Rides and Tales

Observations From Behind Bars

Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

Ride to the Harvest Classic

leave a comment »

Friday morning, that lucky Flour Bluff woman, and I,  were on the road about the time the sun made her appearance. We were bound, ultimately, for the Harvest Classic European and Vintage Motorcycle Rally, at Luckenbach, TX.

Our first 65 miles were ridden on wet streets and in light rain, but by the time we rendezvoused with friends at Seguin, 104 miles later, we were dried.

Another 100 miles of fantastic riding country found us at Armadillo Farm Campground, about a half-mile from the Harvest Classic.

image001

After making camp, we decided to mosey on over to Luckenbach and see what was what, and what wasn’t what.

image002

image003

It was still early, for the event, but not too early for music to be played and beer to be consumed.  Security rode around on an invisible motorcycle making sure all was secure.

image006
The vendors and the participants in the swap meet and bike show were still setting up.  We left them to their preparations and met the Texas chapter of the Valkyrie Riders Cruiser Club, for eats.

1967 Honda CB450

1967 Honda CB450

Saturday, we decided to forego an organized ride, and take our own tour of the Willow City Loop, close to near-by Fredericksburg, TX.  In the spring, the Loop is a favorite for bluebonnet runs.

No bluebonnets, this time of year, but some of the fenceposts were in bloom, probably due to recent rains.

Boots on fenceposts

Boots on fenceposts

People live on the Loop, but you’d never guess by looking at the terrain.

image010

The view is worth the ride, any time of year.

Willow City Loop

The fence is made of stone.

Stone fence.

Now, I’m not sure what this is all about, but I suspect it has something to do with bragging rights.

image014

Our tour of the Willow City Loop, completed, we rolled back to Luckenbach, to check out some motor cycles.  Rather than post small pictures, I’ve posted them to my picture blog,  Click on the link or the pic of the Harley to go to Road Storyer (a WordPress blog)

Link to pictures

Link to pictures

Later, we stood around a campfire and spun mostly true yarns .  The ride  back to Corpus Christi could not have been better,  we traveled some roads we hadn’t seen before, and the weather was fantastic.
After all was said and done, the weekend was an unqualified success.

sundown

Written by fiddle mike

October 21, 2013 at 2:11 pm

A Gathering of the Fools

leave a comment »

We packed our tent and an extra pair of socks and headed for the fifteenth annual, “Gathering of the Fools”, at the home of Hotglue and Flamingo Babe, south of Houston, TX.
These folks define hospitality.  Our bedroom was one of the best, no motels, for us.


 

 

Hotglue is a Renaissance man whose talents range from fabrication to preparing top-notch barbecue.  If you’re from Texas you know that’s not a claim made lightly.

 

 

 

 

The Gathering of the Fools is a much-anticipated event for members of the Valkyrie Riders Cruiser Club, some of whom rolled in from as far away as California and Virginia.
The Honda GL1500 C, CT and Interstate is affectionately known to some as, “The Fat Lady” (advertisement: The Fat Lady Has Sung), and to others as, “The Dragon”.

 

 

As you can see, while we love our Valkyries, the gathering is hardly exclusive.  Some of Flamingo Babe’s cronies from the CanAm owners turned up, as well riders on Wings, Harleys, rockets and dual sports.

 

 

 

 

Saturday, the yard and the street began filling up with every description of Valkyrie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The annual ride was dedicated to Laser Pat (GBNF); the route included a stop at this spacious bar and grill for lunch, drinks and socializing.

 

 

 

Back at the ranch, we wandered the bikes and found these beauties:

 

 

 

 

Some of the paint was fantastic:

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Super Bee bike is really slick and I had to capture it for a friend who is a fan of classic American cars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This rider stood out in a sea of black Valkyrie Interstates.

 

 

 

 

Motor trikes were under represented.  This trike is owned by a woman who can take most riders to school, when it comes to riding the twisties.


 

 

The meal was fantastic, as per usual, and the fellowship was cold beer for the soul.
Now, I can’t speak for everyone, but it’s been my experience that motorcycling folk are about as big-hearted as they come.  Hotglue informed us that he and his associates in the Lions Club support a camp for disabled children and asked that we also support the cause by participating in some fund raising activities at the Gathering.  We did.

 

 

What a weekend.  We had a wonderful time with Hotglue, Flamingo Babe and the good folks and their fine machines, we ate the way God intended and had the opportunity to support a great cause, as well.


South of I-10, we really got it made.

 

 

 


Written by fiddle mike

April 3, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Posted in motorcycle, Texas, travel

Tagged with , ,

We Salute a Rider

with 3 comments

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.

Written by fiddle mike

March 26, 2012 at 4:55 pm

%d bloggers like this: