The Right Way to Break in a Wee-Strom
The Junction Unction Dual Sport Ride
The Junction Unction Dual Sport Ride
For the past few years Uncle and I have taken a 3 day ride over Easter weekend. Unfortunately, on the Monday before our annual ride Uncle called with bad news. The rear shock on his BMW R100GSPD had broken and a replacement would take several weeks to procure. No Easter ride for Uncle. Well, 2 weeks before Memorial Day weekend Uncle called me.
Uncle: Hey, Rich
Rich: Hey Uncle, whatcha doin?
Rich: Bike fixed?
Rich: Whatcha doin over Memorial Day weekend?
Rich: Why dontcha come on down to Austin and we can go ride?
Uncle: That sounds good.
Woo Hoo! Time to Ride with Uncle.
Then, the weekend prior to his arrival, my phone rings.
Uncle: Hey, Rich
Rich: Hey Uncle, what’s up?
Uncle: Bikes broke.
Rich: Broke? You just got it fixed.
Uncle: Yeah, but it’s broke again. Dang bolt stripped on me, dog gone it, mutter, curse, mutter, curse some more…
Rich: Well, come on down anyway. You can ride my Fizzy (FZ1). I’ll ride the KLR. We will just have to stick to paved roads this year.
Uncle: Okay and I can drop the Beemer off at Lone Star and they can fix it. I’ll be there on Wednesday.
On Wednesday after dropping the Beemer off at Lone Star, Uncle shows up at my place.
Uncle: Hey Rich
Rich: Hey Uncle. How was the drive?
Rich: Get the Beemer dropped off?
Rich: They gonna have it fixed before our ride Saturday?
Uncle: Didn’t say. Probably not.
Later on Wednesday night.
Uncle: I think I’m gonna buy a new bike. Maybe one of those Wee-Stroms I been eyeing for the last year.
Rich picks up phone, calls Woods Fun Center, gets Dogman on the phone.
Rich: Still got those 2 Wee-Stroms?
Dogman: Yep. One red, one blue.
Rich: Uncle wants one. He’ll be by tomorrow to pick up one tomorrow.
On Thursday Uncle went to Woods and bought a blue Wee-Strom. Sweet!
Wee Strom and KLR, ready to go
Uncle on his new Wee Strom
We wouldn’t have to stick to paved roads during our ride after all. That’s good. There are some roads over near Junction that I have wanted to ride. I had read reports about a few of them by some fellow DSers on this site. Some I hadn’t heard of anyone riding (though I’m sure somebody has, they just haven’t posted it here). This was as good a time as any to go ride those roads and break in Uncle’s new Wee-Strom in the process.
Uncle and I left out of Austin early Saturday morning. We rode for 11 hours, covered 327 miles, discovered some fantastic dual sport roads, ate some wonderful food, and stayed the night in Junction in the best $42 per night motel I’ve ever stayed in. Sunday we spent about 9 hours in the saddle, rode 270 miles, and ate some more excellent food.
Instead of writing one of my typical chronological ride reports I thought I would simply report on the highlights of the trip, especially the dual sport roads.
West of Fredericksburg on Hwy 290 is the north end of Usener Rd. It runs south to Hwy 2093. It’s paved its entire length, but is a typical fun hill country road.
From Hwy 2093 take White Oak Rd south to Zemer-Ahrens Rd. My map says Zemer-Ahrens is unpaved, and while some is still unpaved, parts are now paved. Still a fun road though. Here’s a shot of White Oak Rd before reaching Zemer-Ahrens.
Hackberry Road runs between Hwy 41 and RR 335. We turned off Hwy 41 onto Hackberry and ran it south. It turned out to be a really fun road. I think it’s even better than the dual sport road that joins RR 3235 and RR2631 just to the south of Hackberry. Camp Eagle is located on Hackberry Rd. They offer free rock climbing and mountain biking – www.campeagle.org
First view of Hackberry Rd
Hackberry Rd runs through a valley, following the path of the Nueces River.
Hackberry Rd is quite scenic
The southern end of Hackberry Rd, where it ends at RR 335, is not marked with a road sign. There is a big sign for Hackberry Ranch though.
Spotted some camels on RR 335 as we were headed south to Camp Wood
CR 380/353/350 - The Best DS Road not in Big Bend
I first rode this road, which consists of Edwards county roads 380, 353, & 350, during my 2006 three day Easter ride (the one Uncle missed). It was such a good road that I wanted to ride it again and give Uncle an opportunity to ride it too. Grab CR 380 in Barksdale and run it west to CR 353. Run CR 353 north to CR 350 west.
CR 353 - Just a little ways further up the road, we turned left onto CR 350 and headed through the hills you see on the left side of this picture.
CR 350 – headed west. There are quite a few water crossings on 353 and 350.
CR 310 / White Mountain Road
After passing through the hills on CR 350 you reach the intersection of CR 350 & CR 310 (also known as White Mountain Rd). You can continue west on CR 350 and eventually end up at Hwy 674. Or you can turn north / northeast onto CR 310 and you will be routed back to Hwy 55 just south of Rocksprings.
Taking a break at the intersection of CR 350 & CR 310
First bump gate on CR 310 after the intersection of 310 & 350
Old Junction Road
We left Rocksprings headed north on Hwy 377. A few short miles up 377 we turned left (west) onto Hwy 2630, which is paved. At the end of Hwy 2630 the pavement ends and Old Junction Road begins. What a great road. Uncle voted it the 2nd best dual sport road not in Big Bend. It starts off 2 lanes wide and in good shape.
South Llano River from Old Junction Road
Then Old Junction Road gets smaller, rockier, and less traveled. The fun meter takes a strong turn up at this point. Don’t you love riding roads with grass growing in the center?
The further we went the less maintained the road became. Parts of it weren’t even rock/gravel, it was dirt with ruts from the last rain. It would likely be tough to pass through parts of it following a good rain shower.
It just kept getting better the further we went.
And even better. 4 deer were stopped in the road watching as we approached. 2 ran off before I could get the camera out. After I snapped this picture another 4-5 crossed at the same spot.
When we reached the end of Old Junction Road (and the end of the unpaved road) we turned left onto Bond Rd / Sutton CR 320 with the intention of taking it all the way into Sonora. Alas, it was not to be. A short distance up Bond Rd, we encountered a locked gate.
Kimble CR 260
Forced to backtrack on Bond Rd, we ran Sutton CR 314 north and worked our way to River Road. We took River Road east to Kimble CR 260, which was unpaved and very fun. Out here, when you want to go swimming you just drive your truck out into the river.
How to Recover from an 11 hour day of riding
We stayed overnight in Junction at the Lazy T Motel. It was the best $42 per night motel I’ve stayed in.
Uncle in full recovery mode – cigar and Shiner boch
Rich in kick back mode
Putting the “lazy” in “Lazy T Motel”. Uncle begins phase 2 of rider recovery operations.
Next – Finding more DS roads on Sunday