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[Trip Report] February Pie Run 2/26/05

Squeaky

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Mar 6, 2004
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13,325
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Katy
#1
Friday Night 2/25

I get out of work, grab some fast food on my way home, and plan on quickly getting things together so I can get some decent sleep for the upcoming loooong day that is planned. I am anxiously awaiting the second 'Running of the Pies' in Marble Falls, but I am not looking forward to a pre-dawn roll-out :roll: . As usual, I have waited until the last minute for something - this time it's laundry and packing. I figure out what I'm going to need, pack an on-the-town outfit (some folks have agreed it would be fun to stay in Austin for the night, go out to dinner & catch some live music), and check the forum to see if the weather is turning everyone away. Many have already backed out, but some die-hard pie people are saying they will still be there. I just hope Scott (BBBH) is at the Starbucks as planned, otherwise I have no idea how to get to Cedar Park to meet up with the Austinites.

I finally get everything ready to load onto the bike and get under the covers by 1:30. I set two alarm clocks just in case, and try to keep my excitement from allowing sleep to set in. For the first time, I actually count sheep. First they run past me in a field. Then they jump a fence. Then... they are standing around just like the Serta commercial! Man, I hate how TV has infected my brain. :angryfir:

The weather reports are not good, but I pay no attention to specifics. I had no idea what the temperature was going to be, how long or hard it would rain, or how much the route would be affected. After all, I am not going to let something as silly as rain stop me from being one of the few riders to make all twelve (or XII for Tourmeister :moon: ) Pie Runs in '05. For the holidays I got a two-piece rain suit of my own (having previously borrowed Beth's during her pregnancy) and my new boots that I got last weekend are touted as waterproof. I don't have waterproof gloves yet, but I have dealt with wet hands before. How bad could it be? :brainsnap


Saturday Morning 2/26

:sleep: At 5:30 I awake to darkness. Not enough sleep, but adrenaline and sugar-enriched coffee should make for a fine day of riding. I intentionally make the shower a little cooler than normal to add some extra zing, and by the time I'm geared up and out the door I have forgotten that I'm tired. Bag on bike. Check. Helmet for Keith or anyone from Dallas that can bring it to him. Check. Kurt's coffee mug that I borrowed and forgot the last time I was out there. Check. Seems I've got it all under control, filled the tank coming home the night before, so I roll north to the meeting point.

Once there, I see a bike. It's Scott (BBBH) just as expected, and he's already sitting and enjoying some java. I join him with my macciato of choice and a bagel just to put something solid in my stomach, and we anxiously await the arrival of more riders. Rolling out at 7... but nobody else showed. :shrug: In case we get separated or I get curious about the route along the way, Scott tapes a laminated (ok, it's clear packing tape) route sheet to my tank. Cool idea! I'll be picking up a VStrom tank bag from Claire (bobcat) when I get to Austin, but until then this will do just fine.

We head towards Katy to pick up the west Houston riders, but both of us agree that there probably won't be anyone out there at the Oshmann's meeting point. We head out on I10 and quickly come up on the Fry Rd. exit. We head on through the parking lot and - wait a sec - there's a bike there! It's Gary (Dr. Blackbird) and his 600RR. :bigokay:



We say our how-do's and talk bikes for a bit, and I decide to don my rain gear. With all these layers on to keep the cold out, I can't seem to reach my feet. Scott is gracious enough to help out and before too long I have yet another layer on. Gary lets us know that he's going to ride out with us, but will not be making the whole trip. The three of us head west on 10 towards Sealy, where the backroads and fun should begin. Not more than 20 miles down the road, a few drops of rain begin to fall. The sky ahead is dismal and grey, but not dark and brooding so I am still optimistic. :huh: Gary breaks away and gives a wave as he heads for home, and Scott and I press on. The rain becomes steady but still is not pouring down on us. We press on and the cold starts to inch its way into my body. My hands are wet and I am quickly reminded that my gloves are absorbing water like a sponge. The hand guards on the Strom are not doing anything to help keep the wind off, and I try to keep my fingers moving to keep the blood circulating. We finally arrive in Industry for an intended gas stop.



It's about 8:30, and Scott breaks the news that he is going to turn around and head home. If this were one leg of a multi-day ride, it would be a different story. He doesn't mind the rain, but would prefer not to be out here if he doesn't need to be. When he tells me, he acts as though he is letting me down - he thinks I am going back with him! :rofl I try to assure him that I will be Ok riding out on my own, although it seems as though I am convincing myself at the same time. We look over a map, and I decide that I will cut out the fun roads and just get to Cedar Park by way of 71 and 183. I give a quick call to Kurt (txmedic) in Austin, and although he isn't going to be riding with us, he's at work and near a computer. He posts my status in an attempt to let the Austinites know that I am still on my way and will be meeting them at the Taco Cabana as planned.

Along the way, I am careful on the curves. I fear the loss of traction in the rain, and my average speed is down because of it. I come up the turn off to 969 that will take me to 183, but as I grab for the brake to set up for the intersection I lock up the rear and the bike starts to skid. :shock: The rear end starts coming around to the left, and my heart stops. I have no idea what my reaction was, but I must not have pulled in the clutch. The back end swings back around to the right and I'm still sliding, but thankfully staying upright. Just as I think I will regain control, the bike starts bucking left and right, and all I can envision is my body sliding across wet pavement and the possibility of being run over by the cars behind me :help: . The wet pavement is slick, so I would probably slide easily and with less rash than if it were dry. Right? :shrug: It's amazing the things that run through your head in a moment of panic. The rear tire finally regains traction and I am still going straight. I slooooowly bring the bike over to the side of the road, hit the kill switch, put down the kickstand, and turn the key. I have to take a break. I have to catch my breath. I have to get the vision of sliding across pavement out of my head! :tears:

After a few minutes, I decide that I am Ok to continue. Is this the adventure part of touring that Scott talks about?

My speed is reduced even further and visibility is a growing concern. The visor fogs up if I close it to keep my face warm, and the rain trickles down the inside if I leave it cracked open. With no way to clear the inside of the visor, I end up pulling over on 183 at a Jack in the Box to grab some napkins and see what I can do. While there, I give Kurt another call to see how far I am and ask if anyone has responded to his previous post about my arrival. I'm running late. Very late. I fear I will get to the TC and everyone will have left without me. Will Claire still be waiting with the tank bag? Will I know how to get from there to Marble Falls on my own? Kurt tells me I can stay here in town and either hang out with him at work or go and stay with Rhonda (his wife) at the house. I'm not one to back down from a challenge, so I thank him for the offer and let him know that I will be pressing on. :roll:

I pull into the parking lot at (the now infamous) Taco Cabana at about 11:15 and circle around. Nobody. The meeting time was 10. Do I go in and see if there's anyone waiting? I'd see the bike(s) if there was, so I decide to just head out on 1431 like Kurt said and hopefully make it there while someone - anyone - was still at the Blue Bonnett. I stop to refuel at the first gas station I see, and as I'm getting back on the bike I feel my phone buzzing in my jacket. I try to get to it before it stops, but no luck. I don't recognize the number, but the area code is 512. I think that's around here, so I don't bother waiting to see if they leave a message and I return the call. It's Will (birdwh) and he says he lives about a mile away from the gas station I'm at. He tells me that nobody at the TC went to Marble Falls, so I didn't miss anything. The road to get there is twisty and has some areas that might be under water by now. He convinces me that it wouldn't be a wise idea to go, and there probably isn't anyone there. He tells me to hang where I am and he'll come get me. :hail

We get back to his house and after I peel off layers of gear, I realize that my new rain gear has problems. The pants have a rip at the seam right in the seat. Great. The wet jeans make me look like I've got a bladder problem. :oops: The top of all three of my shirts is wet. Is there a leak in the jacket? Not sure. My hands are numb. Will offers a mug of warm tea, and it feels as good in my hands as it does going down my throat. His bird, Cricket, is loud and playful while I thaw in my pajamas. We call the Blue Bonnett and discover five riders made it there, and they are finishing up their meal and paying their checks. :clap :clap :clap :clap :clap Kudos to those who went the distance! You all deserve your name tags for this pie run, badges of honor (of sorts). Each of you PM me with your street address and I'll send them to you.

Will has to go to work, so I gear up in a dry change of clothes and I decide to have some lunch in town then head for home. Will leads the way down to Rudy's BBQ and then says goodbye. The short ride here reminds me how cold and wet it is still, so I settle in for some moist brisket and potatoes, and top it off with banana pudding. It's not pie, but it's yummy and I haven't eaten since the bagel this morning. I call Beth and Debbie and let them each know I am Ok and still going strong. They each tell me that I'm crazy for even getting as far as I have, and tell me to be careful. I decide to call Kurt and let him know how the day is going. I have been considering his offer of staying in town to wait out the continuing rain, and I finally decide that it would be the smart thing to do. He tells me how to get down to him at the EMS Station, and within a half hour I have the Strom parked in the ambulance bay and am putting clothes into the dryer. I'm glad I packed an overnight bag! ;-)



I meet Chuck, a 25 year veteran of A/TC EMS and am offered a mug of VERY strong coffee in a funny mug. :eek: Wow, now I know how these guys pull 24 hour shifts! The plan is to ride along with Kurt in the big yellow truck, watching and just trying to stay out of the way. The truck says PARAMEDIC RESCUE, and that's a fair description of what Kurt does most of the day - saving paramedics, from themselves much of the time. Kurt grabs dinner at a local BBQ joint, and they have pie - it's not the Blue Bonnett, but I have to have a slice just to be able to say I came this way and DID have pie! :mrgreen:

I ride along with District Command 1 and see everything from minor scratches to head wounds to what ended up being a fatal collision at 2 am. :-( I could double the length of this ride report with the details of the night, but I will sum it up by saying that I have a new perspective on what these guys and gals go through in trying to help the public, and am reminded that every moment counts in this life. Make it a good one. 8-)

Sunday 2/27

:sleep: After a few hours of sleep in short spurts, it's 7 am and the shift is over. I pack up all the gear, meet the guys and gals coming on as relief at Station 28, and get ready to head home. The weather forecast is dry but cold, and all of my clothes and gear are dry. I even put my helmet liner in the dryer on low for a few minutes as I was packing up the bike, and it felt good to put it back on my head. :lol: I said my goodbyes and solidified the easy route home, and Kurt led me out to the freeway. A few miles out, it became apparent that I needed to switch out visors and don the dark tint. I pull over and the east and west views are amazingly opposite.

Dark and gloomy clouds hang over the city behind me and are trying to burn off. :-|



Ahead is bright sunshine that is blinding even with the tinted visor. :mrgreen:



I make it home shortly before 10am, and the trip turns out to be almost 390 miles in total. Despite the day just getting started for most, I quickly peel off the layers of gear and clothes that have attempted to keep me warm on the way and crawl under the covers. I wasn't tired while on the bike, but back on land and the exhaustion quickly sets in. No sheep needed this time, I am asleep within a matter of minutes. :sleep:
 

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
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Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
45,300
Location
Huntsville
#2
:tab A word of advice, pull much farther over onto the shoulder away from the near lane of traffic. When people turn to look at your bike, their natural but unconcious reaction is to start drifting toward what they are looking at!! Sunday was beautiful here and I did not even start my bike :roll: I was busy doing the 36K service :mrgreen:

:tab Glad you made it home safely!

Adios,
 
Joined
Mar 2, 2003
Messages
3,886
Location
Round Rock
#3
Well, that was a bit of an adventure, eh, Squeaky?

Re: fogging - I've generally had good luck with:

* Hyper Optik anti-fog insert for my clear visor. I've heard talk that when the insert does eventually fog, it fogs badly, but I've had great luck with it so far (18 months or so)

* Rain-X anti-fog on the inside of my tinted visor. Again, some folks caution not to use this on plastic visors, but I've been fine. The only time I still had fog was Pie Run I, but I think that was because I didn't do the good 2 coats prior to leaving.

My main problem is my glasses fogging up.

Again, glad you had made it out/back safely.

Oh, and the weather channel is your friend. ;-)
 
Joined
May 7, 2004
Messages
2,601
Location
Grapevine
#7
Well sorry ya didn't make it all the way Squeaky, I would have hung around, or even met up on my way down 71 south to Bastrop.

Your post reminds me, I just heard of a new diving mask product for anti fog I was told works awesome for helmet visors. I'll let ya'll know if I can find it and it works.

I used my usual spray bottle of 90% water and 10% dish soap to keep my visor clear, works great for me and I carry it with me always.
 
Joined
Nov 17, 2003
Messages
19,317
Location
Lago Vista, Texas
#8
Dyna Sport said:
Well sorry ya didn't make it all the way Squeaky, I would have hung around, or even met up on my way down 71 south to Bastrop.

Your post reminds me, I just heard of a new diving mask product for anti fog I was told works awesome for helmet visors. I'll let ya'll know if I can find it and it works.

I used my usual spray bottle of 90% water and 10% dish soap to keep my visor clear, works great for me and I carry it with me always.
These seem to be becoming popular, I'm gonna try one:

http://helmetharbor.com/gear/respro/foggy_opening.htm

STN rated it exceptionally well in one of their threads. A friend of mine bought one and says it is the best thing he ever tried, and he likes NOTHING. :-D
 

Squeaky

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Joined
Mar 6, 2004
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13,325
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Katy
#10
Tourmeister said:
:tab A word of advice, pull much farther over onto the shoulder away from the near lane of traffic.
I thought about that, but the edge of the shoulder seemed to fall away and with my limited footing I didn't want to chance tipping the bike over if I couldn't get my feet down. I don't think it was quite as close as it looks in the pic...
 
Joined
Dec 19, 2004
Messages
3,403
Location
Austin Texas
#12
Great write up, thanks for posting. I decided early to bail on the ride. But your writeup made me think that I should have posted my contact info in case someone needed a place to hold up.

Kudos to Will for taking that action. I'll pay more attention next time a group is coming through and weather is poor.

Regarding your ride with Kurt, there really is something about changing ones perspective when you get to spend some time with these guys. All the years I was with DPS I was in awe of the folks who provide emergency medical services and got to see way too many of them do some amazing work.

Glad you guys are out there Kurt.
 

budzrex

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Apr 26, 2004
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New Braunfels Texas
#14
Nice write-up on your adventure, when you filled up in Industry you were within sight of the house I grew up in, see you on the next run and I applaud your commitment to ride in those conditions when you were somewhat unsure of your route.
 

budzrex

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Apr 26, 2004
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New Braunfels Texas
#16
Thats my kind of looney :mrgreen: , I had fun if I had known you were riding alone I would have come over and met you outside of Austin and led you across all the guys that were coming with me bailed because of weather I just clowned around until time to get there.
 
Joined
Mar 2, 2003
Messages
1,159
Location
Austin, TX, USA
#17
Great story Squeak. I call it that because no one in their right mind would have done something like that, right, RIGHT. OK, well congrats on making it through ok and getting some good experience out of it. Thats what makes even the worst riding days better than most others.
 
Joined
Jun 26, 2003
Messages
1,891
Location
Huntsville, Tx
#19
Squeaky: Sorry for bailing on you. I'm glad you made it back safely. Did you forget to call Beth & I???? :roll: What an adventure ..... something tells me you would do it again though. ;-) Hopefully the next "Running of the Pies" will be more successful although I'm sure it was interesting hanging out w/ Kurt.
 
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
616
#20
Squeak, what an adventure! You're a heartier soul than I. Sound's like your visit with Kurt made up for not making it to the Blue Bonnet. The man has a good soul.

Sure am glad you made it through your lock-up. It's amazing how fast things can happen. I know when I broke my tailbone, one moment I was up, the next I was in a ditch and my scoot was on it's side. :eek:

SabreScott and I didn't make it from Dallas either. We had a TESSA meeting in Arlington. We rode our bikes, but it rained on the way there and on the way back. Not nearly as far as you rode though.

Hope to see you at Pie Run III. Until then, stay warm and dry!
 
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