Byers Bicycle Bash
May 16, 09

Distance 53 miles
Temperature at Start 65 degrees F
North Wind 25 to 30 mph

What a trip, what a ride.

I left Friday morning from Texarkana after giving some blood for Lab work, headed for Byers, TX.
I took the north route, Hwy 82, which worked out fine, not much traffic and I didn't spot one officer of the highway the whole way out and back.
I arrived in Byers around 3pm and I was about the liveliest person in town. I didn't see a bike or a person that looked like they owned a bike, I was beginning to wonder, was I in the right town.
The stores were closed except one get and go type store, where I stopped and asked a young lady how to get to Katies Kids Kamp.
It's amazing, Byers is about the size of a dime and I'd think that anyone from Byers would know everyone and everywhere, not so. This young lady had to use her phone a friend option to get directions to KKK, she ended up sending me to a road that didn't exist, I gave up.

It was still relatively early so I thought I'd do a little looking around so I drove north toward Oklahoma, crossed the Red river and started looking for "Bills Catfish", suppossedly the best on the planet, according to Google earth, it no longer exists.

I decide to drive a little further north to Waurika, Ok, the only thing I found there was a truck stop with all the comforts of home, and that was it.

At this point I'm really getting concerned, I haven't seen a bike or anything that resembled a bike or anyone that looks like a bike rider.

I sit at the Truck stop for a minute and decide I'm tired of driving, so I return to Byers, still nothing happening, I decide to head to Wichita Falls and get a room.

In Wichita Falls I stop by the Bike shop and get me a couple of tubes and the folks there tell me the Byers ride is still on even tho thunderstorms are expected, one guy says he didn't enter because of the weather, I told them after driving 5 hrs, I'd ride around the parking lot a few times if nothing else but I was going to ride.

I start looking for a hotel, I spot one near my road to Byers, looks like a good budget option, I want give the name, to protect the guilty.

I walk into the office and a nice gentleman who looks like he may have got out of prison a couple of weeks ago, greets me, I will have to admit he did a good job and the 35 dollar price was right up my ally.

We went to look at the room, as soon as the door opens, I ask, do you have non smoking rooms, I allready knew the answer but had to ask, NO, ok, I'll take it.
I proceeded to bring everything of value into my room, and hoped my truck would still be there in the morning.

Little info note: when you pay 35 dollars or less for a hotel room it's best to use your sleeping bag.

I have to give credit where credit is due, the A/C worked great, and it had a good shower, that's about it.
Of course, the TV remote control only worked when it wanted to, don't bitch, remember it's only 35 dollars.

The remote reminds me of the time when Teresa and I stayed in a hotel and we noticed we had no remote for the TV, I told the Indian owner and he responded, "NO problem, TV no work", I don't think we'll ever forget that one.

I settle into my room, get me a bite to eat and watch the weather channel to see my fate, thunderstorms moving our way, I'm hoping they'll be thru here by ride time.
I talk to Teresa on the phone and tell her that things look shaky with my ride thru Byers and the info at the bike shop, but I'll let her know in the morning what's up.

That nice chilly A/C helped me to sleep in the next morning, Teresa woke me with a phone call, I looked out the window, it was wet but not raining, I had hope, I told Teresa I'd talk to her when I new something.
After talking to Teresa I went to the Hotel Office to get a cup of coffee, I enter and ask the guy working the desk, "do you think we're going to get any more rain?", he responds, "Who's Rainge?", I'm thinking I'm in trouble, but I respond, "Rain, R-A-i-N, do you think we'll get any more?" he responds, "Hell, I don't know,I don't watch that damn weather channel, it bores me to tears, I don't care if it rains or not", that did it for me, I got my coffee and silently slipped from the office, without another word.

I got my stuff together had a bite to eat and headed for Byers. Driving to Byers the weather didn't look real good, on and off sprinkles and North wind.
I was really surprised upon entering Byers, I was afraid I was going to be the only one there but as it turns out there are quite a few bikers, I'm thinking, things are finally looking up.
I get registered, get on my gear and head toward the start area, downtown, at this point it's a light sprinkle with a nice north wind.

I was really surprised at downtown Byers, what a transformation from the day before, there's people everywhere, where did they come from? and in this little Conservative West Tx town there's some good old Rock and Roll blasting on the Mega speakers, I'm ready to dance.
As we're lining up for the start I'm surprised by another unexpected event, a red white and blue med chopper hovering above the start line, interesting, I'm thinking we may need them for Hypothermia cases.
And then we're off and the rain begins to fall, not hard but pretty consistent.

As we leave town I hook up with two other riders who seem to be going about my speed, Richard and Jeff from Wichita Falls.
Jeff and I managed to stay together the whole ride, Richard dropped back after about 30 miles so he could have some time to his self.
One thing about riding in the rain, it encourages you to pull or be out front, due to all those rooster tails, gets nasty.
We were going to ride the 62 mile but we got lost and ended up doing 53 miles, my partners were pretty concerned, didn't bother me much I get lost all the time.

The main thing that bothered Jeff and me the most was wet feet, at the finish I drained about a cup of water out of my socks, thank God I had dry socks.

Another first for me was at one of the rest stops, as I got off my bike a nice young lady takes my bike, I'm wondering what's happening, she turns it around and says, "you'll be going this way", I say, "Thanks, you can lay that bike down if you like, she replies, "No that's ok, I'll hold it". One of those things that catches you off guard, didn't really know how to respond, but it was a nice gesture and a first after a few thousand rides.

The roads were some of the best I've ridden this year even tho they were wet, the real killer was the wind, at one point we turned dead into that 30 mph North wind, it wasn't fun.
No real hills some pretty good grades but nothing drastic, the biggest hill came about 3 miles from the finish, all of a sudden there it is, "Where did that come from?", was a standard reply, a pretty good hill, especially at that point of the ride.

At the end of the ride they had a hamburger feed, it was nice, to tell the truth it was just nice to get in out of the wind and rain.

Then I said my farewells to Jeff and Richard and I was on my way back to E TX, nothing like a 5hr car ride after a 4hr bike ride, I was glad to get home.

Everyone who rode this ride definitely loves to ride bicycles, with rain and a 30 mph N wind, you gotta love it, give everyone a merit badge!

Headed West

Further West

Entering Byers, TX the day before the ride

I'm beginning to wonder if there will be a ride here tomorrow

Headed to the ride on Saturday morning, looks threatening

Registration, a break in the rain


A gentleman was nice enough to point out the rain headed our way, you can see it in the distance

Headed to the start

Burly Tandem, didn't get photo of Supercharger

Gathering for the start

A first for me, a helicopter to start things off, life net, it was nice to know they were there

At the start, thru the riders you can see and old Chevelle SS, I had one

Jeff and crew

In out of the rain for a minute, couldn't stop to long it was cool and wet

This was a first, held my bike for me while I took a break and even pointed it in the right direction

Rest Stop somewhere in W TX, wet and cool

The Hamburger feed, Jeff, his wife and two daughters, Richard and his wife and others


Looking at this pic you wouldn't believe it rained for 50 of our 53 miles, no rain for the last 3 miles, a first for me, 50 continuous miles of rain

Headed East

Hope he made it to wherever he was headed, a really shaky rig

When I saw this, I thought, boy would it be fun to jump from that baby, the old skydiver coming out in me

The ride T-Shirt


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Page last updated, May 18th, 09