The crew taking part in the KYMCO Scoot2TX ride got a relatively late start today, hitting the road around 10:30am, battling traffic and road construction on the way out of Houston, and carving the back roads 200 miles through ranchland to Austin by way of Brenham and La Grange.
Everything was going well until about 35 miles outside of Austin, when it started raining. We pulled over beneath a highway underpass to wait for the weather to pass. A couple of guys voiced an opinion about rain gear, but the rest of us dismissed the notion. Big mistake.
The rain ceased and we hit the road. Five minutes later it again began to downpour. No problem. Keep riding. We’ve been through this before. “Just keep it steady and stay out of the tire paths where the water pools on the roadway,” I told myself. Then the lightning started, then the hail. A lot of hail.
Luckily we spied a business selling sheds, swerved off the road and scurried into a 10’x10’ shack that serves as a roadside display model. Fifteen minutes later we were on the road again, riding in bright sunshine and 97 degrees and trying to dry out by standing on the floorboards of our scoots.
In other news, the Scoot2TX crew became bigger today, as we were joined by two more participants: KYMCO USA President Eric Bondy and KYMCO customer and Houston native Neil Sangalang atop his Xciting 500Ri (Alabama native Gregory Dykes is still with us, too).
Eric explained why we are on this ride.
“It’s really a combination of a couple of things,” he said. “I think it’s an opportunity to combine business with pleasure – all of us that are a part of the company really enjoy doing this type of stuff – and the Amerivespa rally presented an opportunity to go on a really nice, long ride and give us a chance to evaluate the products. It also gives us a chance to intro the new Downtown 300i, which obviously, from a business standpoint, makes perfect sense to take it to our core customers.
“But, ultimately, it’s just such a great chance for the group of people that we work with to be able to spend a week together out doing something that we all enjoy doing.”
Certainly Eric rides at home in Spartanburg, S.C., too. “Yeah, but it’s not the same,” he said. “This is an adventure. It’s an opportunity to spend six days out focusing on riding and focusing on the products, and I think that’s what makes all of the preparatory work worthwhile. “
Putting the Kymco scooter to use with hard bag attached to the back. Nothing like touring with a big group of friends on scooters!
Neil Sangalang found out about the Scoot2TX ride from the KYMCO USA website. Why did he decide to join us? “I bought my bike to go on long-distance rides, and so I thought this would be fun,” he said.
He purchased his 2009 Xciting 500Ri three weeks ago from Apollo Motorsports, a scooter-only shop in Houston. Why the KYMCO? “It was the best scooter for the money, and it was recommended by some websites I looked at,” he said.
Why not buy a motorcycle? “I’ve ridden smaller scooters in the Philippines while visiting relatives, and I heard these maxi scooters were really fun to ride, as well.”
Friday we complete our final leg of the trip, traveling from Austin to San Antonio.
See pictures from our fourth day on the trip on Facebook: www.facebook.com/KYMCO.Scooters?v=photos#!/album.php?aid=173686&id=74250042688
And watch our progress LIVE: http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0ljKjFrjDZjIbCBy24hLH6Fba89HErDTN