Archive | October, 2010

For a Few Scooters More Lockhart Ride Video

23 Oct

Howdy, pardners!  Join the scooter posse as it saddles up to make its way to the Barbecue Capital of Texas!  For the unique and rare opportunity to witness this fun-filled event, check out the Lockhart Ride video!

Background story at For a Few Scooters More.

For a Few Scooters More Lockhart Ride Video

(If your computer does not handle High Definition, click on the HD in the bottom right-hand corner of the movie screen to turn off the High Definition.  It also might be helpful to let the movie load for a few minutes before you begin playback.)

Peace on the Road!


P.S.  Gymkhana video coming soon!

Ladies Escape 2010

12 Oct

Last weekend Desha, our friends, Holly and Wendy, and I rode to East Texas for the 18th annual Ladies Escape weekend.  I’ve attended LE off and on since 1996, but it was the first time for the others.  Originally, women came to LE from several locations, including New Mexico, but attendance has dwindled the last few years.  We’ll make an effort to revive it next year.

We took our time getting to Jasper, following the section of the scenic Texas Independence Trail where the Declaration of Independence for the Republic of Texas was written in 1836.  It’s been a while since I’ve gone down those roads, and I’d forgotten how rustic and beautiful they are.  We definitely need to get over there during bluebonnet season!  From there it was a short ride to the East Texas Piney Woods and Sam Houston National Forest.  

This picture shows how the sky looked the entire weekend!  This, my friends, is why I ride!  Yeah, baby!

The historic Belle-Jim Hotel in Jasper has been home to Ladies Escape since before my time.  It’s located on the town square and is a community gathering place with many regulars stopping in for breakfast and lunch.   David and Pat, owners, always make us feel like family with their warm hospitality and home-cooked meals.  The experience is small-town charm at its finest.  (No, the City of Jasper is not like it’s portrayed in the movie!)

Mrs. Mamie Patten, a widow, built the hotel in 1910 and named it after her daughters, Belle and Jim.  The story is that Jim received her name because the Pattens wanted another son.  In fact, Jim was an avid fisherman, golfer, and traveled the globe three times!  After Mrs. Patten died, Jim took over hotel operations until her death in 1974.

We found ourselves in good company Saturday morning when Mayor Mike Lout, Retired District Judge Joe Bob Golden, and several other regulars  stopped in for breakfast.  They talked to us like friends, and I discovered Judge Golden knew our beloved Judge Thurman.  There aren’t many old-school judges around anymore, so I sure enjoyed meeting him!  Later Pat told me I was sitting in the mayor’s chair, but he was a gentleman and didn’t say anything!

Here is Rosie parked in front of the Belle-Jim with the Jasper County Courthouse as a backdrop.

After breakfast we went on a lovely 200-mile loop through the Angelina National Forest, crossing into Louisiana.  There were some fall colors (still early this far south), and the air had that fresh, clean smell of fall.    Desha got to count her fifth scooter state, and this was the first motorcycle out-of-state experience for Wendy and Holly.   Here they are posing on the east side of the Sabine River.

By the time we got “home” to the Belle-Jim, the Houston group had arrived, and we were treated to one of Pat’s wonderful dinners.  The sneaks had put together a surprise birthday party behind my back and got me good, but the carrot cake made everything all right!   We had our traditional parlor pajama party, until it got late and every few minutes someone would leave to hit the sack.  Never did find out what time Desha and the Houston girls called it quits!

After saying our goodbyes Sunday morning, we headed west to the Yankee Tavern in Carlos for lunch.  The Yankee Tavern was voted to have the sixth best burgers in the state in a Ride Texas Reader’s Choice Poll.   It definitely is a great biker hangout with a friendly atmosphere and lots of interesting characters, but sixth best burger?   Don’t think so!    

Warning:  Don’t be frightened by the scary bad-ass bikers in the next pic!

We all made it back to Austin safe and sound and have already made plans to attend next year’s Ladies Escape!  Hmmmmmm. . . maybe we’ll have to swing through the Big Thicket National Preserve on our way there? 

Peace on the Road!


Scootin’ the Ozarks Video

7 Oct

That’s right, folks!  Scootin’ the Ozarks 2010 video is now available for your viewing pleasure!  You’re only one “click” away from rally highlights and gorgeous Arkansas scenery!

Read about this adventure in a series of blog posts beginning with Scootin’ Outa Texas.

(If your computer does not handle High Definition, click on the HD in the bottom right-hand corner of the movie screen to turn off the High Definition.  It also might be helpful to let the movie load for a few minutes before you begin playback.)

Scootin’ the Ozarks 2010 Video

Peace on the Road!


For a Few Scooters More

3 Oct

This weekend Desha and I attended the second annual Riff Raff Austin scooter rally, For a Few Scooters More, which draws its inspiration from the Clint Eastwood spaghetti-westerns.  This rally had a completely different feel from Scootin’ the Ozarks  in that most of the scooters were what I call “little” as opposed to “maxi” long-distance scooters.

The fun kicked off Friday afternoon at Urban Moto with registration, grilled hamburgers, socializing, and an evening excursion through downtown Austin.  You can imagine what it was like to have 75 scooters drive by hundreds of people who had lined the Congress Bridge to watch the largest urban bat colony in North America emerge for their nightly feeding.  There were lots of smiles and waving as we passed, because everyone loves the little scooters!

After a continental breakfast at Vespa Austin on Saturday, we set off on a well planned route with postcard-perfect weather to historic Lockhart, proclaimed by the Texas Legislature to be the barbecue capital of Texas.  We parked on the main square in front of the beautiful Caldwell County Courthouse, and everyone had their choice of three excellent bbq restaurants within walking distance.  Along with several others, I chose Black’s.  Mmmmm good!

By the way, back in the late seventies, I covered court in this courthouse.  With the courtroom acoustics, or lack thereof, it was hard to hear someone sitting only ten feet away because of the echo.  That experience was a real-life court-reporter nightmare and still makes my insides flinch! 

Before we returned to Austin, there was plenty of time to socialize, visit some historic buildings, and relax under a cloudless fall sky.  I even saw some curious Harley guys walking along the row of parked scooters while checking them out!

Sunday morning we met up at Izzoz Tacos for breakfast and more socializing.  It always seems on Day Three of any rally, workshop, whatever, people start to feel comfortable and open up with each other, and this group was no exception.  Like the sign says, you could look around and see many Facebook friends being made and e-mail addresses being exchanged.   

From Izzoz we headed over to TJ’s Cycle in North Austin for a gymkhana, raffle, and awards.  (Here “gymkhana” basically means performing tight maneuvers, driving over obstacles, and completing a task while moving, all without putting down a foot.)  Desha was one of only three women brave enough to tackle the gymkhana, and she did extremely well!   As always, the gymkhana was loads of fun and there will be some entertaining clips in the video that will be put together in a few weeks.  

The rally concluded with awards and a generous raffle, with the grand prize being a running vintage Vespa 90.   Here is the lucky winner, with matching red hair and accessories!

But the best part of the weekend was when Jane, my spray-can-painted Vino 125, won the Best Modern Scooter award.  It’s even more special because my friends, Eric and Jean, made the trophy themselves.  The recognition makes it worthwhile to have spent all those hours turning her into a beautiful, special, and unique scooter.  How great is that?

The next photo shows Jane and her ecstatic caretaker.  Exactly what was done to make her unlike any other Vino will be the subject of another blog posting.  (Did all the work myself, except for recovering the seat and back rest.)

Everyone agreed that this was a fantastic, fun-filled weekend in every way.  So I wonder what else I can do to Jane before next October. . . .  Hmmmmmm. . . .

Peace on the Road!


P.S.  Motorcycle trip to East Texas next weekend!  This is ridin’ weather!


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