Sunshine State of Mind
August 2011

Changing of the guard -

The last few years, what a run! T.M.R.A. was moribund at best. Like the Phoenix rising from the ashes, the Association was lifted up, miraculously surviving the cataclysmic era of days better forgotten.

Under the leadership of a man who had the fortitude to step up when many stepped back, our Association led the way in Texas Motorcycle Safety and Awareness, the effects will be felt for years to come.

Without reservation, I give a royal helmet tip to the man vacating the T.M.R.A. office of President, Gary Dupriest. Everyone in the state of Texas owes him a debt of gratitude. It was an honor to serve along side of him.

Sam and Fred
Sam Phillips & T.M.R.A. President Fred (BAD) Simpson

The next member to assume the office of President will have some very large boots to fill. I believe in my heart of hearts that our 2011 president of T.M.R.A. will do a splendid job and I am looking forward to the years ahead with him at the helm.

Please join me in welcoming Fred (BAD) Simpson as he assumes our highest office. Look deep into your soul and ask yourself, "Is there anything I can do to help this man in his efforts to keep the good works of T.M.R.A. on course?" Don't be the member who steps back, be the member that steps up. Give him a call, congratulate him and then ask him, "What can I do to help out?"

GPS --

I would now like to take a little time out to talk about a very touchy subject.

Some of you would never go back now that you have made the plunge. For those that have gone to the dark side you might as well jump to the next topic as this section is not going to be anything new for you.

What I want to talk to y'all about is - GPS - Yes, dear reader, the Global Positioning System. Now granted, it is a wonderful invention and a beautiful way to use those satellites we've spent so many tax dollars to send into orbit. I love it when I can look down at the monitor screen while riding and see roads running parallel to my path and roads coming up beyond my line of sight. The devices are great for finding places to eat and sleep. All in all, I believe them to be a worthy investment. Please allow me to describe the downside, what I would call a trap, and also allow me to present a logical argument that an old fashion map should still be a part of your traveling arsenal, even if you do use a GPS.

About this time each year, as I am wont to do, I pointed Amana in the direction of West Texas where Area D puts on an event held in the Ballinger City Park.

The GPS remained off for the first leg of my journey. It is a no-brainer. Slip out of the Metromess, get on I-20 headed west, at Cisco turn south on US-206.

At Ranger, Amana and I pulled over to get a drink. She took mid-grade petrol and I slammed a bottle of chocolate milk.

GPS sent me here

Page 2

Time to fire up my newly acquired 21st Century Doo-Dad. She booted up just fine. I put in a destination of Ballinger, Texas. She said she couldn't find Ballinger, Texas. I thought some thoughts that I cannot share in this article. You'd be proud of me, I did not panic. I took a deep breath and attacked the problem with a different tactic (I was pretty dog-gone sure that there really was a Ballinger, Texas). I finally got her to admit that it was a mistake. My destination was set. She pointed me towards the Inter-State and away I went.

I am tooling down the road feeling pretty spunky with my new toy pointing the way I knew well. I looked down in time to see that she was pointing at the next off-ramp. "What's this?" I thought but took the off-ramp anyway. I turned left at the stop sign, which was fine and dandy but I really started to doubt this whole GPS thing when she pointed to the south-side service road, pointing back the way I came; pointing in the wrong direction?!

I pulled over and just sat for a minute. I had listened to enough friends who have GPS's to understand what was happening. It was then and there I made the executive decision to stick with the GPS. I figured the worst that could happen, I'd ride roads I had never ridden before. Not such a bad deal, right?

I started to suspect my logic when the next turn had me riding on loose gravel. You know the large kind, if deep enough, that will throw you like a mechanical bull with the control set on P - for punish.

I am not sure how many miles exactly. I do know that my arms, neck and shoulders were tight after the ordeal. I also know that the upside to the GPS was the ability to see what roads are coming just ahead. I knew there really was an end to this current dilemma.

The relief turned out to be US-183. Turn left the GPS said, I did, heading south - I knew this was right.

Not far down the highway the GPS piped up again and said turn right - right on FM-2526 - never been on FM-2526 before - have you? Nice Road -

In no time flat I was turning left on SR-206, which I knew all along was the road that would take me down through Coleman and then on to US-67. From there it is a cinch to ride into Ballinger where I could park under some nice shade trees and get out of the relentless rays of the sun. It was fun running around, discovering new road, but frankly dear readers, it was getting hot - real hot!

Speaking of HOT --

Y'all check the T.M.R.A. calendar at T.M.R.A. dot org.

The silver anniversary of the Hot Fun Summer Run is being held in New Summerfield, Texas, hosted by the Tyler Longriders.
Cappy kicking back

I know y'all will enjoy the big party the Longriders have in East Texas every year. It is an old-school affair that is sure to have something to please everyone.

Old Skool Entertainment

There are plenty of places to get out of the sun and relax. The bands are always great - loads of Biker-A Fun!

Well Buckaroo's, it is time to take Amana to the barn. I have some big plans for the end of June. I plan on being in Mena, Arkansas for a few days. I hope to get plenty of footage of the Talimena Parkway, which I will share on YouTube. To see the videos go to:

Cappy's Videos on YouTube

Ride em if ya go em!

Bonus PIX

Mason Courthouse

Mason Courthouse

Mason Courthouse

Mason Courthouse