Sunday, June 15, 2008

Fathers Day: An excuse to ride

Today was Father's Day and we went to San Antonio for the day. Yes, just for the day. Yes it was hot, 102 was the high I believe all though I never saw more than 99 degrees. So why didn't we take the truck with air conditioning, duh!!! It was an excuse to ride.

Friday evening: Reagan was planning to go see her dad in San Antonio on Sunday. Since I hadn't seen her all week (she had been in Dallas on work), I offered to ride with her over to San Antonio. But of course the catch was that we would ride the bike, not just sit in the truck for several hours. At first she was a little hesitant but then agreed.

This morning we got up early like we do on most Sundays and rode down to Rosenberg to have breakfast with the Fort Bend Riders group. As usual, we were the last ones to arrive and once Reagan walked in they could finally order. Breakfast was pretty much like always. There was talk of upcoming rides. Dan talk about the problem with his Shadow which turned out to be the ignition switch. Then the group tried to remember who had originally identified the problem as the ignition switch.

At some point Reagan mentioned that we were riding to San Antonio on the bike. Of course the Why question came up. And then everyone gave Reagan tips on staying cool while on the bike. As always with this group, there were lots of good tips for her. We both took bathroom breaks and then it was time to mount up and head out.

The route was pretty simple, take 90A from Rosenberg west to Seguin, then get on I-10 to the 1604 loop and head around to the northwest side of San Antonio. I was a little concerned about Reagan and the traffic on the loop. But she handled it very well.

Along the way we decided to stop in Seguin for a break. This was the first stop since breakfast as we had filled up the tank before breakfast. Reagan called her dad to get the address to his house so we could plug it into the GPS. I called my dad to wish him a happy fathers day. Once the phone calls were made it was time to get back on the bike. Now with a destination in the Zumo we had an idea about our arrival time, 11:23am. That was less than an hour up the road.

As sometimes happens, the Zumo knew of a quicker way to I-10 than just staying on 90A until it joined with the Interstate so I followed it's directions. Before I knew it we were on the super slab heading west. Turning onto the 1604 loop I was glad to see traffic was light. I hoped that it would stay that way. Of course the further around we went the busier it got. The stretch between I-10 and Hwy 16 was the busiest part of all. I kept the bike moving and rode defensively and things were fairly pleasant.

Following the prompts of the Zumo I exited for Hwy 16 and rode down to the correct side street, entered the subdivision, and found her dad's house. Pulling into the driveway I was careful with my footing. I didn't think it would be too inspiring if I were to tip the bike over in her dad's driveway.


After a good visit and lunch at Jim's (sort of like Denny's) it was time to head home. With our gear on, we said our goodbyes, fired up the bike and headed out of the garage. Instead of going back out the way we came we exited the subdivision another way to stop at an Exxon and fill up. Afterwards I told the Zumo to take us home.

I started following it and then realized it wanted to put us on I-10 on the northwest side of San Antonio. No thank you! Reagan might have done fine on 1604 but I wasn't about to take her on that part of I-10 with all the crazies. So when I got to Hwy 16 and 410 I went south to Hwy 90 and headed east. This was better from a traffic perspective than 1604 I believe, and I think it got us out of San Antonio quicker.

As we approached Seguin, I asked Reagan if she wanted to take Hwy 90 or Hwy 90A back home. I really didn't care which way we took as either would be better than riding on I-10 with all the crazy folks who were trying to get home at the speed of light. She wanted to go back on 90A so that's what we did.

The longer we rode the lower the sun got which meant the cooler the temperature was. As we passed through Hallettsville, Reagan came on the intercom and asked if we could stop in Shiner for a break. Sure! That was a great place to stop because I knew the gas station there had booths inside were you could sit and rest.

When we got to Shiner I pulled into the Vallero and parked the bike in the shade. We went inside to cool off, drink some gatorade and just relax. Of course Reagan had to play a bingo scratch off lottery ticket. And for the second week in a row she won $10. That's not too bad for a $2 card. With her winnings collected it was time to head home.

Once we got to Eagle Lake, I decided to get off of Hwy 90A and take FM 1093 through Wallis over to Hwy 99. This would allow us to avoid Rosenberg and Hwy 59 and save a little time. When we turned onto 1093 I could tell Reagan was tired and ready to be home. I was getting that way myself.

It never seems to fail, and this was no exception. The whole trip was pretty much free of crazy people trying to hit us. But as we got back onto Hwy 90A from Hwy 99 I knew we'd see somebody do something stupid. Sure enough just about a mile down the road an idiot pulled out of a subdivision in front of another car, talking on the cell phone, riding on a little donut spare tire, and weaving in his lane. I wanted to get past him and put distance between us. It's sad but the worst drivers seem to be concentrated right here around Sugar Land.

We pulled into the driveway a little before 9pm. The sun had almost set completely but there was still light to see by. Overall we traveled 411 miles for the day, used 12.436 gallons of premium unleaded at $4.199 per gallon and spent $52.22 in fuel for the day. That works out 33.065 miles per gallon which is almost twice as good as we get in the truck. It usually gets 16.5 to 17mpg on regular unleaded and at today's price of $3.93 per gallon it would have cost approximately $95 to take the truck to San Antonio. So we saved money and had a good time too. That's a great day.

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