Saturday, July 12, 2014
Mile 2,540: Three... Two... One
The day began with six bikes. Houston in our rearview mirrors. Scooting up 290, the worst road to get you out of the city, which makes it all the better when you put it behind you.
Six bikes. Six men. Each on his own steed, a couple with guests along to enjoy the ride. Is he controlling the bike, or is the bike leading him?
We rolled up 290, and then headed north on Highway 6 up to College Station. Six bikes, staggered in a zigzag formation like a child's drawing of a lightning bolt. We had a destination in mind, but we didn't care. All that mattered was the ride. The six of us forming the zigzag.
Big Jew, Mouthpiece, Truck, Left, Dred, and English Pete.
A sense of relief washed over us all when a car that was blocking the flow of traffic finally decided to concede and step aside. A royal blue car, but not a lovely shade of blue like you would see on a beautiful woman's dress. This was a spray paint shade of blue, the kind of paintjob that probably happened late one night in front of a friend's garage, the kind of garage that has an old, discolored refrigerator in the corner, and a pool table in the middle of the floor with holes in the felt.
Step aside. Let us pass.
And we did.
We arrived at the tavern out in the woods. A great place to hang out, eat a burger, and talk about the ride up. Little details that only a biker would understand. I'm sure that fishermen have the same experience when going over their day, just without all the noise, speed, and joyful abandon.
But an hour or so at a tavern in the woods is plenty. Especially when all you can think about is the ride home, the ride ahead.
But this time, let's go through the country.
And we did.
Others in the original pack had other places to go, other people to see. So English Pete led Mouthpiece and I back toward the city down a little country road. Cows. Cornfields. A sun-faded sign that read, "Joe's Small Engine Repair."
Mouthpiece peeled off on 290, but English Pete and I continued south on the country road. There were three. Now there were two.
We continued on until the cows became buildings, and the cornfields became stoplights. Hop on the tollway out west that leads back into Houston, but let's make on last pitstop. English Pete and your trusty writer who is now showered and smelling good, thinking about a great day on the road with brothers I love.
And then there was one.
Memories of the day's ride.
There and back again.
Farms dotting the coastal plains.
The big, blue Texas sky.
Clouds so high they scrape the stratosphere.