This weekend was the Republic of Texas biker rally. I took off Thursday and Friday to attend, and get some riding in. Had a pretty good time, but coordination with some friends wasn't the greatest, and I missed out on a little. I also had a little 'fun' with the bike (the kind of fun where something goes wrong and you have to fix it)
Thursday I slept in a bit (I work late, so I usually don't get up until about 10am) and was tentatively going to help a buddy (Chad) get his Class M. He didn't plan ahead and decided not to do it. I rode out solo and stopped by a few places and tried to get said buddy to meet me for grub somewhere, but he was stuck at work. I decided to take in a movie and then see what was up. When I walked out of the theater a little after 7PM, the sky was dark... I decided to ride toward the house and get some food on the way. Stopped at a burger joint and decided to check the weather radar on the phone since I saw some lightening. BIGASS storm moving toward Austin from the NW. I skipped the burger and headed home. Hopped in the car and went to get grub. The storm didn't make it to my house (east of Austin) for a couple hours.
Friday I got up and rode up to another friend's house (Jon). He doesn't have a bike, but his dad brings down a couple every year. Tried to get the buddy above to meet up with us, but he was waiting on plans with a couple of his friends. So anyway, my group of three decides to head out and go down to the Salt Lick for lunch. Got down there and ate, then headed downtown. Man, all the red lights and the HOT sun made that a great idea. We went to the Dog and Duck pub to chill for a while (buddy's dad seems to run on beer... I don't like to drink when I'm riding). Jon's wife didn't want to stick with us all day, so we headed back up to his house to drop her off, then went to a bar up there (again, his dad wanted more beer).
Well, when we were heading out to go down to RoT for the parade into downtown... my rear tire was flat. FSCK. Good thing there was a garage right next door! I rolled over there and had them fill it up, then we headed out. Got to RoT and the tire looked fine, but I didn't have an air gauge with me. Got into the parade and made it to down town. Got some grub and walked around a bit to check things out. There were literally THOUSANDS of bikes. Congress Ave was full, parked on the sides and three deep in the middle from 3rd street up to 8th street. Many on the side streets, too. THOUSANDS!
Well, I decided I was going to head back to RoT, because Chad has a wealthy cousin from Louisiana that had a few RV pads, lots of food and beer, and a trailer with a stripper pole on it... and they got strippers from the Yellow Rose to come out that night.
Fuck me if my tire wasn't flat again. Fuck.
I limped to a gas station and aired it up. Bought a pressure gauge while I was there. I decided I didn't want to get stuck at RoT with a flat and not be able to make it home, so I headed to the house. I stopped about 2/3 of the way home and checked the tire. It was holding pressure, so I kept going and made it home.
Then I decided I'd run up to Walmart and get some fix-a-flat or something... just to get me through the weekend. Got home and jacked the bike up to inspect the tire. Nothing sticking in it. Fuck it, I took the wheel off and put it in the bath tub to find the leak:
Well, it was leaking at the valve stem and the spokes adjacent to it. Figured it probably needs a new tube. Well, the tire has some dry rot, so I decided I'd replace it if the dealer had something. I have no idea how old the tire is, or how many miles are actually on it. I got the bike used about two months ago, and I think the PO hadn't ridden it much in a while.
In the morning I threw the wheel in the car and went up to the dealer. Got a nice whitewall tire to replace the old one, and had them put in a new tube and stem. They had it done in about 30 minutes. I'll get the front one in a couple weeks when I have a little money. It'll look so nice when I have the front one on:
I got home and sent my buddy Jon a message saying I may need help getting the wheel back on. He and his dad had already gone to RoT by then, and my house is pretty close. They came over here right when I was finishing up getting the wheel on. People think it's tricky because it's a shaft drive, and you have to get the shaft lined up and such. Aside from lifting the whole wheel up, it wasn't that bad.
We took some back roads out to the Expo Center and hung out there for a while. It was HOT AS EVER LOVING FUCK. Did I mention it was HOT. Jeebus titty fucking greasemonkeys it was hot!!
Well, the bike Jon was riding lost the screw that held the rear of the seat on (one of those one piece saddle/pillion seats), so his dad wanted to hit up a Harley dealer to get the screw so the seat didn't wear out the paint on the fender. We headed up to the Harley dealer in Round Rock. Jon wanted to go up I35... and I hate riding on the freeway. It was crowded and it was HOTTER than the aforementioned hotness since the whole fucking road is blacktop that gets cooked in the sun all day. The HD dealer had it's own party thing that was winding down. They had a lot of bikes in stock... lots of very awesome bikes. I'm not sure I'd ever buy a HD because there are other brands (like the Yamaha/Star brand) that make awesome bikes for waaaay lower prices, but there was a nice Heritage Softail Classic that I gawked at a little.
We then went to get grub and then Jon and his dad headed back to his house, and I back to mine. I wanted to cool down and rest a little... I'd been up early and up late the last couple days.
I headed back out to RoT to meet up with Chad, and witness the aforementioned stripper pole. Well, I got out there, and damn, people were parading around the grounds on their bikes and on ATVs and golf carts. Chicks were showing their titties (yeah, I saw some NICE ones, and some I'd rather not have seen). It took me fucking FOREVER to get to the pad. They didn't have any strippers... but were getting random chicks riding by to come up and dance. Most were not very hot, or just downright not something you want to see nekkid.
I hung out for a while and headed home. I was supposed to hook up with Jon and his dad to go out to Llano to eat at Cooper's today, but man, I was pooped, so I stayed in.
One thing I did learn during the parade - my bike isn't as loud as most Harleys with straight pipes, but DAMN, my bike sounds 100% as GOOD! I LOVE my bike!!