Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Austin, TX, USA
Riding at the end ofJanuary
Sometimes things just work outÖ.
Central Texas weather is notoriously unpredictable. Weatherman said it would rain today (it didnít). Instead it was in the mid-70ís by noon so it was time to saddle up. I packed winter gloves and a hooded windshirt in my tailbag just in case (didnít need them). I tell folks we have two seasons in Austin Ė summer and January. And some days January is almost as good as summer!
When I walked out in the garage and looked at my choices I thought long and hard. My í02 Kawasaki ZRX1200R really tempted me. I recently did a major tune up, including a carb synch, so itís really running SWEET! If I were going to do my typical Sunday short ride with a fair amount of city riding it would have been a no-brainer. The Z-Rex is so much nicer to ride in stop and go traffic than the KR its not even funny.
But today it looked like a lot of country roads were on the program so I rolled the KR out of the garage. As much as I enjoy riding the Z-Rex, itís no match for the BMW on a ride in the country. My í06 KR is about to hit 16k miles. Unlike some unfortunate folksí Iíve had no problems with the bike, with the exception of 3 warranty fixes (the airbox, the rear brake lever and the rear suspension link). My only bitch is the low rpm fueling, which I guess I could fix with a Power Commander, but havenít.
I figured I was good for 2-3 hours of riding so I headed out to ride some of my favorite Central Texas roads.
I was heading to Ranch Road 1431 which would take me to Marble Falls. This road can be a bit of a hit or miss for riding, depending on the traffic. There are few places to pass so if you get caught behind a line of slow moving cages the ride can be a bit tedious. Fortunately I got around 2 slow moving cages early on and was off and running.
As I was riding I made an Ďon the flyí route change, and took Farm to Market Road 1174 north to Bertram. This is a great road too Ė some high speed sweepers, elevation changes and not much traffic.
When I hit Hwy 29 I decided Iíd give Park Road 4 a try. This is really one of better riding roads to ride in Central Texas with a lot of sweeping curves. I donít ride it much in the summer months as it goes past a very popular recreation area and is usually crowded with cages. Fortunately there arenít a lot of campers in January so traffic was light. I got around the lone cage early in the ride.
I then wandered down south a few miles and caught Ranch Road 962 back into town. I probably ride this road 15-20 times a year as itís my route either to or from my favorite Saturday morning destination, Lukenback, Texas. Whatís great about 962 is there is virtually no traffic.
Well, what can I say. The 150 mile ride this afternoon was damned near perfect. Only thing that would have made it better would have been another 100 miles. I had very little interference from cages, it got warm enough that I actually opened the vents on my jacket and the roads were great.
As riding goes, Central Texas isnít the Colorado Rockies, nor is it Northern California, but its pretty damned good, and it is year round. After all this was the second to last day of January.
2011 T100 Bonneville Black
06 Black Griso
06 Yellow KR - SOLD
02 Z-Rex (Green of course)