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Motorcycle Grand Tour of Texas - 2021 edition - Repository -


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If you did not know what to do, each year, you can run the Motorcycle Grand Tour of Texas; the tour runs from March 15th until November 15th of the current year.

There are 50 stops to make distributed inside the state, and you are considered a tour finisher if you complete at least 25 of them. Here's the interactive map of the stops!

Registration for 2021 closed on February 28th, opened to all bike brands.

I intend to make as many stops as possible, so far I made 3, the third completed today. I started with the easy ones, those located around Houston.

I will update the thread as I find it will incentivize me to do as many as I can. There are 50 stops total, and some events which allow you to meet other participants. there are 1250 participants to the 2021 tour; many of them from other states, not necessarily border either.

I am flag 1001 which is a number that fits perfectly as it can be read in both directions. The bikes' brands are not shown, so I do not know how many Moto Guzzi there are, out of them, if there are any V11. Another reason for this thread, if any reading it are doing the tour this year.

Anyway, here's my three stops so far. I will adding them as I go, to see if I can get as far as possible.

This is my 1st stop: Brenham.

2011-11 Brenham Fire Museum reflects

This is the second stop: Navasota

2021-27 Classic Rock Coffee Co. & Kitchen Navasota

This is my third stop: Anchor blown 1 mile away Texas City. I rode it in the full of typical Texas weather, around 100 degF feel, and I am able to confirm the V11 does not like it hot!!!

2021-03 Anchor blown 1 mile Texas City

 

Edited by p6x
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Fort Stockton. Oh, the memories.

The bathrooms in the Shell station are so bad I just use the dumpster out back. The receptionist at the LaQuinta was the sweetest girl you could imagine. She had two nice shiners. I keep my hand on my pistol. 

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Fourth stop, Stop #46: world largest Dime in a box, Dime Box, Texas.

In the suffocating heat, a quick back and forth to a little village named Dime Box, where you can find the world's largest Dime... or so it says.

The town feels really lonely... thank god, they had Moto Guzzi feed!

It was 1:12 when I reached it. The last part of the road from Burton was a lot of fun.

20210723 Stop 46 Dime Box Texas 2Largest Dime of the worldGuzzi in front of Dime Box General StoreM-G Feed Dime Box StoreDime Box M-G FeedDime Box deserted 2Dime Box deserted 1

 

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In case you would be tempted, The San Jacinto Museeum is a good destination for a V11.

There is a lot of historical facts which have to do with Texas. It is always nice to learn about our past, isn't it? I decided that it was 95F with a 108F real feel, and the Guzzi had rested long enough since the Dime Box trip.

This was a quick run, but nice nonetheless....

20210729 Stop 43 San Jacinto Monument

Guzzi at the San Jacinto Monument

 

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I think the MGNOC Texas rep did every Texas County Court House in a year's time oh her Guzzi 750 small block.  

I'll give you that the Texas court houses could make a coffee table photo book. 

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Wow that brings back memories.  Lived just across north side of San Jacinto river from the monument first 22 years of my life and now have same Lemans as yours but not near as primo condition.  As kids we had a mix of scooters and bikes from cushmans to cushman 3 wheel trucksters to hondas, bridgestones, suzukis and so on. We all rode together many times on the Lynchburg ferry from Highlands, TX across the river and to the monument and museum.  If the parents knew we would all have been in big trouble.

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6th Stop: Etape #7 Freeport Texas; "Mistery Boat".

This was interesting since I could test the cooling effect of a good shower followed by the sun...

20210730 Stop 7 Mystery Boart Freeport TX

 

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  • 1 month later...

7th Stop: Etape #38; La Salle Statue

From his real name, René Robert Cavelier, "Sieur de la Salle". A French guy who is recorded for is settlement in the Matagorda bay (where the statue is), laying the foundation for the United States' Texas claim.

This is what riding a Moto Guzzi leads to.... historical discovery. It is about a 300 miles ride, or 580 km for those of us using the metric system.

6 hours of Guzzi ride, with two stops at Wharton "Buc'ees. If you do not know Buc'ees is a Texas based chain. They have these Texas built gas stations with numerous pumps and all the services to go with them. That includes immaculate bathrooms. They have grown very popular and at migration times, no matter how large, they get so crowded that they need police to organize traffic...

According to the narrative written around the Statue, this guy was quite the deal:

BORN IN ROUEN, FRANCE, NOVEMBER 22, 1643. CAME TO CANADA IN 1666. FOUNDED A FIRST SETTLEMENT NEAR MONTREAL. LED SEVERAL EXPEDITIONS ON THE GREAT LAKES AND THE OHIO AND ILLINOIS RIVERS. COMPLETED THE EXPLORATION OF THE MISSISSIPPI 1682. ON JULY 24, 1684, LA SALLE SAILED FROM FRANCE TO ESTABLISH A COLONY AT THE MOUTH OF THE MISSISSIPPI. LANDED AT MATAGORDA BAY FEBRUARY 15, 1685. THERE ESTABLISHED FORT ST LOUIS WHILE ON HIS WAY TO CANADA. HE WAS MURDERED NEAR THE TRINITY RIVER MARCH 19, 1687.

A GENTLEMAN BUT NOT A COURTIER, A PROUD INDEPENDENT YET TIMID NATURE. AN EXPLORER OF BOLD VISION AND UNTIRING ENERGY.

LA SALLE'S COLONY ON MATAGORDA BAY GAVE THE UNITED STATES ITS FIRST CLAIM TO TEXAS AS A PART OF THE LOUISIANA PURCHASE

AMERICA OWES HIM AN ENDURING MEMORY FOR IN THIS MASCULINE MOURES SHE SEES THE PIONEER, WHO GUIDED HER TO THE POSSESSION OF HER RICHEST HERITAGE.

FRANCES PARK -

Indianola was devoid of any soul, I really enjoyed being surrounded by nothing but the windy breeze!

202109 Stop 38 La Salle Statue202109 Matagorda Bay

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Stop #8 to #14 of 50: The Frio Canyon run; étapes 10, 13, 14, 21, 23, 40, 50.

Summary:

717 miles (1154 km) run.

Starting on Friday 15th, 7:30, back on Saturday 16th, 16:00.

Highlights:

  • Getting acquainted with what the Moto Guzzi can do
  • Understanding the limits (mainly mine)
  • Riding in different weather conditions
  • The pro's and con's of minimalism packing
  • Meeting people

Lowlights:

  • Not enough time to really enjoy the tour stops

The Frio Canyon better known as the "Three Twisted Sisters":

These so-called sisters are Ranch Road 335, 336, 337. While my objective was to add some stops to the Motorcycle Grand Tour of Texas, checking the sisters was also on my list. I only got to ride on one, 337. But the experience was incredible. More on that later.

I set out early on Friday. I had planned that trip to begin on Thursday, but we had a full day of storm in H'town, and I did not want to ride under adverse conditions.

I made my first stop at Gonzales Texas; Tour Stop #50

Tour Stop 50 Gonzales Jai

I then proceeded to my second stop, Frio Canyon Motorcycle Stop at Leakey, Tx.

Approaching Concan Tx, I got surprised by an unexpected torrential rains thunderstorm. I was on 83, in the open, and I could do nothing but keep riding. Fortunately, I was behind a truck, and I only had to follow its lights from a safe distance.

The rain was so strong that I had zero visibility, and I got soaked wet in no time. In Concan, I stopped at a gas station to let the rain pass. I was literally dripping water. All my clothing was water logged.

The Guzzi did not mind at all the ride in the storm.

I finally made it to my destination, the Frio Canyon Motorcycle Stop on Ranch Road 337.

Tour Stop #23

Tour Stop 23 Frio Canyon MCS

During summer days, this spot is extremely popular.

However, I found the place completely deserted, if excepted for some locals. The Bent Rim Grill has tables outside and a very peaceful view.

The River Hills cabin where just right above the Motorcycle stop.

IGIW1293

As you saw on the time lapse, there was a lot of wind that Saturday morning, and the temperature had dropped from close to 80F (27+) to 50F (10+).

The cold air was unpleasant filtering through the forearm aeration of my Marsee jacket. But riding at sunrise was so beautiful that it did not matter long.

The 337 was very narrow, and there aren't any way to stop to take pictures. There were also plenty of bicycle riders, and you need to factor that in.

DSCF0711

Then I went on to make the required stops on my way back home:

Tour Stop #10 YO Ranch Hotel Kerrville

Tour stop 10 YO Ranch Hotel Kerrville

Tour Stop #40 Kerrville National Cemetery

Tour stop 40 Kerrville National Cemetery

Tour Stop #13 Javelina Harley Davidson Boerne;

Tour stop 13 Javelina Harley Davidson

Tour Stop #14 Alamo BMW Boerne

Tour stop 14 Alamo BMW

Tour Stop #21 Gruene Harley Davidson Gruene

Tour stop 21 Gruene Harley Davidson

 

Conclusion and lesson learned:

There was a lot of wind for the ride back home. It became very painful for the neck. Possibly because I lack the muscle mass. I could alleviate the problem by riding leaning on the tank, with the helmet right behind the fairing.

My rear end was sore, but the worse problem I had was the thighs for some strange reason. I do not know why.

Harley Davidson Javelina and Gruene were full of people gathering for a Saturday. This was quite incredible!!! Food truck, Music...

In comparison, the BMW dealer was completely deserted.

I am going back to Leakey, this is certain. And this time, I will stay long enough to ride the three twisted sisters multiple times, each direction.

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Checking off your "stops" list and having it just be a "thing" in such a captivating part of the country, is such a cool way to enjoy riding. I could live in Texas, and for a number of reasons. Thanks for sharing this

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You hit some great spots on a lightning tour to pick up stops in the tour!  So strange to see the Frío café empty!  It’s usually packed when I go thru.

 

A nice stop for your return trip is the Lone star motorcycle museum just south of Lost Maples state park near Vanderpool. 
 

Good riding!!

 

 

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On 10/21/2021 at 7:49 PM, footgoose said:

Checking off your "stops" list and having it just be a "thing" in such a captivating part of the country, is such a cool way to enjoy riding. I could live in Texas, and for a number of reasons. Thanks for sharing this

Texas is captivating, and very motorcycle friendly as long as you do not suffer from high heat and high humidity.

The fact that we are in November and we are still in the 80's degF is incredible.

Friday and Saturday 22/23 November, I went to Paris and did 8 stops. I will report below as it takes time to make the thread with the various photo and video upload.

 

 

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On 10/21/2021 at 9:41 PM, PJPR01 said:

You hit some great spots on a lightning tour to pick up stops in the tour!  So strange to see the Frío café empty!  It’s usually packed when I go thru.

 

A nice stop for your return trip is the Lone star motorcycle museum just south of Lost Maples state park near Vanderpool. 
 

Good riding!!

 

 

Indeed, I was expecting a busy place, and it was almost deserted. Possibly because not in season? there were a few barflies, but those were locals, I could tell.

The other cabins where I stayed for the night were occupied by people on trikes. When I ran the RR337, albeit sunset and sunrise when the light is the best for photography, I only saw two groups of HD riders. Nobody else. 

But I can imagine what it is like in summer. Besides, the Frio river offers a lot of aquatic activities.

I am planning to go back there off season. I want to ride the twisted sisters fully, and multiple times, to further master the Le Mans. At the moment, I am trying to complete the Grand Tour of Texas.

I am not making the best of the tour stops, because I am always on the clock. I am missing a lot as I ride most of the time.

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Stop #15 to #24 of 50; Houston to Paris. Etapes 4, 16, 17, 20, 24, 25, 34, 35, 36.

Summary:

Started Friday 22nd Oct 21 at 09:10; Back home on Saturday at about 17:00. 1138 km for you the metric guys.

Gladewater had three étapes, but I only did one. I took a picture of 17 (Derrick) without my bike in it;the rules allow for 10% of the pics without the bike. But the stop 18, Gladwater Museum I missed completely.

Entirely my fault, as the organization stated the map may not be accurate, and riders should only use the stop list.

Highlights:

  • Spent the night in Paris in the city center for $55!!!! this is the cheapest night in Paris ever...
  • Many admirers of the Moto Guzzi Le Mans, especially at the King's Inn Motel!
  • Departing from Paris early in the morning, I had the road for myself.

Lowlights:

  • Missed two stops in Gladwater;
  • Arrived in Paris after both South Main Iron and Paris Harley Davidson were closed.
  • Lots of wind on the way back, it seems my neck resisted better...

 

Houston Paris Houston Run #2

Etape 25: Visitor Center in Palestine;

Palestine used to be a major train hub; you can see vestiges of its glorious past all over town. There is still plenty to do if you like trains and history.

More to come at my next stop and in the video.

Palestine Visitor CenterPalestine Visitor Center afarPalestine Visitor Center side

Etape 24: Train depot at Rusk;

They have a tourist train that runs from Palestine. I caught it on the video.

Train Depot at Rusk

Etape 16 and 17 at Gladewater:

This is where I messed up. I only took a picture of 16, got an excerpt from the video for 17, and completely omitted 18.

Gladewater seemed to be a nice place, I took a break from the ride and explored a little bit.

Stop 16 Elvis Cutout on antique mall GladewaterStop 17 Gladewater Derrick no MG 1001

Etape 20; South Dairy Museum Sulphur Springs.

Another missed opportunity, I arrived at the Museum at the time they were closing. There was a football game taking place close by, and the place was absolutely swarming. You cannot miss the entrance of the Museum, as you can see in the pic. I am kind of sore to have not been able to visit as I am certain there were plenty to learn.

Sulphur Springs, what an interesting name for a city...

Stop 20 Giant cows South Dairy MuseumSouthWest Dairy Museum

Etapes 34, 35, 36; Paris Texas.

Everything was closed down when I got there. Fortunately, I met a lot of interesting people at the Motel where I stayed for the night. The cheapest I could find. 50 dollars + taxes. As I parked the Guzzi to get to the reception, people started to come out of their rooms, and congregated around the bike expressing awe.

One guy went back in his room and came back with some beers, and we sat and spoke about Guzzi for a long time. Obviously a guy born in Paris and riding a Guzzi was intriguing. Lots of interesting stories in an unsuspecting place.

In the wee hours of the morning, as I was doing my pre-departure checks, I found the Guzzi low on oil. I spent some time perusing the forum for advice on oil, and ended up purchasing a quart of Castrol Power! at O"Reilly.

Stop 34 Paris Harley DavidsonStop 35 South Main Iron ParisStop 36 Eiffel Tower ParisStop 36 Eiffel Tower Paris

Etape 4; Texas Sidecar Company.

This is completely out of anywhere, in a little village named Donnie. I did it on my way back from Paris. The sole stop of the way. The place seemed totally abandoned.

Stop 4 Texas Sidecar Company

I shall see you on my nest Motorcycle Grand Tour of Texas 2021 trip.

I am cutting it close, the hard stop is November 15th. Fortunately, you only need to have done 25 stops to be declared a tour finisher. But I had more ambition when I signed up.

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