8.27.2006,5:30 PM
Pie in the Sky
Who in their right mind would travel over a hundred miles to eat a piece of pie?? A bunch of Texas bikers.

After being ill all week, I decided at the last minute to attend one of the infamous "Pie Runs", an occassional event where many riders on the TWT forum congregate to meet and eat. In essence, it is a larger version of our weekly local (county) Meet, Greet, and Eat gatherings. The Pie Run is a larger representation of riders and bikes from the forum and entails a longer ride for most Texans. This time the Run was closer to home so I opted to go.

Riders as far away as Houston rode many miles and hours to attend. Also, many from the Austin area, which is roughly midway between Houston and the small town of Mineola. Several small groups rode from the DFW area, but I chose to ride paired with a fellow Wee-stromer. I was not quite up to riding in a large group with all the distractions that accompany riding in big groups of bikes on the highway. I was still recovering from the stressful week at work and being ill. I wanted a relaxing ride.

We rode the 120 miles to Mineola, near the Louisiana border, in the cool of the Saturday morning. Although we chose to ride the major highways, the absence of traffic and the cool breeze was welcomed. I enjoy riding the wide lanes of the highways when they are empty just to play with the wind and speed. I found myself singing in my new helmet, left hand tapping the clutch lever to the beat, and sometimes shifting my weight side to side, flicking Whee. It's our little dance that we do.

When the wind blasts us or when we pass semi-trucks, I drop my torso down on the tank, removing the human windmill and reducing wind resistance. We cut through the wind like a hot knife through butter and I'm grinning from ear to ear. With an occassional "WhooHoo!!"

Once I was passed by a truck with a dog as the passenger. I smiled and waved to the dog as his muzzle was pressed to the glass, ears up and watching me as his human drove past me. Another time the driver of a semi-truck pointed at my bike and me, smiled and waved. I returned the smile and wave. When my riding partner passed a car, the car behind me flashed his headlights for me to ride in front of him and join my partner. I waved thanks as I changed lanes and fell in behind my riding partner. Even on the highways, riding a bike sometimes elicits interaction from strangers and mostly in a good way.

We found the designated cafe by the small group of bikes parked in front along the road. Arriving early, we joined the others after shedding gear. As more riders arrived and parked, I noticed I was one of the few that didn't back in. I knew before approaching that it would be easier for me to pull in and back out with top-heavy Whee and my short legs.

The line of bikes grew, overfilling the parking spaces in the front on the street, with others finding nearby spots. It was indeed a parade of bikes; all colors, sizes and makes. I spent inordinate time oggling the pair of BMW1150GS Adventure bikes. A dream I will never, as a vertically challenged human, realize.

We all convened in the cafe to eat, occupying small and large tables throughout the cafe. Our waitresses were friendly and efficient, making it a pleasant meal. As we ate and chatted, I looked around and realized I hardly knew anyone except for a few local riders from my area. It allowed me to be incognito, which I prefered this time. I enjoyed listening while people and bike watching.

Many of us exchanged introductions and bike talk, interspersed with ride reports and just general laughing and chit-chat. The entire meal time was pleasant and fun.

After the main meal was consumed, most everyone chose their preferred pie; I chose ice cream. I bike for ice cream, not pie!

The ride home was less enjoyable in the triple-digit and humid Texas heat. The traffic volume robbed us of an element of enjoying the ride, but we made it with no mishaps. Upon arriving home in the early evening, I ate dinner and fell asleep for eleven hours. And dreamt of bikes and pie in my head.

Photos by Bill Hise and Marcrobe.
posted by Macrobe
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