View Full Version : 07-04-04 Historical Marker ride to Gilmer

The Big Spank Daddy
July 5th, 2004, 10:45 AM
Leaving my house at 6:00am, picking up any additional riders at the Wendy's on 242 and 45 at 7:00am. Heading out to Gilmer, TX 300 miles away. We will maintian a quick pace which will be within 10 to 15 of the posted speed. We will ride until we run out of fuel which will be about 150 miles. The stops will be brief and quick.

A stop for lunch will be short and sweet, 30 minutes or less. We will take a few back roads, but most will be a little more major. We are headed to Tarver's Ferry 15 miles north of Gilmer. Take our photo and head home. The goal is to be back home between 6 and 7.

The Big Spank Daddy
July 5th, 2004, 01:18 PM
Gary met me at my house and we left right on time at 6:00am. We decided to slab it to the Wendy’s on 242 and 45. Had on Sheriff blow by us on Barker Cypress, saw another on 290, two more on the Beltway, a DPS pickup at 45 & 2920 and a Crown Vic at the Wendy’s at 242. As we turn off of 45 onto 242 I ask Gary if he needs fuel. I believe that I don’t thinking that I had just filled up at the house. This would come to haunt me later.

When we got to Wendy’s at 6:45, Gary and I fully expected to be on our own. No sooner than we made our breakfast order, in walks Jim Trimm. I look out and see not the ZZR, but the ZX6, this will haunt Jim later. As we’re slamming back our last cup of java, up pulls Scott Eichorn on his VFR800. Being the nice guys we are, we let Scott sit and enjoy Gary’s double order of hash browns (long story goes here). We saddle up and we’re off at 7:20.

As we head north on 45 to New Waverly we see that Texas law enforcement is definitely earning their O.T. today. Good thing I have my trusty bird dog working. It gave me plenty of warning of the eminent danger ahead and we passed through harm’s way with ease. Once off the main highways we were LEO free the rest of the way to Gilmer.

We motor along until I run out of fuel and go on reserve a few mile South of Pennington at Hwy 267 and 2761. No problem I think because I’ve been this route and know there is fuel at this intersection. We arrive and guess what, closed for the 4th! Crap, I have no choice but to continue. I’ve never run out of fuel before and can only guess how far I can go on reserve. The next town is Kennard about 11 miles away. As we roll into town things aren’t looking good. Both stations in town are closed. Again, no choice but to continue on to the next town, Ratcliff. Luckily, there was a station open and we all sigh in relief. We kick back with a short break; re-hydrate ourselves with a little water and Gatorade.

My directions to the Tarver’s Ferry marker indicate that it is 15 miles out of Gilmer on 155. As we cruise around the Gilmer loop about 11:30 the bank sign says 92. Exactly on cue, we come to a set of Historical Markers 15 miles out at Coffeeville. I turn and look at the rest of the group and indicate that these are not the markers. No on looks seems to happy. We take a little detour into Coffeeville, do some back road exploring and dirt riding. We stop at the Coffeeville Baptist Church to get a bit of inspiration. As we check out GPS and maps we see that Lake O’ the Pines is only a couple mile east. Putting it all into perspective that the lake is man made and not there over 100 years ago. We speculate that obviously a river or creek had to have once been there.

We get about a ¼ mile east of Hwy 259 at high noon and see the sign indicating a Historical marker. We gather around it like children around a Christmas tree. We get our pictures and get ready head back with grumblings about, when’s lunch, can be heard.

As we all saddle up to get going I hit the starter for the GPZ and grrr, grr, grr is all it does. For weeks it has had a bit of a problem if I let it sit for several days, but it has only been a little more than an hour since our last stop. Obviously that battery has seen its last day. Not to fear, I push it along and bump start it.

We get to Longview and go for the usual Texas original, Whataburger. By now it is down right HOT! Learning from our last long ride to Brady I go light and skip the fries and have just a burger and lots of tea. We all cool off and check in with our better halves. We check our schedule and looks like we’ll be back before 6:00pm according to our master plan. I’m a little confused on exactly where we are in town so I ask one of the Whataburger locals. The guy puts his finger on the map and says, “You are here…” With that bit of info, I plot a return course.

About 5 miles out I realize that something is not right, I get my reference marks and stop to check the map. Sure enough, our Whataburger local must have been lost himself. I readjust the master plan and get the wagons headed in the right direction.

When we get to Alto it is really HOT!!! Thank God for the underarmor. Sure I’m hot, but not uncomfortable and with about 400 miles behind us I still feel great and can go another 400 miles. When I stop to turn my map over I look over and see Jim off of the ZX6. He looks like he’s pretty uncomfortable. I ask if he wants to swap rides, but he is sort of uncommitted. We head south and on 1819 a bridge is out. We have to turn around and go about 30 miles out of our way. At that point I realize that Jim could use a break and decide to swap rides. After all, it’s not everyday you get to flog somebody else’s bike.

We get to the next fuel stop in Ratcliff, take a break, get fuel and watch Jim schmooze on a couple local hotties while I drool over the store clerk. It is very obvious that Jim is doing much better. I suggest that Gary ride the ZX6 and I ride the V-Strom while Jim stays on the GPZ. The suckers took the bait and I get flog my second bike of the day. For those of you Nay Sayers who scoff at the V-Strom need to ride one. Think about the riding position of a Goldwing, the handling of a sport bike and the grunt of a V-Twin cruiser. This thing even has a monster size Givi trunk on it.

As I head off down our next leg, I look into the mirror to see…nothing. What, the F&%$ I say to myself. As I glide through the next set of corners I glance down at the speedo and see that it indicates 95! Crap, that has to be wrong, I think. I slow down and check it out and indeed, it was correct. I slow to a crawl and let the group catch up. The V-Strom is very deceptive when it comes to speed. It is so light handling, comfortable and confidence inspiring. It just glides through the corners with little to no input on the bars. Holds it’s line and does not get upset with any pavement imperfections.

We pull into New Waverly for our last fuel stop. We get something to drink, get back on our own rides. I push start the GPZ for the last time today. Jim and Scott head south on 45 while Gary and I go west on 1375 to 149 and to the house. I get home right at 6:34 with 622 mile behind me.

I was actually ready to go another round. The GPZ was a little on the “I don’t think so” end of the spectrum. The rear brake quit working just as we left New Waverly so I decide to let her rest and do a bit of maintenance before our next trip. Looks like I’ll have to fix the valve stem on the Bandit today. Anyone want to help break down a tire…..

[ July 05, 2004, 14:20: Message edited by: Chris Donnelly ]

The Big Spank Daddy
July 5th, 2004, 06:35 PM
I was just going through my notes and receipts. My almost running out of fuel was pretty close. I believe the GPZ has a 5.1 gallon tank. My gas receipt shows 4.992 gallons purchased.

July 5th, 2004, 06:43 PM
Chris did a great job of leading the ride.

The UnderArmour shirt Chris sold me worked very well.

I love my VFR.

That is all...

Paul Sonderfan
July 6th, 2004, 07:25 AM
What happened to Jim? Knees? Back? OMS? (old man's syndrome) Sounds like ya'll had fun; possibly a little too much fun for me!

The Big Spank Daddy
July 6th, 2004, 08:43 PM
What happened to Jim? Knees? Back? OMS? (old man's syndrome) It was all of the above. :eek:

However, you left out ZX6 butt. Think about your ride on the ZX10 to the Hill Country which was a measly 300 miles. Jim did over 600 miles in 12 hours. Talk about a real iron butt. Next time I'll bet he rides the ZZR, huh Jim?

July 7th, 2004, 07:50 AM
Re: the GPZ fuel capacity.
With the bike upright and no sloshing/tilting, I have drained 5.4 gals from the petcock with it on the 'reserve' setting. You still had some more to go.

Are you using a battery tender / other battery charger? Helps lots. That's only the 2nd battery in there now and it was put in about 5-6 months before you bought it. Wonder what gives?

Oh, BTW, don't you think you should be a little more careful in giving away the marker's location? Not everyone has been to them that is planning on it, and part of the contest is -finding- the rascals (as you learned).