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King Cake Says That Mardi Gras Is Here

Sunday, January 20, 2008

(Saturday, January 19, 2008)

Sunshine struggled and finally broke through the thick, persistent clouds late Saturday morning–It’s time to ride! Bundled up with every piece of my winter gears, including the balaclava, because it was just a touch on the cold side (temps between 40’s and 50’s with northerly wind gusting up to 36mph). Scooted over to Rao’s and waited a while for more riders to show up while sipping a cup of French Roast; but no one made it. That’s cool.

Before leaving the bakery, a very nice lady attendant offered me a piece of Rao’s special “King Cake”, and it sure was delicious! The King Cake is a large, ring-shaped, sweet and pillowy-soft pastry topped with tri-color (purple, green and gold) icing and filled with swirls of fruit preserves and cream cheese. Place a phone order to their Calder Avenue store and pay a modest price plus shipping charge, anyone can reward him-, or herself with one of these yummy Mardi Gras delicacies overnight (in US–see *HERE*)!

Years ago, they used to make the cakes with small plastic figurines of Baby Jesus hidden inside. These days, steering clear of possible litigations, the figurines are kept separately in the boxes for the take-out customers to conceal later (in the cakes) prior to serving. The custom says that whoever eats the piece with the figurine in it will have to buy the next cake.

For a rather interesting writing on the King Cake, go here. Rao’s will have King Cakes available until 5th of February–Mardi Gras. Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Riding solo (again) and with three hours to spare before the firemen’s benefit on Crockett St, I steered the scooter due north to the back roads of Lumberton. Stopped by the site where a young boy named Zachary Spears was recently killed by a hit-and-run drunk driver and paid respect at a roadside memorial that the locals have made for him. Poor boy, only seventeen and the main bread-winner of a large household which includes his mother, step-father and six other siblings. Ladies at the Shell gas station on Hwy 96 said that his father is currently serving time in jail and mother is battling alcoholism, so he had to feed his family by working at the town’s Waffle House.

The twenty- four-year-old troubled Beaumont girl who brutally struck and killed the boy with her Mercedes suv has been charged with intoxication manslaughter which carries a maximum of twenty years. Her probation for a prior substance abuse case in Jasper County was subsequently revoked.

What a waste of human lives!

Continuing on non-stop I rode past the town of Silsbee, then on to Vidor. Tall cypress trees lined the roads, muddy water flowed down rivers and streams, ditches brimming from all that rain this past week. Occasionally, strong crosswind made my front wheel drift from side to side as I fought hard to stay straight on the road. Finally, after riding from Jefferson County to Hardin County to Jasper County, I arrived in Vidor, which is in Orange County. I hung a right and zoomed along the bumpy service road next to Interstate 10 heading west; flew over the Neches River Bridge, and returned safely to Downtown Beaumont.

Crockett Street at 3pm was packed from end to end with Harleys, big bikes and amazing custom choppers as the motorcycle community of Southeast Texas turned out in force for a fund-raiser to help cover medical expenses for the injured Beaumont firefighters. I met with our friend Duane, who was one of the organizers for this event and the founder of Texas Patriot; and his wife Tina, who recently became a proud owner of a new QLINK automatic motorcycle! Later, I also had a chance to talk with several Beaumont firefighters who detailed the promising recoveries of the two injured firemen, Mr. Carrier and Mr. Schroeder.

In a sea of Harley steel and chrome, I spotted a Guzzi!

Gotta love the fat tire.

…and the nice rear-end.

300mm. Now that’s a lot of rubber!

Adjustable rear suspension keeps the girlfriend a happy woman.

Tons of old-school good looks.

After enjoying a badly-needed bowl of delicious chicken sausage gumbo and taking a methodical visual inventory of the unbelievable display of fat tires, paint, steel and chrome on hand, I joined a group of Harley riders (mainly firefighters) for a “poker-style” fun run. Wasn’t quite sure if the big bikers were either amused, or annoyed by my tagging along but I rode on. During one of the stops at a biker bar there were jokes flying all over the place about scooter-riders getting less “action” with the ladies… but I didn’t care (it’s the quality; not the quantity). You got to be able to laugh at yourself once in a while, like today. Even Harley riders agreed that with all the money that I must have saved up riding this little 50cc scooter, I ought to be able to get me a bigger scooter. I just laughed and laughed because I had such a good time today!–Lorenzo

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Michael permalink
    Monday, January 21, 2008 4:15 pm

    Great pics, it was just to cold for me. I hate cold weather with a passion. Pamela has been to the doc several times the last 2 months, so has not rode at all. Now I do ride everyday running my errands. Left this morning and it was 41 degrees.

  2. Saturday, February 9, 2008 5:55 pm

    (Saturday, Feb. 9th, 2008)

    Rao’s still got a few King Cakes left if you hurry today!


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