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Our website is all about motorcycles, especially BMW cycles. We cover rides in the Southwest and Mexico, motorcycle modifications and review motorcycle products. 

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Ride Reviews

Boquillas Canyon Crossing Port of Entry at Big Bend National Park

Ricardo Perez

Big Bend National Park in April

Big Bend National Park in April

The Boquillas Canyon is over a 20 mile ride from the Park Headquarters, but definitely worth a visit. There's a large parking area just short of reaching the canyon and a short hike with a small rise gets you to an overlook of the canyon. On our visit we could plainly hear a Mexican National in the middle of the river with his horse singing a ballad. The canyon's walls carried his voice with plenty of amplification. He sang for tips which you could leave on the river bank. We suspect he was in the middle of the shallow running Rio Grande so as to make a quick exit back to Mexico should immigration officials came by. On the bank of the river were handmade curios selling on an honor system; if you liked something just leave some cash in a nearby can. 

The park's official publication mentions that it is illegal trade and it is classified as contraband, subject to confiscation by federal officials. It may be correct, but it's not as if it's about to upend the balance of international trade. We noticed at the Chisos Basin shop some of the same curios for sale, but at a much higher cost. 

The Boquillas Canyon, noteworthy for its International Port of Entry, is a must stop if you're in the park.  The only thing akin to it may be the Prada Store Front Facade outside of Marfa. Both have no place in the Southwest. The Prada facade can be admired as a roadside point of interest, justifying its presence, but the Boquillas Port of Entry makes little sense. To begin with, there are no INS officers on duty, conveniently replaced by two kiosks (sorry no pictures of kiosks are allowed) where you are dutifully obligated to scan your passport; wait for it to be screened by a live agent in El Paso; then proceed to enter the United States legally.

I asked a park ranger if we just couldn't walk around the outside of the building without reporting to the kiosks and he said, "we have lots of cameras; you'd be stopped and deported". Never seen anything like it, a wonderful modern building located in a remote area of a National Park built for two kiosks! Not sure how that plays into our heighten National Security, but it makes a good POI (Point of Interest) in our southwest travel experiences. 

The Boquillas Canyon itself is not a massive carving and it's small compared to most canyons. In my opinion it's easily dwarfed by the Santa Elena Canyon on the western end of BBNP, but unlike Santa Elena Canyon, this one is interesting because of its inhabitants, both past and present. 

Ancient Indian food grinding hole.

Ancient Indian food grinding hole.

As you walk up the rise before the canyon you can see in the limestone rock holes used by ancient indian tribes to grind their food grains. When we first spotted them we thought they were fence post holes and wondered why would anyone want a fence on top of this rock. We then noticed that they were in groups and obviously not the beginnings of any fence post holes.

As we walked over this limestone rise we could see the Rio Grande River meandering towards us then making a sharp turn away from us and into the beginnings of the canyon. 

Rio Grande River at Boquillas Canyon

Rio Grande River at Boquillas Canyon

      

On the Mexican side of the Rio Grande a horseman watches his small group of horses grazing in his corral. 

On the Mexican side of the Rio Grande a horseman watches his small group of horses grazing in his corral. 

April is a great time of year to visit Big Bend National Park as plants are in full bloom.

Unlike Santa Elena Canyon, Boquillas offers a glimpse of life for the people of this area. There is a small Mexican community just across the river, Boquillas del Carmen. These people are the merchants who leave their art work on the US side of banks of the Rio Grande River and rely on an honor barter system. Buyers leave a donation in a nearby can or weighted under a rock. Of course, these are the individuals that the park states are contributing to the erosion of natural resources along the river. These merchants are subject to arrest, deported to Presidio, Texas, one hundred miles from their homes, and released in Ojinaga, Mexico. Small price to pay for selling a painted rock or lizard made of wire. In spite of the threat of arrest and deportation to Presidio it doesn't seem to affect this illegal commerce and it's hard to believe that either INS officials or Park Rangers take much interest in this illegal commerce.  Of course, purchasing any of these items makes you an accessory to the crime.

There isn't much else to help the residents of Boquillas del Carmen make a living. In the old days you would just wade across in a small boat to enjoy an afternoon of eating and drinking without any type of checkpoint. It can still be crossed and enjoyed, but gone are the days of an imaginary border that meant little to either side. Now you've got to report to the man, Kiosks. 

Boquillas Canyon contraband. 

Boquillas Canyon contraband. 

Visiting Big Bend after the spring rains in this arid region changes the entire park into a giant canopy of green grasses and flowering plants. It's my favorite time of year to visit the park. 

Making our way back from Boquillas Canyon towards the Park Headquarters.

Making our way back from Boquillas Canyon towards the Park Headquarters.

We made our way back to the Chisos Basin for lunch and then headed out the west end of Big Bend into Study Butte and Terlingua then trekked north into Alpine before heading back to Marathon, Texas for the night.  It was a nice three day ride, 1,500 miles.

Natchez Trace & Vicksburg National Military Park Motorcycle Ride

Ricardo Perez

Riding the Natchez Trace on a rainy afternoon.

A September ride through the Natchez Trace and visit to Vicksburg started out by us running ahead of the remnants of Tropical Storm Dolly in the Rio Grande Valley. Dolly had just come ashore into Northern Mexico the day before so the valley was still getting dumped with much needed rain as we headed north toward Houston. There were three of us leaving the valley with plans to meet a fellow rider riding from south Florida somewhere in Mississippi that evening. 

David, Marco, & Tomas

David, Marco, & Tomas

We went through some heavy rain just north of Edinburg, Texas so we pulled into an abandoned convenience store's gas pump station to get our rain gear on and kept moving north. The rain dissipated before we hit the border patrol check point just south of Falfurrias, Texas so we pulled into a McDonald's to get our rain gear off. Luckily we dodged more rain the rest of the day or we just rode through some quick rain without having to get into the rain gear. If we kept moving we managed to stay dry enough. 

We had left Mission about 6am and met Marco at his home in Edinburg, after a quick cup of coffee we were off. Marco wanted us to stop for lunch at a BBQ place just south of Houston, but it had burned down. It must have been really disappointing to Marco because he just stood on his bike in the middle of the access road forever. I finally had to ask him if he was waiting for it to re-open. So we moved on and stopped at a trusty What-a-Burger place in Rosenberg. Houston was its typical crazy traffic self. It took us about an hour just to navigate through town on a hot muggy afternoon. On the other side of Houston traffic between it and Beaumont finally picked up and we flowed along at a nice 80mph clip. Another 26 miles or so and we were in Louisiana. It was still cloudy and rain was hit or miss as we made our way across the high Lake Charles bridge. 

Picture from rvthereyetchronicles.com

Picture from rvthereyetchronicles.com

If you're afraid of heights like I am, then it's best to take the inside lane and not look down. The guys razzed me on how I sped up to cross over instead of slowing down to enjoy the great view. Never saw it as I fixed my gaze on the pavement a few yards in front of me. It was over quickly, after all, it's not Mount Evans in Colorado. 

We decided to end the day in Lafayette, Louisiana by checking into a Hampton Inn. We waited all of about five minutes when David rolled in from Plantation, Florida. We rode about 700 miles and he about 900 miles and reached our meeting point almost exactly at the same time. How's that for coordination. 

In the morning Marco and David exchanged bikes, David getting his BMW R1200RT back and Marco getting his newly purchased used scooter, a Piaggio 500. It's that three wheeled scooter that has its two front tires relatively close together for added stability. It's only a 500cc machine, but it's no slouch on the highway. On our way back to Texas, late at night, we were doing 80mph and happen to pass some 1%ers (one percenters) who were doing about 75mph, and I'm sure their significant others riding with them are still beating on them on "how could you let someone on a 'scooter' pass you up!". I was just hoping that we wouldn't breakdown in front of them.

We had left Texas without any definitive plans so Friday morning we all decided that rather than ride to New Orleans we would do the Natchez Trace. "The Natchez Trace, also known as the "Old Natchez Trace", is a historical path that extends roughly 440 miles (710 km) from Natchez, Mississippi toNashville, Tennessee, linking the CumberlandTennessee and Mississippi rivers. It was created and used for centuries by Native Americans, and was later used by early European and American explorers, traders and emigrants in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Today, the trail is commemorated by the 444-mile (715 km) Natchez Trace Parkway, which follows the approximate path of the Trace,[1] as well as the related Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail. Parts of the original trail are still accessible and some segments have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places." (from Wikipeada)  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natchez_Trace

To get there we had to ride from Lafayette to Natchez so we decided not to ride on the main highways, but the take the more scenic back roads to Natchez. I changed my Garmin to the new "Curvy Roads" configuration to see what it would draw out for us. Well, it wasn't long before we ended up on a narrow, half paved, road to 'who knows where?'.


Here's where my Garmin's Curvy Roads took us! With no idea what was ahead of us! We decided on a road with at least two lanes.

The back roads took us through some nice little towns and rural roads that led us up to Hwy 15 that runs along the banks of the Mississippi River then eventually crosses the river into Natchez, Mississippi. It was about 3pm when we reached Natchez and we rode to a seafood restaurant. After a late lunch we started out on the trail. It's a well paved two lane highway with a maximum speed limit of 50 mph. The leg we rode between Natchez and Jacksonville is void of any sharp curves as the gentle curving road is a continuous ribbon of asphalt on an emerald bed of green grasses, shrubs, and trees. It's beauty is intoxicating. Our ride lasted a while as we generally were going much slower than the posted speed limit and frequently stopping to admire the views. 

Eventually, we turned off onto a small road that had memorial signage recognizing it as "Grant's March to Vicksburg". It got dark soon after we made that turnoff so we didn't get to see much except for an occasional sign recognizing it as Grant's March. By about 9pm we made it to a local Hampton Inn in Vicksburg. 

Early the next morning we discovered that the hotel was directly across the street from the Vicksburg National Military Park. The Park is part of the National Park Service so if you have your NPS Pass you can get in without any additional cost. 

The Illinois Memorial at the Park.

The Illinois Memorial at the Park.

The Park is essentially a 16 mile loop of the the battle grounds that made up the siege of Vicksburg. There are over 1,300 places on the grounds commemorating the history of this critical Civil War battle. It can easily take all day to tour. Each battle site is identified with either a blue sign identifying it as a Union site or red for the Confederates. If you like Civil War history this is a "must see" stop. 

Civil War Cannons. 

National Cemetery at Vicksburg 

There's also a iron clad ship that has been restored. The ship, named USS Cairo, was sunk by a Confederate mine during the siege of Vicksburg. It was raised up out of the waters of the Yazoo River in the 1960s and is now on display in the park.

"The U.S.S. Cairo was one of seven ironclad gunboats named in honor of towns along the upper Mississippi and Ohio rivers. These powerful ironclads were formidable vessels, each mounting thirteen big guns (cannon). On them rested in large part, Northern hopes to regain control of the lower Mississippi River and split the Confederacy in two.

The "city class" gunboats were designed by Samuel M. Pook and built by river engineer James B. Eads. Cairo was constructed at Mound City, Illinois, and commissioned in January 1862. The Cairo was destined to see only limited action in the engagement at Plum Point in May and in the battle of Memphis in June. Her most significant action came six months later when she kept a rendezvous with destiny." http://www.nps.gov/vick/u-s-s-cairo-gunboat.htm

USS Cairo

Seven gun boats all like the Cairo were built within a 100 days at a cost of approximately $107,000 each. The USS Cairo had a crew of approximately 184 sailors and all survived the sinking of the boat. A museum adjacent to the USS Cairo displays many of the items which were recovered from the ship. It's an interesting visit and well worth your time.

If you're into Civil War history a ride into Mississippi and the Vicksburg area will be well worth your time. The roads are scenic and not too crowded. There's lots to do and see. We eventually headed east towards Jackson then south just north of New Orleans before getting back on I10 West to Beaumont. After a night's stay in Beaumont we were back home by mid-afternoon, a 430 mile ride. We had left on Thursday, back by Sunday and logged over 1,700 miles. It was a little wet at times, but nevertheless a great ride.

K1200S Fitted With Pilot Road 4 Tires

Tomas Perez

I purchased the K1200S only a year ago with just 3,000 miles on it.  I meant to buy it, fix whatever needed fixing, and clean it up for possible sale.  Most of you know that my main touring bike is a BMW R1200RT but every time I ride the KS I find it very difficult to part with it.  So... with this in mind and the bike at 7980 miles I decided to finally replace the tires that were on the bike since 2008 with a new pair Michelin Pilot Road 4 tires.

 

The KS taking a break...

The KS taking a break...

I used a local independent motorcycle shop to do the tire mounting and balancing.  In order to become one with the KS I decided (although I got to a point that I regretted this decision) to take the wheels off myself.  Somehow, with my brother's help, I used his motorcycle jack to raise both wheels off the ground so that I wouldn't have to make two trips to the shop.  By the way, my bike doesn't have a center stand,  I've thought of getting one but the only thing holding me back is the fact that I will have to cut the belly pan.  I like the way it covers most of the bottom as it is now.  Second choice is a Pitbull stand and I think I would need two for front and rear.  Comments welcomed with this regard.

 

Took a few boards to properly set up the jack.

Took a few boards to properly set up the jack.

About to install.  Wheels are waxed.

About to install.  Wheels are waxed.

One of the things I like about my KS is that it has the color matched wheels.  It adds so much to the bike.  Since it's not often that we remove the wheels I wanted to take the opportunity to clean them well and apply some protection to the finish.  I first washed the wheels while the old tires were still on the wheels.  Clean wheels are simply a lot cleaner on hands and clothes while moving them around and it's also easy to show the tire shop that the wheels are in perfect condition.  Simply put... I don't want them scratched up.  After I got the wheels back with the new tires I used a cleaner/wax to clean them even better.  The cleaner/wax helps to soften baked on stuff like brake dust and bugs.  Apply some on whatever gunk, let it sit a while and then wipe with a micro fiber cloth.  I used the Meguiar's Cleaner Wax.  After doing 2 or 3 passes of the cleaner wax and buffing to a basic shine I applied a coat of Collinite No. 476S wax.  I recently got this wax and I use it on both bikes and cars.  I'm very impressed with it.

 

Nice...

Nice...

By the time I finished cleaning the wheels it was getting dark.  I mounted the wheels myself as the sun was setting but the fender and belly pan were done as it got dark.  The reason for this delay, although it is a very easy job, is that I washed both parts.  I then applied interior detailer on the belly pan and #476S to the front fender.  Up close it looks a bit odd because I have not washed the bike and my last ride included riding through a light rain.  That's the bike below right after I installed the wheels and rode the bike over to a gas station.

At a gas station.  One mile on tires.

At a gas station.  One mile on tires.

I rode the bike to the gas station and back and called it a night.  It would be two days before I got a chance to ride it and scrub the new tires up a bit.

I decided to ride out to San Isidro - a distance of 48 miles from my house.  Round trip would nearly put on the "standard" 100 miles on a set of new tires that people say to do before really pushing them to the limit.  But I'm not one to push tires to the limit - especially on a bike like the KS.  Nevertheless...

About 8 miles from San Isidro 681 (N-S route) butts up to 1017 (E-W route).  I stop at the stop sign and waited since a tractor trailer is approaching from the east.  About that time he switches on his blinker to his left.  Well... since he is slowing I figure I can pull out since I'm heading west and I can accelerate fast enough to avoid slowing the cars that are behind the 18 wheeler.  Besides... it's a good excuse to open up the throttle of the KS just a bit.  The KS lives in it's lower 25% of it's capacity.  At least it is with me.

 Time in each gear under these conditions is like 2 seconds on the KS and I shift at about 50% of redline.  Get to 6th, look down and see the needle passing 90MPH.  Cut the throttle about half way and look back to make sure I cleared the cars.  Oh shit!  Red and blue lights on a black and white!  DPS on my tail!  I pull over thinking I made a stupid move since I couldn't see the cars behind the truck.  I don't think he clocked me because he asked me if I knew how fast I was going.  I said "no sir but I was accelerating a bit hard to avoid the traffic".  He says "well it was over 80 mph and the limit here is 70 mph.  I'm giving you a warning."  After writing me the warning he told me to be safe and enjoy the rest of my ride.  He also added that he liked my motorcycle jacket - a BMW Airflow that's so well worn that it's almost grey instead of black.  (Forgot to take a picture of his car with lights flashing behind the KS).

On my way back I pulled over to take pictures of an old airfield north of Mission.  During some of my college days I worked at this location.  I worked with the Screwworm Eradication Program.  It involved the raising millions of flies.  Weekly production ran as high as 200,000,000 flies.  My job was to remove the maggot shit from the feeding trays.  The job basically involved scooping the poop up with our gloved hands and putting it in pails.  I'll save the gory details for a separate post.  I hated the job but paid better than average government wages.   Mike Rowe's Dirt Jobs would have loved to show that place although I don't think I am suppose to talk about it.  Security was very high.

 

Texas Marker

Texas Marker

That's the place in the distance.

That's the place in the distance.


Those are tracks where the patrol vehicles pass.

Those are tracks where the patrol vehicles pass.

I had a very fun ride and the tires felt very good.  Not nearly enough miles to write a review of the tires at this time.  I'll have to wait to do a complete review in the future.  I'm using them on my RT also and they are doing very good mileage wise on that bike.

 

Thanks for reading.

Ride safe.

tsp

 

Riding Through The Storm

Ricardo Perez

Looking Towards Ozona, Texas

Behind us, it was clear and sunny, but ahead a storm, void of light, rolled up from the Northern mountains of Mexico and it was crawling across Interstate I10. Ed and I pulled over at a rest-stop that was an arm's reach from the storm, about 36 miles west of Ozona, Texas to finish putting on our rain gear. As soon as we pulled into the rest-stop two guys, each with an RV pulling trikes, came up to us and said we'd better wait it out because there's hail up ahead. One of them said that's why the temperature is dropping so fast. It was in the high 80s, but now was about 70 and dropping more. It made sense to wait it out and as we waited, a lady came up to me to show me the storm on her Galaxy phone. She said, "I just live about 20 miles east of here and I just got off the phone with my daughter and says there's heavy rain and hail."

The Weather Bug App on my phone showed just what we saw, but it was more stationary than we thought because it looked like it was just on top of I10 with no interest in moving out of the way. About 15 minutes later the rest of our riding buddies approach us, but they are not pulling over. That's a mistake. Marco, David and Tomas just keep going into the blackness like a moth to light. Ed and I figure we should try and stay together so we get on our bikes and pull out not far behind them. 

Within four or five miles we begin riding into the rain, at first, only huge drops fell, but it wasn't long before it became a real frog choker. Cars and trucks starting pulling over to the side of the highway, but we kept moving. We caught up with the guys after a short while and it was then that I said to myself, "Wow, that was a big rain drop that hit my left hand". Of course, it was hail. Soon I could hear the hail hitting my helmet as it made a distinct 'clack' as the hail hit. Unlike Marco who was on a Ducati, the BMW RT has a great aero-dynamic design and only my hands and helmet were getting hit by hail. I figured it was between dime and nickel sized hail as we could clearly see it hitting the pavement and accumulating on the sides of the highway.

By now all traffic, or so it seemed, had pulled over to the side of the highway or crowded under the few overpasses that cross I10. The overpasses looked like a crowded DQ on a hot summer night. I can imagine what they were saying as five motorcycles passed by. We pulled over once, but it was worse without the aero-dynamic protection so we pressed on. 

About seven or ten miles from Ozona we finally saw a sliver of light on the eastern horizon. We were almost through. We kept our gaze fixed on the light as it kept getting wider and wider. Within a few miles of Ozona the rain stopped and we had made it through. Another rain cell was moving in from Mexico so we quickly filled up and kept pushing east towards Kerrville. We rode over 650 miles that day from Silver City, New Mexico to Ingram, Texas, but only about 20 miles of it was one for the story books. 

Bash In The Brush

Ricardo Perez

Irma and I rode out to San Isidro, Texas with Albert and Lisa to check out the "Bash In the Brush" church fund raiser. It's evolved into more of a spring motorcycle rally than anything else. There's live music, cook-offs, vendors, food, and beer. San Isidro is one of the last communities northwest of the valley, about 50/60 miles from Mission/McAllen area, before heading North toward San Antonio via the rural highway 16. It was at one time a great ride north, but now, north of San Isidro, it's cluttered with hundreds of fracking trucks working on the oil rigs. 

It's a nice ride and great little rally that just keeps getting bigger every year. It's one not to miss in South Texas. 

Irma & Lisa.JPG
Irma & Jesse.JPG

Delmita Texas Ride

Ricardo Perez

Gas at $0.63 per Gallon!

Gas at $0.63 per Gallon!

Not far from the busy roads of the Rio Grande Valley lies Delmita, Texas. It actually has a Post Office though I am not sure what kind of hours it keeps. The Post Office is a small one room building right on the main road named Delmita Road. It's right off of Hwy 2294 which intersects with Hwy 1017 in San Isidro, the closest town to Delmita. Delmita seems like a place frozen in time, the highway has actually been blocked off on one of the entry points on Hwy 1017 and the road no longer seems to be maintained by TxDot.

The gas station is now fenced up with its weathered lumber in need of some TLC. The gas pumps mark gas prices at $0.63 per gallon. It's a nice breakfast ride as its peaceful and quite, away from city traffic and all those fracking trucks that are all over rural South Texas.

Delmita+Texas.JPG
Delmita+Hwy.JPG
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Labor Day Tour 2013

Tomas Perez

The bikes


I got up super early to pack the bike although our meeting time was 9 am. We left Mission at 9:15 am with temps already at 87 F. We are now at San Isidro for breakfast. Stats - 48 miles (ha), 52.2 avg mpg, temp 89 @ 10:30 am.
New gear on this trip for me is BMW Rallye Pro 2 jacket and pants and my 2nd ride with the Touring Pro boots. I even got a set of suspenders for my pants.  I plan to use them on the riding pants as well as my jeans.  Reviews on these to follow. 
Heading to Dilley and then Ingram. 


Fueling in Freer. 
Stats: temp 94F, 139 miles, 2.75 g, BC 51.1 mpg. 


With Ed, Hiram & Ricardo. 

About 20 miles south of Cotula it hit 100 F.  Cotulla is always hot. It was 101 in town. Dilley is just 18 miles north so we rode on. 


This is Motohank in Dilley, TX.  He's a pretty good BMW motorcycle mechanic. He can pickup and deliver in that MB diesel van in the picture. (Since Dilley is in the middle of nowhere)


Good mix of BMW bikes. 

The bike was finished shortly after 5 pm so we head north on I35 to Devine. At Devine we switch off from the Interstate to a nice country road - 173. We take 173 until Bandera where we stop for gas. 

Stats: Temp 99, miles 169, gas 3.4 gals, and BC claims 52.2 mpg. 

At Bandera we change over to highway 16 which is a very nice twisty road. We got to Ingram and my BC showed 61.9 mpg!  


Having dinner in Ingram. 

Nice easy first day with a total of 355 miles. Tomorrow we want to make it to New Mexico. 

2013/09/01
We pack, clean up the bikes and leave Ed's house at 8 am. Of course, we stop at 8:10 am for breakfast at the Hunter House Cafe in Ingrim.  It's only 10 minutes of riding but I could use some coffee.


We decided to take some back roads from Ingram to some point in New Mexico. We took 83 north to Eden where we got on 87 to San Angelo, on to Big Spring and then take 380 west at Brownfield. We take 380 to Roswell where we debate if we should continue north to Santa Fe in spite of rain and thunder showers.  It's already late but decide to do the run in the rain and darkness. The rain was not too bad. Get in rather late into Santa Fe. 

Total miles for Sunday was 995 (355 was on Sat). 

2013/09/02
On Monday morning we ride to the square for some coffee and maybe something light for breakfast. 


We make several travel plans that we all break. We just kind of rode the local roads. First place we stop at is Chama, 

The bikes resting in Chama.

NM right next to the CO border. From there we head to Shiprock via highway 64 but when we get to 550 heading north we take that route in order to get away from the heat. At that time the high was in the low 90's. we make it into Durango, CO at about 4:30 pm. We rode 250 miles with the majority of that being in the mountains.  We decide to stay here for the night because we want to visit one of the local motorcycle dealers in the morning. 

Coffee in early morning Durango


[Let me interject at this point that the best intended plans can very easily fall by the wayside.  I stopped recording my fuel consumption because of a number of reasons.  It was already a little difficult having to document all the figures that I wanted to keep when others are waiting for you to depart.  A few of the problems that I had include stopping to fuel up during rain storms, a partial fuel stop at a very old place with very old pumps that I - for one - did not trust, and even a pump that did not take my card and two of us fueled up on one card swipe.  I decided to enjoy the ride and forget the stats.]

2013/09/03
After leaving the hotel in Durango we went to the Harley dealership there.  One of our guys wanted to add a few items to his baggage.  After our shopping we headed north via 550 to Silverton and then to Ouray for lunch.

Silverton down below
From Ouray we continue to Montrose and from there we use the minor roads and head north east to Carbondale.  From Carbondale we take 82 to Aspen.

I thought we would have to pay double our regular hotel rates in Aspen but we found a nice hotel at a very good price.  We got to Aspen in time for a few beers and dinner just before a storm hit the area.  The hotel manager even let us park the bikes under a car port after he moved his car out from his spot.  Nice of him to do that.

2013/09/04
First place we ride to is Maroon Bells just outside of Aspen.

Maroon Bells
We leave Maroon Bells and take 82 to Independence Pass.  That's always a nice ride.  This day it was just cool.  I've been here in June and still had snow and very cold weather.  I guess the weather changes.


Self explanatory
We then head north again to Rocky Mountain National Park.  The ride through that park is also recommended.  It has some awesome views and very easy to ride.

From there we head to Boulder for the night.

2013/09/05
From Boulder we decide to head back home to Texas.  We head to eastern Colorado (it's so different from the western part of the state) and head south.  As we head home the temperature just about doubles on us.  We don't get much of a chance to get acclimated to the near 100 degree weather.  Make it through Colorado, cut the handle of Oklahoma and into Texas to Lubbock.  I think the day total was 675 miles.  We did have a delay on the way to Texas.

Something on fire up ahead.
We had to wait for a while for that fire and finally they detoured us around that area.  All dirt roads.  They were ok to ride but of course very dusty especially with trucks also taking the detour.

2013/09/06
From Lubbock we take some strange back roads to Ingram.  I think our guide was lost because for many miles my GPS wanted me to turn around and distance to destination was increasing instead of decreasing.  But that's ok... the purpose of the trip was to ride.

We make it to Ingram in time to relax with some beer (again!) and watch a little TV.  No supper.  I don't know why we didn't get supper but we did finish all the beer.

2013/09/07
Our last leg is from Ingram to the Valley.  It's a short ride for a day.  We take our time taking back roads for the entire ride.  We have a few times when we run into rain.  Once we put on our rain gear only to have to take it off again about 20 miles down the road.  We're in south Texas now and it's about 100 F.  I even welcome small showers every so often.  It's like nature's air conditioning system.

The total miles logged on my bike for the trip was 3008 miles.  The other RT in the group had exactly the same mileage.  I liked the Rallye Pro 2 jacket and pants.  Also the suspenders make life a lot easier.

The cockpit 


The author and his RT
tsp

Zion National Park

Ricardo Perez

Zion National Park
Court of the Patriarchs
Views of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob Peaks
Zion National Park in Utah is one of the most beautiful parks in the USA, unfortunately, it's so popular that the best route, the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is unavailable except through use of the shuttle buses which run about seven minutes apart. Upon entering the park you can go anywhere else in the park, but if you want to take the shuttle then parking is available at the Visitor's Center. The shuttle service runs form March 24th to November 3rd. It's an 80 minute ride unless you get off at any of the nine stops. Each stop has its own attractions in form of hiking trails or views. You can get off the shuttle and hike, climb, camp, or backpack. The hiking trails are identified as "Easy", "Moderate" or "Strenuous" and they range in time from a half-hour to eight hours and from about a half mile to 22.5 miles in distance.
We were in a hurry so we selected to get off at the Lodge and tap into the draught beer available at the cafe and open air bar. We sat out on the great green grass with a great view of the cliffs in front. We figured that would be as strenuous as we would get on this trip with plans to return. We'd like to do the hike at the last stop, "Temple of Sinawava" which has the famous hike where the canyon walls get narrower and narrower as you go.
The City of Hurricane is about 20 miles off of I15 and about 23 miles from the entrance to the park has a Harley dealership that's handy for a quick rental if you happen to fly into Vegas. Springdale is the small community at the entrance of the park. It has restaurants and a few chain hotels like La Quinta Hotel (fairly new) and several non-chain hotels which look good. Of course, there's roads that are open and available for use, but they're not the best part of the park.
In Zion National Park
Being July the temperature was right at about 100 degrees as we entered the park, but it soon got cloudy and the temps dropped a few degrees. Later on in the afternoon a rain storm rolled in and the temps really dropped to somewhere in the 70s. That was a welcome break, but in this area which has the Virgin River running through the scenic route flash flooding is a real hazard. We were told stories of how the river has taken out parts of the road or blocked it with boulders actually marooning visitors within the park. We wanted nothing of that so we moved out of the park before it really started raining hard.
Zion keeps reminding us that people have lost their lives climbing so I guess there are all levels of climbing/hiking in the park and it doesn't seem like they prohibit much of anything. That's a good thing if you know what you're doing.
Zion is definitely a must ride if you can make the ride out West.




A Great View
Clouds Building Up




Outdoor Cafe at the Lodge
There's Beer!

Green Space at Lodge

Approaching Rain Storm

Beautiful Scenery at Every Bend in the Road 


Across the Creek & You're In Springdale, UT


Virgin River


Holland Hotel in Alpine

Ricardo Perez

Holland Hotel in Alpine, Texas
The Holland Hotel in Alpine like the Gage in Marathon and El Paisano in Marfa is another one of those classic hotels worth staying at while riding the Big Bend and Davis Mountains. They've got a nice bar facing the street where you can sit and enjoy a cool beer after a long day's ride. The restaurant runs along the backside of the bar and into an outdoor patio. On certain days they've got live music in the patio area and on those occasions a good size crowd gathers.
The rooms are classy and more period type than you might be used to, but it makes for a good stay. For your added comfort each room is provided with ear plugs since the railroad is just across the street and those trains seem to run about every hour.
Of course, you're right in the middle of town so you can take a stroll around and check out beautiful downtown Alpine without having to ride anywhere. Unlike Marathon, there's a few things to see and do in Alpine so it's worth considering next time you're making it down to Big Bend National Park.

Train Across Hotel Runs Through Alpine 

At the Holland Hotel Bar During Spring Thunder Storm

Holland Hotel


Fort Davis Headed North
Hotel Lobby Area

Just before early morning departure


John R. Holland Bio
"Common battery telephone service..."



Touring Marfa in West Texas

Ricardo Perez

Presidio County Seat - Marfa Texas
Marfa, like Alpine, Fort Davis, and Marathon is part of those few West Texas towns north of Big Bend National Park. Each has its own character and charm. Marfa is about 26 miles Southwest of Alpine so it makes it one of the more out-of-the-way towns in this out-of-the-way region. Marfa was really put on the map during the filming of the movie Giant with Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor, and James Dean back in 1956. The crew camped out at the famous Paisano Hotel which is still there and probably just as it was back in the 50s.
In more recent years Marfa's back on the map as artists from New York City and places elsewhere and those that follow art have ended up in Marfa.  A New York artist, Donald Judd started buying buildings in Marfa for his bigger art works. Marfa has also been home for some popular movies such as "There Will Be Blood" and "No Country For Old Men". So compared to the surrounding cities, Marfa is a regular Hollywood and New York City combined. It's worth the time to spend a half day there checking out the art community and some of the historical sites like the Paisano Hotel and the Presidio County Seat Courthouse. Visitors are free to climb the courthouse's steps all the way to the dome which offers a panoramic view of this west Texas area. The view gives you an understanding of the emptiness that fills West Texas.
Of course, Marfa is also famous for the Marfa Lights. A few miles out of town sits the Marfa Lights center which is open to visitors. I've been to this area lots of times, but have never had the urge to check out the Marfa lights so I can't tell you if it's worth a sidebar trip.
Old Courthouse Seating Still in Vogue
The Prada storefront display is also a few miles out of town, but opposite the Marfa Lights side. Of course, the Prada display is kind of world famous and it's a hoot to see it out in the middle of nowhere. Not exactly like Venice, Paris or Rome.
While we were there we stopped at the covered area by the railroad tracks which hosts their weekend farmer's market, but on this day its sole vendor was the lunch RV called The Shark. They were running off three or four generators and pumping out fancy sandwiches and flavored ice tea. Not exactly what you'd expect in West Texas, but the crowd sure fit the food except for my brother and me. Anyhow, the food was good, but there's a nice simple Mexican food restaurant just a few blocks away that's more 'local' and reasonable on prices.
The Food Shark

If you have the time my suggestion would be to stay at the Gage Hotel in Marathon then the Holland Hotel in Alpine then El Paisano Hotel in Marfa and end the Big Bend Hotel tour at Hotel Limpia in Fort Davis. You could cap it off with stays at the Indian Lodge at the Davis Mountains State Park outside of Fort Davis and end up at the best site of all, a campsite at the Chisos Basin at Big Bend National Park!
Inside Courthouse Dome



El Paisano Hotel Courtyard





Riding The Storm

Tomas Perez

It has happened to everyone that has done any type of touring regardless of the season.  We all plan for it and if you have any experience with motorcycle touring you can read the signs and you have the equipment to handle almost anything nature can throw at you baring any major or catastrophic storms.  But in my case, I have no excuse.  I was caught unprepared for one of the worst rain storms that I have ever ridden through.

I had been visiting both of my local BMW dealers plus doing a little riding in the Texas Hill Country.  I use the term local rather loosely.  I wanted to take advantage of my ride to the dealer since it is 265 miles each way by extending my ride.  Dealer #2 is 327 miles each way but even more miles if I go via dealer #1.  A simple dealer visit is not a leisurely daily ride for many of us not living close to a major metropolitan area. It calls for a very long day of riding or a multi day trip.  Any day trip or longer and I pack for bad weather.  I always carry rain gear and in any weather other than the middle of Summer I will include some cold weather gear.

Looking back North towards the storm
 My wet weather riding gear consists of the following: Tourmaster Sentinel Rain Jacket, Olympia rain pants, Corbin seat cover, shower cap for XM radio, and BMW All Round gloves.  My current boots are BMW Touring Pro 2 (at times I also use Sidi Way boots) and they are totally waterproof.  My helmet is a Schuberth C3.  My head and feet are always covered (no pun intended) in case of rain.  More - both good and bad - on these two items later later on.  By the way, unless it's the middle of winter I use my BMW AirFlow 4 jacket for Texas riding.
(This Blog contains reviews on most of these items.)

During my visit to Lone Star BMW in Austin, Texas I purchased a Rev'It Wind Barrier jacket because a) it's very good and b) it was on sale.  I also purchased a cooling vest called Hyperkewl because a) it was hot as nearly always is in Texas and I was headed south where it's even hotter and b) it was relatively cheap at $39.95.  The sales lady kept telling me that she would soak the vest for me in the toilet for free as part of my purchase.  I soaked it in the sink in the men's restroom instead and left the dealer in the early afternoon.  The weather was hot but other than that it was very nice for a motorcycle ride.  In addition, I had called home and got a report of "it's sunny and a beautiful day".

Traveling through central Texas I almost always take back roads or secondary roads instead of the Interstates.  In this case I choose highway 123 and 72 to I 37 to I 59 for a short 8 mile run to 281.  I like highway 16 down the middle of south Texas brush country but not after dark.  That part of South Texas just has too many wild animals out after dark and even cows and horses seem to find their way out to the warmth of the road beds.  Once on 281 South I consider it smooth sailing for the last leg of my ride home.

Normally I'm OCD when it comes to riding or coming into bad weather.  Not to the point of stopping or outrunning a storm but more to preparing for the ride.  I tell my friends that I do not mind riding in cold weather nor rain (but not freezing rain!) since I have the gear for both including a bike that has excellent weather protection.  You learn to see the signs; dark clouds, oncoming traffic showing signs of rain or worse, any column of darkness from the clouds down to the ground are all signs that you are about to run into something big.  The column is a sure sign of rain or worse and the wider the column the larger the storm with little to no chance of riding out of it.

As I turn south on 281 in George West I see the columns.  Not one but two of them.  They appear to the east and west of my direction of travel but still a ways south of my position.  The thought comes into my head to stop at the DQ in George West to see what happens.  In any account I have not eaten lunch and it is mid afternoon.  I could use a meal and some caffeine.  But I decide to push on.

Within 10 or 15 miles I start to see little water droplets on my windshield.  They are so light that I don't even feel them on my helmet.  I ride through stuff like this often without doing any riding gear change.  This presents zero cause for alarm but there is a warning sign... I don't see the columns anymore.  I continue and it's only a few miles and I get a light shower but my only concern is my XM radio being exposed to water.  I think about my friend that says he does not put on rain gear in the summer and simply uses the opportunity to wash his riding jacket and sometimes riding pants.  I tell myself that I will wash the AirFlow jacket - it could use a cleaning anyway.  By this time I am in a heavy but otherwise normal rain.  I start my preparation.

Ok... I can do this.  Tuck in behind the fairing, raise windshield to just below eye sight, close helmet visor (make sure it's snug), and close both helmet vents (it matters).  It's important to close your visor before you get water on the inside and if you wear glasses you have another two surfaces that can get wet.  That's a total of four surfaces that can have water and limits your vision severely.  Add a windshield to that and you can consider yourself nearly blind if you continue riding.  But I'm good!  As a matter of fact only my arms are getting wet.  Even my radio, GPS and dash were only a little wet with slight spray.  I'm thinking: awesome bike, awesome fairing.  I'm actually enjoying the ride and keep in mind that I did not put on any of my rain gear.

And then it happened... I hit what appears to be a wall of rain... and high winds!  A little panic sets in plus sensory overload from the walls of water hitting me.  First thing that comes to mind is to pull over.  This is brush country and only a shoulder exists along the route.  In addition, stopping will result in a total soak within seconds but my main concern was for the bike.  The winds were too high and I thought that I would not be able to hold the bike upright during any sudden gusts.  I also was concerned about getting run over by some driver that could not see well which I knew was the case as that was happening to me.  Phase 2 kicked in right away.  First I lowered the windshield so as not to be kicked around so much by the winds and I turn on my 4 way flashers.  I have one car behind me and way ahead was an 18 wheeler that I no longer can see.  Not bad... the trailer has plenty of lights that are much more visible than car lights but at this point I don't see him ahead.  The car passes me up but within a mile he is slowing down to the point that I pass him.  While this is happening I feel my chest and legs get totally wet and then my crotch went from dry to wet within seconds.  I don't know why wet crotch feels like an insult when you are riding a motorcycle.  Your torso can dry and your legs can dry once you get out of a rain storm.  This is especially true in the Texas heat where a wet jacket can dry in minutes of riding.  But a wet crotch seems to stay wet forever and I always seem to get to the next gas stop and feeling like I wet my pants.

I can't see much but I see the trailer lights ahead.  At first I think that's good - something like my own personal lighthouse ahead of me but I find myself downshifting to 5th and then to 4th.  I'm shifting based on feel because I cannot read my gauges - not even the gear indicator.  I'm thinking this is too slow and thus dangerous and I could see where he was being pushed around by the winds.  I pull over to the passing lane with no indication of my intent because I have my 4 ways on.  I notice one of the reasons that he may have slowed down for was that there was a row of cars pulled over on to the shoulder.  I think about stopping myself but decide not to since the bike is handling the wind so well. I don't want to make this a BMW report but at this time I am gushing for the brand.  Since I saw columns before I hit the rain I figured that this was a storm within limited boundaries.  I continued for about 10 or 15 miles before the rain and wind let up to a normal shower.  The road ahead cleared up but I could not see any cars ahead of me.  Weird feeling being all alone on a highway that is normally busy.


Soon after the rain it was these things
 I stopped at a Whataburger in the next town so that I could take off my cool vest.  Didn't need it any more - as a matter of fact I felt cold.  Several people came up to me and advised me not to ride north.  Too late - would tell them I was just there.  When I told one man that I had just ridden through the storm he said "No way!  Otherwise your bike would be full of bugs.".  I didn't say anything but when he walked over to me and looked at the bike he apologized to me.  I guess because he was calling me a lair but I thought nothing of it.  I never found out how bad the storm was but part of Alice had no power, a gas station sign (the tall type) was blown over, entire crop fields were flooded and the Whataburger was full of cars.

I don't know how much of a lesson this was for me.  At my age, I mean experience, I should have known better.  Observations... I was impressed with my bike with the way it handled in such a storm.  And the other thing was that the only thing dry on me was my feet - totally dry!  I got home 2.5 hours later and I was still wet except for my feet.  The Rev'It jacket kept me warm even when my shirt and jacket were soaked.  I wore it under my AirFlow jacket.  I found it strange that I felt no cold yet my shirt was still very wet when I got home.  I was disappointed with my helmet.  In case you don't know it is expensive but it let in too much water.  In the past I've had a drop of water run down the front on the inside of the shield.  Then another drop and so on every few minutes while riding in a normal heavy rain.  On this ride I first felt a fine spray or mist inside the helmet (recall that I shut everything off before the heavy rain hit me but did not use the chin cover normally used in the winter).  Then the water droplets continued to get bigger to the point that I had as much water on the inside of the shield as I did on the outside.  Perhaps it was the wind forcing the rain in but it should not happen.  It's a safety issue IMO.  On a plus note I never got fogging inside the helmet.

My helmet didn't do much better

And what are these bugs that are out by the millions immediately following the rain?  They look like termites.  They are rather sticky since it was still raining when they start to come out yet don't get washed off the bike.  They would hit my helmet and stick and when I moved my head into the air stream to try to blow them off it only got worse with many more hits.

Thanks for reading,
tsp

Davis Mountain State Park Indian Lodge

Ricardo Perez

The Indian Lodge
Within Davis Mountains State Park is the Indian Lodge, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1933. It has over 30 rooms for overnight stays as well as a restaurant and swimming pool.  It offers an elevated porch area outside the community room which offers a great view. Swallows fly around as they nest throughout the porch ceiling

The park has a nice road called the Skyline Drive Trail that rises far above the rest of the park and offers a great view of the Davis Mountains as well as the city of Fort Davis just a few miles away.
Community Room Column & Beams
If you can't stay at the Indian Lodge the camping area is great. There is lots of space and shade trees which will make camping out a nice experience. My wife and I camped out there a couple of years ago and were awakened by a herd of javelins foraging through our campsite. Those jaws certainly clack loudly as they graze, not a comforting thought when the only thing between us is the flimsy nylon tent wall and only a pocket knife to possible defend yourself.
The park is not huge, but it's one of those that's not on everybody's list so it makes for a nice stay. Nearby is McDonald's Observatory, Fort Davis, Alpine and Marfa.



Black Bear Restaurant


Indian Lodge



Swallow



Big Bend National Park Ride: March 2013

Ricardo Perez

Heading from Big Bend National Park Towards Alpine
Picture by Voni
Ricardo & New RT
The above picture was taken by Voni Glaves who happen to be out on the front of her house with camera as we rode by on our way to Alpine. Voni has over a million miles on BMW motorcycles. Tomas has met her before at BMW rallies and he spotted her and stopped for a short visit. Tomas had actually emailed her about the possibility of camping out at her place in case we were out of luck on a hotel for Saturday night, but the odds of catching her out by the highway as we rode by was really amazing. Check her riding history, truly impressive.
We started our ride at 5:30am and it immediately struck me what's great about riding as the smell of grass fields heavy with the mornings dew fill the senses, then the sweet, powerful smell of blossoming orange trees dominated as we rode between orchard fields. It's just the sense of being close to nature that reminds me how we just miss those senses when we're caged up in our vehicles. What a time to ride as spring comes early to South Texas.
The new BMW R1200RT is a week old and I've got 2,323 total miles. After the break-in procedure and the 600 mile service a group of six took a three day ride to Big Bend National Park. During the three days we logged approximately 1,481 miles. Tomas, Marco, Ed, Albert,Pancho, and myself met up about 5:30am in Edinburg and headed out at 6am or so. It was still dark and we wouldn't risk the back rural highways at night with too much wildlife venturing out on the highway.  We stuck to Highway 281 North and made our way to Falfurrias, about 90 miles from home to gas up and eat breakfast. We left Falfurrias about 8:30am and headed West on Highway 285 and then North on Hwy 339 to Benavides and Freer. Highway 339 is one of the few backroads that's not congested with all the trucking from the "Fracking Gone Wild" in Texas, so that's a pleasant ride through Benevides. We rode through Benavides and made a quick stop in Freer and a gas stop in Encinal then pushed on to Carrizo Springs where we stopped for lunch.
Cruising Down the Highway
We made Del Rio by about 3pm and fueled up at WalMart on the West end of town while Albert went in and bought a sleeping bag. In Sanderson we stopped for a break and met two brothers from Colorado riding the new BMW GTLs on their way to South Padre Island. We didn't mention that it's Spring Break and not the place to be.
Marathon Motel
We arrived at the Marathon Motel & RV Park right about 7pm. We had reservations for only one night  so the plan was to camp out Saturday night at the basin in Big Bend National Park, but we started re-thinking that idea when we heard that it would be about 34 degrees on Sunday morning. The basin campsites were also all taken due to Spring Break so we settled on a couple of rooms at the Hampton Hotel in Alpine for Saturday night. The Marathon Motel is a neat little place that we've stayed at on many of our trips to Big Bend. When they hand out complimentary ear plugs you start thinking, did I miss something in the small print?" The train runs by about ever hour, twenty four hours a day, at least that's what they say. They don't bother me, but that may not be the case for everyone. The motel has a handful of little cabins/rooms, an RV park and about four tent campsites. It also has a great open patio area with a huge fire place and it's the perfect spot for just relaxing. There's plenty of firewood and we're free to start a fire. We were joined by another motel guest, a band member from Austin out to take pictures of the Big Bend area for his band.
Before we started the fire we went out to the Gage Hotel White Buffalo Bar for a couple of beers and some dinner. Food at the Gage is very good and the prices are not too bad. After our fireside chats we ended our day; 525 miles on Friday.
Marathon Coffee Shop
Saturday we were up early and rode over about an eighth of a mile to the Marathon Coffee Shop which always has a good breakfast menu. You can sit inside the restaurant, but with pleasant weather it's great sitting outside which is what we did. After breakfast we gassed-up the bikes and rode west to Alpine where we dropped off our bags at the hotel before we headed to Marfa, Texas. Marfa is an interesting place with a large artist community. We toured the town on our bikes, passed the open market area and moved on to Presidio.
Presidio is not a very attractive town, but it's the gateway to Hwy 170 to Lajaitas, about a 60 mile road that hugs the narrow Rio Grande River. It's only a stone's throw from the US to Mexico and the river is a very shallow crossing in many places. There's no wall here as it's sparsely populated on both sides of the river. The highway is a great ride with lots of dips, some small and others big. It's a hilly ride, but most are small hills so it's a real up and down ride.
As we rode east we hugged the river to the right and crossed the Big Bend State Park to the left. We stopped at the State Park parking area to check out some trails and then rode to the next rest stop which is lined with Tee-Pees, not real ones, but ones made from cement.
We ended the route at Study Butte, fueled up and entered the western entrance to Big Bend National Park. Once in the park we rode to the Chisos Basin for a nice break. It's about 28 miles back to the western exit at Study Butte and another 82 miles to Alpine.
Reata Resturant was our dinner stop in Alpine. It's probably the nicest place in Alpine and they serve some great dishes.
Marathon Coffee Shop
Our stay was at the Hampton Inn on the western end of town. We woke early Sunday to 34 - 36 degree weather so we layered up and headed out by 8am. The ride home took us through Hwy 67 North which meets I10 about 15 miles west of Fort Stockton. Once we hit I10 we cruised at 85mph and battled a strong northern that was blowing in that day. We rode from Alpine to Ozuna, approximately 180 miles before stopping for some hot coffee. It was now 58 degrees, but it still felt cold. We went another 100 miles to Junction for BBQ at Coopers. Hwy 83 is just east of Junction so we decided to take Hwy 83 south and have the wind at our backs.
From Junction on Hwy 83 south we stopped for a break at Concan just off Hwy 83 on Hwy 127. From Concan we made stops in Hondo and Alice before making it home. About 625 miles that Sunday.
It was a quick three day ride, but we had a great time. Weather was cool and skies were clear all three days and except for the cold start on Sunday morning, it was just about perfect riding weather. Big Bend is always a great ride and next time we'll do Santa Elena Canyon before heading out of the park.

Pancho's BMW RS



Marco Having a Bad Hair Day!

Tomas & Albert by Rio Grande River along Hwy 170






Pancho, Marco, Ed & Albert in Concan



Pancho in Study Butte, Texas


Ed's solution for operating his phone! We're sure Apple is picking up on this one; the new iHandinGlove! We'll be selling these for $39.95 & if you order before July 4th we will toss in a left-handed glove for free. There is a small S&H fee of $19.95. Satisfaction guaranteed, if not completely satisfied simply return the glove(s) for a complete refund minus a small restocking fee of $21.95. Our shops and technical staff are ready to help you. Wait, that's not all, yes, for a small added fee we can design the same glove for left-handed users, but you must act now! Imagine yourself texting away while cruising down a narrow country road at 75mph while your friends just look on with envy! Don't be the last one in your riding group to be without the technical advantages of our designs. (Just in case anyone thinks we're serious, we're not...don't send us any money, we don't sell gloves cut-up with scissors, and never text while riding) 

Checking out the glove in Freer, TX
Going down the Hwy



Made it to Marathon Motel just before dark!



Albert at motel patio area

Yes, they have TVs (small), but no WiFi!


Rear view of Marathon Motel area.

Persidio stop at fruit drink cafe


Big Bend State Park


Rest Stop


Rio Grande River


Albert
Marco


Ricardo




Arriving at BBNP Chisos Basin

Chisos Basin at BBNP

Big Bend National Park - Chisos Basin




ll
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Terlingua - Big Bend National Park: January Snow 2013

Ricardo Perez



Terlingua 
Some people talk about riding out to Big Bend during the winter, but I don't think January is a good time. We've gone there as early as late February and it can be really nice weather. This unusual snowfall swept in from the New Mexico - El Paso area on Thursday, January 03, 2013. Photos were taken on the 4th and 5th by Jaime Roel Perez and Aissa Hejira Martinez-Perez.


Road less traveled!

Looks cold!


Rabbit Footprints

Lost Mines Trail at Big Bend National Park

Approaching Big Bend's Chisos Basin

Snow beginning to melt


Big Bend at Chisos Basin




Not too many travelers

Date in snow 01/04/2013


November Beach Run

Ricardo Perez

Marco's Man-Size Breakfast

Closed out the month with a day trip to South Padre Island this weekend. We stopped in Port Isabel, Texas at Manuel's for breakfast before crossing the causeway to the island. For the few that don't know about Manuel's, it's great Mexican food for a reasonable price. As you can tell from the picture above, they're famous for their good tasting, over-sized flour tortillas. You can also use them as motorcycle cover. 
View from Clayton's 
It was a great day for riding with weather starting out in the low 60's and climbing to about 80 by mid-day. On the Island we ended up at Clayton's where we sat back and enjoyed the Gulf's shoreline.




Manuel's Restaurant 


Rocksprings, Texas by Motorcycle

Ricardo Perez

It's Wet Out There!


Three of us, Tomas, Rob Brace, and myself,  rode to Rocksprings, Texas on Friday, October 26, 2012 for the Annual Texas Honda ST Rally. It was a beautiful morning, clear and approximately 76 degrees when we left on our 370 mile ride, but that didn't last as we rode into our first big cold front of the year. Within two hours we were riding in rain and dropping temperatures and by the time we made Encinal, on Hwy 35 north of Laredo, it was wet and temperature around 54 degrees. That lasted at least 150 miles before the rain let up. It stayed overcast as we rolled into Rocksprings at 6:30pm.
The rally had approximately 20 riders from all parts of Texas, one from Colorado and another from Kansas. The only restaurant open, The King Burger,  was right across our motel and served up some decent food. It closed at 8pm, but we were told that there would be room since most the town was attending the local high school football game. The stadium was just a couple of blocks away and you could clearly hear the announcer doing the play by play with a Texan drawl that made you think the game was in slow motion.
I rode my 1979 R100RT and it did great on the more than 800 mile ride. About the only thing I miss from my Ultra Classic is the ABS brakes. I'll be switching out the ATE brakes on the RT for the better Brembo brakes which came out on the '81 RT.

Click on this link for a short video on the ride as provided by one of our fellow ST members:  Texas Hwy 337