today I don the rain gear, putting my Gore-Tex liners into my BMW
riding suit, and head out of the hotel.
The skies are grayer than a bankerís suit and the clouds
bubble with anticipation. The
doorman at The Driskill looks at the threatening sky then looks at me
in my motorcycle gear. He
just shakes his head. We
both know Iím about to get very wet.
But I donít. Itís just happens that today is a rest day and time for another motorcycle service stop. I ride about five miles to Austinís Lone Star BMW, pull the bike around back, and then the skies open up. It rains solid for the next four hours, but Iím safely ensconced in the dealership. Iíve been spared once again.
haven't had a day off in quite some time, and neither has the bike. Since Eugene, Oregon, to be exact: 23 days and 6,000 miles ago.
This constant motion, this constant feeling of moving all the
time, makes you want to stop for a minute.
To stop and reflect on what you've done and look forward to the
end. With over 24,000
miles on the dial, the R1100RS needs a major service.
Star BMW is another great BMW shop.
Iíve been fortunate with the high quality of the dealerships
Iíve visited, and Lone Star is no exception.
Bruce, the service manager, writes up the order, and Michael
the mechanic gets to work on the bike.
It will be a lengthy service, as the bike needs a full check-up
and fluid change, as well as new rubber on both wheels.
It turns out that the rear brake pads also need to be replaced,
which is not uncommon after 24,000 miles.
Star is a large dealership, with a large location, but they are
planning to move about a mile away to a different spot.
The shop has five service bays, and the accessory department is
a store unto itself. There
must be over 100 helmets on display.
I donít think I've seen anything like that before, but
everything is bigger in Texas, right?
Stoney, the accessory manager, has spent the last few years
touring the world on his motorcycle. Now heís using his real world experience to advise riders
on gear for their journeys.
By early afternoon, the rain has ended and the bike is ready. I carefully head back to the luxury of The Driskill on my new tires. I have to keep reminding myself that the new rubber is a bit slippery and Iíll have to remember that tomorrow as well. By now, Iíve heard more than one story of the customer who picked up his newly shoed motorbike, only to wipe-out on the first turn out of the parking lot. New tires need to be scuffed up a bit to knock off the factory coating.
is the night before Halloween, and there is a party going on outside,
right along 6th Street.
After dinner at Louieís 106, I join the festivities and gawk
at the costumed crowds flowing into the avenue.
Live music blasts from the numerous saloons, with different
beats every few doorways down the street.
For ten blocks the street is closed to traffic and crowds fill
the space. I drift along
with the masses, getting lost in the neon and the noise.
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