No Quiet Streets Under Our Feets

It’s kind of quiet now, but all around town earlier today, and for the rest of this weekend, there’s a low, healthy, beautiful rumble that penetrates the air, the walls, the windows, and the ground beneath our feet. The [Republic of Texas Bike Rally] has come to town.

And oh. My. God.

Imagine this, if you will: 30- to 40-THOUSAND bikers descend on Austin for a weekend of revelry, relaxation, and showing off their street-pounding machines. Tonight was the first night of the event.

I had made a plan to go down there tonight to check it all out, and I grabbed whoever I could to go along. Managed to get my friends Andrew and Heather to join me (no arm-twisting necessary). We left from Mojo’s, found a decent place to park Heather’s car, and walked into the area to the throng before us.

Roughly 20 thousand bikers, maybe more, made their appearance downtown. Sixth street, all its side streets, and even several blocks of Congress Avenue (a major street) were shut down, blocked-off, and converted into a bike parking lot and showroom. In some places parking was stacked two bikes deep, in most 3 or 4-deep, with some of the finest motorbikes I’ve ever seen. Hell, Congress had bikes parked 3-deep on the sides and 4-deep in the center of the street. A sea, no, an ocean of chrome, steel, aluminum, rubber, lights, and airbrushing. And it was a beautiful thing.

Most of the bikes were Harleys, of course, but every other manufacturer was there. Saw some custom bikes, some matching sets, some with beautiful airbrushing, a lot with top-notch flame-jobs, quite a few with colored lights around the engine compartment, and quite a few with an American theme. What impressed me most, though, and gave me most cause to stop in the throng, and stare gapejawed, were the impressive array of choppers – complete custom jobs with long forks and seats no more than two feet off the ground. Nothing says “Style, class, and power” better than that. Wow.

I managed to snap a lot of film (mostly of the bikes, heh). Couldn’t exactly get far enough away from a bike to take a decent full-bike picture on most of the shots, but I got what I could. When this roll is finished, I’ll be posting those pics here. Hopefully soon.

Heh, and the bikes weren’t the only thing worth shooting. Hoo boy. I think I got a couple of pics of some real bad-ass honies. Make a man cry. The crowd: wow. Couldn’t meet a nicer bunch of beerdrinkers and hellraisers. They come from all over the state and country, so you definitely got your mix, but for once I didn’t see a single fight or argument, which is an accomplishment considering it’s on Sixth Street. Most everyone got along. Lotta cruisin’, lotta boozin’ (yeah, saw a lot of open containers and bottles — illegal in this town, but whatever), lotta “floozin'” – antics on-par with a typical Mardi Gras event. Later on in the evening, as we were making our way back to the car, we stopped at this crowd that was amassing in front of a bar where these four mighty-fine girls were dancing on top of the bar and they were, um, gettin’ real busy. Started daring each other, one-upping each other with their antics as they played to the crowd inside the bar, from dancing really close, to wiggling and gyrating, to bending over, to dropping their pants to show their thongs (or lack thereof), to flashing the crowd. All kinds of crazy shit like that was going on. And damn were we entertained.

Antics. God I love this town.

So, I finally went out on a friday night and had a good time. Saw parts of downtown I’ve not seen without looking through my windshield. Andrew and Heather both appeared to be glad that they went; we had a really good night. And the good part is that this weekend’s not over yet. Well hot-damn.

“Ride it like you stole it,” y’all!

Voice from the past

Tonight I got an IM from someone I haven’t chatted with in three years. It’s this girl I knew from back in Texarkana. Met her while I was working at Baymont Inn and Suites, when she was a young, spunky 17-year-old. Heh.

There was this one night she came to visit me while I was at work. Kept me entertained and awake during my night-shift drudgery. She hung out by the front desk while we chatted. Managed to keep some of the guests chatting in the nearby lobby entertained as well. Was an interesting night.

That was the last time I remember seeing her, even though we IM’d and chatted for a few more weeks before contact withered away. Fell silent for almost three years until she messaged me tonight. Oh how I do love the occasional shot of randomness in my still bathtub water of a life.

Found out she lives just 3 1/2 hours away from me. Living near Houston. She even suggested I take a road trip some time. Heh. Sounds interesting enough. Y’know?

Hey, it couldn’t hurt to do something with my time, right?


Deh goes da neighbahoo’

The greatest things about having immigrant hispanic neighbors:

  • Never having the same parking space twice
  • Never a quiet moment (except on nights before the workday)
  • The occasional birthday party underneath my window, complete with piñatas (even more entertaining if only just to see if the kids will accidentally whack each other in the head or their fathers in the nuts)
  • Even more frequent barbecues, complete with rising smoke and with blaring, distorted conjunto playing from a car with raised trunk lid, underneath said window
  • Leering glares as I cross the parking lot to my car to leave the noise
  • The constant and interesting stream of fresh young cholos moving in with their scary driving habits
  • Having kids playing near, around, and on my car with nary a chastisement from their parents
  • The random and sometimes frequent chirping of hypersensitive car alarms going off when the dumpster gets emptied or the kids play too close to those cars
  • A constant flux of roofing and carpentry detritus either scattered across the parking lot or piled dangerously near the dumpster
  • The here-and-there appearance of an empty cerveza bottle, a pair of children’s shoes, or a metal ladder
  • The wafting scent of boiled chicken blowing around when I get home from work
  • The loud talking, frequent yelling, and occasional shrieking of young and old without being able to comprehend a single word
  • And, finally, the dead car, with borrowed sandbags, stolen from a nearby road construction site, in front of the tires, rotting in one of the few prime parking spaces.

Ah, never a dull moment. God bless ’em.

¡Vaya con Diabolo!


Sitting at home at midnight on a Friday night because of a stomach that doesn’t know if it’s sick, nauseous, or plain ol’ upset really, really sucks. I should be out there somewhere, not sitting at my desk at home.

I was doing great all day, and then when I went out to dinner after work it all went downhill from there. Almost had the “stomach squeeze” right there while I was eating. Had to abbreviate my meal. So much for going home, cleaning up, and heading out as soon as I had planned. Hung around the house until 10, then headed out, but once I got settled in at Mojo’s and got to working on the laptop, the sqeeze hit again. Now, four miles away and after a trip to Randall’s for Emetrol, antacids, ginger ale and some ground ginger, I’m at home sitting in my boxers under the coolness of my A/C.

And now, even though I’m no longer sweating bawls, my stomach’s still edgy. And I’m snoozy, to boot. I know my roomate was complaining last night of some stomach twinges, but I guessed it was one of those “bugs” that always float around. I was wondering what it was that we’ve shared in the last week; wasn’t food, dishes, utensils, toothbrushes, barfbags, nothing. Couldn’t think of anything until I remembered, “Aw, shit — we’ve both used the phone!” Shit. Ah well. Wouldn’t be the first time I’ve caught something from a fuckin’ phone.

Yep, this is shaping up to be one letdown of a weekend.