Thursday, November 12, 2009


I've spent my life passing through Palestine, on the way to see relatives and good friends who lived in various locales like Tyler, Athens, Longview, Henderson, Tenaha, Carthage and lots of other places thereabouts. I've always thought the part on 79 from Buffalo to Palestine was such beautiful, hilly and pastoral country. Large ranches and farms fill the area. Of course, being the Fishing Musician that I am, I'd look at the idyllic private lakes and creeks that fill the landscape on that stretch of highway and wonder what kind of great farm pond/lake/tank fishing might lie in store for someone lucky enough to do some fishing in them. Some are quite large, and are literally like an attention magnet for people like me.

My good friend El Bar has moved up to a nice place in East Texas, and so I'll be visiting there lots from now on. There's a bunch of great smaller country roads up that way, full of large, old growth trees that overhang and form a canopy over the roadways. El Bar is a motorcyclist, and among his collection of fine rides is a simply awesome on/off road bike made by Aprilla. It's a huge 450, supercharged and kickass in every way. It's lightweight as hell and hauls ass and handles like a dream. Big money, as you might imagine, is what you'd pay for an Italian bike like this.

One of El Bar's favorite places to go riding in the winter is on various hilly and windy county roads that line the area around Palestine. He's been a rambling man on that Aprilla lately, putting several thousand miles on it in short order. Although he's got a high end Harley in his garage as well, he loves the Aprilla for it's ride over the often bumpy terrain of county roads.

He's got a secret motorcycle riding place, one I'd be whipped severely for if I gave away. Suffice it to say that it is within the Tyler-Longview-Palestine metroplex. It's a one way road that goes through hilly and winding territory in an isolated area with hardly anyone around, especially in fall and winter. Miles and miles of paved beauty, nearly every inch of sky blocked out by tall trees that canopy the road.

I didn't do any motorcycle riding this trip. I suppose I should get me a cycle license since he has those bikes and others in his collection and I really do want to give that Aprilla a spin, even though it makes me feel like a 12 year old on a too big Honda CR250 Elsinore. Once that electric start rips that engine to life, all sense goes out the window and there is an extreme desire to do some riding on that motorcycle.

I've owned several motorcycles in my lifetime, beginning at age 11 and continuing into young adulthood. I basically decided that street riding in Houston was way too dangerous after numerous friends died or were badly injured in wrecks that were mostly not their fault.

I started with an overpowered Indian 100 Enduro bike in 1971. That led to a less-powerful Honda XR-75, which was just an excellent motorcycle for a kid to have. Later in teen life, fishing adventures led my to buy a Honda Trail 70, a great bike with collapsable handlebars and an automatic transmission. It was the ultimate backwoods fishing machine for forays into our family East Texas place, with big wide tires adept at fording creeks and climbing weird terrain, it was sort of a forerunner to the modern ATV's.

Along the way, there was a used CR125 Elsinore that I lucked into and it was a great off road bike. It was a screamer and was a blast to ride.

SO if I get another bike, it'll be something I can trailer or just leave up at my friends place for riding with him. It'll be some sort of enduro bike, street legal with headlight and such but capable of some off roading. There's a lot of different bikes out there, and I'm slowly learning about them and look to test some out sometime soon. I don't really think I can afford an Aprilla, but I have no doubt there are some 125's and 250's that I can afford that I'd enjoy riding.

Any suggestions? It's been over 30 years since I looked at buying a cycle.

Mrs. Fishing Musician is not going to be entralled with this newly rekindled interest in motorcycles, as she has not been overly enamored with my thoughts about just how much our family needs a low milage late 90's Vette convertible to add to our fleet.

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