Archive | September, 2010

Scootin’ Home!

21 Sep

Howdy from Austin, Texas!

Left Gay Paree yesterday morning under cloudless skies with a cool mist rising up through the pine trees.  Nice!  East Texas ain’t no Arkansas; still, I do love riding there.  Just when it started to get hot, the sky clouded, which kept the temps down, and we were able to hightail it home without the cooling vests.   As usual, I’m not creative enough to make the final leg into Austin into something interesting.  (Is it even possible?)

Now that we’re home, I’ll admit that I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the Scootin’ the Ozarks rally.  I had a pre-conceived notion that there would be a few slow rides and the rest of the time spent admiring and talking about each other’s scooters.  NOT!  The rides were exciting, challenging, with breathtaking scenery (when we had a chance to look!), and the people were warm, interesting, fun, and didn’t care what type of two wheels you ride.  No scooterism in this group!  Doesn’t get any better than that!

Desha did extremely well on her first out-of-state ride:  packing her bike, getting through the rain like a champ, enduring some miserably hot temps, and loving the twists and turns.  She even won a prize!   She’s hooked, and I look forward to sharing more scooterrific adventures with her!

In case you’re interested in this sort of thing, total mileage was 1,782.  No wonder we’re tired today!

This photo doesn’t have anything to do with the trip, but it shows Mother Nature’s generous and colorful welcome home.  The purple in the foreground is Mexican  bush sage, and that monster in the background is an Americana agave.   There is also a red firebush, golden thryallis, silver artemesia, orange Mexican milkweed, pink Texas rock rose, wispy green bamboo muhly, and crimson crape myrtle.   Like Dorothy said, it’s all here in our own back yard!   Thanks, Mother N!

 

Thanks, y’all, for sharing the ride!

Peace on the Road!

BT

Scootin’ From the Ozarks!

19 Sep

Bon Jour, y’all, from Paris, Texas, and the Eiffel Tower!

This morning we reluctantly left a quiet Eureka Springs and headed south through the Boston Mountains.   Nice!  It was a little sad to transition from mountain curves to the straight roads of Texas, but it’s time to come home.  Today was long and hot, and we’ll  leave early tomorrow morning to beat the heat.  Still have over 300 miles to go.

I keep nodding off here, so will sign off early.   Bonne nuit!

Peace on the Road!

BT

Scootin’ ‘Round the Ozarks!

18 Sep

Still in Eureka Springs and am not sure how to begin describing the last few days.  The fellowship of the scooter crowd has been wonderful and the rides have been incredible.  We’ve spent full days in the saddle and the rest of the time socializing, so I’m way behind on journaling.  Here is a quick synopsis.

Thursday we looped north into Missouri on undulating ribbon roads that twisted and turned through green fields and national forests.  I can’t begin to tell you how many times my jaw was hanging open in awestruck appreciation.  For me the most memorable part was taking Peel’s Ferry across Bull Shoals Lake.   This was my first time to make a ferry crossing with a vehicle and it was a lot of fun — except when the ramp shifted as I was driving off.  Yikes! 

Here are Desha and I on the crossing.

Friday (yesterday) we did what’s called a poker run, where you ride to designated places, collect a token to show you were there, and are dealt cards when you return.  This ride took us east and had mile after mile of challenging turns through the mountains.  Too bad there wasn’t much of a chance to rubberneck, because the scenery was breathtaking.  Would have been a great day to be a passenger.

This shows the famous Ozark Cafe in Jasper, where we had lunch.

Here we are on one of the gas/butt breaks.  When was the last time you used a gas pump like that?

We made it back just before the poker run cutoff time, and although everyone in our group had lousy hands, we all had the time of our lives.

Today Desha and I washed up our bikes and entered them into the Show-and-Shine contest.  I’m happy to report that her bike won first place in its class, and here she is with her plaque.

This brief summary doesn’t even begin to describe how awesome this area is for riding and how wonderful it’s been making new friends, especially BFF’s Jennifer and Roy and Dave and Karen, who rode her little People 150 0ver 400 miles.  (Don’t ever mess with a single mom!)  Hopefully, though, in another week or so I can put together a video that will show you what the Ozark scootin’ experience is all about.

Peace on the Road!

BT

Spontaneous Scootin’!

15 Sep

Hello again from Eureka Springs, Arkansas!

Left this morning on what was supposed to be an approximately 25-mile roundtrip ride with our new friends, Roy and Jennifer, from Kansas City.  We visited the Cycle Gadgets warehouse, where we were given a warm welcome by the owner, Laurene Franklin.  Good prices since we didn’t have to pay shipping.

From there Roy led us down a nice little highway and across Beaver Dam to the Korner Kafe for a home-cooked meal.  Here are Roy and Jennifer waiting for lunch.

We all shared a tasty piece of  strawberry-rhubarb pie, and this shows our cooperative server dishing it up.

By the way, have y’all ever heard of a cloth sandwich?  It’s an acronym for cheese, lettuce, onion, tomato, and ham.

From there one scenic highway led to another, we ended up in Missouri, and didn’t get back to the hotel until 4:30!  THAT’S what I’m talkin’ about!

I will say, having people to talk to and hang out with on a ride adventure is a new experience, and it doesn’t leave much time to post.  I do love my long solo rides, but this is fun!

Peace on the Road!

BT

Scootin’ to Eureka Springs!

14 Sep

Hello from Eureka Springs, Arkansas!  What an amazing day of riding!

Left Broken Bow under clear skies and temps in the high seventies.  By the time we got to the Talimena Scenic Byway an hour later, the temperature dropped into the low sixties under a dark, ominous sky with freaky weird, swirling clouds hanging over the mountains.  Reminded Desha of Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments.  We managed to stay south of the rain for the time being, and the wonderful, gently sweeping curves of Talimena were the perfect warm-up for the rest of the day.

Didn’t actually hit the rain until after lunch, and rode the Arkansas Scenic Byway under fairly heavy showers.  Very nice riding, but it did get a little chilly.

Just as we finished our hot tea and delicious pie at the Ozark Restaurant in Ozark, the rain stopped and we hopped onto the Pig Trail for some of the finest riding I’ve ever done.  Mile after mile of thick, green canopy covering the road.  The scenery was breathtaking, and we’ll be talking about this Pig Trail for a long time!  The riding wasn’t super technical, but definitely a challenge.

Don’t know yet what tomorrow will bring weatherwise or ridingwise, but stay tuned, same BT time, same BT channel!

Peace on the Road!

BT

Scootin’ Outa Texas!

13 Sep

Hello from Broken Bow, Oklahoma!  Desha and I are on our way to Eureka Springs, Arkansas, for the Scootin’ the Ozarks  (STO) rally.

You all know by now that the first day of any long bike trip is simply a matter of getting out of Texas.  However, thanks to Tropical Storm Hermine, today’s ride was just as green as can be.  How often does anyone say that about Texas in September?  The temp was in the mid nineties, but was real tolerable with our water-cooled vests.  This is Desha’s first out-of-state ride on her maxi scooter, so it was fun to share in her excitement about the ride.

Blew the headlight fuse on Lizzie so had to unload all my luggage to take off the seat to get to the fuse box.  Miraculously, the whole process took less than 30 minutes to finish.

This shows our loaded bikes at a wonderful roadside park just a few miles south of the Red River.  If only I could send y’all the fresh, clean scent of pines.

We have an action-packed day ahead of us tomorrow as we ride into the beautiful Ozark Mountains in Arkansas.  Time to hit the hay!

Peace on the Road!

BT

And Now for Something Completely Different

3 Sep

If you ask me, two wheels are two wheels, no matter what powers them, so last weekend I made what used to be an annual trek to the Hotter ‘n Hell Hundred bicycle ride in Wichita Falls and met up with my friends, Peggy and Buddy.   Cyclists come from all over the USA and several foreign countries to ride and compete in the HHH. 

I completed my first century (100-miler) in 1991 at the HHH, when the temperature was 104 at the finish line and I was sure my feet had melted into the pedals.  Since then I’ve done centuries, 80-milers, 100 k’s, competed in the women’s road race, and worked as a U.S. Cycling Federation motorcycle official at the HHH.  It was an annual event on my calendar until 2007, when a cell-phone-talking driver ran me down while walking in a cross-walk in downtown Austin.  This year I’ve recovered enough to do a slow 25-miler, and in some ways it was just as sweet an accomplishment as that 100 miles 19 years ago. 

It was great seeing my long-time friends, and here we are at Johnny Carino’s the night before the ride, with the three of us simultaneously pulling out our baby-boomer glasses to read the menu.  (Peggy, from Denver, and Buddy, from Fort Worth, both did the century.)   

 

This year there were more than 13,000 riders, and it takes over 4,000 volunteers and medical personnel to make it all come together.   I lined up way in the back with all the other slow pokes; and, with thousands of riders ahead of us, we didn’t take off until 40 minutes after the start cannon fired.  I will say my group was a whole lot more easygoing and polite than those intense 100-miler groups I’ve been in!   The terrain around Wichita Falls is not challenging, but the 100-degree temps and strong headwinds will kick your ass in no time if you’re not ready.  

The highlight of the ride was ridng through Sheppard Air Force Base.  The base goes all out to welcome the riders, including a flyover during the Star-Spangled Banner before the start in Wichita Falls, your own personal pilot to take your picture by the aircraft display at the base, your own personal airman to hold your bike at the base rest stop,  and an energetic, cheering gauntlet of 200 airmen as you exit the base.  (“Airman” is the proper term for men AND women.)   I found myself feeling the need to tell a few of them that my late brother, Alan, was in the Air Force.  Made me choke up to see his reflection in their smiling faces.   

Here is a video that will hopefully help convey the HHH experience.  It will also convey why it’s taken so long to get this posted!  

If you have an iPhone or iPad, you can use the following direct link to Vimeo to download.  

Hotter ‘n Hell 2010 Video  

While it may seem like this post is something completely different for Biketrash Holiday, cycling has always remained my true two-wheeled love.  In fact, Biketrash was “born” several years before getting  her motorcycle endorsement.  There will be plenty more motorized adventures, but let me publicly announce here and now and put it in writing that next year I’m goin’ for the 50-miler!  Yeah, baby! 

Peace on the Road! 

BT

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