Tag Archives: Motorcycle

Blue Ridge Parkway Motorcycle Ride June 2014 Day 1 & 2

motorcycle touring, motorcycle travel, motorcycle ride, motorcycle trip, motorcycle riding, motorcycle road trips, motorcycle, Blue Ridge Parkway, route map

Day 1 Ride Map

Ride Day 1

Today is the first day of our Blue Ridge Parkway Motorcycle Ride. We have planned to make this ride for several years now… but life always gets in the way of the best laid plans. We have driven parts of the Blue Ridge Parkway before and that is what inspired us to ride it. Today we are finally going to make it happen.

motorcycle touring, motorcycle travel, motorcycle ride, motorcycle trip, motorcycle riding, motorcycle road tripsWe loaded up the bike the night before so we could get an early start. The plan is to ride to Jackson, Mississippi. 523 miles, just a little over half way to my friend Larry’s in Bryant, Alabama. Normally we schedule sightseeing stops on many of the days we ride and don’t travel so many miles. It helps to break up the time on the bike and gives us a chance to stretch our legs a bit. We have traveled this route many times going out to visit my ol’ Air Force buddy and best friend, so we have seen much of what is to see along the way. Today we are just riding, covering a lot of miles.

motorcycle touring, motorcycle travel, motorcycle ride, motorcycle trip, motorcycle riding, motorcycle road trips

Early morning riding US 79 headed to Shreveport, LA

motorcycle touring, motorcycle travel, motorcycle ride, motorcycle trip, motorcycle riding, motorcycle road trips

Crossing the mighty Mississippi River in the rain

It was a cool, crisp morning, perfect riding weather.  I checked the weather along our route before we left and there was a good possibility of rain (50 – 60%) once we left Texas. We have driven this route many times and it seems that we almost always hit rain going through Mississippi. At our first gas (petrol) stop we talked to a guy about our trip. When he realized we would be riding through Mississippi he asked if we brought our rain gear because he said he always gets rained on traveling through Mississippi. I guess we aren’t the only ones who have made that observation. Over the years we have ridden many miles and generally have missed any heavy rain, so I was hoping our luck would hold out for this trip… Riding through Louisiana we encountered light rain from time to time but not enough to stop and put on the rain gear. As we approached Mississippi the sky became darker and darker the closer we got to Mississippi. We realized our luck was about to run out. We stopped and suited up with our rain gear. Within a few miles we were crossing the Mississippi River into Mississippi in the rain. It wasn’t long until it was raining very hard. It has been 30+ years since I have ridden in rain this heavy. I was Ok but my concern was how Janet was handling the rain. She handled the rain really well. We reached Jackson, Mississippi, our planned destination, just before 5:00 PM. Because it was still early we decided to ride on (in heavy rain) to Meridian, Mississippi.  That would leave us with less than 300 miles to ride tomorrow. If there was rain tomorrow we could take our time and not be rushed.

We rode 609 miles today. This was the longest we have ever ridden in one day. All in all it wasn’t too bad. It would have been better without the rain. Janet did well in the rain, except her rain suit pants leaked and her jeans got soaked…

motorcycle touring, motorcycle travel, motorcycle ride, motorcycle trip, motorcycle riding, motorcycle road trips, motorcycle, travel, Blue Ridge Parkway, route map

Day 2 Ride Map

Ride Day 2

Today there is a 30% change of rain along our route. The sky is overcast and it looked like we might get wet again. It’s just 283 miles mostly freeway to Larry’s. We will be there by noon. It was cool from the earlier rain which made for good riding. The sun did manage to break through the clouds from time to time.  As usual everything was lush and green, rolling hills and eventually mountains. Our only stops were for gas and to put on our rain gear. It started to rain a bit when we left the freeway and headed up Sand Mountain (actually it’s more of a plateau). Two or three miles from Larry’s it did start to rain heavily for a few minutes. It rained just enough to get us wet and then stopped before we got to Larry’s. All in all it was a good short riding day.

motorcycle touring, motorcycle travel, motorcycle ride, motorcycle trip, motorcycle riding, motorcycle road trips

Heading to Larry’s in Bryant, AL

We haven’t been out to Larry’s in a few years so it was good to get back. We will spend the next two days visiting before we all (Larry C., Jo , Larry T., Alfred, Jean, James, Janet and I) head out to ride the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Come follow along as we ride the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway and enjoy the scenery and fun as we ride. See y’all there…

We had a great time on our ride. You may want to check out the other days of our ride by clicking on the links below.

Below is my first my first attempt at making a video of our ride. Have a look. It condenses the ride down to 9:13 minutes…

Our First Big Bend Motorcycle Ride – Day 4

Big Bend Ride Map Day - 4

Big Bend Ride Map Day – 4

Below is what I used to navigate each day. This was to have been the last day of the ride but due to change of plans we did not ride the route shown below in the itinerary . We extended the ride an extra day.

Day 4 Sanderson to Georgetown   Hwy           Miles
Sanderson to Dryden                                      90                21
Dryden to Langtry                                            90                40 Play Tourist
Langtry to Comstock                                       90                30
Comstock to Del Rio                                        90                26 GAS (117 miles)
Del Rio to Junction                                           277/377   123 GAS (123 miles)
                                                                                                                  Note: 277/377 splits                                                                                                                           after 22 miles. Stay on                                                                                                                         377.
Junction to Mason                                               377             45 
Mason to Llano                                                      29               34
Llano to Burnet                                                      29               30 GAS (109 miles)
Burnet to Georgetown                                         29               35
Total                                                                                             384

Langtry Texas

Judge Roy Bean’s Saloon

The next morning we headed for Langtry to see Judge Roy Bean’s Saloon and Opera House. It was an interesting stop. The community is notable as the place where “Judge” Roy Bean, the “Law West of the Pecos”, had his saloon and practiced a kind of law.  Tourism to the Judge Roy Bean Visitor Center continues to keep the town alive. At the Visitor’s Center are many displays, including Judge Roy Bean’s pistol/gavel, the preserved saloon and other relics. Also of note is a cactus garden with many examples of desert plants.

Langtry Texas,

Judge Roy Bean’s Saloon (Gary, Ivan, Larry, Larry)

Or next stop was the Pecos River. Like the Rio Grande, the Pecos River water level was really low due to the drought, but still impressively scenic.

Pecos River Rest Stop at Hwy 90

Pecos River Rest Stop at Hwy 90

Alamo Village at Brackettville Texas

Alamo Village at Brackettville Texas

From the Pecos River, the plan was to head on home but we decided to make a side trip to Brackettville to see the Alamo Village. Alamo Village was where John Wayne’s movie THE ALAMO as well as other movies. It was interesting touring the many buildings and taking pictures. We saw a show… skit… I wouldn’t suggest going to the show in the Cantina. It was BORING!!! We thought it would never end.

Alamo at Alamo Village

Alamo at Alamo Village

From the Alamo Village, we took Highway 674, another scenic road. The only downside was, we hit construction again. Another gravel road! Luckily this was a short one and it wasn’t too bad. Highway 674 eventually ran into Highway 377. This put us back on our planned route but put us behind our scheduled time. I would have liked to have stopped at several places along the way but because of the extra time at the Alamo Village it was getting late. After a near head on collision with a buzzard and a near miss with a flock of peacocks Janet was ready to call it a day. Janet suggested we stop in Mason for the night. After some debating we all agreed. To continue would have us riding about 80 miles in the dark. Not a good thing, as this area has many deer and they are active starting at dusk.

We were home by 9:30 the next morning. In spite of our numb-butts, we saw some beautiful West and Central Texas country and everyone had a great time.

Gary and Ginny heading back home to West Columbia

Gary and Ginny heading back home to West Columbia

We learned a lot about what and what not to do on future trips. On future trips…

  • We will take more time and limit daily distances so we can spend more time playing tourist.
  • We won’t deviate from the planned route unless necessary.
  • We will take more breaks when it is hot.

All in all, it was a fun trip and everyone was looking forward to our next big adventure. If you are new here you will find many of the rides we have done over the last 11 years. We have done a lot of great rides. If you are looking for places to ride you might find a good one here.

Thanks for stopping by and letting me share our world with you. I hope we see you down the road somewhere. Ride safe y’all…

Here are the links to the other days of this ride.

Our First Big Bend Motorcycle Ride – Day 1
Our First Big Bend Motorcycle Ride – Day 2
Our First Big Bend Motorcycle Ride – Day 3

If you enjoyed this post you may like these too…

  1. Big Bend Ride 2007
  2. Big Bend/Carlsbad Cavern Ride 2009
  3. Riding Information on Big Bend Area of Texas
  4. Tips on Long Distance Touring
  5. Riding Fit… Riding Smart
  6. Getting the Wife to Ride


Merry Christmas From Texas

Just wanted to wish everyone out in the blogisphere  a very Merry Christmas from Texas. This has been an incredibly busy but good year for us. We did a lot of traveling by car and motorcycle to and with family and friends. Looking back, we have been blessed by family and friends. We hope you had a good year too and may the next be even better.

New Ornament

New Ornament

New Christmas Tree

New Christmas Tree

Austin, Texas new tradition... Roadside Christmas Trees

Austin, Texas new tradition… Roadside Christmas Trees

Well, I will leave you with this last thought.

LUKE 2:1-20 New International Version (NIV)

THE BIRTH OF JESUS 2 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah,the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Ride safe and may y’all have a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year.

“That’s For People Who Can’t Read Maps!”

On the Texas Independence Trail

On the Texas Independence Trail

Map of Day 2 Ride Route

On our “National Park Motorcycle Ride” in July we stopped for gas in Gardiner, Montana.  When I started my bike the GPS announced “Turn right in fifty feet”. The woman filling up her car on the other side of the pump I was at exclaimed… “What was that!” The guy filling his truck behind her exclaimed…  “That’s for people who can’t read maps!”

To be honest I was a little annoyed… and I wanted to say something back. Fortunately, I couldn’t think of a good come back. It was probably a good thing I had left well enough alone. Thinking back I know there was a time I might have said the same thing. I didn’t have a GPS and I couldn’t figure out why I needed one. I probably would have never bought one for myself… What changed that you ask? My lovely wife bought me one for Christmas! When I got it I smiled and said thank you… thinking I would probably never use it… Besides it was just some fancy electronic gadget that I would have to learn to use. Yeah, it had only a few buttons… buttons that did many things and to know what those things are require reading the user’s manual…  I know some people consider me a bit of a geek but I, like most men, don’t like reading user’s manuals… and besides reading a map was much easier… right.

How did I end up learning to use it? To make a long story short, shortly after I got my GPS, I was put in a situation where I had to use it… In a city I did not know and I needed to get to many places. The GPS got me to those places without a hitch. Now the GPS is an invaluable tool of my travels.

Now back to the guy who said… “That’s for people who can’t read maps!” This is how I might have responded to him and other people like my former self.

Can you get this from a map?

  1. Find motels near you.
  2. Location of the nearest gas station.
  3. Restaurants nearby.
  4. Hospitals
  5. Shopping
  6. Parks, museums etc.

Can a map give you real-time information as you drive? Like…

  1. How far it is to your next turn.
  2. How far it is to your destination.
  3. Whether you will be exiting right or left from a freeway
  4. Does it give lane assignments for proper exiting?
  5. If you miss a turn can a map get you back on course (without stopping)?

Actually, to use a GPS effectively you need to know how to read a map. You must be able to read a map to plan routes… to add via points and add roads of your choosing and not just go from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’. A GPS is just a tool just as maps are tools. A GPS is just a better tool…

The other advantage of using a GPS is you don’t have to read it as you are driving or riding. Reading a map while riding is hard… Unless you know the route by heart you will need to refer to the map. Reading those little road names are not easy and distracting…

Now I’ve got that off my chest… What can you add to this?

“Subscribe to Texas Rambler via Email” Click at the bottom left column to receive notifications of new posts by email. Also please take some time to leave us a comment. We always love hearing from y’all…

I hope I see you down the road somewhere… Ride safe…

People say to me… “Aren’t you afraid to die?”

I am forever being asked why I ride motorcycles. I’ve tried to answer that question in an earlier post titled “Why Do You Ride Motorcycles”. It’s not an easy question to answer. I have come across videos that have tried to answer that question. Some are better than others. This video is a good short one from esurance.com…  It describes my passion in words and video… I love this quote from the video… “People say to me ‘Aren’t you afraid to die?’ and I say are you afraid to live?”

Here is the video… Enjoy…

“Subscribe to Texas Rambler via Email” Click at the bottom left column to receive notifications of new posts by email. Also please take some time to leave us a comment. We always love hearing from y’all…

I hope I see you down the road somewhere… Ride safe…