So, it’s Wednesday and I happened to have taken a day off work. I was working on other things but had finished up by 3:00 and we decided to take Coco to get a new tire put on – which she needed BADLY. Since we were getting the work done in Bedford (which is close to Fort Worth), we decided to call my brother and ask him to meet us at the Flying Saucer for drinks in Fort Worth…just down the street from the Tarrant County Courthouse. So that one was a no-brainer trip. Honey found a nice route from Bedford to Fort Worth (as nice as anything can be at 5:30 pm in 100 degree heat). It actually was a good route but took about an hour – which is probably half the time it would have taken if we’d ridden the highways.

After beer, pretzels, and a great cheese and sausage plate, Honey took off for Starbucks to write his blog and I took my bro (riding girlfriend, of course) around to the courthouse. It’s an old one and is still used for county business. There have been additions but nothing too extreme – mostly tasteful.

Fort Worth is a city that “gets” downtown. So far, almost all the towns I’ve visited have been working on rejuvenating their downtown areas and in all of them, the courthouse has been the hub of that downtown. Fort Worth has a vibrant downtown scene and they have made sure to keep it vibrant nights and weekends by providing free parking everywhere downtown after hours. That means anyone can come visit in the evening for a show or to hear a band at a club or just to enjoy a beer and not have to pay to park. Dallas hasn’t figured that out and thus downtown is pretty weak in the evenings and on the weekends.

After that, Honey and I parted ways with my brother and left together for a longer ride. He has just gotten a new Screaming Eagle Ultra (yes, THAT one) in blue. It’s a gorgeous bike and needed breaking in. We took US 377 towards Granbury, which is a very nice ride…I think. The roads were just fine but I couldn’t see much because it was definitely dark by then. Granbury is another example of a town working on its town square. In this case, they’re actually doing the work on the courthouse itself. It’s completely surrounded by construction fences and is clearly getting a serious renovation.

By that time, it was well past 10:00 and I’m a working girl so it was time to head back…taking another scenic route that I will definitely want to take again in daylight: TX 144. It was in good condition and is begging for a revisit. From Granbury, it empties onto US 67 just north of Glen Rose. From there, we headed back towards home and I couldn’t muster up the right mix of pouting and begging to get Honey to go into Cleburne to get a picture with their courthouse – I’ll have to leave that for another trip.

So, we’re headed home at a good clip on a very dark highway (US 67 between Cleburne and Alvarado) and I’m having some problems with the road now. The grooves are catching my tire and holding it and the steering is sluggish. You’d think I would have figured out that could mean a problem with something besides the road but it wasn’t until we stopped at a gas station for a walk break (and I had to actually turn into it) that I realized there was a real problem: flat tire. I don’t mean low. I mean flat. It had less than 10 lbs of pressure. Honey aired it up again and we started off but within 15 miles it was back down below 20 lbs. So that’s a real problem. New tire won’t hold air for more than 15 miles. Not good. Honey was way short of happy and all I could think about was how I have no car and I had appointments away from the office all day the next day. Aargh. And his new girlfriend, the CVO, had an appointment the next day to have its final extravagance installed: an MP3 player. That meant I couldn’t ride his bike to work the next day. (We’re just going to all pretend that he would actually let me ride his new bike, which cost more than my first house, to work.) OK. I wasn’t happy either.

We finally got the bike home, 10 miles at a time, around 12:30 am. Next morning, I got up at 5:00 am to ride it over to the Bedford shop and left it for them to fix. Honey picked me up on the new bike that, if it were really all THAT great, would have been able to fix my bike. I borrowed my father’s car but we’d gotten in so late the night before and I left so early in the morning that I never saw my dad to tell him. Honey stayed up until Daddy woke up to make sure he was taken care of. It’s the first time I’ve driven to work since the ice storm in January and I hated it. I didn’t even like the air conditioning. Clearly, I was still in a mood!

Turns out the wonderful new tire included a defective tube that split right down the seam. I guess I wouldn’t hold either if that happened to me. It was fixed that day and when I finished my last job at 7:30, we headed out to pick her up. She rode like a dream again, the way she always has, and I was ready for a weekend of riding again. Bring it on. See, I’m not really that hard to please. Just give me my bike in good working order!

Total distance: 116 miles. Time: 4-1/2 hours but it would have been quite a bit shorter without the tire incident.

Until next time, wheels down, eyes up!