My wife granted me the entire Sunday morning to go riding and I decided to go west again, with my rough destination being the area around Inks Lake. I have a Texas State Parks pass so I thought I might visit the park for a break before heading back home. As usual, I left the house at around 7am. The sun is coming up earlier now so I can head out the door probably by 6:30 soon. I like riding when it’s dark out, but it’s pretty dangerous around here because there are lots of deer and other critters active in the early morning hours. Instead of making coffee at home, I went to the local coffee shop and had a double-espresso and a banana. I figured that would get me going and I would pick up something later on to eat at Inks Lake.
After fueling up my body and bike I rode up Ronald Reagan Blvd to Highway 29, then west past Liberty Hill and Bertram. I stopped to take a photo of the little train station in Bertram and almost dropped the BMW while going over some gravel and rock. Well, it wasn’t that bad but it got a little squirrely.
After that I kept heading west, enjoying the cool morning air and light Sunday morning traffic. My new dark faceshield is excellent, by the way. Really clear and improves vision quite a bit.
I took a right at Hwy 690 and took that lovely curvy road along the north shore of Buchanan Lake. But the curvy road soon had signs that indicated “Loose Gravel” which kind of freaked me out, so I turned around and headed back to Hwy 29 and then further west. I passed the Buchanan Lake Dam and for some reason kept going all the way to Llano. That stretch is not too interesting, but there are a couple stretches where you can really open up the throttle (if you are into that sort of thing).
In Llano, I gassed up again then backtracked to Buchanan Lake and then took the road to Inks Lake. That road to the park is really a nice ride, with some 30mph hairpins and elevation changes. I saw a few other motorcyclists on this road, all having fun it seemed. When I got to the entrance to the park, I didn’t really feel like stopping (I was having too much fun) so I rode past until I hit 1431 near Kingsland. I found a scenic overlook and pulled over to have some water and take a few photos. The view was really nice.
After that short break I went through Marble Falls, then did a little loop around Horseshoe Bay and saw some really nice homes and exclusive neighborhoods. It was about 11:30 by then (time flies!) and I started back home. Taking 1431 from Marble Falls to Cedar Park was great fun as always. It’s like being on a rollercoaster, and I kept the bike in 4th gear and the RPMs from 4,500-5,500 the whole way. It was a blast. I think for a future ride out that way, I’ll pack some food and have a little solo picnic. Maybe even pack a fishing pole!
The ROT Rally was this weekend but I didn’t go. Maybe someday I will head downtown to check it out. Just not this year. Instead, I went for a really nice ride on Sunday morning. When I left my driveway, the ground was wet with a recent light shower but then just out of my neighborhood the roads were dry and the sky was filled with puffy white clouds. I topped off the tank at the gas station (averaging about 63 mpg now) then headed down 620. We drove down to Lakeway the previous weekend, so the route was still fresh in my mind. I knew it would be really fun to ride 620 on the bike and it didn’t disappoint. The downhill by the Oasis and Steiner Ranch towards the dam was really enjoyable, and there were hardly any cars on the road. I kept it at the speed limit which was I think 65mph so not too slow. I rode all the way past Lakeway the took a right at Bee Cave and took Highway 71 northwest. It’s funny but while riding it seems like the time just flies by. The ride down 620 seemed like it took only a couple minutes, but I’m sure it must have been about 20 or more. Anyways, 71 was a nice stretch also and before I knew it, I was at 281 and heading north into Marble Falls. I wish I had extra time to explore that town on the bike or even find a nice coffee shop, but I knew that the kids were probably awake and waiting for some breakfast. So I started east on a stretch of road that is one of the best (supposedly) in Central Texas. There was almost no traffic the whole way from Marble Falls to Lago Vista and the sun was high enough that it wasn’t in my eyes too much. The stretch of 1431 between the nature preserve and Lago Vista is so much fun, I cannot wait to go back and ride it again. Driving it in a car just cannot compare to riding it on a motorcycle. So far this ride was the most fun I have had on my bike.
I finally bought a tinted faceshield for my helmet which will really improve my riding experience. I don’t have a pair of prescription sunglasses so I have been riding during the day with the clear shield which was not so great, especially riding east in the mornings. It took me a while to order the new shield because I wasn’t sure how long I would keep my present helmet since it is getting old. The general consensus it that you should replace your helmet every five years but since I rarely used it for four years, I’ll keep it for a couple more.
I had a couple hours free on Saturday morning before we went camping so I took a ride out on 1431 east from Cedar Park. 1431 is supposedly one of the better motorcycle routes in Texas and the many times I’ve driven it in a car I have seen tons of motorcyclists. I knew I didn’t have too much time so I figured I’d just ride a little bit of it until 8:30am, and then turn around and head back home.
My weekend morning rides have been lots of fun. There aren’t a whole lot of cars on the roads, but I do see a lot of other motorcyclists which is pretty cool, Usually they give a wave to me and I’ll wave back. Everyone is enjoying the morning! 1431 just past Lago Vista changes from four lanes to just two and is filled with lots of twisties and elevation changes. As a new rider, the curvy roads are pretty exhilarating even though I’m not traveling too fast. Usually I keep a little below the speed limit. It’s still really cool to lean into the turns.
I turned off 1431 and followed a sign to the Gloster Bend Recreational Area. I’ve never been there before so I thought I’d explore a bit. The road was narrower with a speed limit of 40 and decorated on the sides with the occasional mailbox. I only saw one other vehicle on the road, and they were just cruising along at around 30mph, and I decided to do the same. It’s so relaxing to just ride and take in the sights (while still keeping an eye out for deer or other critters) especially after the faster riding on 1431. I eventually found the recreational area, which looked like just a boat ramp and some nice picnicking areas. I stopped and had a drink of water and took a couple photos, then headed back home. It was a really great ride and I cannot wait to ride farther on 1431 to Marble Falls at some later date.