After a long hiatus, I went for a ride with my dad in the hill country of Texas. Harley, our boxer, has severe separation anxiety, which makes it difficult to get out with my dad. Luckily, we found a responsible dog sitter, which enabled us to go out today!
Most people think Texas is always hot, but it does start to get cold in December. We waited until noon to head out so that the temps would be in the low sixties. We wore long underwear under our clothes, our leather jackets, winter gloves, and 3/4 face helmet. As long as we were moving, we were just right. On a motorcycle, you have to factor in the effect of the wind. My dad, ever prepared, has a chart to calculate the temps with the winds at various speeds. For example, if it is 60 degrees, and you are riding 60 mph, it will feel like 54 degrees. See the chart below to see how wind speeds affect the temp for bikers.
Today, my dad and I rode up to Bandera, TX to have brunch. Bandera is known in Texas as the cowboy capital. We went to the Old Spanish Trail, known by locals as the O.S.T., which opened in 1921 and is the longest running continuously serving restaurant in Texas. It is a popular place for bikers to get breakfast, and it has a lot of fun humor. You can sit on a saddle at the bar (no bar stools) and they have a John Wayne room. While we were there today, they had some Christmas decorations. We also shared a long table with strangers who became acquaintances.
As an example of the humor, you can see their complaint sign. I wonder if teachers would get in trouble for a sign like this? Lol
The ride home was nice. We encountered some construction where the right lane was closed and blocked off by barrels. A car had to get around us, pushing us almost into the barrels so he could be first, but we were safe. When we got to the main road by our neighborhood, I saw that I had 9,480 miles on my bike. I wanted to push it over to 9,500 so we bopped around a little more, traveling along Scenic Loop Road. Once home, I had just over 9,500 miles. I assume this was my last ride of 2019, so that’s not bad!
As we wrap up this decade, I had some real highs and lows. Ten years ago, we discovered my mom’s pancreatic cancer, which began a long battle. Despite my mom’s courage and strength, pancreatic cancer won after about 4 years. Words cannot express the grief I felt, but I am thankful for the love and support of family and friends. Once that door closed, I applied for a PhD program, and was accepted to the one I wanted! Now, I am so fortunate to be a PhD candidate who plans to graduate in May 2020. Not only that, but I am also a Harlista, with two years of riding under her belt. I never would have imagined myself on a motorcycle ten years ago.
As we head into the holidays, I hope you all take a moment to reflect on your blessings and achievements. May the new year bring you health, prosperity, love, and more safe rides!