Rides and Tales

Observations From Behind Bars

First Ride 2008

with 2 comments

The cool morn of the first Saturday of 2008 saw me backing the big yella bike out of her shelter for another excursion into the lands north of Interstate-10. I was up and running at the crack of 9:00, had donned my riding thong and winter helmet, snagged the hot granny (also dressed to travel) and set out to visit long-time friends in Austin, TX.

About 30 miles into the ride the sky began clearing and the day ended up being chamber of commerce kind of scootering day with the temperature near 80° and little wind.

We have a favorite trail, a fairly direct route on state and US highways that we haven’t told Mapquest about. Traffic is light and drivers still wave at each other, and at us, on the road we take.


That road crosses the Guadalupe River. She looked a little down in her banks, to me. The winter has been dry and we are downstream from Canyon Dam.
The last town of any size that we pass through is Lockhart, 30 miles from Austin.

Lockhart, TX

My crack photographic team snapped this “on the fly” picture of the Lockhart courthouse.



Of course everyone was glad to see us and one of the girls invited us outside for a game of fetch but we had to make a trip to the cycle shop, so fetch had to wait.
When we were about halfway to Austin I’d experienced a fuel delivery problem that I’m guessing is caused by a too-small in-line filter. The shop where our friend’s VTX was being serviced carries larger filters so I wanted to ride along, pick one up, and check the place out.



Sunday began foggy, as days often do in the Hill Country, but the clearing fog didn’t clear the sky. With more wind, the day seemed a little chilly, but we ain’t skeered. Our associates have elected to take us east for a little off-slab riding to find a restaurant whose name doesn’t end in “Inc.”.


We fueled the bikes and were soon out of town and admiring the countryside’s winter fashion, the trees enjoying the wind blowing over their bare limbs, while the grasses were decked out in warm brown.
The decent folk were still in church and there were only a few other wicked Sabbath breakers on the road, waving at us from their Harleys or Gold Wings.

After my engine tried to stall, a few times, we pulled into a filling station. Stopping for a minute probably did more good than topping off the tank but it’s at this point that one of the ladies mentioned my rear tire looking low. Low. For all practical purposes, it was flat. I couldn’t find any obvious puncture so I wrote it off as a leaking valve and applied new air. Our destination was nearby so I put that on a back burner and made lunch a priority. It’s a good thing we did, too, otherwise we’d have been too late to eat at Klump’s Restaurant, in the thriving micropolis of Round Top, TX.


Located on SH 237, between LaGrange and Brenham, Round Top boasts a population of 77, making it one of the smallest incorporated towns in Texas. Having spotted a handful of motorcycles in the parking lot, we gravitated to Klump’s and found that what Round Top lacks in runaway development and overpopulation it makes up in the quality of its food and folks.


A capable wait staff is an integral part of pleasurable dining experience and it’s neither pertinent nor politically correct to note that ours was a pretty red head. Even though we’d arrived very near to closing time, Courtney’s pleasant disposition and lively sense of humor made us feel at home.
Long on wooden floors and short on stainless steel, Klump’s Restaurant seemed a likely place to continue my quest for perfect chicken fried steak
(the national food of Texas).

I believe I found it.

The Klumps serve a delicious, tender hand-breaded cutlet. They know their way around cream gravy, too, and there’s plenty of it, on the side, so folks can spread the wealth to their fries or mashed potatoes.

Of course, if CFS isn’t to your liking, there are plenty of other selections on the menu. The ladies decided on lighter fare, and while I didn’t taste, the fact that they left nothing behind ought to be endorsement enough.


When in Round Top, eat at Klump’s Resaturnat.
Trust me on this one.

Having finished that excellent repast, we took the long way back to Austin town, enjoying sights common in rural Texas, living the high life.




Soon enough, we crossed the Colorado River, parked the bikes and settled in, but not before engaging in marathon fetch.



Inspecting my bike, I found the valve stem was cracked and seemed to leak only when pulled. Upon leaving I snagged a roll of duct tape and effected a stopgap measure that got us home. I will never again leave home without duct tape.We had a great visit with our friends, enjoyed a cruise in the country and found a new favorite restaurant, but it was time to point our wheel southward.


The big yella bike crossed the beautiful San Marcos River at Lulling, passing the town’s river park and historic mill. Retracing our route we pushed on, ‘making a run for the coast’ as the song goes.
The headwind was gusting to somewhere around 40 mph but the day seemed as perfect as the calm, sunny Saturday of two days earlier.

We’re alive and in Texas.



Written by fiddle mike

January 8, 2008 at 12:30 pm

2 Responses

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  1. great picts!!
    looks like we missed a fun ride!!
    amen, to the duct tape requirement!!

    love to all!!
    ride safe,

    jeff and rhonda 🙂


    January 9, 2008 at 7:25 pm

  2. Another web-log viewed and enjoyed! Love the “travel log” speak of your narration.

    I’m planning a trip to TX in ’08. No hard dates yet…but would love to “meet up” with you and your sexy Granny…one of the reasons I am a member of so many biker web-sites is to find great people who love to ride…and willing to share the experience!


    January 11, 2008 at 4:21 am

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