Welcome to the Two Wheeled Texans community! Feel free to hang out and lurk as long as you like. However, we would like to encourage you to register so that you can join the community and use the numerous features on the site. After registering, don't forget to post up an introduction!
An update from the road. I got a new little 'puter so this is my very first update from the road. Dell Mini 10. First night had no free wi-fi so I had to wait 'till tonight. Gotta love LaQuinta.
We are in Tuscaloosa now after two good days of riding. It started out warm and muggy but the clouds quickly burned off and just left us with muggy.
Made it to Shreveport and checked into the Horseshoe.
A cold front pushed through over night and by morning the rain was gone. Temps in the 50's and soon the clouds broke to clear skies and great roads.
Alright, enough messing around. Time to write a report.
We three got all our vacations lined out to give us a five day window. We had been west several times, north a couple of times. So, it was decided, by me, to plan a trip to the east. We hadn't done that before now. I started looking at things and came up with the Barber Motor Sports Museum as a goal for our trip and started putting things together around that. Chris likes to play poker so I programmed in a stop at a casino to cater to his tastes. Perry is just happy to ride so he was agreeable to the plan.
We met up at 0800 at the local Starbucks. I know their coffee is over priced but they let you sit around and sip as long as you like and since they are on almost every corner now it's easy to find one to meet at.
Here is the route for the first day; Pflugerville to Shreveport, LA.
The temps were in the upper 70's but the humidity must have been higher than that. The air was really heavy. Cloudy at first but as we rolled east the clouds broke after about half an hour and we had sunny skies.
Some typical east Texas farm land scenery.
The first planned stop was in Hearne, about 90 minutes down the highway, for brunch. I had a place in mind that I had been to before and new it was good eats. The Dixie Cafe.
We scored some up front parking spots for one good reason, they are only open for breakfast on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Oh well, plan B was put into place and we walked next door for the nearest Mexican food joint and took our chances.
Friendly, fast service and the food was acceptable. Back on the road with full bellies we would only stop once for gas and continued on to Shreveport.
We arrived around 2:30 at our hotel and checked in. Nice place. The Horseshoe Hotel and Casino.
I found the lines of this building intriguing.
And there was reserved parking for motorcycles right up front.
The views from and of our room. The casino is the part that looks like a river boat.
Pretty nice for $80.
We soaked in the air conditioning for a little while. Chris went to the casino to start his fun. Perry and I got back on the bikes and took a little ride through the countryside north of Shreveport just to see what could be seen. We ended up at Caddo Lake where there is a history lift bridge. The new roads were built around it and the old bridge was preserved.
We stayed on the back roads and passed through a couple of small towns eventually making our way back to the hotel around 6:30. We just stayed there and ate dinner in the hotel cafe. It was good enough.
The second day started early enough with us getting on the road around 8:00. One of the themes of this trip was to stay off the interstate as much as possible. I plotted the route on the small highways and back roads so we could see and experience the countryside. You just can't see as much when flying down the interstate. It takes longer to get there but it makes for a better road trip in my opinion.
Interesting contrast in the two lanes. I didn't notice until later when I was looking at the photos.
There was lots of water standing and flowing along side the roads. It's been wet in LA recently.
This is what they have for hills in LA.
We saw cotton,
as we veared north into Arkansas an got closer to Mississippi.
Finally a bridge to make our crossing of the mighty muddy. Old Man River.
The new bridge being built.
The old bridge.
Into Mississippi the roads got straighter and wider. But the farther we got from the river the more the traffic thinned out and the riding was quite nice.
I had the new Dan Brown book, The Lost Symbol, on the Zumo MP3 so the miles went by easily. We passed by this road block as we approached the Tuscaloosa metroplex. No idea what they were looking for but they were stopping every car headed the opposite direction. We saw one other car that was stopped heading our way and the officer was digging around in the trunk of that car too.
We made it into Tuscaloosa just before sunset. Some more perfect planning. The hotel was next to a China Buffet so we decided to take our chances. It was not good. Back at the room I fired up my new toy and did one of the updates from the road. Still getting used to it but so far I like it a bunch. Works just like the full size version only smaller. Dell Mini 10.
This was the day the trip was planned around. We took back roads towards Birmingham along the Allison-Bonnet Memorial Highway. Found a neat little family joint for breakfast that reminded us of one of our riding buddies. You know who you are GW.
After a scenic detour created by one of my famous mapping errors we reached our goal. Barber Vintage Motorsport Museum Some photos to prove it was us that was there.
This modern art thingy is supposed to represent the freedom of cycling. A little creepy but in a cool sort of way.
The show started before we even got inside. People were arriving for the 5th Barber Vintage Motorcycle Rally and some were parked out front. This highly modified BMW was first to catch my eye. Check out the channel iron frame and the the auxiliary gas can; it's hooked up through a changeover valve. The coffin main tank was a nice touch on the beemer too.
This one was a little more along the lines of the museum.
Just inside the door we were greeted by a wall of fine bikes.
Included was this fine old Harley.
We paid our entry fee and walked into the main display room. Our jaws simultaneously hit the floor in awe. Pictures can't do the five story atrium justice. I did my best to capture the view but not possible. Should have done a video but my mind was blown. Here's what I did capture.
Looking down from the fifth floor landing.
We heard the roar of a couple big V-twins running the track so we made our way to the back window. A great place to watch the action on the road course.
Dragonfly sculpture on the rock.
Got some video of one of the bikes.
What follows from here are the bikes I wanted to share as we wandered around the displays. Nowhere near all of them just the ones that I liked according to my tastes which run more toward street riding than racing. Occasional comments included.
Look close; that's a V8 Kawasaki.
I loved the woodwork on this sidecar.
XR750 Flat Tracker
Benelli's predecessor to the CBX.
First year Sportster. Perry had to point out the oil drops.
I didn't know Peirce made cycles as well as fire trucks.
Cool delivery hack. Love that shade of red.
Aftermarket coach. Count 'em; four wheels.
Collection of wood track racers.
And of course, from Easy Rider. You can see Big Red outside in the background.
Sport touring? CBX
A Wankel rotary.
A Cushman for you bagger fans.
It's a Harley trail bike.
'58 Impala; very nice.
Extra credit for anyone who can name the manufacturer on this cool little scoot. I know.
Skiing anyone? Tractor tire on the rear.
The Nazi BMW's were represented. Look close at the display. There are tire tracks formed in the sand. Very well done.
Here is the only one of my previous rides that I could find on display. 1974 Honda CB450. Mine was dark green instead of gold.
The lowest floor was not open to the public. It housed the shops where active restorations were in progress, a huge collection of old boat motors and several more cars.
Another V8 cycle.
A different concept for design.
And finally a world championship winning Ferrari Formula 1 racer.
We left the museum after calling ahead to get the correct address, remember my mapping error, and made tracks into downtown Birmingham. Our destination was this small nondescript building.
Confederate Motor Company Perry had read about them in a magazine and threw out the idea of a visit. I made the phone call and they were very receptive to a tour for a few visiting Texans. We got a personal tour.
The new P120 Fighter. A machinist's dream machine.
The Wraith. A carbon fiber masterpiece. Forks, wheels, brake rotors, frame backbone and more are carbon fiber. The rear wheel weighs less than seven pounds.
And lastly the Hellcat Combat. Their entry level bike.
The motors are 120 c.i. twins cranking out 160 HP and 160 lbs torque. They sound awesome. On the Hellcat the exhaust is routed through the swing arm. Turn the sound on for this video.
We started back toward Tuscaloosa and found that traffic in Birmingham is much worse than in Austin. It was only 3:30 but was already bumper to bumper every where we turned. And, it was hot and very humid. We were wilting. We finally got out into the hills south of town and were able to take the back roads in our return trip to Tuscaloosa. Once again back just a little before sunset. Our travels for the day.
At around noon we reached the Natchez Trace Parkway and took it southwest for 3 hours. Very little traffic, limited access, and a speed limit of 50 mph makes for a very nice relaxing journey.
Can you tell I'm smiling inside the helm?
As we neared Jackson the skies began to darken with an approaching cold front.
We stopped at one of the many historic sites along the route. Each one has a full story board. I'd like to take a day and ride the whole route up into Tennessee and get the whole history lesson. May take two days.
Here is why we stopped.
Time to put on the rain gear. We would be riding in rain the rest of the day. In Natchez we had a discussion and a change of plan. My original route continued due west across Louisiana. Our new route would take us southwest to the Coushatta Resort and Casino. It was adding a few miles to the overall trip but Chris needed to make up for his small loss at the Horseshoe. We arrived just after dark. The hotel let us park under the awning. Nice.
Our bikes were still there the next morning and the rain had stopped.
The ride back to home was cool and got cooler as we got farther west. I was fine but Chris and Perry had wet boots from the previous day's rain and they got a little chilled. Chris was a little envious of my boot covers I used as part of my rain gear. His are probably on order as I type. The day looked mostly like this.
The final leg of our journey.
Thanks for taking the time to share our trip with us. Hope you enjoyed the report.
Great report. Love that Confederate. If I ever win the Lotto! That would be in my stable. What can you say about Barber's. Just so fantastic. I remember the 1st time I ever went there when it was downtown in 5th Ave I think. Hired a taxi driver to lead us there. Small town boy lost in the big city. ha ha ha ha.
Cool! We went to the Barber festival last year and trailered the BMW w/Steib sidecar to put in the show. Was fascinating to see all of the history represented, and the museum was definitely a jaw-dropper. Your report brings back some nice memories!