Monday, May 5, 2008

Riding for Real Now

I went to my doctor's on Tuesday for another x-ray and checkup. The x-ray was good, showing that the bone has healed, so my doctor gave me the okay to walk without the boot. It was really weird at first, and I'm still limping, but it was good to be that much closer to normal. As something of a celebration, I decided to go to the final preliminary competition of Austin Air Guitar at the Alamo. I also attended a pre-party on sixth street featuring karaoke with a live band, which was a lot of fun and a little different from regular karaoke. The band did punk and metal, so I got up and did For Whom the Bell Tolls.
I rode the Fat Boy to work on Friday. That went better than my first try riding- I could actually put up the kick stand with my foot, but with the traffic I had to put my feet a lot, which got a bit uncomfortable. I left at 4 and headed down to New Braunfels to register for the state HOG rally. A really bad car accident on the frontage road had traffic backed up stop-and-go for almost a mile. The actual rally was pretty typical of other HOG rallies- not a whole lot going on at the rally grounds, the more interesting part is the riding. I did buy a $10 pair of riding glasses to replace the badly scratched pair I had been using, but otherwise the vendors were pretty typically lame. It was held at the Wurstfest grounds, which is right on the Comal river, so it was pretty at least.
Saturday morning I rode back down to the rally in order to get the ABCs of touring picture I forgot to get the night before. When I got to the sign, there was a guy there watching the gate the sign was in front of. He was ready to take my picture when I realized I didn't have a 2008 magazine with me- the last time I used it I left it in my leather jacket. Fortunately, the guy tracked a copy down for me and took the picture with my camera. He was a tourer himself, so we chatted a bit about riding the country. I went to the Gruene Harley shop nearby, where there was a lot more going on. They had carnival rides and more vendors, including Drag Specialties, which trumped anything at the actual rally. I left New Braunfels and went on a partial pre-ride for next Saturday's ride to Bastrop SP. The ride up to the park was nice but nothing special. When I got to the park (actually I entered Buescher SP) I inquired about riding through with a group, then went to enjoy the ride. It was a really nice ride through the pine trees, but the road was very narrow and there were quite a few bicycles and people walking. When I got into Bastrop SP I stopped and read a section of the newspaper by a small lake. I headed home after picking up a trail map. I was hoping to take a nap before going out to a party, but I just wound up laying on the couch watching TV for about an hour before taking a shower. As I was on my way, I realized I shouldn't show up completely empty handed and started looking for a place to get some beer or something. Fortunately there was a new HEB near their house and I was pleased to find New Belgium's Mothership Wit, a favorite of mine I hadn't seen in a while. The party was nice and normal enough for a while, but after a lot of tequila shots (none for me) some permanent markers appeared and it got kind of crazy. First it was the women writing on men's butts, started by the hostess, then the men demanded payback. I managed to get out of the way before it got too crazy and people were writing all over each other.
Sunday morning I took my bicycle to the Veloway for a ride. I thought about avoiding the hassle of wrestling my bike in and out of my tiny trunk, but decided I wanted to go in order to avoid any cars or other obstacles. I started with a short 1-mile lap, which went well enough that I went for a full 5K lap. The full lap went fine until I got to the steep uphill section. I tried to stand up on the pegs to climb, but I didn't get one pump before aborting and walking my bike up the hill. I did one more full lap, coming to a complete stop at the bottom of the steep hill, not making even the slightest attempt. I went home and showered before going to a coworker's BBQ. I obviously forgot what the invitation said since I showed up with beer and no food when there was a keg of beer and everybody else brought something to grill. Fortunately most people brought way more meat than they could eat, and there were some good side dishes as well, so I went home quite full. I was enjoying myself, but my foot was swollen and getting itchy, so I left about 6. On the way home traffic was backing up pretty bad and I could see emergency lights in the distance, so I got off the interstate to take surface streets. As soon as I did, I had the idea of going to check out REI's sale. I picked up a few sale items, but managed to walk out for about $50. At home, I laid on the couch watching qualifying from the drag race and fell asleep about 9 o'clock. I considered just going to bed, but woke up enough to finish watching qualifying and to take out the trash. I tried to go to sleep at 11:30 but at that point I was awake again and had things on my mind keeping me awake. I decided to just get up again and I played on the computer until about 1 am. I woke up at 6:40 this morning, but went back to sleep until 8.

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