As far as many Hill Country motorcycle riders are concerned, all roads lead to Wimberley and Andrea and Jim Jones, owners of the village’s Hog Pound, are dedicated to helping them ride more and whine less.
They opened the Hog Pound two years ago in order to help bikers avoid the hassle and high prices of big dealerships.
“Jim and I both ride and we live here and we noticed how many bikers are always coming through and there was no place for them to pick up gear nearby,” Andrea says. “So we wanted to have a store with high quality stuff and affordable prices.”
What kind of stuff?
How about a card that illustrates all the various helmet laws across the United States. How about chrome motorcycle parts. How about biker clocks. How about bike bags, vests, jackets, belts, gloves, T-shirts, purses, caps, belt buckles, special biker socks, do rags, flashlights, pony-tail wraps, sunglasses, koozies, maps, magazines, flip flops, face masks, watches, knives, tool kits, tie-down straps, chain lube, oil, battery chargers, cleaners, protectants, brake oil, and jacket patches with sayings like “My bike is my psychiatrist” and “Ride more, whine less.”
The most popular items vary widely over the course of year.
“It goes in waves,” Andrea notes. “Sometimes it’s helmets, then it’ll be luggage, then do rags or sunglasses. We sell a lot of T-shirts with our logo on them to people from other countries.”
Andrea herself makes the rhinestone bandannas, some jewelry, and some stylish caps.
You can even take home a motorcycle or two because the Hog Pound almost always has some on consignment.
“We have a very regular turnover on the bikes,” Andrea says.
Why is Wimberley so popular with bikers?
“Its the scenic, twisty roads all around us,” Andrea explains. “And they aren’t congested.”
In fact, Wimberley is at the center of what is called the Star of Texas Ride where roads like US 290, US 281, and Ranch Roads 12, 150, 967, 1626, 2325, 2770, 3237, Loops 165 and 306 all form a “star” focused on Wimberley.
These are roads tucked in the hills between Austin and San Antonio along which riders will find the famed Devil’s Background, bluebonnets and other wild flowers in the spring, some wineries, legendary Salt Lick barbecue, and Canyon Lake.
The Hog Pound even has a Star of Texas Ride map for those who stop in. And each fall they hold a Day of the Dead Food and Fun Run along the route in order to raise food and funds for the Hays County Food Bank.
They also help out the Food Bank with a regular Bike Night every Thursday of the month from 6 to 8 p.m. with drinks, door prizes, and live music at the Hog Pound.
“The shop was Jim’s idea,” Andrea says. “He had done two tours in Iraq and he couldn’t find a job. He had the time and he said we should do it. We did.”
That may sound simple, but it’s not. Jim now teaches ROTC in Corpus Christi and Andrea is a dental hygienist. With their regular jobs and running the shop Thursdays through Sundays, they each work seven days a week. And Jim still has his National Guard meetings once a month.
“We’re very busy people, but it’s fun,” Andrea says wide a broad smile. “I really like it.”
Jim had been riding motorcycles much of his life but Andrea, although she grew up around dirt bikes, didn’t really get started until Jim bought her a bike two weeks before an Iraq deployment.
“I learned how to ride at the Wimberley Baptist Church parking lot,” she recalls. “I was thrilled. It was much better than being a passenger. I joined a ladies’ riding group in Austin so my skills were honed by the time he got back.”
She loves riding a motorcycle because it’s what she calls her “throttle therapy.”
“You must think about what you’re doing on a bike. You can’t think of anything else,” Andrea says. “It’s great. You leave all your cares behind.”
The Hog Pound is located at 13710 Ranch Road 12 in Wimberley (just south of the Square). For more information, call 512-847-3444 or visit the website at thehogpound.com.