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Texas Hill Country Clouds Have Silver Linings!!


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At long last, my Texas Hill Country ride recap. I entitled it “Texas Hill Country clouds have Silver linings”.


I had to wait until this weekend because, for me, my ride tale didn’t come to a close until this morning…more on that in a bit.


It all started here Monday March 19th in sunny SoCal when 1bmwfan met me at my place, just fifteen miles behind the guys with guns—right Phil? We spent the afternoon checking out some aircraft here at the plane patch and taking him to all the “secret squirrel” spots to get the best glimpses of the latest the United States Air Force has to offer. For those of you in the security business who might be reading this, it was all in front of the fences—no behind the scene photos were taken thumbsup.gif End of disclaimer. I was able to arrange to have F-22s and CV-22s flying around over head all day so that was pretty cool cool.gif


That evening Zach, my 8-year old, showed our guest how Guitar Hero works on PS2.



1bmwfan got the hang of it pretty quickly—that was the last time Zach saw the guitar for the rest of the night. It’s okay Phil, Zach cried himself to sleep pretty quickly grin.gif



The next morning we were off to Phoenix and the lovely home of AZkaisr. A couple shots of us doing some final packing and a quick family photo. Lauren, on the right, was most pleased about taking her photo just before school



Now where did I put that wallet again?



1bmwfan ready to hit the road.



Couple of great looking bikes ready to do some serious miles! Hey there Steve, don’t forget to put the side stand up!!



We arrived at the home of AZkaisr, maybe a couple minutes after the planned time cool.gif Arizona Al was there with his traveling shop all set up to fit me with my custom earplugs—WOW what a transformation! The next time you’re at a function with Al, spend the bucks and get the plugs—you really won’t be sorry! KMG_365, Les_is_more (Mama Hoon), AZkaisr and Sagerider joined the group, or we joined their's, not sure it matters. Anyway, this is the part where KMG_365 shows us how to do the legendary mounted-center-stand-lift-maneuver while on Tom’s RT. We were suitably impressed—really! 141968625-L.jpg


We met up with johnlt in Tucson and hit a lunch stop at a Denny’s—yes, I can read the sign.



It was slabbin’ it all day to Van Horn, Texas that evening. Stayed at a nice enough motel—the really nice desk lady forgot to mention the sign on the train tracks that reads “all trains must blows horns for the next 500 yards”, cause I’m certain not a single one forgot. The gang got together for dinner at a hole in the wall restaurant right across the street. Mama Hoon ordered the house special “sour dough pancakes”. Ask her about them sometime…dopeslap.gif



As you can see from this photo, our group is a bunch of gadget geeks.



Once I spied the site they were on I understood… thumbsup.gif




The plan was to make an early morning push, but it looked pretty dark out there and 1bmwfan was worried that not enough people would notice his shinny bike so we had to wait until first light lmao.gif Sagerider making some last minute adjustments….



We cruised down highway 90 most of the way from Van Horn to Kerrville. I know, 90 don’t go to Kerrville, but it does happen to pass right by the first toilet west of the Pecos River, which happens to be within about ¼ mile of this outstanding overlook



Five purdy bikes all lined up in a row



That’s the AZkaisr mobile in the fore and background. KMG_365 and Mama Hoon were driving…and did fine job of keeping up with us. Radios are a wonderful thing!



I see sights like this and say to myself, “man, I’ve go to get my kids out here”.



So we arrived at the Inn of the Hills; 1594 miles on the BMW odo. The next morning we’re heading out to do some scouting of the local roads and as most of you have read in other posts, I didn’t do so well. Okay, actually I did quite fine; it was my RT that didn’t fair so well. One second I'm riding behind limecreek and AZkaisr through some easy hill country roads; the next second I’m giving my FirstGear jacket a functional tryout. This is Whip’s photo. I just wanted to point out that while I might have been smiling on the outside, it was quite a different story on the inside.



Both mirrors, the left handle bar, left foot peg broken off



Left valve cover, loads of cosmetics—both sides. Broken headlight, bent subframe...



A shot of the turn…post get off…notice the nice shinny lines in the middle of the photo.



Another shot with a bit of a clue on the gravel as to where my RT and I slid.



And if you’re wondering where this was…



I was ATGATT. Ended up with a small rash on my left elbow from where my jacket armor failed. As mentioned in another thread on the board, FirstGear customer service has been absolutely stellar. They got back to me within about an hour of my email to them. First, they wanted to know if I was alright. Next, they asked to have the jacket back to investigate the nature of the armor failure as evidently none of their leather-tex jackets have failed in this manner. At the same time, they’ve offered to provide me a brand new jacket free of charge. That, in my humble opinion, is first class customer service and they’ll keep my business.



So I’m thinking I’m finding a tour company to see San Antonio; since I no longer have a bike an all, but thanks to 1bmwfan (who tossed me the key to his ST) I was able to hit the sights with the group. First stop, Fredericksburg and the Nimitz Museum.



Since I wasn’t riding my RT, lawman suggested I have a few cold ones at lunch. 1bmwfan was not impressed with our little joke! The strongest thing I had was sweet tea—honest!



The next stop on our Texas Hill Country ride was a flower shop—not sure what this was all about, but it made lawman happy so it was worth it! And the ice cream was pretty darn good too!



We finished the day out by hitting Luckenbach. That’s Sagerider on the right with his newest best friend. I honestly could have stayed there for hours.



As you now know, I was wheel-less for the trip home. KMG-365 and Les_is_more were kind enough to let me borrow the back of their ride back out Westward. We stopped at a different motel in Van Horn on the way home—didn’t realize wireless internet was such a hot item in Texas, but here they are, administering away…



What I haven’t mentioned up to now is the fact that as I was getting into Whip and Louise’s truck to trailer my beloved RT to the shop after my crash, KMG_365 was on the SportTouring board checking out the classifieds for my new ride prospects. At the time, I really didn’t want to even think about replacements—I was going to fix her up! Sadly, the insurance company had other ideas and totaled her out. I checked out numerous bikes on the internet—even toyed with the idea of moving over to a hexhead, but I really loved my oilhead RT and wanted to stay the course—no political intent here.


So this morning Katy and I headed over to Tina’s in Maricopa, CA where we met up with Trucker Kev who happened to be parting with his 04 RT. The deal was sealed over a cup of java. She’s a beaut! And Kev, you’ve taken very good care of your RT too!!


So you see, silver linings come in many shapes and sizes—some even look a lot like RTs!




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Steve, excellent ride tail. Congrats on the new/old RT. Look forward to riding with you again.


PS - you still headin' to Florida?

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Good report Steve.


I'll look forward to completing an entire ride with you next time. tongue.gif


Here you are no worse for wear at the reception.




Sorry about your bike, but the new girl is beautiful! Silver is a great color and the 1150 is much more attractive than the 1200.


Tell us a little more about the new bike--miles, accessories?

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Hey Steve,


Love those silver linings. I'm glad things have worked out well for you. First Gear really came through also.


Great photos, get out on the new bike and send in some more pics. thumbsup.gif

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Great recap and pictures! Delighted to hear you've already purchased a new ride (looks good thumbsup.gif). Lots of luck with it.


Nice to learn how well FirstGear treated you too.

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Howdy Steve !


Glad to see you stayed the course with another oilhead thumbsup.gif

And if it is any support for your decision to get another one.... I would have bought silver if black was unobtainable grin.gifgrin.gif

It looks a nicely kept machine my friend thumbsup.gif


Great news about FG helping you out. I like their stuff and it has worked well for me in the past eek.gif and I feel safe wearing it thumbsup.gif


We do hope you can make it for next years HCR and this time we'll try to ensure your tour leader doesn't take you out on our local skating rinks again wink.gifwink.gif


Many safe and happy miles on the new ride Steve thumbsup.gif

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Great report.

Great photos.

Great ending!!!

Congrats on the new ride. I'm glad it all worked out for you.




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Nice story. Sorry to see the mess your bike go into. I just bought a 2004 R1150RT and felt a little sick when I saw your pix of the aftermath.


I have a couple of questions if you don't mind:

1- how fast were you going when you went over? Just too slick to maintain traction?

2- what kind of seat cover did you have (the fuzzy looking thing)

3- what kind of ear plugs were you talking about? I'm assuming they are much better than off-the-shelf type from hardware stores?

4- did you have Throttlemeisters?


Appreciate it if you have the time.

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My new-to-me ride is an 04 with 28k on the clock. She's got Russel seats that my butt just loves. I'll have to give it a proper tryout here in the next few days. I put in just over 125 yesterday bringing her home and am amazed at the difference. She's also got the taller BMW windscreen which helped immeasurably in the wind yesterday. BigMak tank bag, top case, and a full service history. KMG_365 pulled my GPS perch off my old one along with my autocom so those will be added very soon as well.



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You mean all that time we spent carefully loading your bike on to the trailer was wasted........we could've just thrown in on the bed or dragged it down the road, since it was totalled anyway....




I was very impressed by the way you handled your bad luck thumbsup.gif


Glad you like your new bike....hope to see ya real soon



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Good questions and I'm happy to answer them.


First, we were doing somewhere around 35, the roads were very slick. This was not a case of hooning it. We checked out the slick spots on the curve and you could easily lose traction just walking over them. Hindsight says we probably should have found another road--no excuses, it was my choice to ride.


The seat cover is a sheepskin from Hartco International out of Crecent City, Florida. Made the stock seat bearable. Got mine off ebay.


Arizona Al manufactures custom molded ear plugs. He makes them as ear plugs or with speakers. They really cut the wind noise from my Arai helmet, but I can still hear surrounding noises. Made the rest of the journey more enjoyable.


Did not have throttlemeisters.



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Yes Whip, in hindsight we could have just dragged the thing onto the trailer. Glad we didn't though, at the time I thought we could fix it--little bondo, little touch up paint, lotta welding grin.gif

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Enjoyed having breakfast with you before the crash. I was quite impressed with your after-crash demeanour. You rode the next day on a borrowed bike with skill and confidence. I look forward to seeing you again when you leave the land of earthquakes and head for the land of hurricanes. wave.gif

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Glad you have another ride & hope you will come see us in TX

for the next HCR. I think the oilheads are still the best looking bikes BMW makes even tho I ride a hexhead now. I did own a '98 oilhead that I rescued from an old retired guy who didn't put many miles on it. I put about 55k on it in 3 years.


It was great talking over breakfast Sun. morning with you. My wife Linda & I were very impressed with how you handled the whole crash away from home experience- even extending an offer to help out another rider with parts if your bike was totalled. Can't remember the feller's name, but he is married to a nice lady named Mary.


Hope to see you & ride sometime in the near future.

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Steve man,

Glad to hear that everything worked itself out for ya. It was great meeting you and I hope to see you next year at the hill country ride.



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Now that's what I call a real silver lining. Great ride report, and glad to see you got that shiny RT from Kev. He's a great guy, and I'm sure he's happy the bike has new home.


Hope to see you on the road again soon.


the other Steve in So Cal

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wELL sTEVE..! Awesome tale and even a better ending than you could of imagined.


That is a bee-you-tif-full silver Artie..! And the new jacket etc... wow you came out a-okay..eh?


Good on'ya for talking the highroad and not letting the mishap spoil your fun in TX..also for those who provided you with a sled to throw your leg over to complete the weekend...Dat be Phil.!


Welcome back to the fold -- now get out there 'n ride dewd.!



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