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.