Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Das Prez Sez, December 2010, by Gary Johnson

It's December! The first Saturday of the month and Jan and I were at breakfast with her sister Sharyl and the Autobahners. 15 of us there today. Good turn-out. Once again there was an information overload and I left much smarter then I came. Please don't take any chances, you could be getting stupid, just by missing the Saturday morning breakfasts!!
Thanks to all for your prayers and kind words of support for Jan (the First Lady) who had surgery to remove her thyroid last Wednesday. She is doing well and enjoyed getting out this morning for breakfast. (and got smarter because of it).
This afternoon I bundled up and rode the Kymco to the Newton Hills and back. It was in the upper 20's and the roads were mostly dry (maybe I need another dose of breakfast). Anyway, it was fun to get a ride in.
Have a good Christmas everyone, and if anyone has a R1200RT they want to "re-gift" send it my way! Thanks, Gary (das Prez).

Another Episode in the Saga of Doug and his Motorcycle, by Doug Schafer

I had a wonderful ride with the Autobahners and the Sioux City crowd to Bob’s Bar in Martinsburg, Neb. More than one expressed joy that I had purchased a new bike and wouldn’t have any more problems with the old 1995 R100RT (Ole Red). Sorry, guys, I still have the old bike and plan on continuing to ride it. After all if I had traded it in where would all my stories come from? So the following is an update:

(Note: Reread September Rolling Wheels and refresh your memory on Doug and his granddaughter’s “almost” trip to the Top O’ the Rockies Rally. Doug took his bike to Judson when he returned home to have the problem diagnosed and this story begins there. - editor)

I barrowed a loaner bike from Ron to ride home after delivering my RT. It began getting dark and I realized I didn’t have any lights. I limped into the Hawes’, left the loaner, and they shuttled me to the Salem exit on I-90 where the “Mad Norwegian” picked me up. In the meantime Ron at Judson Cycle discovered that my charging difficulties were from a weak spring in one of the brushes. No bad rotor after all. All that trouble for a 50 cent spring. Joe, my grandson, volunteered to ride the loaner back to Judson for me, pick up the R100RT and bring it back as far as the Hawes’. For one reason or another I had not been able to get Ole Red the rest of the way home. When I finally made an attempt we discovered that the back tire was covered with oil. Mary and I thought it was the rear seal but Larry set us straight that the shock had just let go and drained all the oil unto the tire and wheel. I left the RT there and dwelled on a plan 2.
The day after the Martinsburg excursion, I fired “Gertie” up and headed for the Hawes’ for a second attempt at getting the RT. Now “Gertie” is kind of small. She is an ‘81 VW Rabbit diesel pickup. Her diesel engine is about 6 HP less than Ole Red, but she recently had a head rebuild. The box is 6 foot long but only about 3 foot wide. The cab is diminutive. I’m not. To get in I have to plop my butt down, duck my head in, lean over to the right, and pull one leg in at a time. Reverse that to get out.
With Larry and Mary’s help we got the bike loaded and secured with a multitude of straps and ratchets and wire. Larry suggested that we load the pickup on the back of Ole Red and go home that way?!? Mary admonished me not to speed - it rarely gets over 55 MPH but does get about 45 MPG at that speed. Ole Red was HUGE in the back of the pickup. I “tiptoed” to the blacktop, drove to Manley, MN, and checked the straps. I put one extra click in one. I didn’t want to stop often so I turned north and headed to the Interstate. “Gertie” settled in at about 52 MPH indicated and I headed west. The wind was very strong from the south and every time we were passed by anything larger than an SUV the top heavy, narrow pickup would sway MENACINGLY. When a semi passed it was PANICSVILLE. I had visions of a semi creating enough suction to tip my whole rig over.
When I finally made it to a lowered 65 MPH speed area I was passed with less force. The 25 MPH cloverleaf at I-90/I-29 was taken at less than the recommended speed. That was probably “a first” in the 50 years that the interchange has been in existence. When I finally turned off the interstate, the excruciating pain in my chest started to subside. No, I don’t believe it was cardiac in nature rather it was the extreme muscle fatigue that my less than massive pectorals were suffering from my death grip on the wheel. Now on two-lane roads the cars behind me no longer had a passing lane and were impolitely impatient. Only one gave me the great American salute. Was I really going that slow? I’m thinking that if I get “Gertie” and Ole Red home in one piece, this might make a good story. When I stopped at a stoplight a moth that I had hit on the Interstate in Minnesota that was stuck between the windshield and the wiper just shook itself off and flew away. (You cannot make something like that up).
When I made it home almost 2 hours and about 80 miles later all was well. Even a Styrofoam cup, half full of coffee, balanced on the transmission tunnel hadn’t fallen off. A neighbor came over and helped Marge and me unload it. Life is good and the saga will continue.
PS. Next up for “Gertie” are new springs, shocks and struts. After all they are 29 years old.

Autobahners make Fall Trek to Bob's Burgers at Martinsburg NE for Lunch.

A tradition to ride to Bob's Bar in Martinsburg, NE, for giant size ham-burgers in March and again in late fall has started with this club. Bad weather often occurred on these scheduled dates. This fall we decided not to schedule but to watch the weather forecast and pick a Saturday when the weather was to be favorable and leave after Saturday morning breakfast even if it meant only a few days notice. With the magic of e-mail all Autobahners (almost) were notified and we had a good turn-out.
On Sat. November 6th, people started showing up for breakfast at Grandma Max's. It was a sunny morning with temps in the balmy 30’s. We had riders that seldom make it to the Sat. morning “brain trust” except for the anticipation of the culinary treat that awaits us some 100 miles to the south across the border in "Husker" country. We rode the back roads of Minnehaha, Lincoln, Turner, and Clay counties and the crossed the Missouri River south of Vermillion, SD. Then it was on to Newcastle and Ponca, before the final 7 miles to our destination. There were riders from as far away as Menno, Yankton, Hardwick, and Sioux City, just to name a few towns represented. We arrived plenty early and had our choice of tables. Bob's still had all the amenities I remember from previous trips. We ordered and the burgers were huge, the sides huge, and the prices modest. If I remember correctly there were 16 of us in our group. No one left hungry. It's always fun to see the looks on the faces of people that have never been there before when the food is brought out. The ride back was awesome with that strong south wind on our backs. So, let's "plan" on a trip back to Bob's in March, 2011, when the roads are dry and the temps are north of 32 degrees.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Rushed by the Wind

Rushed by the Wind. by Cecilia Elaine Gillen (age 10)

I tuck my hair behind my ears, and slip my blinding red helmet on. Kicking my leg over the motorcycle, I get on. I see a mouse scatter by as my dad gets on next. He revs the engine, and the motorcycle roars to life. We back out of a toy stuffed garage.
Then we race down the street as I take in whiffs of gas fumes. Now we're nearing the gas station. As we slowed down the wind whistled around my helmet. My dad stops to feed the bike the ooey gooey gas it constantly craves. Then my dad shoots me a gigantic smile. We take off again rushing into the country. The grass sways peacefully as the mixture of herbs and grains come together to create an earthy smell. We come to a sudden halt and I slam up against my dad's back. I murmur I'm sorry but he doesn't hear me. Instead he turns around, and we head home.
The land become familiar and soon we enter our neighborhood. Now we're nearing the house. Dad opens the garage door, and we enter. He kicks down the peg, and gets off first according to plan. I get off next. Then we both start to take off our gear. I pull off my helmet, and my hair is no longer silky, but poofy and full of static. Home Sweet Home.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Prez Sez, October 2010

Submitted by Gary Johnson
Hi everyone. Do any of you feel like the riding season has sort of passed you by? Well I do, and here's why; lots of plans, or should I say desires to go to more rallies this year, too many other things going on or coming up that prevented rally attendance. Weather forecasts that discouraged rally attendance. I'm guilty of lack of commitment I guess. I hope this hasn't happened to you.
October can be a great month to get some quality riding time in. The Falling Leaf Rally is a good one, or so I've heard. This year lack of enough vacation time from work is my demise. To those of you who are fortunate enough to go, have a safe and fun trip. Another thing that bothers me, is the good people that are newer members to the club and I haven't see you lately. Part of this is my fault for missing so many Saturday morning breakfasts. I hope to be there more regularly the rest of this year and beyond. Well, maybe I've said enough for now. Let's hope this October brings us better weather than last year's dismal, poor excuse for fall weather. I rode more in November last year than I did in October! Take care everyone, and sneak those rides in when you can!

Women's Health Issue

Below is the contribution that Dale did e-mail to me. Not the “KLR tipped over/ egg plant colored ankle” story I was looking for. But interesting none the less. Could it be a coincidence that I received it just days after I sat next to Dale at the Wednesday night supper at Cherry Creek and enjoyed a strawberry margarita? It was half-price margarita night - there was no choice!!

Women's Health Issue
Do you have feelings of inadequacy? Do you suffer from shyness? Do you sometimes wish you were more assertive? Do you suffer exhaustion from the day to day grind? If you answered yes to any of these questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist about Margaritas.
Margaritas are the safe, natural way to feel better and more confident about yourself and your actions. Margaritas can help ease you out of your shyness and let you tell the world that you're ready and willing to do just about anything. You will notice the benefits of Margaritas almost immediately and with a regiment of regular doses you can overcome any obstacles that prevent you from living the life you want to live. Shyness and awkwardness will be a thing of the past and you will discover many talents you never knew you had. Stop hiding and start living, with Margaritas. Margaritas may not be right for everyone. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use Margaritas. However, women who wouldn't mind nursing or becoming pregnant are encouraged to try it.

SIDE EFFECTS MAY INCLUDE: Dizziness, nausea, vomiting, incarceration, loss of motor control, loss of clothing, loss of money , table dancing, headache, dehydration, dry mouth, and a desire to sing Karaoke.

WARNINGS: The consumption of Margaritas may make you think you are whispering when you are not. The consumption of Margaritas may cause you to tell your friends over and over again that you love them. The consumption of Margaritas may cause you to think you can sing. The consumption of Margaritas may make you think you can logically converse with members of the opposite sex without spitting.

Editor Note: I didn’t have (at least I can’t remember) any side effects but I still can’t sing!! I’ll keep taking the medication. Thanks, Dale.

My New F650GS Twin

Submitted by Doug Schafer

Mary Hawes was listening to all the banter at the Wednesday night supper and asked for a contribution to the Newsletter that needs to be put out shortly. Dale had an exciting story to tell about a near life threatening motorcycle encounter and a savior in the form of two women, but he declined. She then twisted my arm, about a _ a degree, to tell you about my new F650GS twin. This is the same bike I sat on out in Sturgis when Meggy and I were coming back from our Thermopolis, Wy. adventure.
I had ridden this model of bike at the BMWMOA Rally in Gillette and knew then that it should be my next BMW. I was angry at BMW for lying to me when I discovered that the 2008 F650GS that I thought was a single turned out to be a detuned 800. But ya’ know that test ride really did put a smile on my face. It had been a real hoot to test ride.
I had asked Judson Cycle to get me one of these in blue and thought the deal was done, but due to circumstances beyond their control, it was not to be. Jill worked diligently and found what I wanted at Sturgis Yamaha/BMW. They even agreed to the same deal I had worked out with Judson. I tried to work out a deal to pick it up the morning of Hawes Biker days and ride it back to the campout for the greatest impact of oooohs and aaaahs. Alas, that was not to be either.
So the next Saturday, my Doc let me leave work at 11:00 AM. I beat feet home and picked up the Mad Norwegian, Danielle (youngest daughter), and Morgan (the other motorcycling granddaughter) and we headed west, arriving at Sturgis BMW about 3:30, and signed my life away. Got the “this is the clutch lever, this is the brake lever” introduction, but I also got the “this is the computer, this is the ABS, this is the tank” information. At 4:50 it’s ready to ride back to the Ramkota at Rapid City. So off we go with me leading and Marge and the girls in tow. Did I mention that it was 42.1 degrees, at least that is what the computer read. Does anyone need this information? Ramkota screwed up the reservations so we got the King Suite, nice. Supper at Outback, the tip was $15, don’t ask. Breakfast at Minerva’s, don’t ask, and headed home. Temp 42.7,wow a warming trend.
You’re supposed to break in an engine by varying the speed, no speed over 5000 RPM. How do you do that on a 310 mile interstate run? You pull off at each exit, stop and continue on, and repeat ad nauseaum. Yep, really did. Not exactly every exit but most. Back and butt enjoyed the change of pace that the pull offs afforded. Playing with the computer helped pass the time. 39 miles worth of gas in the tank, average MPG 41, current MPG 52 and of course that damn temperature gage now at 52.0 degrees.
With all the pulling off at an exit and going again I passed the same lady in the same car (makes sense) 7 times between Belvedere and Oacoma. Stopped at Al’s Oasis and when we left her car was parked along side my bike. I really wonder what she thought or did she even notice? Where were my women all this time? A new formula says it takes 3 women the same amount of time to travel a certain distance as it does for a solo motorcyclist to pull over at most exits. They were always behind me, I was always waiting, not long, but waiting. And no, no speed limits were exceeded. (We did a pit stop thank you very much)
Playing with the computer can be fun. Going uphill the MPG drops and if you shut the throttle off going down the James River hill you can watch the MPG climb to 171. Yup, it’s true. So after about 700 miles, what do I think? It’s different. Very narrow. More horsepower and quicker revving than the R100RT. Very light. What does it still need? The tank bag arrived yesterday. The saddle bags will arrive, hopefully, before the Falling Leaf Rally in Potosi. Other things; handle bar risers for sure, mirror extenders probably. And when money presents, crash bars and center stand, and hand guards with wind deflectors. Topbox? Will it ever replace the R100RT? Hopefully not. Will it take me from home to the blacktop over my crappy roads - already doing that with grace. My adventure sometimes is just getting to the blacktop. Will it take me to Alaska and back - certainly hope so, some day. Oh, and when the computer say 0 miles left in the tank you can still go 6 blocks and put in 3.94 gallons. Can you feel my GRIN:)

The ALCAN and the Beartooth Rendezvous

Submitted by Gary Pedersen

(Gary and his wife, Kay, spend their summers in Alaska. This report is about Gary returning to his home at Chester, SD, via the ALCAN and Beartooth Rendevous.)

14 AUG: Anchorage, AK, to Burwash Landing, YT, 534 miles. It was raining when I left Anchorage this morning and it was the 27th continuous day of recorded precipitation there. Biblical jokes were becoming common. It stopped raining by the time I went through Palmer and it continued to get warmer as the day went on. While getting gas at Glenn Allen I met a couple from Oregon that had the real adventure spirit traveling on their Road King. They both worked for the same company and had both been “furloughed” for three weeks. They threw some things in and on their bike and had taken the ferry to Alaska. At Glenn Allen they were buying their first map.
When I got to the Canadian border the temperature was in the high 80sF. Hot for Alaska. There was construction at the border and the nice flag lady had traffic stopped for no apparent reason. I waited for just over thirty minutes when I found out why we were waiting. Six belly dumps, a road grader and a water truck passed the waiting cars, motor homes and motorcycles. Yup, the belly dumps each dropped their loads, the grader made one pass trying to level the gravel and then the water truck turned it into a real mess. And then the nice flag lady turns her sign from “STOP” to “SLOW” and waves us on. I was thinking non-Presbyterian words!
My fork seals had started to leak on the Taylor Highway after D2D and the frost heaves between Beaver Creek and Destruction Bay finished them. The rest of the trip would be with an ever increasing layer of oil and dirt on me and the bike. I stopped at the Burwash Landing Resort because their rooms aren’t too bad, and if it’s not raining their tent camping is free. I’m in the tent this night. Supper was a T-bone, mashed potatoes, mixed veggies and a roll for $13.95. The steak may have been moose. The campground was quiet until about 10:00 pm when four college students from Vancouver arrived, put up their tents and started to finish off many cases of Yukon Gold beer. They finally got quiet about 3:00 am. I’m not sure if they passed out, or just ran out of beer. I actually wished I had a Harley with no mufflers that morning when I left.

15 AUG: Burwash Landing to Watson Lake, YT, 443 miles. This part of the trip was uneventful until I was about 150 miles out of Watson Lake. At one point the smoke from the many forest fires south of Watson Lake had reduced visibility to under 200 yards, it got hard to breath and my eyes were stinging. The Cassiar Highway was closed for several days because of the fires. I like to stay at The Air Force Lodge (privately owned) in Watson Lake. It is one of the cleanest places to stay in North America and is a trip down memory lane for an old retired soldier. My opinion of the lodge has not been biased just because the owner rides a 2003 F650GS.

16 AUG: Watson Lake to Dawson Creek, BC, 601 miles. After the twisty parts of the road around Muncho Lake the road is just lots of long straights through the foothills of the Rockies. There were several bison, caribou and stone sheep along the road, but no crazy tourists to block traffic. The good news is that many of the lodges and gas stations that were closed last year were again open. When I got to Dawson Creek the weather forecast was for winds gusting in excess of 50 mph so I opted to stay in a small motel. Yes, I am a fair weather tenter. I really don’t get any thrill out of rolling up a wet tent in the rain.

17 AUG: Dawson Creek to Canmore, AB, 554 miles. At Grand Prairie I took Hwy 40 south so I could go over to Jasper and Banff National Parks. There were too many tourists for me in the park, but there aren’t really any ways to leave the park once you’re in it. Traffic moved slowly and there were numerous traffic jams any place wildlife got near the highway. One of the reasons people drive through the park I guess. Because of the erratic behavior of many of the drivers I was following at twice the normal distance from the cars in front of me when sure enough, the driver locks up all four wheels and comes to a stop. This I was ready for. What I wasn’t ready for was for the idiot to then put the car in reverse and floor it, pealing out in reverse. I’m now off to the ditch to get out of his way. I have no idea what the driver thought he saw that was worth doing that stunt. The small black bear that was 200 yards from the road was not worth what he did
In Canmore I checked out three campgrounds, and all backed up to the Trans-Canada Railroad tracks. There were trains about every ten minutes so even though it is nice out I opt for a motel. Yeah, I know. The guy in the room next to me had trailored his Harley from Toronto to Sturgis and was on his way to Vancouver, with the HD in the trailer. He wouldn’t even have a beer with a BMW rider. Oh well, more hydration for me.

18 AUG: Canmore to Great Falls, MT, 436 miles. East of Canmore I turned south and went through the Elbow Sheep Wildland Prov Park and then east to AB22. I then was on the east edge of Glacier National Park until Browning, MT. Great roads and very little tourist traffic. After coming out of the mountains I stopped in Fairview, MT, for gas and something cold to drink. While resting I noticed the Malting Barley Capital sign across the street. A definite “Kodak moment”. I have now been to the source of true happiness in the world! At Great Falls the weather was great for camping, not too much wind and not a cloud in the sky so I stopped at a camp ground. I put the tent up, opened everything up to air out and went for a shower. As I was coming out of the shower I saw a bunch of little black round things pop up from the ground. Yup, the in-ground sprinkler system came on. I must be the only guy that can put a tent up in the sun and still get soaked. Luckily the wind had come up and my things dried out in a couple of hours. It took me a little while longer to cool off.

19 AUG: Great Falls to Red Lodge, MT, 289 miles and the Beartooth Rendezvous. I went east from Great Falls on MT3 and then south on US191 to I-90 at Big Timber. At Columbus I went south again on MT78, curves again. I got to Red Lodge about noon, had lunch and then headed to the Lion’s Beartooth Mountain Youth Camp and the Beartooth Rendezvous.
The Beartooth BMW Club calls this event a rendezvous instead of a rally because they don’t have a list of scheduled rally type activities. With all of the great roads to ride in the area there really is no need for activities. You are only a few miles south of the start of the switch-backs that go to Beartooth Pass, you are fifty miles from the north gate of Yellowstone, about sixty miles from the Big Horn Mountains, and the list goes on. The advance registration is $50, and it’s $70 at the door. For this you get supper Thursday (spaghetti), Friday (BBQ pork) and Saturday (prime rib), live music on Friday night; coffee, tea, ice water, chips and pretzels all day, clean showers/restrooms and a really great place to camp. For an additional $20 for three nights you could have a bunk in one of the cabins and the opportunity to meet new friends that enjoy motorcycles. There were only three of us in my cabin. The Red Lodge Ales microbrewery had a concession set up and 16 oz drafts were $4. Breakfast and lunch were served by the Billings Lions for $8 and $5 dollars. Breakfast was an “all-you-can-eat” buffet that caused a problem for me on Friday morning. I had planned to sleep in, but the smells of bacon, eggs and coffee had me up by 6:30 to sample the scrambled eggs with ham and eggs, plain scrambled eggs, hash browns, bacon, link sausage, biscuits and gravy, pancakes, french toast and fruit. Do people really eat fruit? On Saturday it was back to oatmeal and ground flax seed for me. I don’t know what was for lunch, I was riding in the Beartooth mountains at noon on Friday and Saturday (even with bad fork seals). Some of the riders thought that the registration, breakfast and beer prices were a little high, but one has to remember that the profits from all of the sales at the rendezvous go to the Billings Lions to help run the camp for children with special needs.
The Billings Lions started the camp in 1928 and then the camp went through the WPA, CCC and the Forest Service until the Billings Lions again took possession. There are thirteen small cabins, separate boy’s and girl’s shower buildings, a great dining hall and assorted other buildings in a really great setting.
I thought I might have a chance at the long-distance rider by riding from Anchorage, but a couple from Australia had flown to Portland, bought a BMW and rode to Alaska, then to Red Lodge. At sign-in I was feeling pretty good about getting to Red Lodge in five and a half days, but the lady doing sign-in (Pam) said that when she and her husband rode from Missoula to Anchorage it took them fourteen weeks-----on their bicycles! Smack me up side my ego. There was also one wild animal incident in the campgrounds. It seems a chipmunk got into a tank bag, ate all of the sunflower seeds and then pooped and peed in the tank bag.
By Saturday afternoon there were about 150 motorcycles and 170 people at the camp ground. There were three Autobahners at the Beartooth Rondy – Dave McBride, Bob Mandel and myself. Where were you? (Gary Plush also attended. Ed. note.)
The 2011 Beartooth Rendezvous is tentatively scheduled for 18-21 August. It is an event that you should plan to attend.

22 AUG: Red Lodge to Rapid City, 436 miles. The Big Horn Mountains were great, but not as large as I remembered them. I was last there in 1954 when I was five years old. The Medicine Wheel National Historical Landmark is worth the stop and hike from the parking area to see the wheel. When I got to Sheridan a bank sign said it was 100F. A summer in Alaska did not acclimatize me for this. When I got to Spearfish and stopped to see some friends it was 106F. I got to Rapid City about 4:30 and got an air conditioned motel room. There’s no A/C in my tent. It was hot.

23 AUG: Rapid City to Chester, about 350 miles. I got home about 1:15 after an uneventful trip on I-90.

Monday, September 6, 2010

"The Prez Sez", Sept. 2010

Submitted by Gary “das prez” Johnson

Hi everyone, I hope all of you have been enjoying the summer. I know I have. One of the biggest news items for our club this month is the election of long-time member (and all around good guy) Hoot Gibson to the office of State Commander of the American Legion. A special day was set aside to honor and install Hoot as State Commander on Saturday, August 14th, at the American Legion and The Veterans Memorial Park in Sioux Falls. I felt very proud and honored to be included in this special event, knowing I was surrounded by heroes of this great nation.
The following weekend was the annual Baxter Cycle open house in Marne, Iowa. There was a good number of Autobahners there mixing with fellow motorcycle enthusiasts. The weather was very warm, but dry. The new Triumph demo rides were fun as well as the socializing during the day and evening in the city park. This is one of my favorite m/c events of the summer.
Lots of good riding coming up in September, cooler, less humid days and of course, the premier Autobahn event; Hawes Biker Days!! If you don't know some of our members that live farther away, this is a great opportunity to meet them. This event is well attended so make plans now to attend or regret it later.
This pretty well sums up my recent riding experiences. I haven't been on any big trips this year, mostly due to the constraints of time and money, but I do enjoy the time I am able to spend on my bikes. We all have different situations and although we are different in many ways, we are often lucky enough to share our motorcycle experiences with each other. Let's be thankful for what we have had and have now. I hope there are many more wonderful years of Autobahn Club experiences for all of us. Take care, see you soon!

Husker Rally

Submitted by Lee Hendrix

Mary asked me; let me rephrase that, told me to write up a little story to tell all about the Husker Rally. The main thing is it's a fun little rally and we would like to encourage more attendees from the Autobahners. However, we did win the biggest club award again with 8 attendees. A good time was had by all - plenty to eat and to top things off we had a young entrepreneur show up with a homemade ice cream truck. The story is he is only 17 or so and is still in high-school. He and his dad put the truck together last winter and he is going around to towns in the area and also to any special events such as our rally and peddles his wares which we took advantage of generously. Skeeter even bought Mary an ice cream! The stew was excellent as always and I can't say enough about the beans and the cornbread. I must not fail to mention our Husker Rally storm that usually blows through at sometime or other during the festivities. We had some damage to tent poles (Tom’s) and a couple bikes blew over. All survived with minimal damage. Mary rode her new bike, at least new to her, and won at least 3 prizes of one kind or other - for her K bike, her age?? & the distance she came. Tom got a first place award in the bike show for his 75 airhead, which did look sharp. I got 2nd place in the touring class with my ‘08 Goldwing. I would like to mention there were only 2 in the class.
As an afterthought, Dave McBride was going west to Beartooth and points of interest in that direction from the rally. Jan and I had tentatively planned on having breakfast with Dave, but due to threatening clouds we decided to try to out run the rain. We made a dash east while Dave had to head west.

Top O' the Rockies Rally, Almost / The Electrical Idiot

Submitted by Doug Schafer

A series of problems had conspired to keep my 15 year old granddaughter, Megan, and me from doing the Beartooth Pass/Chief Joseph Highway and the Top O’ the Rockies rally in Paonia, Colorado, for the last several years. This year I hoped it would be different. And it was, kinda. About 8 days prior to departure I had discovered that my shock had died. A fast internet search and calling all the dealers within a reasonable radius revealed nothing available on that short notice. Ron from Judson Cycle came through for me by “borrowing” one from a bike in storage. Thanks Ron!
We were pretty much set Saturday night. The bike was loaded Sunday early AM and we set off on our great adventure. We took the back roads to Hulett, WY, then to Devil’s Tower. My one and only picture was taken of the Tower and Granddaughter. Then on west to Buffalo to stay at my special camping spot in their KOA. Can’t, because it now is part of the parking lot for Hamilton Suites. Damn! Oh well, 550 miles and we elected to motel it that night. Up early in the morning and North on I-90 to Ranchester then West on 14A over the Big Horns. Wyoming DOT, in their wisdom is straightening 14A just before you get to Burgess Junction. They were wetting down the talcum powder dusty gravel making about 300 yards of scary, slippery, sloppy, unpleasant construction. They should just ban cars and trucks and leave the crooked roads for us bikers. Right?
While at breakfast at Bear Lodge, I realized that Marge and I had been having breakfast here many years ago (29 years almost to the day) with Meggy’s mother, Shelly, when Shelly was 15 years old. Dejavu all over again. We considered the gravel road up to the Medicine Wheel but settled for reading the “Point of Interest” sign instead. Down the West side, about 2300 foot drop in 10 miles, very steep with lots of curves and switchbacks. Meggy wasn’t impressed with her foot pegs dragging “lots of” times (one). We finally made it to the KOA at Cody and coughed up the grand some of $37.50 for a tent site. Who was there but Gary Plush, an old friend from Mobridge and a fellow member of the Autobahn Society. While we talked, Meggy disappeared to the horse coral. She came back later requesting $5.00 to ride the horses. Regular rate is $35.00. Something about pretty girls and skinny cowboys. Gary coughed up that $5.00. I advised the cowboy that she was 15 and I was retired Law Enforcement. I believe he got the point. She was gone long enough that I went looking for her, but indeed she was with the horses. Skinny cowboy in close proximity.
The next morning we headed up Chief Joseph highway. Great biking road. Then turned East on US212, the Beartooth Pass highway, elevation 10947‘. Ran into road construction again. The mosquitoes were horrible as we waited about 20 minutes for a flag car. I was bit multiple times in the only skin available, my right wrist and the nape of my neck. Meggy wasn’t bitten once. Just goes to show you who is the sweetest. Not!! We stopped at the store and picked up a “Got Altitude” T-shirt for her. Megan got some great pictures looking west from the pass, then down 2800’ in 12 miles into Red Lodge for breakfast. Back to Cody and headed to Meeteetse.
About Meeteetse I noticed that the volt meter was starting to register discharge and it keeps slowly going down. We stopped in Thermopolis, WY, and got a motel room across from an O’Reiley’s Auto parts store. I called Ron from Judson and we talked over my electrical problem. It sounded like a rotor problem. I‘ve been through 3 of them in 240K. Last time I had a rotor problem and didn’t take Ron’s advice it cost me near $500.00 in Seattle. This time we agreed to have a rotor Next Day FedEx and then we would be on the road. As it was about 6 PM it would be a two day Next Day delivery. OK, 2 days in Thermop (local’s vernacular for their town). O’Reileys charged the battery and it took 5 hours to charge for no fee. Well, the rotor got lost and I spent 72 hours confined with a 15 year old girl, in a motel mostly watching “Hannah Montana”, “the Witches of Waverly Place” and “a Suite Life on Deck” (Disney Channel) hour, after hour, after hour, after…. Well you get the idea. They say you lose so many brain cells per day, I’m sure I lost that many per hour while the TV was on. I don’t have that many to give up either.
By the fourth night in town my frustration level was peaking. It seems that they could not track the rotor any further than St Paul, and couldn’t insure that the rotor would even be in the next morning. I knew that I could get at least 100 miles on a fully charged battery from experience and Ron suspected many more if I could disconnect all the lights. So the plan was to get up the next morning, ride as far as we could, charge the battery and repeat until we got home. I checked both auto parts stores in town and finally bought a really nice battery charger. Cut the ends off, attached a different connection to match the current set up for charging on my bike, and was ready to go.
Up early the next morning (Saturday) and on the road. Stopped in Ten Sleep for gas and headed east. Stopped for Breakfast at the Deer Lodge, retracing the steps from when Shelly was with us so many years ago, and east to Buffalo. An early morning start, a full stomach, and a child that likes to sleep in, caused some heart stopping times as Meggy would nod off in a 65 MPH sweeper and she would start to slide off. Even with me shaking her, this happened about 3 times. We did safely make it to Buffalo, where it dawned on me that the volt meter wasn’t even starting to show discharge. OK, east to Gillette, gas in Moorecroft, still no discharge. On to Sturgis, where I stopped to look at my next bike, a blue F650GS, at Sturgis Yamaha/BMW. Meggy’s not impressed. Looked to her like it would only hold one person. Good for me, I think she is planning on another riding adventure. She makes the decision to continue to get home in one day and so we “slog” home finally arriving at home about 9 PM. AND in all that time absolutely no discharge on the volt meter.
We will let Ron figure out the problem next week. And as for Meggy, “Well, are you ready to go to Paonia next year?” Her response, “Ask me next year.” I’ll take that as a yes. Bob Vagstad, former Autobahn Society regular, regretted that he hadn’t gotten his granddaughters involved early enough in motorcycling and that they simply moved on with their lives. Bob, I’m trying, having a blast and making great memories.
Postscript: talked with Ron today and he thinks possibly it’s only a “bulb” problem. Will have to drop it off for him to look at. He laughed during our whole conversation. I wonder why??

Sturgis 2010, 70th Anniversary (Our First Sturgis Experience)

Submitted by Perry Bly – ‘02LT

After kicking around the idea for a while, we finally decided we couldn’t pass. Kim has an Uncle that lives in Black Hawk and gave us an open invitation. We left the kids to fend for themselves, and headed out to catch the tail end of the Rally. We left Friday after lunch and had a beautiful ride out to The Hills. The traffic coming east was bumper to bumper with bikes and campers pulled off the interstate everywhere. Traffic was so heavy. The areas where lanes condensed for construction were completely stopped. We feared there wouldn’t be anyone left at the rally. The flow east subsided as we approached Rapid. The temperature and humidity did as well. After all the heat and humidity we have had at home, Rapid felt downright cold. We spent the rest of Friday night with Kim’s uncle and had a great time.
Saturday we left Black Hawk and headed south to ride the Needles Highway and Wildlife Loop in Custer State Park. It was rainy and 59 degrees. We rode out of the rain near Keystone and enjoyed sun by the time we arrived in Custer. The temp stayed cool all day. I loved it, but Kim was pretty chilly. This ride was amazing. We loved the Needles, but The Iron Mountain Road (16A) was by far our favorite. The LT is perfection for two up riding like that!
After a nap, we headed into Sturgis to see the Rally and the night life. What can I say? If I was there to party – that’s the place to do it. I’m not impressed otherwise. How many t-shirts stands can you have in a 12 block area? There should be as many muffler retailers. There are a lot of things we witnessed, that I just don’t get. I’ll just leave it at that. I did love seeing the custom bikes. BMW was very well represented there. You all can be proud.
It was definitely worth seeing. I would recommend the experience at least once. I look forward to riding The Hills again (under quieter circumstances).

Hoot Gibseon Elected SD American Legion State Commander

Submitted by Gary Johnson

Hoot Gibson, long time Autobahn member, was officially installed as State Commander of the South Dakota American Legion on Saturday, August 14, 2010. Autobahners in attendance were Gary Haines, Harold & Mavis Neuberger, Bob Jensen, and Gary Johnson. Gary Haines, Bob Jensen, and Gary Johnson were part of the motorcycle escort to the Veterans Memorial Park from the American Legion. At the Park, Commander Gibson laid a wreath at "Going Home" statue and gave a short speech. This was one of the first official duties of the new state commander. After the ceremony at the park, a lunch was served at the Legion followed by the Homecoming and installation program. Many distinguished guests, fellow veterans and friends were there to honor Hoot. The following was reprinted from Sioux Falls American Legion Post 15 website.
G. D. “Hoot” Gibson of Sioux Falls, SD, member of Sioux Falls Post 15, was elected as the State Commander of The American Legion Department of South Dakota by delegates attending the 92nd Annual State Convention of The American Legion in Spearfish on Sunday, June 20. Gibson was nominated by Darwin Wahlert of Sioux Falls Post 15 and his nomination was seconded by William Dolan of Beresford Post 72. Commander Gibson was the winner of a roll call vote from the floor of the Convention over candidate Nancy Lemieux of Pierre Post 8. Commander Gibson is a 50 year, honorary Paid-Up-For-Life member of Sioux Falls American Legion Post 15 in Sioux Falls, SD. He served as Post Commander and is currently serving as the coordinator for Boys State and Oratorical Contests. Commander Gibson is a century go-getter, recruiting over 100 members on a yearly basis. He received the Robert C. Gabrielson Memorial Leadership Award in 2007. For the past several years, he has served the Department as the Master-At-Arms. He also has served as an Assistant Master-At-Arms at the last few National Conventions. Commander Gibson served in the South Dakota Air National Guard. He was called to active duty March 1, l951 to November 30, 1952. He was one of the original graduates of the Air National Guard NCO Academy. He retired November 30, 1989, from full time employment with almost 39 years as superintendent of computer systems. Commander Gibson is a member of the First Lutheran Church, Minnehaha Lodge #5, Moose #503, Independent Order of Foresters, YMCA Youth leader for eight years, South Dakota Enlisted Association, The Retired Enlisted Association, 40/8, and the National Rifle Association. He volunteers at the Sioux Falls VA Medical Center.

Baxter Cycle Open House, Marne IA

Submitted by Marlin Wolter

I left for Marne on Saturday morning (August 21) about 6am, it was very foggy. I guess you could say “unsafe foggy” but I thought I’d get out of the fog soon. It was a 103 miles before I got out of it. I still made it to Marne by 9:30 am. I had that great Boy Scout breakfast and hung around for a while. I went on to Des Moines for the day. It was our granddaughter’s 4th birthday and grandpa couldn’t miss that! Got back Saturday night in time to enjoy the evening. Sunday morning found us all up early and enjoying the breakfast again. Some of our group left for home before it got too hot, but a few of us stayed for more Triumph Demo Rides and of course that FREE hot dog lunch. We rode through the Loess Hills going home and had a great great week-end.

I Rode the Wheels Off My Bike!!!

Submitted by Dale Nordlie

I was cruising along on my way to the Baxter Rally last Friday (August 20th) thinking what a wonderful day. The weather was great, the roads in the Loess Hills of Iowa were grand, and my GS was running fantastic. I had just finished lunch at Runt’s in Smithland and was moving along about 90 mph on the road south of town when I had to stop for a stop sign. I took off from the stop sign and the bike just doesn't feel quite right. Real squirmy and I'm thinking I must have a flat tire. I jump off the bike, kick the tires, do a quick look around, don't see anything wrong, get back on the bike, take off, still squirmy, something happens, bike kills on the side of the road. I try to get the bike up on the centerstand. Doesn't budge. Give it a little more push and all of a sudden the rear wheel falls completely off and the bike goes all the way down with the final drive supporting it in back. What would a real biker do in this situation? Call triple A? Set the piece of crap on fire? Get drunk? Never mind, real bikers ride bikes that have axles!!!
After the initial shock wore off, I determined that I would need to lighten the rear end of the bike in order to get it up on the centerstand. I removed the camping chair, trunk and saddlebags and the thing was still too heavy for me to get up. If you are familiar with the roads in the Loess Hills, you already know that there isn't much traffic. I'd already been stopped for 10 or so minutes and no one goes by. I'm thinking what I should do next, when two pickups appear, one out of the north and one out of the south. I flag them both down and the fellow out of the south agrees to help me out.
Ryan is a paramedic and he thought he had stumbled onto a bad accident. He saw my helmet and jacket lying off in the grass and initially thought it was a person. He also is young, big and strong and has no problems lifting the bike 2 feet off the ground so that I can get the centerstand down. He helps me get the wheel back on, and he is the one that gets the first bolt started. I haven't mentioned it yet, but all four of the bolts were still with the wheel, they all must have worked out simultaneously. He also has a 4 way tire iron to torque the bolts on. He stays with me while I give the bike a test ride to see if it is roadworthy. It is, I thank him and he takes off.
Now it is duct tape time!! When the wheel fell off it did a number on the rear brake calipers, bent them up and made them not functional. I removed them from the mount and taped them to the final drive swingarm. I didn't want to remove them completely because I was afraid that it might affect my front brakes. I also note that the saddlebag mount on the lower right side is broke off, can't duct tape in on though. I load everything back on the bike and then get the great idea of lashing the wobbling right saddlebag onto the camping chair with duct tape. Works great, thanks to Red Green, he's my hero.
Now what to do? Go home and get a different bike? Go to the rally and get a cold beer from Paul (my brother)? Yes, go to the rally, slow at first, but the bike seems to be tracking OK. I made several stops to see if the bolts were holding and they were. Larry and Bill arrived shortly after I did and shared some cold beers with Paul and me. Paul went for ice at the bar to cool down some beer he had purchased earlier and while he was there visited with Steve, the owner of the machine shop in Marne about fixing a few things on my bike Saturday morning.
Steve welded the saddlebag mount together and straightened the calipers out enough so that I could reattached them with bolts, still not functional, but I got rid of the duct tape. We agreed that if the wheel bolts were holding OK the way they were I shouldn't mess with them until I got home.
The ride home was nice, although any little squirminess from the bike made my ass pucker. What is the moral to the story? Check the wheel bolts occasionally? Find a better mechanic? Get a bike with an axle----no wait, 4 of the 5 bikes I have do have rear axles. I don't know, but I know that last Friday, considering what the outcome might have been, I was one of the LUCKIEST people in the world

Meister Takes 3rd at Nate Kern/Track Day

Submitted by Tom Meister

My tent is still in a state of shock from the Husker Rally, but with a little TLC I think it will get me past this riding season. So I decided to attend Track Day at the Mid America Raceway.
About a month ago I visited the raceway to see what the track was like. A Porsche car club was using the track that day. Admission was free. Just had to sign a paper to not hold anyone responsible for damages. The track is a little over two miles long with 12 curves and about a mile long straightaway. Using my watch I timed the cars that day. The cars were doing a lap in two minutes & twenty seconds and I was told would hit 140 mph on the straightaway. This Sunday I timed the BMW S1000RR and it would due a lap about twenty to twenty five seconds faster than the cars. Nate Kern would even pull a wheelie about two thirds of the way down the straightaway. Just like my 90/6 can do!!!!!
I had decided to just watch, admission was again free. To my surprise they had a parade lap and let us use the track for two practice laps. In my group I was the only one with saddle bags - which were still loaded. Also had the oldest bike. I was third in line and was determined to hold my own and not be passed or, heaven forbid, be lapped. I kept telling myself this is not a race. It was nice to be able to use all the track to take a curve. At the end of two laps I was still in third place and never was even close to being passed. Nate Kern “eat your heart out”. They even had someone wave the checkered flag for us, just for the three of us. Hey third place is still third place.
It was fun to watch, maybe a total of some 30-40 bikes circle the track. Some were quite good and never held back & were there to race. Others were just there to learn and have fun. If they have this event next year I recommend this for anyone who wants to improve his skills or just to have some legal fun.

The Zens of Bugs On A Windshield

Submitted by Bram Weidenaar

On Wednesday evening the 25th of August, I attended my first Autobahn Society dinner at the Royal Fork in Sioux Falls since becoming a member. Upon entering the restaurant, I was warmly greeted immediately by several members. Conversation over dinner was filled with getting to know the other members and quite enjoyable.
Following dinner, we congregated in the parking lot to ogle each other’s bikes. It was a cool evening with little wind. So, I headed south following Gary and Jan Johnson toward Canton along Highway 111. After a brief stop in Canton to switch from sunglasses, we rode the loop past Newton Hills State Park, through Fairview, over the Big Sioux and back along the Iowa side to Canton. Parting company with the Johnsons in Canton. I blasted back to Sioux Falls on I-29.
The next morning before I left for work I looked at my K1200LT in the garage. The front was covered in bug guts. I had to smile to myself thinking of how much I enjoyed getting my otherwise clean bike dirty. It’s the seemingly meaningless things like seeing bugs on a windshield of your Beemer that make riding what it is and can’t be explained to those who don’t ride.
Fall is upon us. Now is my favorite time to ride. The days are warm and the evenings are cool. Due to the wet summer, we have bugs in abundance.
I am looking forward to more bugs on my windshield & I am going to keep pestering Tom, the self-described “fun hater”, Wadsworth to ride.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Horay for Hoot!

Hoot Gibson was elected State Commander for the South Dakota American Legion June 20 in Spearfish. A ceremony to honor this occasion will take place in Sioux Falls on Saturday, August 14. The ceremonies will start with a continental breakfast at the Legion (1701 W. Legion Dr.) from 9-11 and will continue at 11:00 with a "caravan" to Memorial Park where a lite lunch will be served from 12:00 - 1:00. The installation will take place from 2:00 - 4:00. Social hour, dinner and dance will take place later. Hoot has invited Autobahners to attend the events. He will be riding in a sidecar for the caravan and would especially like to have Autobahners and their BMW's ride with him. This is a very important position for Hoot and it would be nice for Autobahn to show their support.

Contact Gary Johnson for details - buzzfeldspar@yahoo.com,

Sunday, August 8, 2010

August President's Message

The Prez Sez…..
Hi Beemer Fans. When you see this message, it will already be August! Summer is going fast (like always) and I don't feel like I've done enough riding. I checked the miles on my "new" rear tire and it already has 5000+ miles on it! How did that happen? I guess those trips to Lucan and Verdigre do add up.
There are some good motorcycle events still coming up. For example, Baxter Cycle Open House in Marne, IA Aug. 21 & 22, The Husker Rally in Nebraska, Aug. 13-15. Oh yeah, there's a rally in the Black Hills, August something, with lots of bikes going about saving lives (loud pipes, save lives).
Finally I've been doing my civic duty in my home town of Canton, "The Gateway City". Most evenings I go on Scooter Patrol, riding the neighborhoods on my super quiet Kymco. Often Mrs. Johnson (The First Lady) goes along as my assistant Scooter Patrol Person. It's good to have an extra set of "eyes" if you will. After a good excursion through town, Jan & I can go home and sleep well well knowing everything is fine to the best of our knowledge. This is very informal and not affiliated in any way, shape, or form with our local neighborhood watch or police or sheriff departments!! If any of you would like to help out there will be a sign up sheet at our next “Scooter Patrol” meeting. Time and place to be determined. Maybe!!
Take care, ride safe, ride often (even if it's a scooter).
Gary "das prez" Johnson.
Rider of '96 R1100RT (totaled as for insurance purposes*) & '09 Kymco 250 Grand Vista (still not broken).
*Gary’s parked bike was backed into and knocked down. Another story.

Weekend Trip form Colorado Springs to Sioux Falls, by Rich Crawford

(Rich recently moved from Rock Rapids, IA, to Colorado Springs, CO)
On weekend of June 25-26-27 I rode my R1100 RT from Colorado Springs to Sioux Falls to participate in Salute to The Troops at Sioux Empire Fairgrounds, including Honor Flight Luncheon on Saturday and Warriors Worship Service on Sunday. "The Wall" was on display there as part of the event, along with a number of other military and historical exhibits. On Sunday PM and Monday I was able to visit with a number of relatives and friends in SD and IA before motoring to Omaha for the night, and taking off from there early Monday for balance of trip home. It was 730 miles here to SF, and about 200 miles in and around the area, and another 795 miles back westward. Got some sunburn on return trip, and took a hit from small stone from construction truck, striking me between the helmet and goggles. Good argument for full-face helmet protection.
We would welcome any Beemer riders to swing by our place outside of Colorado Springs when their travels bring them this direction?

Me Hard at Work????, by Gary Pedersen

So here I am, retired and working summers in Alaska and getting paid to stand on footpegs, have handlebars in my hands and watch wildlife. It's a pretty good gig. (Gary works part time as a guide for Alaska ATV Adventures.) It is hard to believe that we’ve been here almost three months. The tourist numbers are up considerably from last year and I worked the first eleven days when I got here in May. Things have settled down now and I am back to the two to four days a week that I like. The salmon are late arriving, and the numbers are down so the bears have remained high on the mountain sides making it difficult to get the clients close to the bears. I thought you might like to see a few pictures of me “hard at work”!!
I will be leaving Alaska for home (Chester, SD) on August 14th and hope to be at the Beartooth Rally in Red Lodge, Montana, on the way home. Will there be any Autobahnners there? gkpeder@itctel.com. 605-489-2665.

Gary also reports that the water pump seal on his 650 went out. The good news is that it went out in town, and not halfway between Nowhere and Noplace. He promises a story.

D2D (Dust to Dawson) Rally, by Gary Pedersen

“A trip of a lifetime, this rally begins wherever you are and culminates in Dawson City at the Downtown Hotel”
This year was a success with over 170 motorcycles in front of the Downtown Hotel at midnight June 24th. There were three injury crashes and ten motorcycles were unable to complete the trip. The most interesting crash was the 2008 R12GS that was literally broken in half when the rider unsuccessfully jumped an erosion caused ravine in the road. A beaver dam broke, and the flood of water almost instantly caused a ditch in the roadway that was about four feet across and four feet deep. Hopefully, I will have pictures to share when I get back.

2010 Top O' the Rockies Rally and Brewery Tour, by Dale Nordlie

I took off the Saturday prior to the rally. My first stop was at Love's (not Pilot anymore) Truckstop for breakfast. I heard several comments about the new tires on my bike. (Some other “unnamed” person was destined to have the tire problems this year.) I noticed that my speedometer was not functioning just after I hit the interstate. Not a problem, as I had a "trusty" GPS?! I arrived in Rapid City mid afternoon and rode Nemo Road and Vonocker Canyon Road to Sturgis to see the new BMW shop. They are on the other side of town now. Took off to climb Bear Butte and then find a place to camp. Later that night I noticed that my "trusty" GPS had added about 200 miles to my trip and that I was really speeding all day. It said I had ridden 658 miles and my average moving speed was 91.3 mph.
I rode Spearfish Canyon Road the next morning and then headed towards Wyoming and then Colorado. The Corvette Rally was ending in Spearfish that morning and I managed to get behind a string of Vettes going about 85 mph between Mule Creek Junction and Lusk, WY. Had a sandwich in Lusk and continued on to Loveland, CO. I set my tent up at Boyd Lake State Park and then found the Left Hand Brewery in Longmont. I sampled a few of the beers (my favorite IPA was called 200 Pound Monkey) and then headed back to the park.
Monday morning I took off into the mountains and stopped in Lyons for breakfast. Dale's IPA is brewed in Lyons, CO, but the brewery wasn't open yet. I continued through Boulder, CO, into the mountains and stopped at Idaho Springs to visit the Tommyknockers Brewpub and then to Breckenridge to the Breckenridge Brewery where I had lunch. That night I camped at a national forest campground somewhere around Fairplay, CO.
I decided I should ride down to Del Norte, CO, on Tuesday. Get it? Dale Nordlie/Del Norte!! Anyway I saw that there was a brewery there, also. I had a small taste of the IPA and took off towards Gunnison. It started to rain in the mountains, but the first shower I just got wet and dried off fairly quickly. In a while I passed a Harley going the other way, and the woman passenger put both of her arms up like she was trying to tell me something, and then I noticed her rain suit. The sky was getting darker and I soon stopped and donned my rain suit. It rained quite a lot and I'm glad I stopped when I did. The problem with getting wet in the mountains is you also get pretty cold. I arrived in Gunnison and promptly found the Gunnison Brewery where I sampled their beers and had lunch. Then it was off to The Black Canyon of the Gunnison. The north canyon road is about as fine a motorcycle road as you can find, and there is very little traffic. I camped at the north park campgrounds that night and watched the sun go down over the canyon.
Wednesday morning I rode into Paonia to have breakfast at the diner. I had breakfast with Dave Maly from Madison, WI. Actually we stayed there for quite a while as it had started to rain while we were eating. Dave has been riding for quite a while and knows several Autobahners. When it stopped raining I headed to the park to set up my tent. I was suprised to see that the beer vendors were already selling beer and was glad to see that they had the local brewery beer on tap. Revolution Brewery has been brewing beer in Paonia for three or four years now. They have the tasting room in a small church building that originally was owned by a Christian Scientist Congregation. Sarah Mandel & Friend Gerald Winter, Bob Mandel & Bill Claussen
Thursday morning I had breakfast early and headed back to the Black Canyon as I had booked a ride on a 40 passenger pontoon boat a few days prior. To get to the boat you have to ride down a fairly steep three quarters of a mile gravel road and then go down maybe 200 steps and hike three quarters of a mile. So I did it. Turned on my camera and it says I need to change batteries. Batteries are on the bike three quarters of a mile and 200 steps up. I knew I would hate myself if I didn't take pictures. So I headed back to the bike to get them. Got to the boat in plenty of time the second go around. The boat ride takes you through the canyon where once there was railroad. The river has been dammed so now most of the old railroad bed is underwater. After the boat ride I walked back as far as I could on the old railroad bed. This is a beautiful boat ride and I would suggest it to anyone who has the chance to do it. Black Canyon of the Gunnison from the top and “end of the line”
I decided to stay close to town on Friday. A bus tour of some of the local wineries was being offered, so I signed up for that. Five dollars got you food and a lot of good wine. After the tour some of us went to Revolution Brewery to do a little beer tasting. Later while visiting in the park Gerald and Bill show up frazzled from a hard day on the road and tire problems.
Saturday I had breakfast with Bill and Gerald and then I rode to Crested Butte, CO, via Kebler Pass on a nice gravel road that gets you high in to the old aspen forests. I did a little sightseeing and shopping in town and checked out where the brewery had been (they had moved down to Gunnison). I rode back on the Black Canyon Road again. We had the traditional chicken and rib supper that night and listened to the band called the Strolling Scones.
Sunday we packed up and Bill, Gerald and I rode together north through the McClure pass to Glenwood Springs and eventually through Rocky Mountain National Park. On the way, Bill took us on a nice gravel road that runs from State Bridge, CO, to Kremmling, CO. We rode as far as Chappell, NE and stumbled on a nice little private cheap campground. Monday we had breakfast in
Gerald & Bill in Rocky Mountain National Park Gerald throws snow balls Ogallala, NE, and continued our trek home.
I put something like 2800 miles on my new to me 1995 R1100GS and it ran great. I got between 40 and 50 miles per gallon on the trip and the only problem was a broken speedometer cable.

MOA National Rally Report, by Ray Hansen

Mary, I did go to the National. No camera so sorry no pictures. I traveled with Tim Jensen from Rapid City and his friend Ben from North Carolina and John Villella from Council Bluffs, IA. We left Rapid City on Wednesday the 14th at 6:00 AM. Traveled to Spokane, WA, for the first day. Arrived at Redmond early afternoon on Thursday. Rally grounds very nice and very well organized. A lot of vendors. BMW had fleet there for demo rides. I did see Dave McBride and Tom Butters and Skeeter at the rally. Traveled the following week to Top of the Rockies in Paonia, CO. Met Gerald Winter, Bill Claussen, Dale Nordlie, Tom Buttars & Skeeter again at Paonia. We rode the Sawtooth in Idaho and through Salt Lake City down to Capitol Reef N.P. and Arches N.P. and followed the Colorado River from Moab into Colorado. Weather was great and other than road construction no issue's. Approximately 750 at the rally in Paonia and 6100 at the National in Redmond. Next year’s national in Bloomsburg, PA.

Local Day Trips, by Dan Saterlee

On Sunday, 7-12-10, a couple of buddies and I decided to take a little day trip in southern Minnesota. Darin Olson, an old Army buddy of mine from Hanley Falls, MN, invited us to ride the Minnesota River Scenic Byway. We started out at 6:00 am from Brandon and met him at his farm about 8:30 AM. He asked us if we were afraid of riding “a little gravel” and we assured him that we were ready. I was riding my R1200GS Adventure, Steve Fiegen was riding his Suzuki VStrom, and Darin was riding his Kawasaki KLR650. We headed to Montevideo and out on the trail. The Scenic Bypass consists of a combination of asphalt, good gravel, bad gravel and if you take some of the off shoot trails, (cont. from previous page) water covered goat paths. As it turns out, his idea of “a little gravel” and mine are two different things. We averaged about 30 MPH on the trip riding roads ranging from rocks and sand requiring pretty technical riding skills to smooth southern Minnesota highways.
The scenery was gorgeous and the weather was perfect. We took our time and ended the Scenic Byway at Redwood Falls where we parted ways. The Byway continues on through New Ulm down to Mankato. We saved that part for another day. All in all it was a great ride and close to home. We ended up putting on about 350 miles in an 11 hour period. We had plenty of breaks along the way. There is no shortage of small burger joints and restaurants along the way. It just goes to show that you don’t have to make a long planned-out distant trip to have a great ride.

Iowa Guzzi Rally, Elkader, IA, by Marlin Wolter

Larry & Mary Hawes and Bill Claussen met me in Round Lake, Mn, about 8:45 am Friday the 9th of July. We headed east on Back Roads all the way to Elkader. It was a perfect day for riding and Larry picked a great route - good roads, light traffic and beautiful scenery. We arrived at Elkader at about 3 pm. Tom Meister was already there and we set up camp in the City Park next to him. There were lots of trees and good facilities.
We were treated to a roast beef supper Friday night. Saturday morning the Legion served us a pancake and scrambled egg breakfast. Tom and I went on the guided trip to Dyersville to the National Farm Toy Museum and the antique store Saturday morning and ate lunch at a restaurant close to the museum. We returned to Elkader by different roads - there are a lot of great roads around that area to ride. Some of the Autobahners rode to Cabela’s at Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin, and did a little shopping.
Saturday night we were treated to a Pork Chop Supper with all the trimmings - including a large selection of pie for desert. I was quite impressed by how much the local community was involved in the Rally. Even the County Dairy Princess and Pork Queen helped serve the meal. After the meal they had a Parade of Bikes through Main Street of Elkader and around the edge of town. I took part in that.
Sunday we got an early start home. Izzy Szkok joined us on the ride home. Once again it was a perfect day for riding and we stumbled on a nice little restaurant at Dunell, MN, for lunch.
I’m looking forward to going back next year. I’m told the 2011 Guzzi National Rally will also be held at Elkader (Ed. Note: Jim Brewer on his Guzzi was also in attendance.)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

July President's Message

"A Great Weekend to be an Autobahner"
AKA The Prez Sez by Gary (das pres) Johnson
Ok, it's always good to be a member of the Autobahn Society, but the past week was especially good. Let me explain. It started with our Wednesday night supper at Murdo's Resort south of Gavin’s Point Dam (a "dam" good time!! Sorry.) We had a great turn-out. I think about 19. After our meal, we were invited to Ed Hill's place where Ed's wife Sue treated us to homemade pie and ice cream, a staple of this club. Ed's shop, aka dream garage, was quite a hit. Thanks again to the Hills from all of us.
That night Mrs. Johnson and I camped with Larry & Mary Hawes and Bill Claussen at the Corp of Engineers Campground at Gavin’s Point. A beautiful evening for camping. The next day we went our separate ways. We met up again on Friday for the Bohemian Alps Rally at Verdigre, NE. If I counted right there were 13 Autobahners in attendance.
Now I'm trying to get to the point and that is.......I probably wouldn't have participated in these activities on my own, and even if I had, it wouldn't have been near as much fun as it was by knowing the Autobahners that shared these experiences with me. This club operates well when we are together, so try to attend as many club functions as you are able. I know you won't regret it. Ride safe and have some fun out there!

Our First Rally

Submitted by Kim Bly
Perry and I recently attended our first ever BMW Rally, the Hiawatha Rally at Money Creek Campground in southeastern MN. Since we have never been big on camping and Perry's dad lived nearby we chose not to camp, so I have to say we didn't get the entire rally experience. We did however spend some time at the campground Friday getting to know some of our members better. Despite the rain on Saturday we enjoyed a great ride along the Mississippi River in Iowa and back to the camp ground where we spent time trying to see how many people we could crowd under a small shade (rain!!) tent! We stayed for an excellent steak dinner and as we finished eating the sun came out. We then decided to ride back to Perry's dad’s while we had some sun. Unfortunately we left before prizes were handed out and it turns out we won the long distance two up contest. I heard that our ice cream cones were enjoyed by some of our other members!
We really enjoyed our first rally experience and have decided that maybe next time we should actually try camping so we get the entire experience (even if it rains) and are looking forward to the next rally.

Pre-National Ride/Campout at Shonley's

Autobahn invited to “Pre-National Ride/Campout” at Shonley’s , Sturgis, SD, July 9-11
Doug Shonley has invited Big Sioux Riders and Autobahners who are headed to the MOA National in Redmond to stop over at his home in “The Hills” July 9-11 for a little pre-rally enjoyment. He writes……
The location is exactly 5.1 miles West of Sturgis, SD, exit 30. We are planning on you arriving late on Friday evening. We have good lights so you won't be completely in the dark when you setup your tent. You will be able to park your bike inside if you want to. We also have an indoor area for eating and conversation in case of inclement weather. Plan now is to have breakfast at the Chat & Chew at 7am and start the rides at 8am. Meet back at the house around 5pm. We will have an evening meal and conversation into the night. Sunday mornings we go to Church. You are welcome to go with us. Make sure your bike is in good running order with fresh tires. The roads are very good, well marked, and usually very clean. This will probably encourage you to use more of the edges of your tires, so you want good ones. If people are interested I can setup an adventure run or two. For those with GSs we can do some gravel etc. Just let me know what you want to see.
Douglas Shonley (605)347-5006

BMW Track Day with Nate Kern

BMW Track Day with Nate Kern at Mid American Raceway, August 22
An opportunity to ride with BMW racer Nate Kern. Nate really knows how to make a BMW go around at speed!! Come spend time at Mid American Motor Plex – 30 minutes south of Omaha - and explore what you and your machine can do within the safety of a closed course. Everybody goes the same way. No trees, signs, poles or dogs. Control riders and instructors insure safe practices. Strict rules tailored to your group level for your safety. Group Levels: BMW Novice (passing only on straights), BMW Intermediate/ Advanced (passing on the outside of curves) & BMW S1000RR.
Kansas City BMW Motorcycle Club, Engle Motors and Omaha BMW, Gina's BMW, & Grassroots BMW are sponsoring the Event. Contact any of the above to participate. $150 fee - $175 day of event. The possi-bility to sit in on tech sessions only is being discussed.

“Spur of the Moment” Saturday Ride

Gary Johnson decided on Friday that he wanted to go for a ride after breakfast the next day, Saturday, June 19th. His plans were to ride to Judson Cycle at Lake Crystal and then visit the Schell Brewery at New Ulm. He e-mailed his plans to 4-5 Autobahners and hoped a “spur of the moment” ride would develop.
Saturday morning found Doug Schafer, Dale Nordlie, & Larry Hawes ready to go. Marlin Wolter who had riden into breakfast from Ocheydan, Ia, decided to ride along. James Anderson decided to ride as far as Mt. Lake and visit his son.
The six headed for Judson dropping James off at his destination. The five remaining “kicked the tires” on all the bikes Ron had in the show room and outside. With that completed four of them headed on to New Ulm. Doug lagged behind to drool over the GS models on display. Arrival at the Schell’s Brewery found it to be closed for the annual Schell Family Reunion.
Not to be disappointed they decided to ride another 50 or so miles west to Lucan, MN, and visit the Brau Brothers’ Brewery. It is a small family owned brewery run by three boys and their father. They arrived at the brewery to find the father and sons were “tasting” beer – Larry’s, Dale’s, Gary’s and Marlin’s kind of people!
The boys gave the Autobahners “the tour” and a few
“samples”. It was a very nice day ride. Proof that a great ride can be coordinated on the “spur of the moment”. Marlin & Larry try new Guzzi’s on for size

34th Iowa (Pure Stodge) Rally

Submitted by Dan Saterlee
Early on in April, I talked to Tom Melick about riding down to the 34th Iowa Rally in Middle Amana, Iowa. We decided to take off on Friday June 11th and ride down. The forecast was for monsoon type rain with wind and lightning. After packing everything in plastic including extra plastic bags, we head off Friday morning. Luckily the weatherman was wrong and it turned into a beautiful ride down to Amana. The one thing I failed to plan for was the fact that this time of year in the Midwest it is either pouring rain or a thousand degrees with 99% humidity.
We arrived at the rally in time for dinner and free beer (which is all the time), set up camp and hooked up with Bill, Larry, and Dale from the Autobahn Society. They rode down the day before with rain the entire way. We all sat and listened to the entertainment while taking advantage of the free beer. The last thing I heard Tom say was that he was going to get his $40 worth of beer. (Tom it actually lasts all three days). During the night a good strong thunderstorm came though and soaked down everything.
The next morning, we rode down to Ned’s Bike shop for hotdogs and then on to Gina’s BMW in Iowa City. The weather started to clear up just in time to see Chris “Teach” McNeil do motorcycle demonstrations on the new G450, F800GS, and the super fast S1000RR. If you haven’t seen him he is impressive. We returned to camp, ate dinner and settled for another night of entertainment.
Sunday morning, everyone headed out for home in the rain. I continued on to St. Louis for the week and had a terrific ride through the wine county of Missouri.
On a side note, during my trip home, I stopped along I-29 in Iowa at a rest area. Three gentlemen in a motor home approached me asking where I was from, where I had been, and where I was going. We talked awhile and they told me that they were on their way to Jackson Hole for a “Then Came Bronson” reunion. I was unfamiliar with this. They told me it was a TV show in 1969 that had inspired them all to ride. Three years ago they met each other on the internet and discovered that they had all been restoring 1969 Harley Sportsters to replicate the bike that was in the show. Across the county there are ten of them and they were having their 2nd reunion in Wyoming. They gave me a copy of the pilot show and showed me their bikes. To say they are enthusiastic would be an understatement but they were very nice and glad to see another rider. If you are interested, their website is www.jimbronson.com.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Prez Sez

Well, by now we are very much into the new riding season. What a great spring we have had so far. I hope you are getting your MOA mileage forms signed and sent in. It looks like some great Wed. night supper rides are coming up and some great regional rallies to look forward to. I often think about how lucky we are to be alive now, in the entire history of the earth we are alive now to enjoy hundreds of technological advances. If we'd been born, say 500 years ago, our days would have been spent just trying to stay alive. That is if we weren't born into nobility. We would have probably never ventured more than a mile or so from our birthplace. Work was drudgery, food often scarce, weather was a major problem, no hope for a better life. And if that wasn't bad enough, NO motorcycles!!
Count your blessings, ride safe and ride often.

Gary 'Das Prez' Johnson

A GOOD START by Doug Schaeffer

About seven years ago the Mad Norwegian and I moved out into the country. Great view, lousy roads. Many things have conspired to keep me off the bike. Whether its Mother Nature with snow or rain, kidney stones or a couple of knee replacements, the bike just hasn’t seen the miles that I have historically put on and that I would like to put on. And I missed that a lot. A good ride has always been my poison control center. Twenty miles and life is just better, brighter. Our house is up on a small hill. A moraine ridge. Around us is a lot of low county. Having water around us like a moat is interesting but has its drawbacks. Water over the road is common for weeks at a time, both on the gravel/dirt road to the North or South. Not a problem for the Subaru's but can be a problem for the bike. If you keep driving in a track you can keep the road firm, even underwater. But the local maintainer guy has an unquenchable need to blade our road just after a firm track has been established. 2 wheels gets kinda squirrelly in freshly bladed gravel/dirt. Then in their infinite wisdom they trucked in 2 loads of LARGE crushed Sioux Quartzite. The only time I tried to go over it on the bike I had 80 yards if shear panic and was constantly on the edge of imminent crashing. Guess I won’t go over that for a while. To the North is 2 1⁄2 miles of soft, frost heaved gravel/dirt, but if you go fast enough you can kinda skim over the top. Until you crash that is.
I have been managing to get out the North route with only minimal chest pain and gonadal migration. Then I have a paved road with 9 of the 10 curves in Hutchinson County between home and work. I know there is a 10th curve out there someplace, just haven’t found it. So if you can get to the blacktop you’re in pretty good shape. I met Marge at her work and we rode together to the Tea Steakhouse. Not a big deal for you but a good deal for me as it had been a long time since we had been riding two up. There “the Prez” signed my MOA mileage form and I actually got it mailed in.
Marge informed me before the ride that I needed a new motorcycle, helmet and riding suit. Now you know why I have been with her for 45 years. Why she stayed with me that many really is the question.
Thursday I had a plan. Twisty roads and good food. At noon I headed East towards Newton Hills and Canton. I texted my love from the café about the curves at Newton Hills and a “combo on Grainery Bread” at the Garden of Eat’n. She texted me back “poop head”. Ah, married life. Lesson learned: get some road time in before you tackle some tight curves and yes, the sandwich is as good as it was 27 years ago. On into Sioux Falls then back home. The odometer read just short of 500 miles for the week. An accomplishment for you, maybe no, but a good start for me!


Autobahn has a birthday in May – 33 years old. Four of the 19 charter members are celebrating 33 years of membership also – Dennis Erickson, Margaret Galland, Paige Herrig, & Jim Pentico. That’s dedication! An article printed in the Autobahn newsletter when the club was 10 years old is reprinted below to give you a bit of Autobahn history.
(Originally printed in 1987.) Ten years ago this May a handful of BMW riding Sioux Falls people gathered together for a very informal meeting. This meeting was THE BEGINNING OF AUTOBAHN SOCIETY!!!
The story begins with Bob Galland, on a BSA, and his friend Jim Pentico, on a Honda, accompanying Jeff Ecker, a BMW rider, to the MOA National at Branson, MO., in July, 1975. The rally left a deep impression on Bob & Jim. BMWs ridden to the rally from all over the US convinced the two that if they were to get serious about bike touring they had better have a dependable bike - a BMW. (Even then Bob was having vehicle trouble on his trips.) Jim remembers that the people at the rally were so friendly . . . and honest. A very expensive camera had been left on the seat of one of the bikes. Jim felt sure that it would not be there long. To his astonishment the camera remained there, untouched, throughout the day. If this was the way people who ride BMWs acted and BMWs were so dependable then the only thing to do was to trade off the BSA and Honda for BMWs. And that is what Bob and Jim did!!
During the next two years Bob and Jim came across other area people who also rode BMWs. They discussed how much fun it would be to get a group together for weekend rides, picnics, etc. A club organizational kit was ordered from MOA, and an organizational meeting was set for April, 1977. BMW riding acquaintances from rallies and Sunday afternoon rides were notified as were all people from SD who had registered a BMW that year. (Pentico had a friend in Pierre.)
A lot was accomplished at the April meeting although only seven people attended. The group decided to go ahead with an application to be chartered by MOA.. They named themselves “BMW of South Dakota”. They discussed articles to be included in the by-laws; and they scheduled the first meeting for May, 1977.
The May meeting produced a president, Bob Galland, and a secretary-treasurer, Linda Williams, and the by-laws which had been completed by Jim Pentico. The June meeting produced a committee to design a club logo and Jim Pentico began printing “The Newsletter” about this time.
By August the club had received their MOA charter - they were #79. August had been set as the deadline for membership applications to be eligible for the club’s “original charter”. Nineteen members made this list. (Complete list included at end of story.) The August meeting brought discussion on changing the club name to something more
outstanding - something to get away from a geographic name.
The first annual Weigand Campout was held near Yankton in September. The beginning of “the country store” (to be managed by Bob Galland) was made by a motion at the meeting to purchase oil filters by the case for sale to club members.
By March, ‘78, the list of new club names had been narrowed down to Bahnstormers and Autobahn Society. The outcome of the vote we already know and then the race was on to have a logo designed and club patches made. Wednesday night dinner rides and Saturday morning breakfast rides began in April, ‘78. Autobahn Society also became associated with BMW Rider’s Association. February, ‘79, became a reality for the club patches. The MOA National at Brainard in July produced the first club banner. A very striking white banner with “Autobahn Society” encircling a large BMW logo (designed by Audry Slater) congregated the Autobahners as they arrived. The banner was retired in 1981 for a new light-weight banner displaying our club logo.
As the years passed the club grew and so did the outings. The annual campout became two with the addition of the Oakgrove Campout at Hawarden in October. The election of officers in January has become an overnight event with the addition of the awards banquet. The club took on a big challenge in 1985 when they decided to host their first Iron Butt Rally.
The memories from these events and others are filed for posterity in the club “picture book” or at the “Hall of Fame” where the “high club attendance” and “high club miles” trophies from the Hiawatha Rally and the authentic wooden shoes from a Dutch visitor are housed. The “Hall of Fame” is located in the Krien’s Construction offices. Autobahn Society has grown to approximately 100 people and covers a large area of South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa as well as several other states. The members continue to fulfill the purpose of Autobahn Society as stated in the by-laws by “further developing motorcycle touring and camping as a recreational sport, social ideal and way of life superior to all others”. The club members “firmly resolve to ride as much as possible recognizing that work is the curse of the touring biker”. And as one club member has so adeptly put it, “Where else can you have this much fun for $6 a year?”

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Hello riding enthusiasts! I think the season is here, after a
trying winter, the roads are ice free and the grass is greening.I
know most of you have had a ride or two by now. A few things
to consider; tires (pressure and condition, road surfaces
(gravel, sand, potholes, flooded, etc.), & maybe a tune-up
(machine and mental). I would also like to ask you to make
suggestions as to rides or activities that the club members
might be interested in. I don’t have anything specific planned,
but a joint breakfast with the Big Sioux Riders would be fun
again (like in Alcester). Maybe a Wed. night supper further
east, so some of our members don’t have so far to go, or
north, or whatever direction, and try out some place new to
most of us. A ride to Judson and New Ulm is always fun. This
is still a motorcycle club so let’s get some riding in, enjoy
our times together, and be safe.

Gary "das prez" Johnson

Let me introduce you to...

Ed Hill
I’m Ed Hill (BMW MOA # 756), a new member of
Autobahn Society. I live a couple miles west of Yankton, SD.
My wife Sue and I moved here from Alabama when I finally
retired 3 years ago. We have four children, nine grandchildren
(plus one on the way), and two great grandchildren.
I had 30 years active (enlisted) duty in the Air Force
working in electronics maintenance, followed by 24 years as a
contractor to the AF before retiring to South Dakota.
My current riding BMW is a late 1992 K1100LT, my first
was a 1958 R60/2 in 1960. I’ve been fortunate to ride
extensively in the US and Europe over the years thanks to my
military assignments. I also moon-lighted as a BMW mechanic
in several dealerships around the states and was able to
attend several BMW factory training classes. The training was
on the /2 series, and early /5 BMW’s...and those bikes are still
my favorites.
I hope to get to meet you all this riding season.
Ed Hill

Let me introduce you to...

Perry and Kim Bly
I work for Wollman Insurance Agency in Sioux Falls. I
write health, life, and dental, but specialize in health insurance
– group, individual, and over 65 with Medicare. Kim works for
the Brandon School district in Child Nutrition. We have four
children. Becky is finishing her sophomore year at Northwest
Missouri State. Megan is about to graduate Brandon High,
and plans to attend SDSU this fall. Chris and Molly will both
be in middle school next year.
My first motorcycle was a Honda XL250 with a broken
kick start. The farmer pulled me with his tractor to get it
started. I bought it for $75 dollars. It ran like a champ and was
a ton of fun. With extremely limited mechanical skills - I
eventually sold it off for 50 bucks. I couldn’t get the kick start
fixed. It was too hard to start. We didn’t have a tractor. I
sold my second bike, a Kawasaki Ninja ZX6 right before
Christopher was born. We had it for a couple of years. With
busy lives, a baby on the way, and a career change that
moved us to Indiana, I just couldn’t justify having the bike any
longer, and knew it had to go. I don’t think I put 2,000 miles on
it, and it wasn’t really meant to ride with a passenger. It wasn’t
much fun for Kim anyway. It was really fun for me!!!!
I started searching for a bike again, nearly two years ago.
Months of time spent shopping, researching and looking,
mostly by way of the Internet. In April 2009, I found a 2002 LT
for sale by owner in Rapid City. It looked like a good deal, but
I didn’t know a thing about an “LT” I had lots of questions and
even more apprehension. The patient owner finally said “The
best way to describe it is - it’s a crotch rocket with heated
seats.” We didn’t set out to be BMW owners, but a crotch
rocket with heated seats. I had to have it!
The previous owner suggested I join the LT owners online
community. He told me how great the information was. I
don’t know if I would have kept the bike if not for LT on-line
community and the wealth of knowledge they share. They
have saved our relationship. We love the bike more every day.
Not long after getting the “LT”, I met James (Anderson).
He walked into my office to compliment my bike and tell me
about the BMW club, and where they meet. Soon after that, I
pulled up to a gas pump on a Sat. morning to meet Larry and
Mary Hawes on their way back from breakfast with the club.
We got introduced and they told me about the club, the big
event they host each year, and invited us to come out to meet
everyone. I went home and told Kim that we should check this
group out. It might be kinda fun to join. We just thought we
were buying a used motorcycle last April. We didn’t have any
idea all the extra’s that would come with it. We are looking
forward to meeting more people, and getting out to ride with
everybody. We have been slow to get to dinners, but we are
making a better effort now that we know how much fun they
are. We are planning to attend at least one rally this year. We
hope to make it over to Rushford, MN, the first weekend in
June. My dad lives close by so we can see him too.
We hope to see you all soon.
Perry and Kim Bly

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I have been in this club for close to 20 years now, so
I've seen a lot of people come and go. That's always
going to happen. I miss the ones that are gone, for
whatever reason, and enjoy the ones that have
stayed, and welcome the ones that have joined since
I have been in the club. I enjoy the Sat. breakfasts
and the Wed. night suppers, but my two favorite
Autobahn events are the Annual Meeting and Hawes
Biker Days. I guess this is because I get to see so
many members at one time and members that I don't
see very often. I hope this is true for all of you.
Please have a safe riding season and don't forget to
invite people you see on BMW's to our meetings.
We have a lot of great people in our club and let's
get to know some more.

Gary "das prez" Johnson.

40+ Autobahners Attend Annual Meeting / 2010 Kickoff

Stormy weather forced postponement of Autobahn's Annual Meeting originally scheduled for January 23, 2010. Nicer weather was enjoyed by those who attended the rescheduled meeting at Tailgator's, Brandon, SD, on February 27,2010.
Those attending dined at a "pasta buffet" - chicken alfredo & lasagna - along with tossed salad and garlic bread. A chocolate/carmel ice cream sundae topped off the meal.
Tom Melick passed out ballots to Autobahners to register their guesses for the total miles on the tire he had on display that he had taken off his R1200CL. Ballots would be checked at the end of the evening.
President Chad Gillen called the meeting to order. The first item of business was the presentation of the Lifetime MOA Membership to Wes Audus.
Chad showed and discussed a safety motorcycle riding film to remind riders to SEE while riding - search for road & traffic conditions, evaluate what may happen, & execute your speed, lane position, and communicate your intentions.
Chad mentioned that the original By-Laws would remain in effect. Members were reminded to check the roster being passed around and make any corrections in spelling, e-mail & snail-mail addresses, and phone numbers.
A suggestion had been made at a recent Saturday morning breakfast to look around for a new spot for breakfast. Some felt the prices were too expensive. Chad and several others had gone to KC's Family Restaurant on N. Minnesota Ave. to "check it out" that Saturday morning. Good comments were: They weren't busy. The food was good. Negative comments were: Parking could be a problem. Their prices were about the same as Grandma Max's. Grandma Max's has the room to seat 15-20 people easily and they don't mind if we "take up space" for 11/2 - 2 hrs drinking coffee and visiting. A vote was taken and Autobahners voted to continue to meet on Saturday morning at Grandma Max's / Pilot Station on N.Cliff.
Treasurer Tom Melick reported that the treasurery had a balance of $1318.72 as of January 31,2010.
Election of officers was held. 2009 President Chad Gillen and Newsletter Editor Deb Szkok did not seek reelection. Gary Johnson was nominated for president and voted in. No additional nominations were made for secretary-treasurer and Tom holds this office for another year. The group was silent when Chad asked for volunteers for the Newsletter Editor position. After a little prodding JoAnn Zeeb and Mary Hawes
volunteered to take on the challenge.
Many nice gifts were donated for the door prize drawing. Thanks to Judson Cycle, Bak BMW, Gary & Kay Pedersen, Jim Roman, Perry &Kimberly Bly, & Deb and Izzy Szkok for their donations.
The winner of Tom's 12,000+ mile tire contest was Bob Jensen. First prize was a gas card. Second prize was tire conditioner. Bob thought it would be fitting to donate his gas card to Dave McBride who had made the long trek from Des Moines to take in the meeting.

Mary Hawes/JoAnn Zeeb

Monday, March 1, 2010

Gary Johnson elected as President

At the annual meeting Gary Johnson gracefully accepted nomination as President, and running unopposed was unanimously elected President. Tom Melick remains Secretary/Treasurer as he was unopposed as well. Mary Hawes and Joann Zeeb volunteered to take over duties as Newsletter Editors. Turnout was good at 43 people attending. Food was good, and I did a safety presentation on the SEE strategy from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation curriculum. Topics of the meeting included keeping the original bylaws of the club when it was founded as is. Keeping Grandma Max's (Pilot Truck Stop) as the Saturday Breakfast meeting place. And many door prizes were given out that were donated by members and local dealers.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Annual Meeting postponed until February 27th.

Due to the weather forecast, the Annual Meeting at Tailgators has been postponed until Saturday February 27th. Same time and place. Hope all can make it.

Chad Gillen, Prez

Monday, January 4, 2010

January 2010 President's Message

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year despite the weather. I know my plans changed, and we were not able to go out of town as planned, but we still had a good holidays.

Remember, Jan. 23rd is the Annual Meeting at Tailgators in Brandon. Menu is similar to last year with tossed salad, garlic bread, Chicken Alfredo, Lasagna, and Ice Cream Sunday bar. Price is $20 (cash or check) per person, and the cash bar opens at 6 PM. Diner is at 7 PM and the meeting to start around 8 PM. Yearly dues of $10.00 for a single membership or $15.00 for a family membership will also be taken at the door. We already have a great assortment of door prizes that you sure don’t want to miss out on! RSVP to me or Tom Melick by Friday January 15th so I can get a head count to Tailgators.

I have not heard any interest in the position of Newsletter editor. Deb is willing to help out the new person with the computer templates and such forth, so if you are worried about it computer wise, don’t be. I would like to get someone in this position before the meeting so they can publish the newsletter shortly after the annual meeting. Also, I will not be running for re-election for president. I just simply don’t have the time, even though it isn’t that much of a task.

No one entered the winter mileage contest, which is just as well if we continue to have a winter like this.

Lastly, a member wanted me to clarify that as long as a member remains in good standing, (dues paid), they can still remain in the club if they no longer own a BMW motorcycle.

Chad Gillen, Prez