I finally arrived, made it safe & sound, but not without battling traffic in Houston. Last year when I made this trip, I avoided going thru Houston like the plague, but it was still to no avail. I cut across north of Houston thru Conroe and that was constant start and stop traffic due to lights, which is miserable on a motorcycle in the middle of summer. Sitting still on a motorcycle is like the air-con being broken in your car, but worse because you’re sitting in the middle of an exhaust cloud on top of sweltering. So this year, I thought, “What the heck, it’s a Saturday, let’s just book it thru Houston on I-10.” My plan would have worked flawlessly, except that they had a 15 mile stretch of I-10 closed right smack in the middle of Houston. Attempting to get 4 lanes of traffic to all merge into 1 to detour around the construction is nothing short of a nightmare.
For the first hour, I tolerated the exercise to my clutch hand and the sopping heat, keeping a positive attitude that my hand was getting stronger and the sauna I was sitting in was a good unexpected detox. But after an hour, that attitude started to seem futile. So I abandoned any worries of what others might think and just started cruising past them—Ahhhh….air-con…FINALLY!!! I am sure they all thought I was being greedy and impatient, but I had long since paid my dues being nice, while they all sat in their air-conned cars. I don’t think I have ever been so grateful in my whole life to have hot air blowing on me! Whew, what a relief! Finally, I could start to think rationally again!
So in the final analysis, I have decided there is just really no good way to get thru Houston (as if that isn’t obvious, but you gotta give a girl credit for trying, eh?). The only good way to get thru Houston is to bypass it all together which sacrifices a whole lot of time going way out of the way (which isn’t a bad idea on a motorcycle), but if you just need to get there, you have to choose between two bad choices and accept their inherent circumstances. The only consolation might be paying the tolls and trying
Beltway 8, which I will probably do next time, since construction projects apparently don’t make much progress in Houston. I am trying to look at the bright side…after I do this a few years, I will know all the things NOT to do!
So now you know why it took me two days to make this post—it took me two days to recuperate!!! Not really, but it sounds good!
On a more serious note, though, and not wanting to just whine, here’s a resource that might actually help in the ride planning stages anywhere in Texas. I would presume other states have something similar. Check out www.dot.state.tx.us. Under the “Travel” section, click on “Road Conditions”. You can check any road in Texas for construction, closures, damage, flood, etc. Really, it is well done, because they offer you several different search criteria to narrow your results to exactly what you need. You can look up a road condition in a specific area or you can look up a specific road. Like any good search criteria, the less you tell it the broader your search results and vice versa. They also offer a toll-free number you can call if you don’t have a PDA phone on the road with you.
Back with more tales, soon….