Monday, December 10, 2007

Freezing in the Rain

Friday after work I went to check out a new restaurant I'd noticed the day before at lunch- BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse. I assumed they actually brewed beer there, but the bartender said that in Texas, the chain's beers are brewed under contract by Saint Arnold's. They do brew Root Beer and Cream Soda there, which I sampled and liked. I sampled four of their 7+ house beers, all of which were good but not spectacular. From there I went home for a bit before meeting up with Jimmy and Renee at TX Roadhouse for dinner. After dinner we went to have a beer at recently opened Little Woodrow's in the same development.
I slept late Saturday, and Jimmy called to have some breakfast. After swinging by his house, we went to the Texican where I stuffed myself on migas and potatoes and beans. After breakfast it was almost 11 already. With no agenda or direction, we went riding east. We eventually stopped at a tiny bar called "the Trough," with two tables made out of bathtubs. We rode around some more, stopping in Staples at Riley's, which claims to be the oldest bar in Texas. While we were sitting there, I got a call from the Harley shop that my Night Train was done getting a 103 cubic inch motor upgrade. Leaving Riley's we hauled ass back to Austin, dropped my bike at my house and then Jimmy gave me a ride to the Harley shop. It was very strange to be on the back of a bike, made more uncomfortable since he didn't have his sissy bar on. Fortunately, I don't think anyone I know saw us ride up together. The service writer wanted to hear how it sounds (as did I, of course), so I fired it up and gave it a few raps. It sounds deeper (it was already loud), with more of a lopey, big-cam sound to it. Everyone agreed it sounds nice. Since it needs to be tuned on the dyno, and they can't do that until it's broken in, it was running rich, spitting out some soot with each rap of the throttle. That evening I went to my company holiday party, which unfortunately conflicted with the HOG chapter party.
Sunday morning I went rollerblading at the veloway, but didn't stay as long as I normally do due to knee pain, fatigue from not having been in three weeks, and also because I wanted to get home for an emergency toy run. I'm not certain what the group was exactly, but I believe it was Blue Santa. There was a real good turn out, about 50 bikes, especially considering it was put together in only a few days. We rode from the dealership to Hill's Cafe, not surprisingly getting separated at traffic lights since we didn't have any sort of escort. Most everyone sat down and ordered food, which overwhelmed the staff. About 1:15 a representative of the charity showed up to collect the toys and cash, somewhat unceremoniously. After everyone had lunch, almost everyone left, opting not to go to someone else's toy run out at Cindy's near Bastrop. Dave Bigley, Troy, myself and two Reguladores members rode out there in support. I think the original idea/hope was that there would be a lot more of the first crowd going, but considering the bleak forecast and a few drops on the way from the dealership, at least the one was well attended. There were still a number of bikes at Cindy's when we got there, which seemed to be at the end of the toy run.
The problem was that we stayed too long and let the cold front come in. Just as we were about to walk out the front door, it started raining, and it had already gotten colder. In the morning, I decided that I would ride the Night Train, not bring a jacket, and just get wet if that 40% chance hit. Well, I sure payed for it then. The rain was pretty hard, but localized. I was already soaked from sitting waiting for the traffic on the highway to pull out and U-turn. Once I got going headed back to Austin, I got out of the rain pretty quickly. However, it didn't warm up any as it got drier, and I was freezing the whole way home. When I finally got home I was at least glad it was only 20-something miles, but was cold and wet from head to toe. I changed into nice dry fleece and curled up on the couch under the blanket for the rest of the evening.

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