Getting Some Wind Therapy – Three Sisters Motorcycle Ride in Hill Country, Texas

Sometimes, when we’re couped up in a 400some square foot RV, one of us may need a little solo saddle time on the Harley to clear our heads and do a little soul searching.  One weekday in February dictated one of those days.  I (Lisa) went on this one by myself.  I recollected few years ago, reading an article “Twisted Sisters: The Texas Hill Country’s Most Famous Trio” in Rider Magazine about a couple guys who rode through the Three Sisters aka ‘Twisted Sisters’ in Texas.  I remember them saying it was a beautiful scenic ride with twisties (challenging tight curves).  Intrigued, I looked up the route on my phone GPS and paper map to plan out my day trip.

The Three Sisters” or ” The Hundred Mile Loop” (RR335, RR336, & RR337) are without a doubt the best motorcycle roads to be found in the Hill Country of Texas. These are the roads everyone wants to ride when they visit the Texas Hill Country. Again I caution, if you are a new rider or are a cautious type, then you DO NOT belong on these three roads. They follow canyons and climb over jagged, steep and crumbling hills. They have many tight twisty curves with shear drop offs and not much in the way of guard rails. In one section about 15 miles long, there are around 65 curves. If you are an experienced rider, then this is the ride for you. If you like scenic panoramic views, bring your camera, take this ride and hold on!!  – Hill Country Cruising Website

“Ranch Road 337 was voted the #1 road to ride in Texas by Ride Texas Magazine©”

Leaving by 9:00 in the morning after breakfast and coffee, I left Castroville riding through the quiet and slow back roads on RR 471 to Riomedina, RR 1283 through Mico passing Bandera Falls up to RT 16 (Green Road) in Bandera (Cowboy Capitol of the World). “RR” are ‘Ranch Road’; paved County Road equivalent.  I stretched my legs a bit in Bandera and grabbed a cold tea and sandwich before saddling up again to head out.  I knew there wasn’t much where I was headed (out of season…everything was closed) so a full belly and bathroom break was a must.  I also filled my fuel tank, put in some George Strait in my earbuds and was on my way.

After riding through Bandera, I rode RT 16 to RR 337 (Green Road) passing Vanderpool onto Leakey.  Leakey is where the Three Sisters 100-mile loop begins and ends.  If riding this yourself, I highly recommend topping off your fuel tank before taking off for the loop.  Right when you start on 337, there’s a sign that reads: 

“Caution Next 12 Miles, Since Jan. 2006, 10 Killed in Motorcycle Related Crashes.” 

No Fear!  I’ve done challenging ‘twistie’ rides before (Tail of the Dragon in NC/TN and Hana Highway in Maui).  I’m always up for a challenge when riding; keeps me on my toes and my skills honed.

The weather was just gorgeous; Wispy Cirrus clouds glided across the gradient blue sky and about 70 degrees was just what my imaginary psychologist ordered.  Couldn’t ask for better weather; wonderful just to wear my mesh motorcycle jacket over a t-shirt.  The sun was smiling down on me with a real slight breeze seemingly just where I needed it.  Passing the intersection of RT 39 (also a great ride I took on an earlier date), I continued on and took a right onto RR 336 N (Red Road). This is where the gentle twisties also began.  I took my time enjoying every turn; there was no hurry.  Really, there was nothing to see other than Hill Country’s sloping ranches of scrubby brush and winter grass.  There were no distractions to take away from letting my steel steed take me on this mindless journey.  I started getting into some of the more challenging twisties…ahhhhh, my favorite!!   I think I even yelled ‘Weeeeeeeeee’ a few times!  When I got a chance, I’d pull over to take a photo; my evidence that I did this ride. 

It was a lonely ride; rarely seeing a car or even a Rancher’s pickup truck but that’s not a complaint.  A few Euro Sport motorcycles wizzed around me but I didn’t mind.  I was riding my own ride at my own pace with not a care in the world.  The only sounds were from my own dual pipes.  I owned the road; something we, riders, truly enjoy.  I stopped on the edge of the road at this one ranch because I couldn’t resist grabbing my camera to take a photo of a real live Texas Longhorn.  I’ve never been so close to one.  A barbed wire fence is all that separated him from me.  After he checked me out and I of him, I remounted and went on my way.

Also along the way, I passed a few of these Texas historical markers.  This one was worth noting:
Learned a little history along the way
Once I got to the end of RT 336, I turned left onto RT 41 for a short ways where the road straightened out a bit until I hung a left onto RR 335 S.  335 was just as fun and merged with HWY 55; lots of twisties!  Again, my favorite!  Lots of throttle and clutch work and shifting.  Actually, one of the reasons I enjoy these challenging rides is they encourage me to really think about my ride; the whole dynamics and physics of my machine and ride (ie. friction zones, braking before curves, upshifting as I ride through the turns and so on).  I continued riding until I reached Camp Wood; a tiny one-light town where I stopped for a potty break, stretch my back and legs, drink and a slice of gas station pizza.  It was getting late, so I got back in the saddle to head west on RR 337; which was the most spectacular of the three RR’s.  It wove itself through canyons, rivers, ponds, creeks, up, down, all around. 

A beautiful pond alongside the road still in winter slumber


Note my ‘GPS’??

I continued on RR 337 until I came full circle back to Leakey.  It was nearing dusk so I needed to step it up a gear to get back to Liberty and my awaiting Captain before dark.  I rode HWY 83 S past Garner State Park to Concan and then onto RR 127 S down to HWY 90 Sabinal.  After getting to 90, I hightailed it and cleaned out my pipes back to Castroville.  I arrived just in time to see the sunset.

Common site in Hill Country; a ‘Texas Gate’

What a glorious day and amazing ride.  I felt accomplished, refreshed and my soul nourished.  It was just what I needed.  Until next time, I will keep my paper Texas map unfolded to see where I may go.

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