After a leisurely meal in the open air atrium between the shop and the grill, and a quick check of the gift shop's inventory to see if there is anything new, we fire up and back- track into Leakey. Here we go left on Highway 83 for a short distance and then jump on the next Sister, 336. 336 starts off pretty straight but before long a familiar sign reminds us once again that the Sisters are to be taken seriously. This one announces 6 deaths in motorcycle related crashes over a 10 mile stretch since Jan 2006.
After a slow start, 336 bucks and snorts and twists and turns in an effort to throw us like a bull in a Bandera rodeo trying to throw its rider. But we use good judgment and take her on with a calm head and a steady throttle hand, fast enough to be fun but in control and ready for the unexpected.
Duane and Bill round a curve on 336
Frio Canyon Motorcycle Stop
The motorcycle warning sign on 337
The Lone Star Motorcycle Museum
This is White Tail deer country and they will pop up at the most inopportune times, like in the middle of a downhill, off camber, decreasing radius turn! Then there's the occasional cage….they can be as unpredictable as a deer and seem to show up at the same inopportune times. But today its cows! A herd of cows is leisurely making its way up the highway to where their owner has a feed wagon. We slow down and let them get off the road but remain aware that there are no fences between us and any more of their bovine brethren.
After a dozen or so miles, 336 finally straightens up, and having lost a lot of her spirit, continues on to terminate at Highway 41. We make a left here and wick it up a bit for about 14 fairly straight miles before turning south on the third and final Sister, 335. She is a wild one too, but a little less the maverick than 336, tending to act more like a roller coaster with big dips and ups and downs and not so many curves. We ride her south to her terminus with Highway 55 and then continue on through Barksdale to Camp Wood where we gas up for the return leg on the west end of 337. This is arguably the best section of 337 and one of the best of the three though everyone has their favorite.
We pass through Leakey again, detouring slightly at Vanderpoole to say "Hi" to Alan Johncock at the Lone Star Motorcycle Museum. If it were lunch time, we might have an Aussie Meat Pie or a burger; Alan's wife does a great job with either. Alan is an Aussie and he and Debbie know their meat pies! But this time it's a cold soda and back down to 337. At this point we could continue straight for a few miles on 187 and pick up FM 470 back into Bandera. But 470 is relatively flat and we need one more go at the twisties on 337 before we quit. One hundred and seventy miles, 6 hours with several stops for photo ops, we arrive home with grins. This ride is not about roadside attractions, though there are some great pull-outs with beautiful views of the Texas Hill Country; it's about the roads and the riding. That is what we came to do and that is what we did! It has been a great ride, and one that is close by whenever the urge strikes.
A variation of this story was accepted for publication by Rider Magazine and appeared as a Favorite Ride article in the July 2013 issue. To date it has had 2300 on-line views! Also, it should be mentioned that the Lone Star Motorcycle Museum's cafe is now closed. The museum remains open though and well worth a visit.