These last few days my motorcycles have been on my mind.
A few weeks ago I brought my BMW over to Gulf Coast BMW to sell her on consignment. They have a good reputation for doing this. I felt that I just wasn't riding her enough and it was a shame that she was sitting in the garage unridden. That's anathema for a motorcycle. Engine and brakes and clutch and tires and hoses really don't like that.
So late yesterday morning I drove over to the dealership to check on her. I must confess it was very sad to see her still sitting there on their lot in front of the dealership. They had her all cleaned up and I felt a bit of a pang as I walked past her to go inside. I chatted with Tammy, the sales manager, and she is still optimistic. She thought she had it sold, as it was the only R1200R they had in their inventory, new or used. She had a couple of nibbles, one of whom came into the store to look at it but, as my luck would have it, another customer had come in earlier that day to trade his R1200R in on a K1600GT. So when that potential buyer showed up, she bought the trade-in, not mine. So close....!! Drat!
Then, with motorcycles still on my mind, I promised my FZ6 that I'd get her out for a ride the next morning and as proof of my good intentions, I checked her chain and topped off her tires with air. I have a destination in mind and even entered the route into my Garmin GPS.
Good to my word, I got up this morning and pulled on my riding pants and riding boots. I wasted no time on showering or on eating breakfast. I could do that after I returned from this little outing.
I had to rummage a bit to find my mesh riding gloves and the sunglasses that usually live in the tankbag on the bike, but then I had it all together and by 7:15 AM, I was starting her up and backing her out of the garage.
The online motorcycle group that I belong to, The Motorcycle Tourer's Forum or MTF, has a "virtual" photo tag game going on. Actually it's been ongoing for several years. The initial start of the game was a photo that someone took of their bike in front of an item or location of interest. To "tag" the photo, a rider must find a similar location or item and takes a photo of their bike in front of it. Now the "tag" is complete. The rider who has successfully tagged that photo can now find something else and take a photo of it and post it on the forum as the next "tag" challenge.
The beauty of this game is that it can be played by anyone located anywhere in the country. If, for example, a lighthouse is the current open "tag" photo, someone else can ride to a lighthouse near where they live, take a photo, post it, and the lighthouse has now been tagged. The successful tagger must post a new photo of a new destination soon afterward, as the tag is not considered fully completed until the next destination is posted.
I've contributed to this game a couple of times over the years, and have missed out on a number of other chances to contribute. Lately the tags have been unobtainable for me....a ski slope for example, and a curvy road sign with the "next X miles" stated beneath the curvy symbol. I'd have to ride many hundreds of miles out of my way to find either of these things.
But finally the ski slope and the curvy road sign got tagged and the next new tag was a passenger train car. Aha!! I can get this one! I know exactly where I can find one of those!
So with the destination entered into my Garmin, I was off. I decided to take the long way 'round, partly to give my FZ some exercise, and partly to avoid the construction on Beltway 8. I headed south on 288 to Highway 6 and then worked my way west. My, but this road has become built-up in the last decade! Many more traffic lights, but traffic was light, and we seemed to be catching about half of them in-synch.
At the US-59 intersection in Sugarland, I hopped on and headed south, my destination, Rosenberg. It was a pleasant morning, the early sun at my back, the breeze fresh and cool through the mesh of my jacket and pants.
I hopped off onto highway 36 which took me straight into Rosenberg. A right turn and then a quick left onto 2nd street, and I was headed straight for my destination: the Rosenberg Railroad Museum. My photo tag: A very old railroad passenger car built in 1879 sits on display outside, next to the museum. I pulled up, put the sidestand down, and grabbed my camera. Perfect!!
Now I must find a new tag, something different from what's ever been tagged in the past, but something not so hard that the open tag sits for months because folks can't find anything similar. I considered maybe taking a photo of one of the many Texas state flags that are flying everywhere in this proud state. The tagger would successfully tag this by capturing a photo of their state flag. That would be my fall-back plan. But I also knew that the historic downtown area of Rosenberg might hold several interesting possibilities.
There was absolutely no traffic in downtown Rosenberg; I had the streets all to myself, perfect for cruising along slowly, looking for a good photo op. And there it was!!
The next tag is a photo of a soda fountain or soda shop/shoppe. This is an historic soda shop located in the nicely restored historic downtown Rosenberg area.
I took a different, but equally as round-about route back home, stopping to top off the gas tank as I neared the house. I even considered whether to pull in to the Starbuck's which was right along my route. I've had good experience carrying a coffee cup home in my tankbag. I talked myself out of it, in the interest of getting home and getting the two photos posted at the forum before someone else beat me to the tag.
A nice little ride! I beat the heat, I beat the rain, and I got the tags before someone else did!