Although the year is winding down, there seems to be as much action as ever going on in Texas. Guess part of that has to do with the terrific riding weather we’re enjoying at present coupled with a state that’s, well, as big as Texas. So let’s get rolling. The 15th annual Ride for Trails rally was held on October 12–13 in Study Butte, right next door to Big Bend National Park. The event included a Saturday morning Fun Run through the Park, followed by a bike show, motorcycle rodeo, a bike blessing and the Tony Aguilar Memorial Bike Parade to Terlingua Ghost Town (we miss you, hermano). The festivities ended with a barbecue and live music. All proceeds benefit the construction and maintenance of the hiking and stock trails in Big Bend Park… Also on that Saturday, up in the Panhandle, our buddy Juan Gandara Jr. with Lubbock Custom Motorcycles helped orchestrate the Riders Support Alliance Poker Run. Starting at Family Power Sports at noon, the day included a Ride Around West Texas and an after-ride celebration at Juan’s shop with prizes, live music and food provided by the friends of Jesse Gamboa to help raise funds for his recent injuries. Jesse (Bam Bam) Gamboa was busted up in a motorcycle accident on October 6 while leaving work and left with damage to both legs… Over the October 13–14 weekend, Rick Fairless and crew held his 17th anniversary party for his shop, Strokers Dallas. The place was originally an Easyriders Motorcycles franchise, but over the years has come to carry several different marques and now also includes a great bar and grill and a tattoo shop. Strokers is constantly voted as one of the best biker hangouts in all of Texas. And while the dreary weather on Saturday kept the crowds to a minimum, an exceptional Sunday brought out the riders, packing the place and offering standing room only for most of the afternoon. Congratulations, Rick… I received a notice from Buck Carson on October 17 that he had been asked by Mrs. Britney Olsen, Director for the Antique Motorcycle Club of America Youth Program to lend a hand as Assistant Coordinator. Buck, 25, recently competed in the Motorcycle Cannonball Run from New York to California aboard a 1927 BSA 500 cc single (Elizabeth). Buck and his dad own and operate Carson Classic Motors in Livingston and this is a great opportunity for him to boost the interest for old motorcycles among the younger generation… On October 18, Republic Harley-Davidson blended the shop’s Bike Night with Career Night, inviting possible future employees to fill out applications for motorcycles sales, MotorClothes, service advisor, title clerk and parts supervisor at the dealership in Stafford. You can check ’em out at www.republichd.com to see if any positions are still available… Meanwhile, a week later and halfway across the state, Horny Toad Harley in Temple shifted gears (and locations), holding their monthly Bike Night at the Dead Fish Grill on Lake Belton on October 25. The evening included food and drink specials along with what many consider to be the best deck in all that area… Moto Liberty Dallas held their Grand Opening on October 28. This new and expanded location will be carrying tons of fall apparel and accessories for the discerning rider. Their grand opening included a full day of live music, food, Halloween games and giveaways. They are located at 2821 LBJ Freeway, Suite 110, just west of Josey Lane and can be reached at 972.243.5995… A few days later, on October 30, a new type of player in the motorcycle accessories department announced the opening of its new online store. Texas Tumbleweed Depot will carry jackets, gloves, saddlebags, sissy bar bags, vests, belts, rain suits and novelty helmets with plans to continue to expand their inventory. They are focused on quality while promoting convenience through their inexpensive and fast order processing. To learn more about this new online motorcycle shop, visit www.texastumbleweeddepot.com… Also on the 30th, Cowboy Harley-Davidson of Beaumont held their Pink Party benefiting Breast Cancer Awareness. The evening at the shop included wine and beer tasting, appetizers, door prizes and a Pink Label fashion show… And I wanted to bring to everyone’s attention to the upcoming Blue Santa Toy Run to be held November 24. Registration is $20 per person with the first 150 receiving a free ride pin. It begins at Cavender’s Boot City in Beaumont and ends at Cowboy Harley and will feature a parade, an auction, food and door prizes. You can contact Sandra Womack at 409.781.0778 for more information… And our condolences go out to Big Tex, the iconic individual that stood vigilant guard at the Texas State Fair for 60 years. But alas, due to an electrical fire, the 52-foot cowboy with the 75-gallon hat and the 50-pound belt buckle went up in flames on October 19. State Fair spokeswoman Sue Gooding was quoted as saying, “Big Tex is a symbol of everything the state fair stands for. Big Tex is where my parents told me, ‘If you get lost, meet us at Big Tex.’” The following day, forklifts hauled away the charred carcass in a massive body bag and later a memorial service was held at the Golden Gate Funeral Home (no kidding) where we can only assume the grieving left behind symbolic offerings of deep-fried Twinkies and funnel cakes doused with excessive amounts of confectioners’ sugar. And that’s all the weirdness that’s fit to print for this month—later.