I am an ordinary guy who enjoys riding motorcycles. I love riding all makes and models. I love short rides, long rides, and multi-day road trips. I post reviews about motorcycle gear, motorcycles, roads, restaurants, sights, gadgets and more. The Motorcycle Facts,Trivia and History page has a lot of good info. Be safe and enjoy the ride, Oz.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Scooter Pete's - Tyler, TX

Tyler is located in the Pineywoods of East Texas and unless you ride the long slab named I-20 the roads to Tyler are lined with great scenery and dotted with nice curves.  The town has a lot of worthy ride destinations including the friendly motorcycle shop, Scooter Pete's.

Scooter Pete's has a sales department, a service department, accessories, a grill, and on selected days a seamstress with a good selection of patches.  Pete and Nisee, owners of the shop, have developed a reputation for fairness and integrity while building a great team of employees.  Hagar, a well known and respected mechanic, runs the high quality service department.  Once in the store Bubba can answer your questions and help you find what you need.
Hagar starting of the days events
On April 16, 2011 Scooter Pete's hosted the Spring Rally benefiting Wounded Hearts, a foundation that helps wounded soldiers.  The recipient for the one day event was Rob Dickey, a brave soldier and fellow rider who lost part of both his legs while serving in Afghanistan.  Through the efforts of the event Rob was presented with a 2006 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Classic at the end of the day.
 Scooter presenting the bike to Rob, Hagar looks on.
Nisee escorts Rob to the bike
The rally included the Moving Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, military vehicles, vendors, live bands, and a Bike Show.  Scooter Pete's also provided a bike washing team of ladies that detailed bikes using only Moto Oz detailing products with proceeds benefiting Wounded Hearts Rally.

The Legacy Vets M/C performed the moving POW/MIA Empty Chair Ceremony at the beginning of the rally.  This highly symbolic ceremony reminds us of the brave men and women that have still not been brought home.  This was my first time to see the ceremony and it was quite humbling.
 We are reminded that all soldiers have not made it home
The empty chair reminds us to never forget.
The National Anthem, Pledge of Allegiance, The Empty Chair Ceremony, a flyover, and laying of wreaths at the wall were all part of the opening ceremonies.  The rest of the day included the bike show, bike detailing, food, and fun.
Hagar introduces the Moto Oz detailing team to the bikers
 The Wall
 Too many names
 Equipment of the greatest and bravest armed forces in the world
 Forever free
 WW II bike and uniform.  This guy was awesome.
 The detailing team in action - hey that bike looks familiar.
 This softtail had a lot of custom work
 Another great paint job.
 Nice bike
A custom Valkyrie trike in the show
Scooter Pete's is a great shop with quality people who truly care about bikers and the biker community.  If you are out in the East Texas area do yourself a favor and stop by Scooter Pete's at 14685 Hwy. 155 South, Tyler, TX - 903-581-0810.  If it is near lunch time enjoy one of Scooter's cheeseburgers from the grill.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Will you participate?

I have seen this on Gary France's blog and one many other blogs.  I figure most bloggers connected to motorcycles have already seen it but, I thought I would share Gary's post here just to make sure word gets around.  Below is Gary's post from his blog.

Sounds like a neat idea and I know I will be participating.  Will you?
Now I have to come up with a good photo idea.  Suggestions? (Be nice)

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

ABCD - Will You Take Part?

Maybe you would like to join in with this.....

A Bloggers Centerline Day, or ABCD, will take place on Sunday 1st May 2011.

The plan is to inspire as many bloggers as possible to go outside and take a photograph of themselves on this day, wherever they are in the world. The photo can be creative, arty, contain more than one person, be in any type of location and can contain anything else you like. It must however contain the centerline of a road and at least part of you, the blogger.

There are 5 rules....

Rule 1 - the picture must be taken on 1st May 2011.

Rule 2 - the picture must be of yourself, and you must be a person that publishes a blog. You can include whatever else you like in the picture, including other people if you wish.

Rule 3 - the picture must include the centerline of a road.

Rule 4 – you should publish the picture on your blog on 1st May 2011, along with a few words about the picture and why you chose that location or pose.

Rule 5 - when you have posted the picture on your own blog, put a comment on http://garysusatour.blogspot.com/2011/04/abcd-will-you-take-part.html and include in that comment the address of your own blog post containing your own picture. 

Gary France will then pick his favourite photos and publish these as being the winners. There will be a prize of $100 awarded to the overall single winner, as chosen by Gary.

In order to get this event known as widely as possible, please copy and paste this posting onto your own blog, including the title. Please do that today!

As a reminder to yourself to take the photo and post it, put an entry into your diary for 1st May 2011.

Let’s see if we can get as any people to join in as possible.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

High Island - Lake Charles

When given the choice I would rather ride in the mountain than near the coast but, I have found the coast has it charm.  On a recent trip my brother-in-law and I headed for the Texas/Louisiana coast since it was still early Spring and we were looking for warm temperatures.

Early on the second day of the trip Jeff mentioned that he liked the ocean and beaches.  We decided to alter our route and add a few miles so we could visit the Texas Coast town of High Island before heading to Lake Charles, LA and some great Cajun cookin'.

We rode south on the straight and flat TX 124 (there is one high causeway bridge just north of High Island which gives a great view of the area and tempted me to roll on the throttle) to TX 87 and the Gulf Coast.  We parked and walked around the beach for a short time.  Because of past hurricanes TX 87 no longer connects High Island and Sabine so we had to ride TX 125 back north to Winnie.
The Gulf Coast at High Island
At Winnie we turned east on TX 73 heading to Port Arthur, TX.  At Port Arthur we jumped on TX 82/Martin Luther King Dr. and rode east.  We had to stop on the road prior to the Lake Sabine Causeway bridge because of construction.  We were on a steep incline but we could see the area and we watch a tugboat maneuvering a barge.
 The Lake Sabine Causeway
Barge full of cargo
The road continued along side the causeway.  We could see boats, barges, and refineries.  We crossed over the southern end of Sabine Lake entering Louisiana.  On the left side was Johnson's Bayou and on the right was the Gulf of Mexico.  There were still signs of the effects hurricane Rita.
Johnson's Bayou 
We spotted an alligator in the bayou.  We turned around but the gator would not resurface and we did not stick around too long.  I did take time to take some pictures.  It was a pretty day and there was very little traffic.  It was a peaceful area.
FJR waits while we are looking for gators.
We continued east looking for a good place to stop and check out this stretch of the beach.  Jeff chose a paved road that took us to a small "development" of beach homes.  The only other people we saw was an elderly couple sitting in lawn chairs on the beach.  We dismounted and walked out to the water.  
Gulf Coast near Holly Beach, LA
The beach was nice and clean.  Seashells were plentiful.  I have walked several beaches in Florida but I had never seen so many pretty seashells.  We gathered a few to take home. 
The beach was lined with seashells
 I found this big shell with over half of it buried under the sand. I was surprised when I pulled it up.
After a relaxing stroll down the beach gathering seashells we washed them up and continued east to Holly Beach where we turned north on LA 27.  We passed Mud Lake on our right followed by West Cove, Long Point Lake, Calcasieu Lake, Moss Lake.  On the left we rode by Brown's Lake and Black Lake. 
Riding through the Sabine National Wildlife Refuge
After 35 miles on LA 27 we arrived at our motel in Sulphur, LA.  It was a great day of riding and the stretch along the coast was very enjoyable.  If you get down that way make time to ride along the coast and enjoy the sea breeze and coastal scenery.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Love that Cajun Cookin'

My favorite type of food is Cajun with German a close second.  Both are rare treats for me which probably helps maintain their status as my favorites.  When out riding I search for opportunities to dine at local one of kind restaurants.  I love the experience of sampling the culinary efforts of chefs that do not have to follow the cooperate recipes sent from some 12 floor office.

On a recent 4 day extended weekend trip my brother-in-law and I headed towards southwest Louisiana, Lake Charles to be exact.  Weeks before our departure I began thinking about Cajun cookin' and was looking forward to finding a local eatery with a unique flair.  Of course Google provided some suggestions that I noted but, I like asking the locals for recommendations.

We checked into our hotel after a second great day of riding and good stroll on the beach of the Gulf Coast near Holly Beach, LA.  The local suggestion coincided with my research so we jumped on I-10 and rode to Steamboat Bills.  As we were pulling into the parking lot a trio of parking attendants directed us to a motorcycle parking area.  The parking attendants remained busy with a steady flow of customers.
Front entrance of the busy Steamboat Bill's.
We were greeted by a friendly lady with a thick Cajun accent.  She explained that we were to order and pay at the counter and then they would seat us and bring our order when it was ready.  I asked "What's the best thing on the menu?"  She gave me a quick lesson on the menu and what was popular.
Order and pay at the front counter before being seated.
Upon her recommendation I ordered a crawfish pistolette as an appetizer.  I chose the Sampler plate so that I could taste several different items.  My brother-in-law is not a big seafood eaters so he ordered the grilled chicken with red beans and rice.
 Grilled chicken and Red Beans and Rice
His salad and my pistolette arrived shortly.  The pistolette is a roll that is cut and filled with crawfish (or shrimp) etouffee'.  The roll was light and had a flaky crust.  The roll was one of the best rolls I have eaten.  The etouffee' had great flavor and just a little "heat".  The pistolette was a great treat.  I will order pistolettes in the future and not just one!
Crawfish Pistolette - a house speciality
The Sampler plate came loaded with fried shrimp, a piece of fried catfish, a stuffed crab, a stuffed shrimp, cole slaw, fries, and a roll.  I tried to limit my fried foods but I must admit the fried stuff at Steamboat Bill's was not oily and did not have a typical fried flavor.
The small sampler plate is loaded with plenty of great food.
The catfish was fresh, tasty, and flaky.  The stuffed crab was my least favorite item but it was good.  The shrimp seemed to have been caught that morning.  They were fresh and did not have the frozen then thawed texture that places inland have.  The best part was the stuffed shrimp.  The big shrimp was stuffed and then deep fried.  Not for sure what all was in the stuffing but it was great. I wished they would have given me more than one.

Overall I greatly enjoyed my meal.  The atmosphere is festive, the service friendly and quick, and the food top-notched.  If you are on I-10 and near Lake Charles stop by and check out Steamboat Bill's.  I really think you will be satisfied and pleased.