11.12.2007,7:49 AM
250 Tales: Lakes and ice cream

Daylight hours are shorter but my work hours stay the same. I leave home in the dark and I arrive home in the dark. Mr. Sun is an elusive friend for the next several months; it shines on me only on weekends now. So I try and get all the sun I can on those two days every week.

The Sherpa has a new handlebar, handguards and the carb was rejetted to improve starting and warming up. It also has more power; it no longer sounds like a sewing machine, but a real motorcycle. What better way to test the modifications and enjoy sunshine than a day's ride on a warm Saturday?!

Saturday's ride expanded into two days, doubling the enjoyment and held several delightful surprises for these two two-fifties (or as in bike speak 'two-fiddies').

Sherpie stated up after the first pull of the choke and press of the magic button (electric start). Since the day was warm, I opted to wear the mesh MX pants, MX boots and a jersey under the mesh jacket. It was perfect.

Our first destination was Navajo's Burgers near Lake Worth. We headed towards the pleasant narrow roads around the lake, starting at the north end and meandering to the south. Riding the lake roads on a small bike is exquisitely fun and relaxing; the bikes are nimble and easy to maneuver narrow roads, bumps and curves, and easily turn on a dime. I've always enjoyed lake sides no matter where they are perhaps because I spent over half my life near or on lakes in New York and Maine. And I love being in or near water.

After eating lunch we headed towards Weatherford to find a new ice cream source: The Malt Shop. Drew told me about the place, describing their home-made ice cream and malts. He recommended the banana ice cream, a flavor I have never had. So, of course, the shop became a quest.

Avoiding the main roads and highways as much as possible, we struck a course around another lake; Lake Weatherford. We rode almost due west of Lake Worth on familiar roads circumventing Lake Weatherford and knew from prior explorations. I led the way west on White Settlement Rd. to East Lake Rd. Again we rode the wonderful enchantment of the narrow lake roads as they wound around the shoreline with cottages and boat houses lining the water.

The best aspect of riding a small bike like a 250 is the irresistible lure of gravel and dirt roads, trails and paths. At the east end of the lake I found a grassy gravel road heading toward the shore and a spillway. So I turned right onto that and rode on the berm until a gate blocked our path. As more times than I like, the gate bore the usual signs that thwarted further progress: 'Road Closed'.


Retracing our path we proceeded along the shoreline road and crested a hill overlooking the east end of the lake. I pulled off the road onto the grassy shoulder near a fire station and the water treatment plant. While I took some photos Ed rode his 250 down the hillside to find a public access to the water. An EMT came out to talk with us and we chatted for a while about the lake and how it supplies Weatherford and Benbrook with water. Neither of the towns are in close proximity and I was amazed at how far water must be pumped to serve the town populace.


Waving goodbye we rode on to pick up White Settlement Rd. again which intersects FM 730. From there the ride to The Malt Shop was only a mile or so ahead at the intersection of FM 730 and Hwy 180. Straight ahead was the pink building bearing our malts!


The varieties of homemade ice cream were the usual except for two flavors I had never had: banana and pineapple. So I had to sample a scoop of both. As I sat eating my ice cream under the awning on the side I looked up to see a very, very tall thin man sporting a cowboy hat and tall boots. Silhouetted under the awning, he was quite a figure, almost unreal and I wondered if his boots ever saw dirt and barn floor, and if his pant legs ever had horse or cow dander on them. The gray handlebar mustache didn't leave any further clues but his tall form certainly caught attention; he towered over everything.


The ice cream was delicious after I finally got the chance to eat it. Parked near our table was a retired couple from Tennessee. I've found that the 250 bikes appear to be common conversation starters and we had many instances of this over the weekend. Asking about our bikes, the driver explained that he and his wife rode a large touring Harley and made the trip to this area several times a year. We talked bike and rides, trips and falls, places and destinations. He mentioned that he grew up in this area and the Malt Shop was a favorite of the kids fifty years ago as a 'hop'. It amazed me that places like this can still survive modern commercial competition and I vowed to come more often not to just eat their delicious ice cream but to support their existence.

Enjoying the conversation with the couple from Tennessee and exchanging farewells they drove out and we prepared to depart for roads unknown. We had an hour or so of daylight left so we decided to burn it up on roads we've never known.

So we headed out and zigzagged for points southeast in search of rural Texas.

Labels: ,

posted by Macrobe
Permalink ¤