Social Distancing in the Texas Hill Country on a KLR.

Discussion in 'Tejas and the Gulf States' started by jwaller, Apr 24, 2020.

  1. jwaller

    jwaller Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    832
    Location:
    New Braunfels, TX
    Being the owner of two bikes with carburetors, I can’t just stay home and let my bikes sit in the garage until the whole Corona Virus passes. I had carburetors on my bikes when I was in the military and know the pain and suffering it brings when the bikes have sat unused for months. So, at least once a week since the lockdown began, I’ve been taking a bike out for a little spin. I took my Triumph Scrambler for a morning jaunt up to Canyon Lake and back last weekend, so today it was time to ride my KLR (though I did ride my KLR a couple days ago). Anyway, I had an appointment to be at and took my bike. I told my doctor that I was still occasionally riding my bike (for my personal mental health) but was avoiding getting together with groups. I was sort of testing the waters there to see what she’d say. She agreed that it was okay to ride as long as I didn’t stop and mingle with other people, maintaining my social distance. And obviously, she said to ride carefully.

    So the first thing on my riding agenda was to pick up a tag in Bergheim. Heading that way on SH 46 was pretty tough as there was a pretty gusty wind from the south pushing me all over my lane. I eased up my grip and just tried to stay relaxed yet vigilant. It seemed to help better than trying to fight the wind.

    IMG_1708.jpg


    After getting the tag in Bergheim I stayed on SH 46 heading west to Boerne. I think the wind was worst on that section of the ride.

    In Boerne I turned north on FM 474. That’s a great twisty road but nothing too technical. It’s been repaved in the last couple years, so it’s nice and smooth. I took that road all the way to its north end at the intersection with FM 473, another great hill country road with lots of twists, turns, and elevation changes. I headed west on 473 towards Comfort.

    IMG_1709.jpg

    The Texas hill country has some towns with interesting names. Right down the road from Comfort is Welfare. Not too far to the south is Utopia.

    I stayed on FM 473 until its intersection with the Old San Antonio/ Old Number Nine Road. I rode that north to the Old Tunnel State Park and took a picture for the tag game. Going there was a twofold mission. As the old tunnel is home to hundreds of thousands of Freetail bats, I thought maybe I’d pick up ingredients for this soup recipe from Wuhan I’ve been wanting to try. Nah, just kidding.

    IMG_1710.jpg

    Mission accomplished and a phone call from my wife informing me that a package of parts came in for my Triumph Scrambler, I pointed the front wheel towards home.

    I rode up Old San Antonio Road to Graperown Road and took it to a nice place to catch some shade and drink some water before continuing the ride home. Of course that means stopping in Luckenbach to check in on Waylon and Willie and the boys and for the obligatory picture.
    IMG_1711.jpg

    IMG_1712.jpg

    No Waylon or Willie. I didn’t even see the rooster who seems to run the place. I guess he’s practicing social distancing too. Unlike a group of about ten Harley riders all congregating up by the old post office. I stayed under the shade and drank a couple bottles of water and headed out.

    I made my way down to FM 1888 and took it towards Blanco. I didn’t make it to Blanco, turning instead onto Crabtree Road. I had a nice time, riding a relaxed pace through the shade trees on Crabtree and Old Blanco Roads.

    IMG_1713.jpg

    IMG_1714.jpg

    That’s one of only two vehicles I saw on these nice backroads through open grazing ranch lands. That picture above shows what constitutes a river in this part of Texas.

    Eventually I made my way back to US Hwy 281 which I took south to FM 311 and then eventually back to SH 46 and home to New Braunfels to find this:

    IMG_1715.jpg


    So I won’t be riding any more this weekend except to give my Scrambler a quick shake down after doing some work on it. I’ve got to replace the gear shift shaft and give the valves a check.

    I’m not saying the country needs to open back up or anything like that. I’m sure as hell not counting on any politicians from any party to tell me what I should or should not be doing. I think it best to leave things like that to the medical professionals. As long as I can ride my bike while still following the guidelines put forth by the folks in the medical community, I will do so. I think I proved it’s still possible to enjoy a ride on a motorcycle while observing the advice on social distancing. And I’ll keep on riding where it’s okay to do so as long as it’s okay.
    #1
    Mudclod likes this.
  2. Gil Favor

    Gil Favor Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2016
    Oddometer:
    143
    Location:
    Louisiana
    Your Governor shut the barn door after the horses got out, and won't let me in for my solo, self-supported camping trip to the Hill Country. Can't wait until things open up again. I'm anxious to be able to visit before the mid-summer heat.
    #2
  3. Tricepilot

    Tricepilot Bailando Con Las Estrellas Super Moderator Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    11,105
    Location:
    San Antonio
    Are you talking about parks being closed for overnight camping or some other restriction?
    #3
  4. Gil Favor

    Gil Favor Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2016
    Oddometer:
    143
    Location:
    Louisiana
    Closing the border not allowing people from LA to enter TX. TX only has 10% fewer Chinaflu cases than LA (23K vs 26K). I had planned to leave on 3/30, but the border crossing was closed on 3/29. Camping wasn't halted until 4/7, long after I would have returned. I can still come in if I stay in a motel for 2 weeks, but I can't camp isolated in the open air. Just a lot of inconsistencies everywhere. Waiting impatiently for normalcy to return.
    #4
    Mudclod and jwaller like this.
  5. jwaller

    jwaller Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    832
    Location:
    New Braunfels, TX
    I'm really hoping normalcy can return soon. I'm not holding my breath, though. I don't think that will happen until a vaccine or good treatment is found. I have faith that one or the other will be found eventually, but it could be a while. In thirty-six years of trying, there's still no vaccine for HIV, but there is treatment so that those afflicted can still live a decent life. I really hope it doesn't come to that with Corona Virus.
    #5