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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Saturday, March 24, 2012

Will aka Willmax, Al, Paul and I planned to meet-up in Quitman, Tx. at 9am for a ride to historic Jefferson, Tx. Al and Paul are Will's riding buddies from Allen, Tx. which is 25 miles north of Dallas. Al rides a Harley and Paul a BMW. I live about 100 miles south east of Dallas and Jefferson is east of both of us near the Louisiana border. Jefferson is today a quaint tourist town with many B&B's and antique shops. In the middle 1800's it was a bustling town as the paddle boats would come up the bayou's from the Mississippi bringing folks west and transporting cotton and other commerce back east. Jay Gould, the railroad tycoon wanted to bring the railroad to Jefferson however the city fathers declined and the town fell by the wayside as Gould took his vision to Ft. Worth and the rest is history.

Back to the ride. We all left out at 7am with a bit of chill in the air at 50F as a jacket liner was not an option. I had left out at 7:20 and needed to pick up the pace as I had about 75 miles to make up in 80 minutes. I hate being late. Fortunately early Saturday mornings are not busy on the road as I rode fairly strong due north to our meet-up point in Quitman. The cool morning air was invigorating and I was further testing my new Windbender windshield. This morning I had it set to the lowest setting and the buffeting was minimal. I arrived in Quitman exactly at 8:31 and parked the bike west of the town square waiting on the Dallas riders. Will and his group got there just before 9am and we all shared our howdy's as this was our first time to meet and ride together. We all headed down the street to a local gas station for a cup of java to warm up, take a break and gas up. Will said that riding into the rising sun was quite challenging for about 20 minutes until it got above his line of vision.

From Quitman, I led the group east on rural roads thru the East Tx. country side. The ride was gorgeous with rolling hills, winding roads, farm land, frisky horses and Texas wild flowers in full bloom. We rode another 90 minutes east and rolled into Jefferson and into a gigantic bike rally. Immediately we were in the midst of what would appear for some as Harley heaven. Baggers, soft tails, hogs, trikes, customs...everything Harley was there. I think Paul saw one Beemer and there were a few Wings but Harley was the bike of choice. We stopped at the edge of town when we first saw a bunch of bikes around a bike shop as we dropped in to check out what all the fuss was about. We headed down the main street and parked our bikes in a public parking lot away from the mayhem as just around the corner were hundreds of Harley's lining the street and eventually would fill the entire street down the middle too. Everyone was parked in front of the famous Annie Skinners bar and grill. Since we all hadn't eaten breakfast and were starving and the crowd outside was still kicking tires we opted for an early lunch just before noon and it was a good choice. We walked in Annie Skinners and tons of tables were available. Most of us ordered the chicken fried steak, a Texas tradition for riders and manly men. No booze for us which I was happy to be with a riding group that honors that code. The food was great and by the time we left the place was packed to the hilt with guys and gals in chaps.

My afternoon ride route would take us northeast on a loop around Lake of the Pines however the best laid plans of mice and men was changed during the ride. I had only ridden into Jefferson once before and somehow got myself turned around and led our group north rather than east on 49 out of Jefferson. Perhaps if I had a gps I wouldn't have gotten off course. Despite the fact that we didn't make it to Lake of the Pines we did have some really awesome twisties that took us through more of the gorgeous Texas country side replete with wildflowers and turns that dropped us down a gear. As it turned out we were much further north than planned which worked out after all for the Dallas group as they were nearly due east from their destination back home. We rode to Mt. Pleasant where I broke off and headed 100 miles south back to Troup. Overall, a great ride, temps in the low 80's, bikes ran flawless and making new friends was best of all. We all chatted later and said we want to get together again and do some more group rides. Here's some pics from our ride.


My new to me 95 GL 1500


Will aka Willmax


Paul, Will, Al and I (left to right)


The Beverly Hillbillies trike. This was so odd and the rear is made of wood. One of these vw trikes was also turbo charged.
 

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Sounds like a fun ride.
Years back we rode the Big Bend area of Texas then about 8 years ago we rode centeral Texs with my nephew and his wife. Enjoyed both rides.
 

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Thanks for the ride report. See what happens you join GWOF for some info and you end up with some good friends. And now you get to enjoy a ride with some new mates. How good does it get. Eric
 

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Thanks Ron and Eric. Yep they were a pretty good bunch of guys to ride with. One of the things I learned long ago (you'll love this as a train engineer) was the secret of friendship from ole Joe. Joe is a big ole boy, probably stands 6'5" and about 300 pounds. Joe is an engineer for one of the southern railroad lines but his heart was in farm and ranching. He loved to help me on his days off building fences and such in our construction business. One day I came up to ole Joe and asked him why Debbie and I were having trouble making friends in Texas. Deb and I had recently moved to the area but gosh it seemed awfully hard to get to know folks. Ole Joe spoke rather slowly and he said," well let me tell you, if you want to make a friend you've got to be a friend". That wisdom has stuck with me all these years as I no longer wait for other folks to make the first move but realize that I must be proactive in reaching out to others and making friends. Now of course I must say that Will didn't need any prodding as me sent me a PM and said he wanted to ride with me. Man, if you guys ever get the chance to meet him, he's a heck of a guy. Not only is he super friendly but he is the personification of confidence and strength and a can-do kind of guy. He's the kind of friend I love to know. Man, I tell you Eric and Ron, buying a Wing and hooking up with you guys on the GWOF is one of the high points of my life right now.
 

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Great ride report Dan....Thanks for listing it
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Thanks Ron, Lee and Phil for your comments. I didn't mention our total mileage for the ride as it was 300 for me and not sure about the Dallas group as I would guess about 400. We're already talking about our next ride to Lake Texoma, NW of Dallas. Yes it was quite an array of American iron Lee. For anyone who loves Harley's such as yourself, you'd be drooling over some of these bikes. We got to see a pair of Uni trailers, one on a Wing and the other on a Harley, both color matched to the bikes. As we were checking them out we heard a fellow behind talking about the silver one on the silver Wing. He opened the trunk for us and they're roomier than they look. Still a little pricey for me as I think he said they're about 3k and that's probably without custom painting. Thanks Ron for your special comment as I think you're a class act too. Eric you and Lee would have been in your element seeing all these baggers.

I just went to http://www.uni-go.com/ and a plain Jane white or black, trailer only, no hitch is about 2500 and you pick it up in Florida. Shipping is another 250 and there's lots of options. The guy showing us the silver one said he pulls his off and pulls it into the hotel room.
 

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I love seeing some old bikes that get ridden. The extra work it takes to keep them in top condition is appreciated. There is a lot of pride to how you keep your bike. Weather it is new or old. Keep safe my friend and keep the reports coming. Eric
 

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A great ride, Dan, and a pleasure to meet you. We couldn't have asked for a better day.
 
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