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Polo

Intense ride in Houston.

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Polo

This past Saturday, I went to Houston to fill in for my former Sensei, and teach in his stead.

 

The ride to Houston was great, I took off around 6:15, it was still dark, and it was a nice cool morning. Watching the sun rise, already riding made me feel like I was on to a good day. When I got to Bastrop (about 25 miles east of Austin on Hwy 71), I happened to share the red light with a fellow driving a nice shinny blue Porsche Boxter. He had a nicely situated V1 on his dashboard!

 

As we cleared the town, he opened up, and I tagged along. Now 71 is not a winding road, it has elevation changes and a few curves that can be taken comfortably at whatever speed you feel like. This guy was feeling like 110 was OK, and I didn't particularly disagree.

 

The coolness and crispiness of the air was exhilarating, and there wasn't any significant winds, allowing the bike to feel smooth and controlled.

 

As 71 blends into I-10 East, via an overpass which curves with a well laid inclination, I couldn't but to congratulate myself on my ownership of such great bike. I have accepted that trusting my RT in a responsible manner far exceeds any level of riding proficiency I ever though of having.

 

I remember back in the spring of 2001, how I was insecure taking this same curve at 60, and I decelerated and used up the entire lane. Saturday, I allowed the speed to drop to 70, and input my countersteer, accelerating to 95 on exit, and on the same line. Granted, I still had a whole lane as a safety cushion, but of lately I've tried going for smooth.

 

The rest of the ride was unremarkable; once on I-10, the Porsche slowed down, as there was a fellow in a black and white car taking pictures up ahead.

 

Earlier during th eweek, I took the chance to contact Christopher Lane (CLAGGIE) and plan some buddy riding in Houston.

 

Turns out that Chris used to practice Aikido at one time, and is interested in getting back on the mat. So I invited him to come and participate or watch.

 

We met and after closing of class we took off for a late breakfast and a ride around Houston, since he was pressured by time and had something to do that afternoon.

 

I followed him to a place close to Downtown Houston, where the Houston BMW club meets the second Tuesdays (?). I had an excellent steak, while talking about the differences between his 1150 and my 1100.

 

His bike is still a colt with only 3000 miles on the clock, and his work doesn't allow him a lot of riding time it seemed.

 

After that nice meal, we went for a ride the rest of the way downtown, and then turned around for an intense, head-spinning ride thru Allen Parkway crazy.gif.

 

We rode thru Memorial drive heading west for me to come back to Austin, and we parted ways at the Beltway.

 

Some of you are wondering what I'm talking about, and some of you are laughing. wink.gif

 

Well, for you who wonder: Houston is flat as a pancake, and Allen Parkway, is just that, a Parkway of about 2 miles following the edge of a flood control depression that doubles as a park. But it is as curvy as you can expext in Houston.

 

But as Chris said, that's the best he could give me in Houston, and as such I appreciate the hospitality and above all the meaning behid the ride.

 

We've agreed before that this forum is about the riding and the people. Well, in this particular case, the ride was all about the people. And well worth it!.

 

Thanks Chris, now you come over and lets ride some hills.

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