A girl, a bike, and an open road

Part 2.. in which I have a chat with a sheriff and eat too much BBQ.

16) RWE08 - Texana Raceway Park - Edna, TX - 498 pts

Finally, a long stretch without bonuses.. I missed a turn or two, but settled into a nice pace across south Texas. It was fiercely windy at this stop, but I don’t really remember anything else about it.. heck, even looking at Google Street View, I only vaguely recognize the place… figures, given how many stops I made on this rally, there’s a few that fade away from memory..

Fuel credits available: 737
Points scored: 5604
This segment: 89 miles, 1h36m
Total: 411 miles, 9h12m
Time Remaining: 26h48m

17) PITA2 - Texaco - Ander, TX - 1611 pts (fuel)

What a lovely spot! Wandering around the green Texas countryside, past ranches of cattle and exotic game animals, lovely fields of bluebells and dandelions.. a fine Texan spring.

Fuel credits available: 2348
Points scored: 5604
This segment: 55 miles, 1h07m
Total: 466 miles, 10h19m
Time Remaining: 25h41m

18) SWG14 - Shady Oaks Speedway - Goliad, TX - 500 pts

One of my favorite stops on the rally, this track has been closed for 5 years, maintained by the owners in hopes that someone can reopen it. A quiet country lane, lined with oaks.. lovely spot.

Fuel credits available: 1848
Points scored: 6104
This segment: 14 miles, 0h18m
Total: 480 miles, 10h37m
Time Remaining: 25h23m

19) PITB5 - Abandoned Station - Beeville, TX - 785 pts (fuel)

Beeville is a lovely little town, and the city hall’s dome and clock, topped with a golden statue, stood out as memorable. The abandoned gas station looked bombed out and squatted in, inviting me to stick my head in and see how time and disused had decayed it.. but it still stands, and in a decent enough state… if it were in the PNW, I’m sure someone would snap it up and turn it into a drive-though coffee shed with some gas-related pun name.

Fuel credits available: 2633
Points scored: 6104
This segment: 35 miles, 0h41m
Total: 515 miles, 11h18m
Time Remaining: 24h32m

20) SWP27 - I-37 Speedway Victory Lane - Pleasanton, TX - 368 pts

The heat of the day is cooling, and I’ve got time to enjoy the ride. I enjoy a snack at this stop, a quiet and lonely bit of ground. I started to feel pretty good about the ride, despite knowing I was going at a pretty leisurely pace, and started thinking about how I wanted to handle dinner and my rest bonus…

Fuel credits available: 2265
Points scored: 6472
This segment: 64 miles, 0h58m
Total: 579 miles, 12h16m
Time Remaining: 23h44m

21) PITS2 - Humble Oils - San Antonio, TX - 683 pts (fuel)

Refreshed and thinking ahead to dinner, I cruised on in to San Antonio. During last year’s Heart of Texas I ended up stopping inside city limits 2 or 3 times, and I’ve passed through on my I-10 runs enough that I almost have a soft spot in my heart for the place.

The homeless guys camped out around this location seemed a bit alarmed by my rolling up and taking photos; I kept my stop here as quick and business-like as I could, not wanting to make their day any harder than it already is.

What a neat station, though. The tiling alone made me wonder about how gas stations once held a place of pride for communities, and how the rise of the interstate highway system “ruined” them, either by taking away their business or by making automobile travel so routine and boring that gas stations have to be generic these days. Ah, consumerism…

Fuel credits available: 2948
Points scored: 6472
This segment: 41 miles, 0h48m
Total: 620 miles, 13h04m
Time Remaining: 22h56m

22) PITS1 - Hi-Slope Ice - San Antonio, TX - 686 pts (fuel)

A quick shuffle through side-streets, and I’m there. This stop was positively one of the most photogenic, and I took a ton of photos, again perplexing a guy sitting on a stoop across the street. The neighborhood was, again, not the safest - broken auto and pane glass in the street - so I got going in pretty short order.

Fuel credits available: 3634
Points scored: 6472
This segment: 6 miles, 0h14m
Total: 626 miles, 13h18m
Time Remaining: 22h42m

23) RWS18 - Alamo City Motorplex - Marion, TX - 385 pts

A downright tranquil spot, surrounded by farm fields and plenty of green trees. I stopped in the shade for a bit, knowing I had just one more stop in New Braunfels before dinner and a rest..

Fuel credits available: 3249
Points scored: 6857
This segment: 22 miles, 0h27m
Total: 648 miles, 13h45m
Time Remaining: 22h15m

24) KTN02 - Hill Country Kart Club - New Braunfels, TX - 264 pts

Dark clouds were starting to stack up to the west, which I noticed while I sat waiting for yet another freight train to pass. I was getting hot and irritated, wiggling through country lanes, and didn’t really give it much thought when I fell in behind an Amazon delivery van, and together we buzzed along some backroads. That is, I didn’t think much, until I had the thought “Huh.. this would be a perfect spot to shoot radar..” and yup, there he was.

I immediately pulled over the second I saw him pull out; I was already downshifting and putting a foot down when he flipped on his lights. “Aw hell” I thought, knowing exactly how fast I was going… Off with the helmet and the ear buds! Smile pretty! No sudden moves! Act nervously innocent!

“Why did you stop?! I’ve been waiting here all week to catch that Amazon driver! We’ve had no end of reports about that guy…” and then he launched into explaining the finer points of Texas speeding laws, and how he could arrest me and impound my bike on the spot!

Friends, I do not want to go to prison.

Luckily for me, my winning smile, my “aw shucks” attitude, or telling the truth about being at the end of a long day, close to my hotel in New Braunsfels, and worried about the dark clouds had me lose track of my speed.. well, he took pity on me. Turns out he’s a moto jock for the county, so after a very stern talking to, we ended up chatting about bikes for 20 minutes, and he let me go with a warning.

Whew. Thank you, officer.

The next stop was a kart track that seems mostly filled with 12-14 year olds, younger kids running to-and-fro. I pulled up, did my thing, and went to find food and rest, like I promised the sheriff.

Fuel credits available: 2985
Points scored: 7121
This segment: 16 miles, 0h41m
Total: 664 miles, 14h26m
Time Remaining: 21h34m

25) XEAT1 - Rudy’s - New Braunfels, TX

The MEAL Bonus is an important part of the MEAL/REST combination. A successful MEAL Bonus will help exponentially increase the value of your REST Bonus. You must stop for a MEAL break for 45 minutes. You must obtain a RECEIPT (see Rules for Proper Receipt) showing food was purchased. The time on the receipt must be between your MEAL Start and MEAL End times. You must remain in one place for the duration of the break.

This is one of the many things I love about Paul’s rallies; he really, honestly, truly wants you off the bike, eating, staying safe and healthy.. and to prove it, he gives you so many points for doing so that it is practically mandatory.

Another thing to understand about Paul is that he really, really hates hotels. I suspect he is heavily involved in some kind of anti-hotel investment scheme.. or that a hotel killed his Pa. There’s no other explanation for his enthusiastically negative view on the use of hotel receipts of any kind as proof of being in a certain place at a certain time – what we refer to as a “dated business receipt”. Typically we use what comes out of the gas pump, but ATM balance checks are also a handy source of these.. or really any business where a computer spits out a receipt with an address and a date and time printed on it… unless it’s from a hotel. Those are RIGHT OUT!

Look, I’m a prankster - mischievous and playful, and I think that people find that quality endearing.. so when Paul went off about “NO hotel receipts, and NO handwritten notes from your mother, or anyone’s mother.. unless it’s MY mother, and good luck with that!” you know I had to tweak him just a tiny bit. Just for fun.. because that’s what friends do!

So Nancy, who was on staff and one of the scorers, got in touch with Paul’s mom and got me a handwritten note to “document” that I was, in fact, off my bike, eating for 45 minutes.

Now, like all good jokes, I expected this one to be discovered almost immediately, so I also took a real documentation photo, just in case.. but it was accepted!

Proof I actually _did_ get off the bike and eat 🍖

Fuel credits available: 2985
Points scored: 7121
This segment: 6 miles, 1h02m
Total: 669 miles, 15h28m
Time Remaining: 20h32m

26) XSLP - Rudy’s - New Braunfels, TX

I checked in after a requisite 5-10 minutes of conversation with the desk clerk. “Yes, that’s my bike. Yes, I’m a single lady. Yes, I’m from Seattle. Yes, I rode here all that way. Yes, it’s very far.” I really just wanted to go to sleep, but “ambassador for the sport” and all that…

I dropped off to sleep after chatting with folks back at HQ. Apparently my “note from mom” made Facebook, and we decided that we really, really needed to come clean before it went any further. A good prank tells someone that you like them and they’re a friend – it doesn’t set them up for embarrassment (and you never, ever pull a prank unless you’re absolutely sure that the person will laugh with you, AND you can take whatever they’re gonna throw back at you!)

I got 6 hours of sleep, and at the 8 hour mark was putting gas into the tank. Of course, I got the dreaded “see clerk for receipt” so in I went.. and coffee was calling, so I sipped that while doing paperwork, and got out of there only 10 minutes late.

Fuel credits available: 2985
Points scored: 7121
This segment: 3 miles, 8h10m
Total: 672 miles, 23h38m
Time Remaining: 12h22m

Onward to Part 3 ➡️

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