Riding in Texas. A break from winter in Calgary
My wife was talking to a co-worker in her workplace, where talk turned to motorcycles. He (Duane) mentioned that he was loading up a trailer with bikes heading for Texas February 15. Two other bikes and riders were on board with a fourth, not sure work could accommodate the trip. Duane asks if I would be interested if the fourth rider backed out? My wife says ” I’m sure, but talk to Bobby and confirm it with him.”. A few emails and calls later, I’m in. Texas baby, here we come.
Two Victory Visions, ( mine and Gary’s) one, HD Electra-glide and one Honda Goldwing (Arnie). Well you can imagine the darts that would be thrown around the inside of a truck with this diversity of bikes. I couldn’t wait for Feb 15 to come.
Feb 15, we load up the bikes in a great 20′ x 8′ enclosed trailer equipped with a remote camera to watch the bikes from the cab of the Dodge quad cab diesel. The trailer has chock blocks, a power inverter and some tools, in case the plugs fouls on the Goldwing. (not really) We head off for Texas, a three or four-day trip depending on weather and roads.
Luck is with us and the roads from Calgary to Ennis Texas, just south of Dallas are with us. No snow accumulation to speak of during our journey and temperatures rising as we get closer. We decide to layover in Wichita Fall Texas where the temperature is in the low 70’s. This allows us to (have cocktails) unload three bikes to ride the rest of way to Ennis the following day. I chose to drive the truck for the last part of the trailering journey.
We make Ennis in good time which allows some time to explore the local bike shops. We find out to our dismay, that Mondays are not a good day for Motorcycle shop cruising, as most motorcycle shops are closed. We are directed by a local motorcyclist to the nearby town of Maypearl which has a leather shop in town and another clothing shop just down the road. A decent rain suit was purchased for 54.00 and some small items for our trip.
The next day we leave Ennis at 8 A.M. with temperature around 36F. We dress for the weather and head off to Houston. Not long down the road, temperature rises to 55F making the ride pleasant for the time of year. GPS is our friend on this ride with Arnie on the Goldwing haven taken the time to program our ride.
We wake up to rain in Houston, but the temperature is in the 50’s. To Canadians, equipped with the right gear, this is not bad. The weather forecast all around us is calling for rain (heavy rain) and winds. We decide, we’re here, so let’s ride. And so we do, off to Padre Island and then east along the coast towards New Orléans. Using side roads, non freeway roads that we could map out to get to Florida. Our ride turns out to well as we miss the heavy rains sans our sunglasses. Once again, we manage to avoid the bad weather, stay dry and enjoy the overcast skies for the journey.
We make New Orléans for a Friday night of fun on Bourbon Street. We negotiated the hotel room the night before over he phone. After offering 50.00 less a night than quoted, they accepted our offer. Then off to Pensacola Fla. on Saturday.
We were in awe of the endless beach in Biloxi Miss. and the housing that was wiped out by Katrina along the same beach front. I know plans were immediate in my brain, to return to this sand Oasis soon.
Just after lunch in Pensacola Fla. We head back towards Ennis Texas as soon as we can due to bad weather threatening states above Texas and our return trailer trip home. We load up the bikes and head north towards Oklahoma City. The threats of major snow storms is all around us as we hear of major snow hitting Amarillo, west of us. We keep going north to Wichita Kansas. As we pass through, snow ploughs filled with sand are stationed at overpasses waiting for the Armageddon of snow coming their way.
In Kansas, on a clear road, with some snow blowing across in patches, we hit a bump and the trailer takes a huge leap that tosses the trailer, the two rear bikes (my Victory Vision and the Electra-glide) tossed around like rag dolls.
The Visions loses the battle with (1400.00 parts) damage to left side of the fairing and the HD losing a saddle bag, windshield and lower defector. In the end, we are safe, the truck is O.K. and the trailer, some smaller , repairable damage.
It doesn’t end here. We notice a police vehicle south of Buffalo Wyoming, heading south on the four lane highway. Appears to be moving at high-speed. I then notice a car coming at us head on in the north bound lanes. It’s moving way over at 100 MPH. We are at 75 MPH and distances are closing. A sea of police cars dot the horizon with flashing lights.
Soon, a newer Yukon flashes past us with two occupants, and they are gone. You can only reflect on what could happen if theses guys hit us or anyone behind us. We check the internet for any news at our next stop. This is what came up.
We enjoyed our trip and would do it again. Just don’t ask the sandwich maker in Kaycee Wyoming what is in their club sub.
Preparing for the trip, I used the Texas tourism site to get brochures to aid with the planning. I received more than expected from them, which is greatly appreciated.