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.