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First Pleasure Trip: SPI

A week went by after I got home. Work had started for me and all I could think about was the time I would get to ride on my Wing.  Every morning I would go into the garage to look at her and tell her that I would soon take her out of that dark place.  Her headlights seemed to look at me yearningly, like chiding me for abandoning her for such a long time.

Saturday finally came and, as soon as I had breakfast, I opened the garage door and a wave of 100-degree fresh air from the outside entered the area to take away the dankness that had accumulated in a week. I was happy to feel the sun come into the garage and hit the taillights of the motorcycle, making them glisten and look alive. It was about time we had our weekend fun!

Oil, check. Tires, check. Gas, need gas. I slid the helmet over my head, the gloves over my hands, and sat on Goldie to take her for our first pleasure trip, 40 or so miles away east to South Padre Island, Texas, the prime place for spring breakers’ vacation in the United States.  For the first time I felt lucky to live so near the Island.  Off I went.

PortIsabelTX

The road to the Island could be considered boring.  In Harlingen, you take US Hwy-77 South, then take Texas Hwy-100 all the way in a straight line to the Island for about 30 miles.  Once you get to Port Isabel, the last inland town, the fun begins.  Port Isabel is famous for its lighthouse and its 2-mile long bridge, crossing the water and leading to South Padre Island.  The lighthouse, built in the 1800’s, closed in 1903 and reopened in 2,000 is one of 25 lighthouses in Texas.

This is one of my favorite places to visit as I am a fan of lighthouses.

After visiting the landmark, I got on the bike and headed off for my final QueenIsabellaCausewaydestination, South Padre Island, where the beach and shopping are King and Queen. There is a 2-mile long bridge called the Queen Isabella Causeway that crosses over the waters to get there.  This bridge is the longest bridge in Texas and it is also famous not only for its length but because of an accident that happened there once where four, fully-loaded barges crashed into it in 2001 causing a disaster that made part of the bridge collapse killing several people crossing over it in vehicles.  Crossing this gargantuan bridge is part of the fun in visiting the Island. Riding the motorcycle over it is mind- blowing.  I have yet to feel more free on my bike, than crossing this bridge every time I go to the beach.

SPIOnce on the island, the scenery and my view of life changed.  It is indeed a vacation paradise (for those who don’t mind vacationing in a commercial area). The bike and I were free to go anywhere on the main road as long as it was north- and south-bound, and for as long as we wanted as long as it was only for the five miles the road goes.  I didn’t mind the restricted road, who cared? The beach was visible on both sides of the road and the fellow motorcyclists waved at me like they knew me. I stopped to eat lunch at a place where there were six or seven bikes parked.  Seafood, all you can eat $9.95.  Sounds like a good deal. I entered the restaurant and ate to my heart’s content.  Once that I made sure I ate and rode as many of the island streets as I could, I headed for home.

However, and here is the lesson of this blog entry, I learned the hard way that those wide, white arrows painted on the street pavement indicating traffic flow are SLIPPERY! I was turning the main street corner to start heading for the bridge when my front wheel caught the left-pointing, wide arrow on the pavement.  It slid like it was on oil. Following the front wheel, the rear wheel decided to join in the fun. With both wheels out of control, all I could do was pray that they stop skidding and make me suffer.  Fortunately, they grabbed pavement again and the jolt of being on grippy ground straightened the trajectory to normal direction.  Whew, a lesson never to forget. After assimilating what had just happened and regaining my composure, I happily went home, washed Goldie really well, put her in the garage, and thanked God for a fun day at the beach without any mishaps.

HRL-SPI

Sep302009

Published by at 9:19 AM under Uncategorized

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