Sunday, March 19, 2006

First *Ride* in Texas

After a week of slothful mornings (don’t ask) I awoke early and pulled on my riding gear. My GPS was loaded up with my best first try at a good local loop and my bike was prepped to go. The radar showed rain to the north and headed north, so I thought I’d probably be safe in the areas I’d planned to ride.

First step was to get gas. I headed up Mueschke Rd from my community and found a large station at the intersection with FM2920. As had been the case with my last few truck fill-ups, the pump wouldn’t accept my card, so I was forced to go inside. I can hardly wait until Chevron decides it likes me again. A spry old gentleman came over and said, “I wish I could ride with you, but gotta do something else today.”

Heading west on FM2920 I encountered some gentle curves before getting onto the local freeway, US290. I quickly exited onto my first curvy road of the day: FM362. It was on this road that I encountered my only LEO of the day and did my only photo-stop. The wildflowers were in bloom, the trees were lush, and the road surface was slightly damp, but mostly trustworthy.

I marveled at the scenery. People in CA often think of Texas as being a land of deserts, dusty cowboys, and cactus. East Texas (or at least the Houston area) is not at all like that. Rural roads are bordered by tall pine trees and wildflowers. The landscape is peppered with small ponds and lakes. Beautiful to my CA-bred eyes. We’ll see how I feel when the temperature starts to climb.




After FM362 I got onto SR6 for the ride up to Navasota and the eagerly anticipated 3090. A large RV exited the freeway directly in front of me and I got to follow him through probably half the planned length of the road. There was little traffic, but I don’t like passing on double yellows and there weren’t any turn-outs. I finally lost patience on a long straight and gunned it. The rest of the road, although taken at speed limit, was a blast.

After FM3090 I took a jaunt down FM244 to FM149. Rolling hills and dairy cattle seemed to be the big thing on FM149. Losing sight of the road ahead always makes me nervous, and there were several places where rolling hills caused a loss of visibility. Even more nerve-wracking were the “turn ahead” signs preceding the hills. The road got much better as I entered Sam Houston National Forest. I saw several other motorcyclists also out enjoying the road as swooped and dove through tall pine trees.

I got hit with a few minutes of rain just south of Montgomery as I made my way back home via FM249 and FM2920. I’m glad that it waited until the ride was about over.

It felt good to get out, and while the local roads experienced today cannot compare to Mt Hamilton or CA-9, there are definitely curves aplenty.

I can hardly wait to get my dad out too. I’m pretty sure that other than commuting, he hasn’t explored at all in the 2.5 years he’s been here.

My route in Streets & Trips .est (right-click, save as)

1 comment:

Jerry James said...

I am glad that you are finding the riding in Texas, not so bad. I moved here from NM and people told me the riding was awful in Texas. I have to say that it is not the greatest, but hell we are close to the hill country and Arkansas.. gotta stay positive. Love your site