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Counting Curves on "The Trinity" 335, 336 & 337

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Took a week’s vacation and had a plan to do some Texas Hill Country riding and map refining, besides cleaning the shop & garages. Waited 4 days and didn’t get cooperative weather, so around noon on the 5th day (Weds), I decided “to heck with the weather” and packed for cold, hot, wet & dry eventualities.

Hit the road (out of Laredo) by about 3:30 (kinda late), and made it through the relatively straight, boring part of the trip to Uvalde before 6. Went ahead and had dinner there because I’m a little tired of the 2 or 3 choices in Leakey. As I rode out after dinner in the rapidly dimming evening, I could see the thunderheads in the distance, lighting up the sky with a promise of a rainy night. Rolling into Leakey I decided to get a room and not chance the water crossings that could possibly be rising already due to rain in the hills above town. This turned out to be a wise move!

Got woken up by some EXTREME thunder and lightning with a couple of inches of heavy rain; good for the farmers, lousy for the riders. What the heck, that’s why I brought my better boots and rain suit.

Morning dawned not only damp (no more rain falling) but cool – lower 50s. I geared up appropriately and mapped my route: 336 North out of Leakey, through some of the very best twisties in the State following the “West Prong” of the Frio River. 336 has the highest number of curves per mile of the “Texas Trinity” (335/336/337) and terminates on the North end at 41, where I rode on out the long high-speed sweepers and across 377 for lunch in Rocksprings at the King Burger. The weather this entire time was heavy overcast, moderate breeze, and very light fog/drizzle. Stopped in at the Ace Hardware and bought a pair of large work gloves to pull over my light riding gloves, I forgot my foul weather gloves. After a Steak Finger Basket and coffee, I doubled back on 377 to 41 to 335 and headed South.

335 South along the Edwards / Real county line is also fairly tight twisties with perhaps a nicer view of the Nueces river once the foliage is back in Springtime. There are several crossings on the Frio & Nueces where you can pull off and take a dip in the frosty springwater fed rivers during the summertime; it’s a great place for snorkeling, fishing and tubing. But I wasn’t around for the swimming, so I rode on briskly down to Camp Wood for a hot cup of coffee at a little BBQ joint and topped off the tank. I typically average 35-40 MPH on the Legend in significantly varied terrain with plenty of elevation changes, lots of gearshifting and engine braking.

The next part of the trip surprised me a bit, 337 between Camp Wood and Leakey I thought would produce the most curves per mile, but it turned out that the leg of 337 between Leakey & Vanderpool actually has a lot more! Back in Leakey, I stopped at the Frio Canyon Motorcycle Stop ( bikerstop@hctc.net ) where I compared map notes with the proprietor, Robin Albright. She clarified a few questions I had concerning particular sections that I was unsure of as to whether the roads were paved and/or worth riding for the scenery and twisties. My personal riding map is coming together nicely! She also pointed out some of the better sections where limited-skills riders can get more enjoyment without the technical expertise, this will be incorporated in my map.

The Legend just loved the ride, humming along with the exhaust note sounding similar to the hotrod Mustang driven by Steve McQueen in the movie “Bullitt”, banshee howling on hard acceleration, popping on engine braking and barking on the downshifts, absolute music! I really need to upgrade the rear shock with a decent unit, I bottomed out on a couple of high-speed low crossings, and Sally hates the ride 2-up. Topped the ton frequently and easily, and hit just over 120 indicated as it bounced in the red zone at 9,000 RPM; never did hit the limiter… The Legend has an excellent all-around personality – it is not so much a cruiser that it scrapes everything in the tight stuff, and not so much a crotch-rocket that your shoulders, wrists and neck get sore from the forward leaning position. It’s a true “power cruiser” that gives you just the right seating position to leverage the bike when needed, relax in the saddle on the smooth stuff, and sit up to enjoy the view all around you. I have a Shoei quarter-fairing on it for foul weather which makes all the difference for upper body and hand protection; it can pop off in under 2 minutes when the weather gets warm.

The next section of 337, from Leakey to Vanderpool, is a 15 mile section with 101 curves (6.7 curves per mile). It also has the most dramatic elevation changes of the “Trinity” and made for some fantastic riding. The drizzle had stopped by this time and the roads were fairly dry, so I made haste. Up to this point, and for pretty much the entire trip, I passed no more than a double-handful of cars headed in the other direction and overtook only 3 or 4 vehicles the entire day! I had the roads to myself which was an absolute treat. I guess the cool weather kept the other riders home, or they were riding somewhere else, because I never saw another rider the entire time.

Before anyone snipes at me with their stats from the “Tail of the Dragon” (318 curves in 11 miles), try riding the Gap at 70 – 120 MPH for almost the entire run. PLUS, the vistas in the Texas Hill Country are awesome! At the Gap, all you see is heavy forest and you BARELY see oncoming traffic around blind curves until they run you off the road or bowl you over.

Once I hit Vanderpool, I turned North on 187 to the Lone Star Motorcycle Museum ( www.lonetarmotorcyclemuseum.com ) but nobody was home (they are typically only open on weekends), so I rode on. Back down to the last leg of 337 into Medina for a warm-up stop at the Love Creek Orchards’ “Cider Mill & Country Store Café” and a nice cup of coffee with a huge 4” tall slice of Apple Pie covered with Cider Sauce! YUM! There was a fire going in the pot-bellied stove, so I pulled up a seat and warmed my hands while I sipped & munched. Gassed up again (me & the bike), I headed out 16 down to 470, a road I’d never ridden but which looked pretty nice on the map. The concentration of curves per mile was lower, but the scenery was gorgeous over toward the West Sabinal River. I took a chance and turned back up 187 to the Lone Star M/C Museum, but still nobody home.

So, I looked at my watch and mentally flipped a coin: Head up toward Kerrville on 187 to 39 (two sections I had never ridden) and hole up at a hotel there, then ride some more on Friday, or head for home and get back to work on the Bobber and Chopper projects? It was cold and my butt was starting to complain, so I headed South following the Sabinal River into Sabinal, then across to Pearsall and onto I-35 just before dark. Got a “blocker” cruising over 80 MPH into Cotulla and dropped off the ‘slab to top up the tank. Hopped back on the highway and got an even better blocker and cruised most of the way ‘till he got pulled over by a Sheriff patrol. Eased the rest of the way into town and put the Legend to rest for the night.

That was some nice trip! All in all, I covered just over 600 miles, 420 of it from 10 AM to 8 PM with 2 meal stops, 3 gas stops and 1 or 2 additional “pit stops”.

“Counting curves” is a technical art that fosters discussion which invariably leads to argument over what actually constitutes a “curve”. For the purposes of my personal Texas Hill Country riding map, I believe any change of direction of more than a couple of degrees (which is easily discernible in the roadway striping ahead of you), any Left-Right or Right-Left switchback, any turnoff to a different or adjoining roadway, and any alteration in a radius which requires a perceptible change of course maneuver (non-constant-radius) all constitute “curves”. The latter situation is probably the hardest to get consensus on, so I am refining it even further – maintaining position in one wheel track, any change in a curve’s radius requiring perceptible maneuvering to stay in the fixed track, constitutes a different curve. In other words, you encounter a long sweeper and after several hundred feet of steady lean, the curve “tightens up” or “opens out” before straight roadway or opposite (Left/Right) requiring you to alter your lean to stay on track.

So, according to my count:

Ranch Road 335, East of Rocksprings, between Hwy 41 North/South to Ranch Road 337 just North of Barksdale – 32 Miles, 134 Curves = 4.2 curves per mile.

Ranch Road 336 between Leakey and the junction of Hwy 41 East of Rocksprings – 27 Miles, 133 Curves = 4.9 curves per mile.

Ranch Road 337 between Camp Wood and Medina – 56 Miles, 235 Curves = 4.2 curves per mile. Section of 337 between Leakey and Vanderpool – 15 Miles, 101 Curves = 6.7 curves per mile.
There you have it, the “Texas Trinity” – 335/336/337, 115 Miles, 502 Curves = 4.3 curves per mile average. At 60 MPH average speed, that would be one curve every 14 seconds. And if you can manage to park your bike for a few minutes, there is at least one really nice sight to see about every 10 minutes.

P.S. Since I rode it and counted it, I’m including the section of 470 from Hwy 16 South of Medina over to 187 North of Utopia – 29 Miles, 90 Curves = 3.1 curves per mile.

Other roads to ride if you are going to be in the area for a few days: 55 between Camp Wood and Rocksprings, 39 between TX 83 and Kerrville, and 377 between Junction and Rocksprings. There are literally dozens of other nice roads criss-crossing this area, but these are the ones with the best road conditions year-round. Also, there are many other nice roads in the “East” half of the Texas Hill Country, and dozens of sights to see as well as State Parks and private campgrounds scattered throughout. Take your time, and ya’ll come back now!
 
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Re: Couting Curves on "The Trinity" 335, 336 & 337

Cool report, GrandPaul! :chug:

:hail: to you for being able to keep track of the curve count while negotiating the twisties themselves!

I mentally see 337 as being broken up into thirds, with the western third (Camp Wood<->Leakey) being the most more/less roller-coastery, the middle third (Leakey<->Vanderpool) being the twistiest, and the easter third (Vanderpool<->Medina) being the most scenic.

Glad you had a good, safe trip.
 
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Re: Couting Curves on "The Trinity" 335, 336 & 337

grandpaul said:
So, according to my count:

Ranch Road 335, East of Rocksprings, between Hwy 41 North/South to Ranch Road 337 just North of Barksdale – 32 Miles, 134 Curves = 4.2 curves per mile.

Ranch Road 336 between Leakey and the junction of Hwy 41 East of Rocksprings – 27 Miles, 133 Curves = 4.9 curves per mile.

Ranch Road 337 between Camp Wood and Medina – 56 Miles, 235 Curves = 4.2 curves per mile. Section of 337 between Leakey and Vanderpool – 15 Miles, 101 Curves = 6.7 curves per mile.
There you have it, the “Texas Trinity” – 335/336/337, 115 Miles, 502 Curves = 4.3 curves per mile average. At 60 MPH average speed, that would be one curve every 14 seconds. And if you can manage to park your bike for a few minutes, there is at least one really nice sight to see about every 10 minutes.

Cool way to look at those roads. I have never scene a road evaluated that way. :thumb:
 
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Re: Couting Curves on "The Trinity" 335, 336 & 337

It's a lot easier to count curves when you are all by yourself on essentially vacant roads. No traffic, no co-riders to keep track of, just you and the road. If you have ridden them a few times, you have SOME idea of what to expect and if you are being careful, you can concentrate a little bit better on the actual count.

I was hoping I would be the first to do it; as far as I know, I am!

Next installment coming soon!
 

Tourmeister

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NC0044.JPG


:tab The legend we had was a great bike. It was a 99 model. The suspension was a bit on the bouncy soft side but otherwise it was a real hoot to ride. I chased sport bikes through the Sam Houston National Forest all the time and had no trouble staying with them. With loads of torque, I seldom had to shift. It was a real heater though and would roast the thighs! Typical Triumph in that respect. It was Beth's second bike, but I often took it out for a spin :trust:
 
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Yep, I had to put an Ohlins rear unit on mine before it drove me nuts! I found one for $200 like new. I have a Shoei 1/4 fairing on mine, it works great; and it can DEFINITELY run with the "bad boys" unless they find a straight stretch of road more than a mile long.

Sally likes her '02 Bonnie, but she does prevail upon me about 1/3 of the time to ride the Legend for a change of pace. And it's always her asking ME to swap bikes!
 

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:tab I have not ridden any of the newer of the "new" Bonnevilles. I rode one back when they were first reintroduced and came away totally unimpressed. The Legend had it beat in all respects. I am told some of the more recent Bonnies make more power than the original release a few years back. I think the Legend was just priced a bit high. It also needed a bigger battery for more cranking power, an easily removable seat, and a sixth gear! We had ours for about two years before Beth decided she wanted something more sporty.
 
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I remember seeing another "curve count" of the hill counrty roads. Not sure if it was on this board or another, but it would be fun to compare the "counts".

Post a link if you know where it is.
 
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I posted it on TexMoto when I first got back, also on several of the Delphi forums...
 

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There is nothing to see or do in Texas, your posting of these fine roads is a threat to my future riding enjoyment. I demand you cease and desist:whatever: :

You a forbidden to disclose roads that are enjoyable and senic, please report only Interstate sections preferably those located between Ft Stockton and El Paso, Midland to FT Worth. Violations well result in you having to host a TWT event at your home!
:rider:
 
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Actually, we ought to point people to I-35 between San Antonio and Dallas...
 
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Old thread, but a good one.

55 from Camp Wood to Rocksprings is a MIGHTY fine road with 2 lanes in each direction through all the good parts, and virtually ZERO traffic.

I now live in Leander, so MUCH closer to all the good riding.

Within 5 minutes of my driveway are:

-1431 from Cedar Park to Marble Falls (great places to eat when you get there, and nice water attractions)
-Anderson Mill road to Lime Creek Road (LCR well known on this forum)
-Nameless Road (2243) to Round Mountain Rd or 1431
-Round Mountain Road (282) to Liberty Hill
-Bagdad Rd (279) to Liberty Hill
 
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Oh, yeah, the steadfast '00 Triumph Legend TT900 triple with Shoei quarter fairing, quick-release seat bolts, airbox mods, and TOR mufflers...
16 - Legend.jpg
 
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