The weather forecast held true - low to mid 70's and sunny, dry and no wind. Perfect day for a ride. The plans were for Ara, with Spirit in the sidecar - the only way they travel, would lead me to San Antonio via some back roads. We planned to check out the Alamo then visit Riverwalk, staying until after dark to enjoy the night lighting.
While it was 36 when I got up, I knew the day would quickly warm up. That meant digging out my electric jacket liner, socks & gloves. Fortunately they fit into a nice little roll bag also sold by Gerbing. Found that and dug through the bags (remember, all my bike riding gear is in the trailer in rolling duffel bags) looking for my overpants. Before I found them, I decided to pull out my textile jacket which I thought would fit better with the electric jacket liner. I pulled on my boots and realized that my favorites were going to be too tight to wear over the electric socks - they zip up the front so there isn't any adjustment to them. So scrounged around in the bags again till I located my lace-up boots (the ones with a chunk out of the heel from my hot pipes on the Harley).
Next thing to do was try on the overpants while wearing my jeans. It's been two years since I last wore them and I was concerned as to how restrictive they might be. Fortunately they still fit (phew!) and while tight were okay to wear. Dug out a couple pairs of gloves of varying weights, my polar fleece buff and my regular buff.
Yesterday Ara helped (okay, he did it and I barely helped) mount my new Cortech mini-tank bag I had just got from NewEnough.com (great company for us motorcyclists). I love it! Now I have a convenient place to put sunglasses, pocket camera, chapstick, gloves, etc. Managed to get the electric gear and my overpants into the Cortech Tail Bag I had previously bought. Water bottle, cell phone, wallet, etc. all loaded and we finally got on the road.
Now no laughing here....I actually put gas in the BMW for the FIRST TIME. It's not as easy to do as it was on the Harleys. I couldn't see when it's full so I had go really slow and hope the auto-shutoff would cooperate. It did...fortunately. Then we headed on down the road, enjoying the sunshine and the feeling of just being in the wind. This time of year, in this part of Texas, there isn't much scenic to see. Fairly flat, mostly brown and leafless, but that was okay.
A few false starts on routing gave me a little practice in tight maneuvers - definitely have to get my levers adjusted on the bike, that should make it a little easier on me. Will get that done when I get my new rear tire on Jan 8th. Due to the false starts, a GPS that seemed to have a mind of it's own, we opted to jump onto I-10 for the last stretch into San Antonio.
Parking in San Antonio, even for a Sunday, was slim. We double-parked on a little round-about to take a break while we assessed the parking situation. A van driver from the Radisson talked to Ara and offered us free parking at the hotel but since we needed to be where we could easily come back and check on Spirit, we declined. He then pointed out that the parking where we currently were was unrestricted on the weekends AND there was room for us to back in between the cars.
First we visited the Alamo. There was a long line waiting to go into the shrine and neither of us wanted to wait that long so we wandered the grounds, enjoying the sights.
After that we went back to check on Spirit before heading over to Riverwalk. It was more crowded that expected but that may have been due to it being lunchtime. The tables along the water were packed. We walked, snapped some photos, walked some more, sat a bit, and walked again. Here are a few photos I snapped...if you want to see the GOOD ones, be sure to watch for Ara's blog update. His photos are always amazing!
We wandered back towards the bikes and decided to grab a bite to eat. While we quenched our thirst and filled our tummies, we discussed our options. It wasn't even 2:00 and neither of us wanted to hang around another four plus hours to see the lights. We headed back to the bikes and Spirit, who was ready for a walk and a potty break.
When we got back to the bikes there was a gaggle of teenaged gals waiting for their ride. They were fascinated by Spirit, as was everyone who sees him in the sidecar, and they wanted to know if we had ridden from Florida (Ara's license plate) and South Dakota (my license plate). They seemed disappointed when informed that we were full-time RVers (not sure they even knew what that was...LOL!).
The ride home was uneventful, we had no routing issues and I was ready for a break when we got here. It's been many months since I rode as much as we did today...gotta work on that!
Till next time - keep on rollin',