I went for a couple nice rides this weekend and put 179 miles on the bike. On Saturday I rode up Parmer north past 1431 where it turns into Ronald Reagan Blvd. I had never been up that way before, so it was fun to head out somewhere new. The street was nice and deserted: only a few cars and a lady riding her trike were on the road with me. Soon I found myself all alone riding past older homes on their plots of land and a few sprinkles came down from the sky. The temperature was perfect, in the low-70’s. I rode to the end of that street, where it Ts at 2238 and I took a right and headed towards Georgetown. The low-fuel light came on so I stopped at an Exxon and filled up the bike and had some water.
It was here that I put in the earplugs to try them out. I only rode a couple miles before I decided I didn’t like the isolation so I took them out. Next I headed down 95 through the town of Taylor. The winds were pretty strong, and heading south at more that 60mph was difficult and not at all enjoyable. I ended up pulling off the main highway and rode on some county roads, so I could just cruise at a slower 35-40mph speed and take in the sights This was really enjoyable. The people who lived in the houses I passed were all friendly and waved as I rode by. Returning to Taylor and route 79, I headed west back towards Hutto, then Round Rock where I turned south and rode through Pflugerville and Wells Branch near our old house. I eventually made my way to Lonestar BMW/Triumph where I took a nice little break and checked out all the nice bikes. They had a G650 GS like mine there, but it was a police model with sirens and lights. Was kinda cool, but also a bit odd seeing my bike kitted out like that. After that I headed back home via Rutland, Metric, then Parmer. It was a total of 132 miles and a fair share of regular in-town riding.
Sunday morning I struck out west on 1431 from Cedar Park. I only went as far as the outskirts of Jonestown, where I turned right on Nameless Road. This is another road sign that I had seen many times and wondered about. This time, I saw two bikers on their Harley’s leaving Nameless Road, so I decided to go check it out. It’s a pleasant little 45mph two-lane road with a lot of elevation changes and a few twisties to keep it fun. I passed four other motorcyclists on this road, I think they were coming from Leander towards 1431 and then Marble Falls.
I didn’t have too much time so after a little side trip down Round Mountain I turned back and headed to 1431. I knew that I needed to pick up some breakfast tacos so I decided on Rudy’s. I went down Lakeline Blvd south, Cypress Creek, Anderson Mill and then took a quick 65mph run down 620 to get the tacos. After that, I was back home with the breakfast delivery for the family. A nice 47 mile Sunday morning ride in beautiful weather.
A couple things I noticed while riding this weekend:
- Strong headwinds/crosswinds suck. Not only does it blow you around your lane, but it makes the ride a lot noisier.
- I don’t like wearing earplugs while riding. Maybe this will change, but I felt that I was too removed from the environment while wearing them. Some people really swear by them, so maybe I just need a different kind of earplug.
- Feeling my backpack/tailbag hitting my lower back is reassuring. It doesn’t provide any kind of support but it makes me feel more protected and therefore more comfortable.
- I learned to use my knees to stabilize myself on the bike. Now I can keep my arms and hands more relaxed which is much less fatiguing plus it’s easier and quicker to maneuver the bike when I don’t have a deathgrip on the handlebars. Also, by pivoting my body at the waist, it’s a lot quicker to lean the bike into a turn.
- Accelerating while exiting a curve is a heck of lot of fun.