Arkansas Fall Color Ride – 2007
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Day One Plano to Eureka Springs 411 Miles – Cold & Overcast.
The bike was loaded and Jamie and I were ready to go on Friday morning. We were meeting Jackie & Rob at the Café Brazil in McKinney for breakfast at 7AM – 7:15AM. I opened the garage and it was a little chilly. The news said it was 40 degrees. It seemed colder than that. We got all bundled up, we had a few layers on and Jamie had her electric vest turned up to baking. We rode up and the guys were already there. We had a good surprise as well. Alta had come to wish us well and to have breakfast with us. It was cold, but we were all looking forward to a wonderful weekend.
We did the slab thing to Paris. We jumped on 121 and then hit 82. Got to Paris and took a hot chocolate break. It was cold, but not as bad as it could have been. I have to say that I do like the idea of having a seat warmer and hand grip warmers, like Jackie and Rob had. I am sure it made there ride a tad more comfortable. I also realized that I need to purchase a full windscreen for my Trophy. That little windshield is fantastic in the summer but not so much in colder weather. Jamie had her heated gear so life was good for my passenger.
We took 195 then jumped on 295 – 63 – 8 to Mena. We ran into some people heading to Eureka Springs for the BMW Lonestar get together. Some very nice bikes were in the group. Saw a GT like Robs with a Remus pipe, very nice.
We ran out of Mena and headed up 23. The weather stayed overcast the rest of the day. We never got rained on so that was a good thing. The forecast had said that we would have sun by the end of the day, but we never saw it. The ride was uneventful. Going up 23into Eureka Springs is always a fun time. It was just a start to a weekend of curvy roads. I love Arkansas.
We stayed at The Ozark Inn across the street from the BMW get together. We had a bunch of bikes in the parking lot as our hotel had some over flow from the place across the street. They were having a dinner for the BMW guys, but we headed down the street and had some catfish and just tried to knock the chill from our bones. 400 miles in chilly weather does a toll on your body. I was never freezing, but it took a while to lose the chill. We had a nice dinner headed back to the room to get some rest. Our room had a full size Jacuzzi…. NICE! It only took us an hour to get it filled and to get the instructions down. Jamie shot some water across the room, gave the TV a nice bath hehehe. The rooms were clean and the company was great. What a great day.
Day Two Eureka Springs to Hot Springs via Push Mountain and a bunch of twisties. 335 Miles – One of the best days ever – Weather was awesome and the riding top notch.
We got up and met out front ready to get breakfast around 7:30. It was already warmer than the day before (46 degrees) and the sky was clear. The day was set up to be a great one! We walked across the street and kicked some tires. We headed out, got to breakfast before the rush and was on the road by 8:30.
We had a 380 mile route planned but we decided to cut 50 miles off and just get to Mountain Home as soon as possible. This was a great choice on our part. We hit 341 (Push Mountain) the sun was shining, life was good. The start was a little shaky, as they have chip sealed parts of the start to 341. You would have goiod road then cheap seal and good road almost evert 100 yards, This lasted a few minutes. Once we were past the cheap seal…. WOW!!! What a fun road. Very technical and twisty. I have been to Deals Gap, this was every bit as nice and fun.
We were half way thru Push, when Jackie turned up the heat. I will take this time to say that he was awesome. The 25 – 30 mph corners were swallowed up by him and the RT. He was riding like he was on a rail. I like to think that I am pretty quick in the tight stuff. Jackie walked off and left us like we were standing still. It was a joy to watch. So smooth, so quick and he did it is a safe manner, just fun to watch. I think he really likes the RT.
I had a little scare as a guy on a Concours, passed us in a corner, not 2 feet from our bike in a corner in our lane. YIKES!! It scared the hell out of me. I was not the same the rest of the way. He passed the rest of the group, using the same technique. He could ride, but I wish he would have passed in a different manner. He was gone and out of sight in a heartbeat. Hope he was safe and sound at the end of the day.
This did not put a damper on the day as the riding was awesome and the road was great! We will be pack to Push Mountain.