February 22, 2018

Man up and ride a Harley

Confessions of a Born Again Biker - Harley Davidson Low Rider

I’m sitting in the Eagle Rider showroom in Dallas looking at Harley Davidson motocycles, while Kate, the Lead Rental Specialist (aka: The Boss) that I met a year ago (see Bucket List: Dallas Texas) is talking to four Australians.

The Aussie guys are finalising the rental of their Harley Davidsons, that they intend to, and I quote, “ride the wheels off”. I ask where this epic journey will take them and they run off a collection of destinations, citing Amarillo and Austin as two of the main places they want to visit.

I hope they have studied the map, as Amarillo is five hours north of Dallas and Austin three hours south. Riding the wheels off they will be, and as they are Aussies, they will be comfortable with long distances. Australia is after all, massive.

Kate sits down at her desk and is about to continue our conversation when two English chaps walk in. They have just completed a ride from Fort Lauderdale in Florida, through Mobile in Alabama, and New Orleans to Dallas Texas. Overall it has taken them ten days to cover the 1,500 miles if they include the two days they “lost” in New Orleans.

Kate checks them in and finishes up their paperwork. The grins on the faces of Stephen and Lawrence – they are from a small town near Newmarket in Suffolk – tells the whole story of the trip. They have had a fantastic time, riding Harleys across America.

With two more happy customers having finished their ride and with the Florida based Harleys parked in the workshop for a thorough check over, Kate sits down and gives me a (mock) stern look.

“Right, you. Time to man up and ride a Harley. Never mind your Kawasaki back in the UK. Pick a Harley and get out there”.

I’m smart enough to know when not to argue and wander through the showroom looking at the array of different Harleys I can choose from.

And don’t even think about the BMW GS”, comes to the reminder from Kate, as she kindly points me towards a Harley Davidson Low Rider. It is brand new and has just 173 miles on it. It does look rather stylish and fits me rather nicely when I try it for size.

Confessions of a Born Again Biker - The Alamo on a HarleyI wander around the other Harleys but keep coming back to the Low Rider.

A quick check of diaries and the Low Rider is booked for the weekend of the 28/29 October, with the free “rain option” included.

The rain option allows me to slide the booking to another weekend if the weather turns to custard. Perfect.

I text Brother Jose, a Harley loving Costarican who now lives in Dallas, and a trip to the Alamo in San Antonio is organised in less time than it takes to work out that this will involve a night stop.

The Alamo is not too far from the town of New Braunfels in Texas, where it is coming up on Oktoberfest season. What could possibly go wrong?

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