Riding Around Austin

This morning I decided that instead of heading out for a long ride, I would just ride around Austin and take it easy. It was a beautiful morning, with relatively cool temperatures. First, I hopped on the freeway (first time riding on the freeway actually!) and rode down 183 and stopped at a Starbucks for some caffeine. A double-espresso down the hatch and I was off again. I rode down Loop 360 and decided to take a photo by the Pennybacker Bridge. I was making a u-turn when I misjudged the angle of the ground, and then bike came down. It’s funny because I was thinking I could make the u-turn before some oncoming cars came but decided to play it safe and come to a stop and let them pass. When I put my left foot down, it was a bit lower than I was expecting. I knew instantly that the bike was going down, so I hopped off, then reached down and turned off the bike. I was getting ready to lift up the bike when a driver pulled next to me and offered to help. I said sure and while we were righting the bike, he says, “Yeah, been there, done that.” It’s good to know that motorcyclists tend to look after one-another. Well, here’s the picture of my bike and the bridge. At the end of this post are the photos of the damage to the bike.

Pennybacker Bridge

After the photo break I continued south on 360, then took Bee Cave to Barton Springs, then rode around South Congress and downtown. Pretty fun to ride in the city with tall buildings on either side of you, especially when there is no traffic. Then I rode up Lamar Blvd, made a left on 35th and rode by Mount Bonnell. 2222 up to Volente and then back home was tons of fun. Lots of twisties. The video above is the short stretch on 2222 above The County Line BBQ.

It was a really nice ride, and I was back home by 9am! Total miles: 60.

Bar End

Clutch Lever

Ride Down Spicewood Springs Road

Starting at Canyon Vista Middle School and heading south on Spicewood Springs Road, then underneath Loop 360 and up the hill towards Mesa Drive. Just trying out my Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS2 on a RAM Mount on the handlebars of my BMW F650 GS. Turned out ok, but I need to adjust the Lexan lens shield I made because of reflections. I also need to tweak some camera settings. My bike is a “thumper” (single cylinder) so it does have a fair bit of engine vibration that is evident at above 4,500 tpms.

Checking out Luckenbach

Route 16

I went for another longish ride this past weekend, down to Blanco and Luckenbach before hitting Fredericksburg and then back home again. There were a couple exciting parts of the ride, or I should say frightening parts of the ride. First, I didn’t have my sleeves tightened around my wrist, and some bug flew up my left sleeve while I was going about 60mph. I quickly tried to squash whatever it was by banging my forearm against the left grip. When I stopped, I shook out the sleeve and out dropped a good-sized dragonfly.

Dragonfly

Make sure to fasten those sleeves tight, especially in the morning! Next, there’s a really sharp curve just west of Hamilton pool. What makes it challenging is that it is at the bottom of a steep little hill. So the downhill braking, then a sharp left made for a pucker moment. After that, it was just a really relaxing ride through the Texas Hill Country towards Blanco, then northwest to the tiny community of Luckenbach. I stopped to take photos of my bike in front of a few courthouses along the way.

Gillespie County Courthouse

It seems like it’s kind of a tradition over at the TWTEX.com site. Anyways, it was a really nice ride even though temperatures were climbing near 100 at noon. 230 miles in total.

River Run Rd.

Staying Cool Riding to Two State Parks

On the Way to Pedernales Falls

The other weekend I went for a nice long ride out to Pedernales Falls State Park. The morning air was so crisp and clean and smelled great. When I arrived at the park, it was already getting hot and when I hided down to the overlook I was sweating like a pig! It didn’t help that I was wearing my Revit overpants and Gaerne boots. But I did get to try out something that I heard about on Sidestand Up: cooling down using a wet shirt and letting the wind bring down the temperature. It really works! My textile (not mesh) jacket isn’t really made for summer riding, but it does have vents in the front and back, so air can pass through easily. What I did was to dunk my undershirt under the park’s bathroom sink and get it all wet from the chest up. Then when I was on the road at about 30mph and up I was nice and cool. It really did work! The only problem was that my shirt is the synthetic athletic shirt that wicks away moisture real quick. So after about a half hour of riding, it wasn’t so cool. Maybe I will try a regular cotton shirt next time.

After leaving Pedernales, I headed north and visited Inks Lake State Park. (I have a park pass, so no need to pay admission) While Pedernales only had a few visitors who were hiking or fishing, Inks Lake was packed with picnickers and boaters. It was kind of a madhouse. I pretty much just used their restroom, cooled down again, then rode around the park a bit before leaving. The ride home via Highway 29 was fast and fun and I was back home around lunchtime. Another nice Sunday morning ride!

Miles traveled : 173 at ~64mpg