The weather was too nice this morning to not go for a motorcycle ride. A little chilly at daybreak, but no big deal there. Just wear the right gear and off you go.
I took a bunch of back roads to go from Austin to Smithville, Texas. It was quiet, peaceful, and beautiful scenery. I was in no hurry. When I got to Smithville originally I was going to head up FM 2104, cut over US-290 to TX-21 back into Bastrop as I love driving through the Lost Pines area that TX-21 cuts through. As I came upon Buescher State Park I remembered how it connected to Bastrop State Park by way of Park Road 1C. Click for Google Map goodness.
If you are a motorcyclist within riding distance to this road, you need to take it at least once. I have always wanted to take it and today marked my first day to take it.
You will need to pay $2 “drive through” fee to the park, but that’s fine as I am a supporter of our State Parks. The road is about an 11 mile run and is just wonderful. It’s quiet (only encountered a few other cars), the scenery is awesome — I love riding through all those tall pine trees, and areas where the trees are so dense and grow over the road like a canopy. The posted speed limit is 30 MPH but I found myself just staying in second gear and going 15-25 MPH most of the time. Why? Again, no hurry and enjoying the ride.
That said, it really is a road you should take slowly. There are many twists and turns, many blind corners and a few blind hills. Signage is almost non-existent (no signs to say slow down, blind curve ahead, etc.). While the road is technically wide enough for two cars, there are many places where there is no shoulder. Furthermore, build up of leaves and pine needles may have built up on the side of the road effectively narrowing it by 6-12″ on a side, which doesn’t seem like a big deal until you’ve got a truck coming the other direction and they’re not on their side of the road. The road surface isn’t always the best, plus I encountered areas of water, wet leaves, sticks and branches (had to even pull over once to dislodge a small stick that had caught under my bike’s frame). I almost hit a squirrel, but was surprised to encounter no deer (what with the rut starting and all). So while I certainly could see in an ideal world this road being awesome to fly down in a sport bike, I personally wouldn’t recommend it give the nature of the road. But then, I’m more of an old biker than a bold biker (lots of old bikers, lots of bold bikers, but not many old bold bikers).
Besides… the ride is so beautiful, why would you want to go fast and miss all of it? As soon as I came in the back entrance of Bastrop State Park, majestic is the best word to describe it. Big trees, as far as the eye can see. Words cannot do it justice; you just need to experience it yourself.
After coming out in Bastrop, stopped into John’s Guns. They are quite friendly folk so we talked for a while. I picked up a couple .50 cal ammo cans for storage (they’ve got some of the best supply in the area), some .38 Special practice ammo, and headed home.
Life is good.