Photos and words by: Timmy Marr (@SkidMarr)
The Gabe’s Ride Out is a Ride/Camp event thrown by our very own @Loudngreasy in North central Texas. I knew about this event from this forum and I decided I had to go since it was only 400 miles away.
Friday August 26th, I got home from work at 4:00pm and packed all my shit into the enormous, stupid trunk on my bike. It only took about 15 minutes because I purposely didn’t unpack from my Sturgis trip 2 weeks earlier. 6 hours and 300 miles later, I rolled into Denton, Texas to see my good friends and shack up for the night.
Saturday August 27th, I rolled out of Denton at 7:00am because I still had to ride 100 miles west to the meet up point. The “ride” portion of Gabe’s Ride Out was scheduled to leave the “Rockin’ S Bar and Grill” at 9:00am. It was a foggy, cool morning with no traffic. The lame scenery of the DFW metropolis started to give way to the hills of scrub trees and cacti known as West Texas. I was jamming 80mph down a paved whoop-section on a farm road when I almost hit a weird baby pheasant that I later learned was actually a Road Runner. I got to the “Rockin’ S Bar and Grill” on Possum Kingdom Lake at 9:05am. No one was there and the place wasn’t even open. I thought to myself “Damn these dudes are punctual! They left without me!” I called Gabe and he informed me that there’s actually 2 locations of this bar and Google lead me to the wrong one. So I had to rip 30 minutes back into the town of Graham. No big deal.
Once I got to the correct location, I parked my bike with all the rest and walked inside excited to meet all these guys I had only talked to/seen on the internet. Its wild meeting people from the internet for the first time in real life because you probably already know a ton about their lives. Todd (@Wagonburner), Josh (@Ramzy) Larry (@BackPorchChoppers) and Dillon (@Fatkat) all rolled in late because they pre-partied a little too hard the night before. I felt totally comfortable with everyone and my skepticism’s about riding and hanging out with total strangers all weekend melted away. We ate breakfast and ended up rolling out of Graham closer to 10:30am.
The ride started out as a nice highway cruise through some west Texas scenery until we got to the Palo Pinto Creek Reservoir. The road around this lake was steep, narrow, and neat with plenty of sharp curves, BUT it had the worst surface texture of any road I have ever ridden. Literally pot holes on top of concrete patch jobs on top of asphalt speed bumps. Everything in my trunk was constantly being tossed up against the lid with a loud “thunk”. It almost made me regret owning a rigid chopper. I wish I had pictures to document this road, but I was too focused on not dying. It was radical.
The road soon smoothed out but the damage was already done. Josh’s Sportster he rode trouble free all the way from Virginia started to backfire and eventually died. I offered up my tools and we sat on the side of the road and scratched our heads until the ignition module cooled off and started working again. As we were leaving, another evo sporty belonging to the man named Sam wouldn’t start. His rectifier was dangling ungrounded to the frame so it wasn’t charging his battery. I hooked him up with some spare bolts and his brother gave him a push start and all was well.
We rode in a light mist of rain to a neat little honky tonk bar and drank until the rain let up. Then, we rode to Strawn, Texas to eat some world famous chicken fried steak served with huge bowls of gravy for the whole table to slather onto their food as they please (#TableGravy). After the legendary Steve chugged his fair share of gravy though a straw, we hit the road with full bellies headed toward the official bar of the Gabe’s Ride Out, the “Prickly Patch”. The Prickly Patch was 60 miles away on a terribly wavy paved state highway. I hit a JUMP in the road at 65mph that launched my bike and I an entire foot into the air (Todd can confirm the altitude and I can confirm it was terrifying). Shortly after that, my kickstand fell off nearly killing everyone riding behind me. Josh was kind enough to retrieve it for me after a car ran it over and flung it into the air. We got maybe 12 more miles down the road when Ol’ Backfire Josh’s bike started to crap out for the second time. Two guys hung back with him on the side of the road while the rest of us went ahead to the bar to get beer….. and a truck for Josh’s rescue. We spent a couple hours and had a great time in the prickly patch drinking and chatting with a few locals in the air conditioning.
Before the sun set, we headed just up the road to the ranch where we would all camp and party for the rest of the night. At the ranch, we had to ride in some very slick mud to set up camp just as it was getting dark. “Momo”, the first man to ride into the grass slid out and ate shit immediately on his shiny new Harley LowRider. No harm done and made for a fun story. The rest of the night was spent drinking beer, telling stories, watching old chopper movies, gazing at the millions of stars, and tending to a fire all while laughing and having the best time in middle-of-nowhere, Texas. Really one of those “you had to be there” kind of nights.
We all woke up around 9:00 or 10:00am to a warm sun. Poor ol’ Minnesota Todd was drenched in sweat on this 85 degree morning. Everyone helped clean up, said their goodbyes and we all headed our separate ways happy that we all just made so many new friends.
I am very glad I participated in the inaugural Gabe’s Ride Out. I dubbed it “Gabe’s Rough Ride” since we somehow managed to find the gnarliest roads in Texas, but the asphalt conditions only made it more fun. I was worried about getting ID’d at bars and not being able to relate to all you dudes double my age, but people bought me beers and motorcycles are a universal language. Everything worked out and we all had a blast. Gabe had chopper games planned and I planned to take a lot more pictures, but we were too busy just having fun it seems. The Gabe’s Ride Out was an incredibly laid back, small, and perfect event with a hilarious name. Like I said, it’s one of those “you had to be there” kind of things. And next year, you should be.
Thanks for the opportunity, guys!
-Timmy “The Teenage Chopper MacGyver” Marr