2010 Spring Hill Country Ride Recap
Thursday, April 15 thru Sunday, April 18

On Tuesday, 13 April, two groups of three rode down to the hill country, Clay Walley, Richard Asprey and Chris Parry in one group and Dean Baker, Bob Hagemann and George Tuttle in the other. Weather was perfect and the two groups met for some cold refreshment at Harry’s on the Loop in Willow City. From Harry’s the group rode together to Luckenbach encountering a little rain on the way. They stayed at the Peach Tree Inn in Fredericksburg Tuesday night and rode to Rocksprings via the twisted sisters in mostly drizzle on Wednesday. Dean’s schedule necessitated a ride back home Thursday on his VFR while the rest rode to the D’Rose Inn in Leakey. It drizzled all day Wednesday and rained all day Thursday.

Officially the Spring Hill Country Ride started on Thursday, 15 April. This was the NTNOA's sixth consecutive Spring Hill Country Ride.  This year’s players were Richard Asprey, Randy Bauer, Dennis Brewster, Jim French, Bob Hagemann, Jan Hergert, Bruce Jones, Chris Parry, Eddie and Mike Poteet, Reid Schulze, Bob Speer, Dennis Tackett, George Tuttle, Mike Vance, and Clay Walley.

Bruce Jones, a good friend of Richard’s and Bob Speer drove Bob’s large trailer down with Richard’s Atlas, Clay’s and Chris’ T-140s and Bob’s R1200GS inside. Dennis Tackett trailered down with his blue Tiger and T-140. Randy Bauer and Jan Hergert trailered down together. They both had modern T-100 Bonnevilles and Randy also brought his ’71 Bonnie. Eddie and Mike Poteet trailered down together with both of Mike’s beautiful Bonnevilles, one a Café style T-140. Dennis Brewster, their friend from Lubbock brought his ’73 Hurricane in the back of his pickup for a rematch with Clay’s T-140. This time it was fitted with other than the original tires. However, it was never unloaded due to the rain. Reid Schulze without any rain gear rode his Honda CBX down and was completely soaked upon arrival. Jim French brought his beautiful red Interstate down in the back of his pickup but he also never got to ride it due to the rain. Mike Vance rode his FJR down and rode back home on Saturday after riding to the Lone Star Museum.

Chris held an Executive Meeting Saturday morning. The main points were that we would like to have a fourth membership category like that of the AMA for anyone who has been a member for 25 years called "Life Time Member." The other main point was that Phil Dansby was nominated and unanimously approved as an Honorary Member.

It rained most of Friday and Saturday morning but Saturday afternoon was beautiful. Everyone took advantage and rode the many awesome roads and the twisted sisters again and again along with a stop at the Lone Star Museum and Tarpley, TX for some refreshments.

Everyone packed up and departed for home on Sunday. As luck would have it more rain was encountered during the ride home starting around Hico. All-in-all it was more of a beer fest than anything else. Although it was called the Capt. Commando Invitational – Unfortunately Phil Dansby wasn’t able to attend. We have already reserved the entire D’Rose Inn facility again for next year. Make your reservations now.

From: Chris Parry

Well our jaunt to the Texas Hill Country turned out to be very soggy indeed, with unprecedented weather meaning we had incessant rain every day except Tuesday on the ride down and Saturday. I simply don’t have gear that can withstand that kind of saturation, so I spent most of my time squelching….. most uncomfortable. My leathers can now stand up on their own….. and my previously pristine Tiger now looks like a London courier has been riding her in the winter months – so she will need a serious deep-clean.

The ride from Fredricksburg to Rocksprings on Wednesday was very wet in the morning, drier in the afternoon, and the rain set in again not long after reaching the hotel. Physically very tiring as we concentrated hard on not throwing the bikes down the road on the soaking twisties – Clay and I both had two wheel slides in the same spot which introduced severe pucker factor. Anyhow Thursday morning, we stared out the hotel windows hoping in vain for some dry periods but it wasn’t to be….. the ride to Leakey was as wet as it gets – but as least the D’Rose Inn had a spacious pavilion to store and cosset the bikes. It’s an excellent venue and we will return next year.

Friday was soggy again, so some folks headed to the Nimitz Museum by car, but we spotted a brief clear interval and so Clay, Reid and myself scooted over to the Lone Star Motorcycle Museum and chatted to Allan and Debbie Johncock – perhaps not surprisingly we were the only ones there. The ride back was wet but at least we’d set a fast pace and managed to shake off some cabin fever.

There were more compensations on Saturday – Bob and Bruce had kindly trailered our old bikes down there so, on what was our best day, we had a wonderful all day ride. It was cool, sunny and dry – except for the flooded river crossings where we forded water as deep as six inches – lots of steam and splashing. The highlight was a marvelous dice between three Bonnevilles on 337. Dennis’ 77, Clay’s ’76 and my ’79 made for an aural delight as we roared up and around the hill passes. Given that Dennis and Clay are both ex-racers and were in no mood to take it easy, I was feeling very pleased to have kept up with them. The Bonnie is a genuine treat, so light and flickable that you can dig her deep into a corner with absolute confidence, and rely on oodles of torque to pull you out – she was made for roads like this, as close to perfection as one could wish for.

After the day’s riding we raced home to steaks and we managed to get all three bikes over the ton for about five miles! Fabulous. The grins on the faces when the helmets came off said it all.
The Texas wildflower show was as good as I have ever seen, great carpets of red, orange, blue, yellow, and white. Something to do with a long drought followed by steady, plentiful rain, I was told. I would have taken more pics but it’s hard to hold a camera and steer at a ton-twenty – heh-heh. In the end, we managed to have a great time despite the weather; we boosted Shiner sales by a good percentage, ate great chicken-fried steak, told some good stories (Bob’s Peruvian monkey story has now passed into legend) and some downright lies. Can’t ask for anything more…. except sunshine next year.
Chris Parry's photos can be seen by clicking here


From: Reid A. Schulze

The much-awaited hill country ride arrived with the foreboding threat of a major rain event pretty much centered on San Antonio, so my girlfriend recommended that I at least bag my luggage in plastic, which turned out to be a splendid idea. My selected route to Leakey was basically 377S all the way to Junction, then 83S to Leakey.

As I passed just South of Stephenville, the darkening skies finally began a steady light drizzle that rapidly gathered into considerable puddles and rut-rivers. However, since I was past the p.o.n.r., I decided to press on. The CBX had a history of ignition woes when gotten wet, so the joy of the ride was tempered by the worry of not only traction, et al, but loss of power at an inopportune time.

As I left my last fuel stop in London, the rain shifted to a steady pelting onslaught, making a lead-shot clatter as it hit my shield and rapidly soaking bomber jacket. However, the trusty CBX only missed occasionally, and rewarded me with a brief naughty blast on the 80 MPH section of I-10 that my route took. As I turned South on 83 the beauty of the countryside was almost beyond words. In spite of the steady downpour it was great to be riding, as I found that magic zone when its just you and your machine, almost as a single unit. My spirits lifted even more as I saw the sign that said only 29 more miles to my destination. Soon I was going through Leakey trying to read the signs through the rain-spotted bubble shield, and finally saw the D'Rose and turned in.

My rain soaked brain saw a bike and a porch and I almost involuntarily headed for it, which gave my fellow riders a chuckle. After a change into dry clothes and a Shiner or two I was thinking of when we could strike out into the hinterlands.

Finally on Fri. we (Clay and Chris) were able to take 337 to the Museum. These two gentlemen were very polite not to leave me too far behind as I explored the surprisingly nimble handling of my CBX. On the trip back, some rather remarkable velocities were attained on the straightaways.

On Saturday my comrades rode the Bonnevilles on a spirited circuit through rain-swollen territory and we all marveled at the size and amount of trees and debris which was deposited at each river crossing. We also went part-way up 336, but Richard retired with a leaking headpipe on his Norton, and Chris, Randy and I reluctantly returned in the gathering twilight, knowing that we would have to head North on the morrow. All in all, a fabulous and safe ride was had by all.


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Revised: September 14, 2010.