The premise of a Ride to Eat or RTE is simple, you ride to some location where other motorcycle riders are meeting, you enjoy a meal, kick tires, tell lies and generally have a good time for a few hours before returning home. The distance travelled doesn’t matter but personally the farther the better to make it a worthwhile ride.
The plan was to get up early on Saturday and ride up and come home the same day. It was less that 600 miles round trip. Reagan wanted to meet many of the folks I talk about from time to time and intended to go. However, sleep was not on her side Friday night so the decision was made for her to stay home and rest. Suddenly I found myself ready to go at 4:45am with plenty of time to get there and only 1 gas stop needed.
I still had at least 100 miles of gas from last weekend’s trip so I thumbed the starter and pulled out of my driveway heading north on Hwy 59. The planned route was to take BW 8 around Houston but as I approached the exit I saw signs indicating a road closure along the route, so straight through Houston to I-45 it would be. Since it was still dark out not many people were up and moving yet so traffic was non-existent and I sailed through town without delay.
As I left the city heading north I noticed the temperature was falling. Just north of the beltway I pulled over and put on my fleece liner with the plan to remove it when I filled up. By the time I got to Willis, Tx though I decided the fleece wasn’t cutting it any longer. So I pulled into the Jack In The Box parking lot and put on my electric jacket. At this point the temperature was dropping below 40 degrees.
With electric warmth to keep me comfortable I continued north and watched as the temperature gauge fell even further. I had decided if it got down to 32 I was pulling over to put on my electric pants liner. Fortunately it never dropped below 34. So riding with just my LD comfort shorts and Klim pants sufficed, though it was a little chilly on my lower half.
I stopped for gas in Fairfield at the Exxon. I was on track to arrive just after 9am and things weren’t planned to start until 10:30. As it was just passed 7am I considered going across the street to eat some of the bacon and eggs I was smelling from the café. But then decided I was just going to get a 2 meat plate for lunch instead. So I kept rolling north.
The rest of the ride up I-45 and Hwy 75 to Allen was the same, cold and peaceful. I got into the DFW area early enough that traffic wasn’t really getting busy yet. When I arrived in Allan I thought about running over the McDonalds for a $1 Sausage McMuffin but figured I had waited this long and lunch was less than 2 hours away so I went over to the meeting spot and found 2 other bikes already there.
Big Ray’s BBQ had already put on a pot of coffee when I arrived so I enjoyed a cup to warm up. The guys who had arrived before me were from Arkansas and we had met previously at a RTE last fall. So we visited for a time until other bikes started showing up. Then I made my way outside to say high to old friends and meet new ones. Ardys Keller had come, Bobby & Dianne Fox, Betsy made it and greeted me with a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday. Other friends I saw were Jim O, Paul T, Tim M, Paul and his wife who purchased the old GS, Larry M from Florida, and others, so many others. I met a guy who wants to ride in the 2015 IBR and was already planning for it. Now that’s what I did wrong, I got in and then started planning
Some how when it was time to eat I ended up in the front of the line. That’s a good thing I guess because I was sort of hungry having skipped breakfast. Lunch was good and visiting with other riders who I’d never met before was great. That’s why I like these get togethers so much.
After lunch everybody made their way back out to look at bikes some more. I checked out an IR night vision system that looks pretty cool. I just don’t think Reagan would let me spend another $3000 on a farkle for the rally bike.
I also talked with several of the 2013 IBR entrants to see what their plans were for final preparations. I got responses ranging from ‘nothing, I don’t have the vacation time’ to Tim who is planning to ride a 10-n-10. So I figure my plan of riding a 48-n-10 sounds good. I might up the challenge and see if I can bag the 4 corners as well. Just thinking here….
As 1pm came around people were starting to leave and I realized I needed to get home so I could get ready for Sunday’s BBG. I said my goodbyes and thumbed the starter. It was funny as I was leaving, the thought that went through my mind was “I hope I don’t drop my bike in the parking lot”. Fortunately I didn’t, why that went through my mind I don’t know.
The ride home was a little more laden with traffic but I just followed the same route home. Since I wasn’t clear about the road closure on the beltway I went back through town. There was LOTS of traffic on I-45 for a Saturday. Too much for my tastes. It wasn’t until I got home that I realized the BW-8 closure was only on the north bound side. Arrrrgh!
The ride to eat was fun, 574 miles in a little under 13 hours. I think it’s a nice warm up for tomorrow’s ride, 1500 miles in less than 24 hours. No, make that less than 21 hours!