So, naturally Honey, with his brand new Screaming Eagle Ultra, is going to go to his HOG group dinner ride to allow everyone to admire his new perfect bike. And naturally, I’m going along because I love to ride and because…there’s a courthouse!

We rode with Panther Creek HOG – probably one of the friendliest group of riders I’ve ever found. I’ve ridden with members of the group on a non-chapter ride to do the Three Sisters in the Hill Country, but this was my first time to ride with them on my own bike. Frankly, I’ve been riding solo so much lately that I was just a little nervous about joining up with a large group but that didn’t last a minute. Honey and I weren’t even in the same pod but it was fine. I had my tunes going and bopped along beautifully.

Panther Creek starts from the Harley shop in Allen so to get there (after a quick beer with best girlfriend to put the finishing touches on the work week) I rode up Midway to Legacy, then took Hedgecox around to Alma and picked up McDermott. It’s a very nice ride, even at 6:00 on a Friday starting a holiday weekend. Sun was at my back, which was great.

The ride to McKinney was to a place called The Pantry. It’s on the square, which I haven’t visited in a couple of years and what a change! Talk about revitalized. The winery I’d seen in Greenville, Landon Winery, had a tasting room on the square in McKinney and I am SO going back there another time. The Pantry seemed like a great place; Honey liked the food and the atmosphere was fine. The best part, though, was the people. I’ve been in a terrible funk about people in general and certain people specifically lately but there wasn’t a thing to complain about…and believe me, I tried! Even the heat didn’t bother me. The only problem was the ride was too short and we rode too slowly (probably because we stayed within the speed limit and we stayed in town) but the event was to ride to dinner, not to ride 200 miles; for that, it was a perfect ride.

While everyone was eating, I ran around to get my courthouse picture. The old Collin County Courthouse in McKinney has been converted to a public use space – it’s a playhouse now and they were playing in it – no parking anywhere. I finally just pulled up on the sidewalk, prayed all the police were inside the play, not patrolling outside, and worked out my shot. There were so many cars, it was about impossible but who cares. Coco was there, I was there, and there’s something really satisfying about a happening downtown area in a relatively small town.

Afterwards, I went back to The Pantry and even won in the 50-50 drawing (apparently new people always win and that held true that night when I won and another new woman there won twice!). After that, I walked over to the winery with a friend from the group who’s a member of their wine club. I looked around even more closely and am seriously planning to take my dad up there; he will love it! There’s also a restaurant I hope to try when we’re there that a member of  my Saturday morning Weight Watchers meeting told me about (don’t laugh – we eat, too).

Last stop was at the Hog beer joint just a couple of blocks off the square, then the ride home. We took 75 all the way through downtown Dallas and over on I-30. Nothing fancy because it was very late and I had to get up at 5:30 the next morning to work (I wouldn’t get up that early on a Saturday morning for anything but my WW members…well maybe a few other things, but this has nothing to do with riding; I digress.)

Total miles: 75; total time: 6 hours – I mean, we ate, we talked, we walked, we drank. It takes time to do all that!

Until next time, wheels down, eyes up.