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RICH MAN’S ZOO



After I checked the forecast, I left Austin for Reimer’s Ranch on Hamilton Pool Rd. 79 degrees to a Texan? Like strolling around Venice with a rich man’s cane. Makes me want to put on a beret and smoke pipe tobacco this cool air’s so nice on the skin.


Getting off of RR 12 and onto Hamilton Rd, I noticed vapor pulsating over the road like dry ice, and finally evaporating. It had just rained. We seldom get these rain showers and boy was it nice. Except my back tire likes to wind up and fishtail like a drag slick over these wet roads. Switched traction control to Level 3 and headed further down to see if the Pedernales River was whitewater with all the rain we’ve gotten.


Not so fast. As I started down the steep grade, my back tire swayed like a bobsled and I repented immediately. I stopped, turned, and backed up over and over again until I was facing the other direction. I looked like Benny Hill in a Mini trying to parallel park...


There’s a spot down there anyways that's notorious for swallowing up motorcycles. There was one week this Spring where two guys had to be airlifted out.


I wasn't gonna risk it. Felt like a weenie, but I'm not trying to make the bobsled team. I turned around and stopped on the side of the road for some pictures, but I had startled the deer who leapt back into the cover of the juniper trees...


Heading back to Austin was a delight. I rode at a slow speed, for once, and enjoyed listening to my tires unzip the puddles of water on the vacant road.


When I got to Fitzhugh Rd, I was back in business. I switched off traction control and tucked myself inside the air pocket and had a little fun with the centrifugal. I immediately remembered that happy deer like to play tag-you're-it, so I slowed my happy ass down. Just as I let off the throttle, not an 1/8 of a mile before Hwy 290, like two dinosaurs stepping out of the trees, I see two large camels stretch out their necks over a ranch fence, in a grove of Live Oaks. They rolled around their jaws, chewing leaves. Their appearance was so bizarre, I forgot I was on a motorbike. I couldn't believe my eyes. Then I remembered. I’m in Austin, in Neverland, where the wealthy buy exotic animals and toys for their viewing pleasure, and curious motorcyclists just ride on by.



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