Tuesday, February 2, 2010

BBFO'10 - Day 5

No matter how long the trip is, it's always sort of a downer on the last day of the trip. This morning was no exception. When I woke up I knew that tomorrow I wouldn't be starting my day on the bike. While I was loading my bike, I realized that tomorrow I wouldn't be getting the day's clothes out of compression bags. And at breakfast I realized I wouldn't be eating with the same group of people tomorrow morning.

Now there was one great thing about this morning. My bike started with just the power of it's own battery. There was no need for a jump from another motorcycle. Hoooray!!! It's amazing what a 15 to 20 degrees rise in the temperature can do for my bike. None the less, I'm ordering an Odyssey battery for the bike today. Doing a google search on "r1200gs odyssey battery" shows a pictorial of someone fitting one of those into the GS. It should be fun.

We stayed at the Sorrels Inn in Rocksprings last night and there was a restaurant on the premises so that's where we had dinner last night and breakfast this morning.  This mom & pop restaurant was like most places west of San Antonio, the meals for a table don't come out all at once. They come out in the order the cook does them. And today my bacon, egg and cheese sandwich was the last thing out, well except my hash browns which the cook had forgotten all together.

After breakfast we finished loading the bikes and took off. The plan was to ride down Hwy 55 to Uvalde, then follow Hwy 90 through San Antonio. And that's what we did. It was foggy until we got down to Uvalde and then just overcast and damp the rest of the day. We stopped at the same rest area that we stopped at on Friday, then it was back on the bikes through San Antonio. Our one and only gas stop of the day was in Seguin. When it was time to go, Randy, Dan and Doug weren't quite ready so they said they would catch up with us. So Fred, John and I took off on I-10 heading east.

When we got to FM 2438 we turned south to get down to Hwy 90 Alternate and then continued east. A few miles down the road Fred came on the radio saying something was wrong with his mirror and that he was going to pull over and tighten it up. Then he told John and I to keep going and he would catch up.  Well I kept going and John stopped. That's the last I saw of the group for the day.

I continued on down the road to Eagle Lake. Just past town, there was an accident that had traffic blocked in both directions so I back tracked and took 3013 south toward Wharton.  Then I turned left onto FM 1161 toward Hungerford to cut off a few miles. Then it was the home stretch up Hwy 59 into Sugar Land. From the time I left Eagle Lake until I got home it was raining and in the low 60's.  So the trip started and ended the same way, in the rain and warm for this time of the year.

Total mileage for today was 357 miles ridden over 8 hours time.  The whole trip had an accumulated total of 1,814 miles. Problems with the GS included the weak battery and the throttle lock not working correctly. But one thing that worked very well on this trip was the readjusted seat from RDL. This is the first long trip I've used it on since they redid it this fall and I have to say I'm very pleased with the changes.

Right now there aren't any big trips planned until May, but that doesn't mean Reagan and I won't try to sneak away to the hill country or something this spring.

Monday, February 1, 2010

BBFO'10 - Day 4

OMG! The morning came way too early for me. Last night I stayed up too late and drank too much. What was I thinking. Well, if alcohol kills brain cells I should be smarter today as I'm sure I killed off a few weak ones.

As fast as I could, I tried to get packed up and ready to leave. I was working on the premise of a 7:45 departure but the gang had moved things up to 7:30. It was obvious that I was hurting so they waited for me to get my act together. With Dick giving me a jump start again this morning, and with me hustling as fast as I could we managed to leave a little after 7:30 and rode down to Marfa for breakfast.

The cool area helped me feel better but I was still really exhausted. We filled up in Marfa and then went over to Alice's Cafe where Doug and Fred had eaten on their "Out West" trip back in October. Wanting to get back on my diet I had a bowl of oatmeal and a glass of water.

After breakfast we headed east on Hwy 90 with the sun in our eyes. Just before we got to Marathon Fred asked if anyone wanted to stop and stretch their legs. Me me me!!! They stopped at the wall and I headed on up to the Shell station to use the restroom and get some fluids in me to help with my exhaustion. I drank some vitamin water and opened the peppermints I had purchased. Then it was back on the bike and back on the road. 

I ended up following behind Dick and the farther we went the more exhausted I got. I knew it was going to be a rough day and I needed sleep. When we pulled into the gas station in Sanderson I asked Fred where the motel was in Rocksprings and then headed off on the fastest and more direct route I could find.  The Zumo routed me along Hwy 90 to 277 just west of Del Rio and then onto 377 for the last 45 miles.

Leaving the group gave me a burst of energy as I was able to raise the pace a little and I wasn't staring at the back end of another bike. I had things like searching for deer, keeping my speed steady and such to keep my mind busy. After a while though, even that wasn't enough so I popped another peppermint. The temperature dropped into the 40s just east of Sanderson so stopping to take a quick power nap was out of the question.

When I got to Del Rio I was starting to feel the exhaustion, but with only an hour to go I knew I could make it. When I turned onto 377 though I realized the last 45 miles was going to be toughest. I was worn out and this was a 2 lane road prime for a deer vs motorcycle encounter. I slowed the pace a little to help with reaction time. Along the way I pulled over to eat a cliff bar and drink some water. As I stopped I saw deer across the fence looking at me. That was as close of an encounter as I wanted.

I finally made it into Rocksprings without any incidents and found the motel as Fred had described. The proprietor was an elderly fellow who was very helpful and checked me into my room. I was 2pm when I got into my room so I figured I had 2 hours to get some much needed rest. And just like clock work, at 4pm the guys came riding in and my nap was over. But that was the rest I needed.

The day's mileage was 322 miles in 6 and a half hours. The pace was definitely one of the faster days of the trip. I wish I had been able to stay with the group but I knew if I did I wouldn't have been able to make it to the motel. Maybe next time I'll get to explore the road north out of Comstock.

Oh, and next time I'm not staying up until the wee hours of the morning visiting and drinking. 10pm will be my cut off time from now on. Period!