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Gypsies, Bikes, and Beads

This week, after almost a year of dreaming about it, Beto and I bought a tow trailer to pull the motorcycles on long trips. Our idea was to take a short trip this weekend to Port Lavaca on the coast to try out the trailer and practice a little on how to tie the bikes securely to the iron frame before venturing into an actual long trip in the future.

Tow Trailer

Our wish was washed away by strong winds and a tropical storm that hit San Antonio and the Rio Grande Valley all week long. We sat in the rain looking at the trailer and pouting over our bad luck since the plan was to spend all weekend long, from Friday afternoon to Sunday evening, riding the roads of the coast between Corpus Christi and Galveston, near Houston, but the TV news just was not saying the words we wanted to hear. Now, all we had was a pile of metal sitting pretty in Beto’s front yard and no place to go. The best laid plans… right?

The rain did stop before the weekend and we planned a short ride just so that wouldn’t let a Saturday go by without one. We invited my niece Cindy to go with us on a short 20-mile ride to Poteet so she could get on a motorcycle for the first time in her life. We picked her up at 9 AM and off we went to Poteet. Ten hours and 170 miles later, we delivered my niece back to her parents, walking like she had been riding a horse for, well, 10 hours.

Once we arrived in Poteet and after taking a few pictures, we heard there was a motorcycle rally in town. Quickly, Beto got on the phone with some people, who knew some people, who called him back to tell him where the rally was taking place. After getting accurate directions, we arrived at The Horseman’s Bar, an outdoor bar out in the countryside, outside of Poteet to begin a day full of fun and games. When we arrived at the place we had a Luckenback Deja Vu experience as it resembled it in much of its setup. This rally was sponsored by the River City Chapter of the Gypsy Motorcycle Club International. These people know how to have fun! There were men, women, and children all over the place. The adults were drinking since early in the morning, and the children were in the pond swimming, rowing inflatable boats, and dunking each other in the dunking booth using baseballs to aim at their target.

These five beads took a lot of effort to get. I wear them proudly.

Part of the fun was to go on a poker run collecting beads in different places in Atascosa County. For that, we had to go to five different bars in the county and ask for a bead in each one of them. With Cindy in tow as our copilot reading directions to us, Beto and I went through more than 120 miles of never-heard-of back roads, dirt roads, sand roads, and mud roads hunting for those beads like they were real gold. It was a real rat race!! More than once we looked like the old TV shows where Beto and I were going south on one road, and three other bikes going north looking for the almost-hidden bar. A few minutes later the reverse was true, we were going north and the others south. Yet, a few minutes later, all five bikes were going east on a different road and then west. We all had fun.

She won the Pickle Bite contest.

After the poker run, we arrived at the hosting place and watched a few other games they played, such as the pickle bite, pole in the hole, but the best game we witnessed was the slow race, where two motorcycles competed against each other to see which driver could make his motorcycle go the slowest on an incline on the grass, without putting his foot down. This is a very difficult endeavor because the slower a motorcycle goes, the harder it is to maintain it in course.

Beto bought himself a Harley ring and a get-back-quick whip, which is a braided ornamental piece of leather that resembles a thick whip with a quick release that attaches to the brake lever. The vendor told us that in the “olden days of the 1960’s,” real biker gangs used them to get back at their enemies, by pulling the quick release off from the lever. Sometimes these whip-like weapons were braided with heavy weights inside for better results. Nowadays, it is just an ornamental piece much like a stone arrowhead attached to a string around someone’s neck. Cindy seemed to have a good time. She never complained and Beto and I wondered if this would be too much motorcycle exposure for her, but Cindy kept saying she was having fun so we believed her and we were glad she enjoyed herself.

When people started acting silly from drinking too much and not being fed at 6:00 PM like promised when we paid our entrance, we headed back home at 6:30 proudly wearing, all three of us, our safety pin with our five beads that felt more like five golden medals of valor.


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Five Beads

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Jul112010

Published by at 4:48 PM under Uncategorized

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