country and enjoying our friends.
The road goes on forever.