Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Great Bike Trip - Day 3

My plan for Sunday was to spend a few hours beatin' around San Antonio, then mosey on over to Houston to spend the evenin' with my cousin and his wife.

I took the opportunity to sleep in, and enjoy breakfast with Tim and his wife before takin' off. They were exceptional hosts, and I can only hope to return the favor at some point.

I had mentioned that the tires on the wheels that I'd picked up for the trip were at about half life, and I'd been keepin' an eye on them. The plan from the get-go was to yank it into a shop somewhere and get a new one thrown on when needed. As I fueled up on my way outta Bergheim, I took a good look at it in the daylight and decided that pushin' it to Houston and beyond would not be the wisest decision that I've ever made. I started makin' phone calls, knowin' that my chances of findin' somebody open on a Sunday were slim to none. Well, lo and behold, I managed to catch Daniel at the Motorcycle Tire Shop in San Antonio takin' care of some paperwork in his shop that mornin', and although a bit gruff, he agreed to throw a new tire on as long as I got there quick. Without dickin' around any further, I banged his address into the GPS and hit the wind.

A found the shop, yanked the bike onto the sidewalk in front, and quickly cracked open to the toolkit and dropped the rear tire. I could tell by the front of the shop that I was dealin' with an old-school kinda guy, and that was confirmed as soon as I walked in the door. Any shop notes were written in sharpie on the wall, amidst the shelves full of Harley parts. You could hardly move without brushin' up against somethin' chrome, includin' the hog sittin' just inside the door.

Daniel wasted no time in admonishin' me for not bein' more prepared. I didn't bother to explain to him that this was all part of the plan. After we were finally on the same page, he dug around and found the only tire in the shop that would fit on my bike, which was a used front-runnin' HD-branded Dunlop. Regardless of my disdain for HD stuff, and a deep-seated hatred of Dunlop tires, my options were limited. He pointed to a chair, which I promptly placed my ass in, and he went to work. Ten minutes later, I was back out on the sidewalk and bangin' everythin' back together. Despite the gruffness, Daniel took me in unexpectedly, on a Sunday, and did me right on the price to boot. I have no complaints.

Once I had everythin' hemmed up, I turned around and headed back to downtown San Antonio. I waded through the traffic, found a cheap parkin' lot, then headed off on foot for the Alamo.

En route, I walked along what I think is called the River Walk. Between that and the wealth of history in the area, I felt inclined to take my time and try to take in as much as I could. There was plenty of neat things to see.

There's a mosaic tile plaque where Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders watered the nags and crossed the river.

There's also a smatterin' of design thrown about. I also passed several museums that I wouldn't have minded burnin' a few hours in, had I had the time.

I pushed on, and a few minutes later, I finally stepped foot into my target destination, and one of history's most important locales; the compound of the Alamo.

As an aside, CenTexTim did a fantastic writeup on the stand at the Alamo a few years back... you can check the posts out startin' here. Take an hour or two and read through it.

Much to my dismay, the Long Barracks were closed off for renovation, so I feel like I missed out on half of what the compound had to offer. Regardless, I wandered around the compound for almost two hours, takin' in as much as I could. I've been readin' about the Alamo since I was a kid, and it was special to finally be able to see the compound laid out before me. There's feelin' of reverence, the crawlin' skin, the knowledge that somethin' of extreme importance had happened there... I've lived just outside of Gettysburg my whole life, so I'm familiar with that feelin'. I was surprised at how strong that it was at the Alamo.

I finally pried myself away from the compound, and headed up the street to another Tim-recommended destination; the Menger Bar (another good history lesson here).

I ordered a Shiner from the bar maid, then hauled my ass up to the balcony and sat for 15 minutes or so. There was all sortsa fun stuff on the walls to gaze at, while the jukebox was throwin' out some old country standards from Waylon, Willie and the boys. With a cold Shiner in hand, I wondered more than once if I was in Texas or Heaven.

Alas, I had to get to Houston at some point, so I slurped down the rest of my beer and then hauled my ashes back up the street toward the bike. However, I did make one unscheduled stop... the pull of the Blue Bell logo on the door was too much to ignore.

There's gonna have to be another dedicated trip made to San Antonio in the future. There's a tremendous amount of history to explore, and other neat stuff to see, and I barely scratched the surface. That was the price I paid for plannin' the trip the way I did, and I knew it goin' into it, but I left the city feelin' like I should have accomplished more.

I made it out of the city in once piece, and enjoyed the scenery along I-10 to Houston.

I rode into a few showers as I arrived in Houston, but I beat the worst of the rain to my cousin's parkin' garage. Once again, I was greeted with a handshake and another cold Texas-brewed beer... No wonder everyone seems to like it in Texas.

I got settled in, and then we walked up the street for some grub at Demaris BBQ. While not the best of the best, it was a pretty solid BBQ joint, the beer was cold, and it had the endearin' quality of only bein' a few steps up the road from my cousin's place.

We spent the rest of the evenin' catchin' up, and I had to pretend to be somewhat interested in the Cowgirl's game (Go EAGLES!). The time for a shower and bed finally came, and once again, I was comatose in no time.


  1. Wish I was with you for this one...Alamo...Beer...barbecue...Texas...yeah man

  2. Glad you enjoyed your time here in God's Country. Y'all come back now, hear...