Fayetteville Ride — May 30, 2010
 

This day we took off for Fayetteville, 17 bikes on rural highways and back roads. And brother, were there some back roads!
 
The ride began at Denny's on US 290. Following a brief highway ride we turned onto some quiet country roads and found our way up to FM 1488. This road is a favorite of local bikers, with a good many high-speed curves. Our faster riders pulled ahead to enjoy it at speed. The only negative to this road is its accumulation of "tar snakes", but they are mild and have little effect on most bikes. We discovered that tar snakes aren't the only species on that road! A real snake, some six feet long, was sprawled completely across our lane as the ride leader passed by. As the next few riders passed the snake became increasingly annoyed, curling itself up as if to strike. Subsequent riders reported its head raised more than a foot off the ground, and two said it actually struck at them. No harm was done to anyone, but the riders at the rear reported the snake's demise. The group reassembled at Hempstead, stopping for a break and a discussion on herpetology.
 
We set out from Hempstead on an indirect route to Bellville. We turned off the main highway at Raccoon Bend, onto the first real back road. It was just a mile or so to link up with SH 331. But it was a rough one. It had deteriorated considerably since the last time our club rode it, several years ago. The smooth pavement of SH 331 was a welcome sight! We continued south, jogged on SH 36 and turned west onto a scenic road with gentle curves. Then came Mill Creek Road—one we will all remember. This winding country lane with a few low-water crossings was a pleasant ride 15 years ago. Recent reports indicated the crossings had been replaced by bridges and the road repaved. Well, the first part was correct. But repaved? Not in the last 100 years. This was six miles of the roughest, bumpiest, most patched up, potholed, eroded excuse for a road you can imagine. And we endured all six miles of it—many of us on track-tuned bikes with stiff suspensions, one even on a Desmosedici. Needless to say, they really felt the road! It ended in Bellville, with huge sighs of relief from all. There we took our second stop and a break from midday heat.
 
Leaving Bellville we headed directly for Fayetteville and lunch, some 25 minutes away. Again part of the group pulled ahead to enjoy a faster pace, while the rest of us took time to enjoy the rolling hills and scenery. Once in Fayetteville we parked our bikes on the town square, all neatly lined up across from Orsak's Cafe. We strode over to the cafe and enjoyed a hearty lunch.
 
We saved the best part of the ride for after lunch. Leaving Fayetteville we hit the infamous and wonderfully twisted road to Frelsburg—the highlight of the day. Of course the faster riders pulled ahead. We met up with them in New Ulm, then rode onward through Sealy to arrive at "Racer's Road", the curvy and newly-resurfaced road from San Filipe to Pattison. Once again we split by pace, reassembling in Pattison. A short distance away was our final stop, Brookshire, for a cool-down and gas-up at a horrible Shell station. There we split into several smaller groups and high-tailed it back to Houston.
 
It was a great day to be out on our bikes, enjoyed by all. There were some lessons learned too: Remove Mill Creek Road and SH 331 connector from the SETexDOC route list(!!); substitute the truck stop in Brookshire for the Shell station; and snakes don't like bikes.

 
Photos by Carr S.

 
Getting ready for the ride.
 

 
Outside Denny's before the ride.
 

 
First stop, Hempstead.
 

 
A better view at Hempstead.
 

 
Cooling off in the shade, Hempstead.
 

 
Bellville, the second stop.
 

 
Bellville invaded by SETexDOC.
 

 
Another view at Bellville.
 

 
A good shot of the bikes on arrival in Fayetteville. Lunch and air conditioning just moments away!
 

 
On the square in Fayetteville.
 

 
A view from the rear, Fayetteville.
 

 
Orsak's Cafe in Fayetteville.
 

 
Lids, gear and hungry riders at Orasak's.
 

 
Looking down the lunch table.
 

 
Sharing some photos.
 

 
Enjoying a break from the heat.
 

 
Waiting for lunch to be served.
 

 
Orsak's quaint back dining room.
 

 
Conversation at the lunch table.
 

 
Smiling faces, having fun.
 

 
Looking out the window at our bikes.
 

 
 

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Updated May 30, 2010