Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Prez Sez

By Gary “Otto Bon” Johnson
Hello everyone! As I write this, spring has ended and we are back into winter. Ride whenever you can, 'cause bad weather seems to be the norm rather than the exception.
A few member notes: I visited Gary Haines a couple of days ago, and he seems to have improved since my visit the week before. Keep Gary in your prayers and see him when you are able. He's in RM 359 at the Sioux Falls V.A. Hospital, 2501 W. 22nd St, 57105
Also, I heard that the Auduses (Wes & Mary) have moved to Rochester, MN. Now. that doesn't mean you can skip the Wed. night suppers! You are both retired and have plenty of time to make it to the suppers.
Oh, by the way, our Martinsburg ride was well attended with people from as far away as Alaska and Norway attending!! Uff dah!! There was even a full moon that day! I think we all had enough to eat and we all had enough wind! We were able to travel some roads before they were flooded. That was a good first club ride of the new season and if winter ends maybe there will be more.
I’m kind of thinking of a New Ulm (Schells) and/or Lucan, MN (Brau Bros.) ride in the near future. Other suggestions will be welcome. My RT is running great and I’m looking forward to many great rides and stories to tell. Take care.

Martinsburg NE, Bob's Bar

Five Bikes and a “Quad” leave Sioux Falls for “Big Burgers” at Martinsburg,NE
Story by Dale Nordlie. Pictures by Brion Hase, Gary Johnson, Dale Nordlie & Mary Hawes

Larry Hawes, Bill Claussen, Gary Johnson, Dennis Erickson and Dale Nordlie put on “many layers” before heading for the “Big Burger Capital of the World”, Bob’s Bar at Martinsburg, NE. The trek is an annual “first nice Saturday in March” ride. Bob Jensen followed up in shirt sleeves in his HHR.

Gary thought that rather than setting a specific date in March for our ride to Bob's Bar this year, we should schedule it for the first nice Saturday. That turned out to be March 19th. Gary, Bill, Larry, Dennis, Bob and I took off from Grandma Max's with the temperature somewhere in the 40s. We rode back roads down to Vermillion and caught up with Gerald and a friend of his from Alaska, Jay Johnson, at the gas station on the edge of town. (See insert at right.) They hadn't ridden into Sioux Falls earlier, because of fog and crappy weather farther east. From there we crossed the bridge over the Missouri River into Nebraska.
We arrived at Bob's Bar (Home of the Big Burger) in Martinsburg around noon. Someone commented that the place looked closed and he looked into the window to see if anyone was around. Evidently the bartender/cook/waitress saw him and soon was at the window making faces and sticking out her tongue. I thought that would be a good shot for the newsletter and got my camera off the bike, AND THEN, I look up and she was mooning us. Neither Gary nor I was quick enough to get that shot - Gary's camera batteries were dead and I was just too slow. She told me that she had been wanting to do that for over two weeks (must have been a hard winter in Nebraska), and we were the "lucky" recipients. I couldn't convince her to do a repeat performance for the camera!!
We sat at a large table in the back of the bar and placed our orders. Soon Ed Hill and a friend of his from Norway and Brion and Al from Sioux City joined us. We had burgers and cheeseburgers and french fries and fried mushrooms and onion rings and cheese balls and soda and beer - all of the essential food groups. If you are not familiar with Bob’s, I should tell you that besides the burgers being big, the side orders are huge. Everyone got their fill and I think there was still some food left. Many of the world problems were discussed and solved and soon it was time to hit the road. We rode back through Vermillion and then east through Spink and Akron, Ia., and then north. This was the Autobahn Club's third annual March ride to Bob's Bar. We had 12 people in attendance, 9 bikes and 2 cars--not a bad turn out for mid-March in the midwest.
Ed writes, “Bill and his wife live in a small town in northern Norway. (He is actually an ethnic Laplander) She is a scientist, he is a carpenter, and they have three beautiful young girls. She does scientific research (molecular cell structure and deeper) and teaches at a Norwegian university. Twice the university has sent her to San Diego, CA, on a research grant. The most recent was from just before Christmas until this March. As the winter in Norway is not a great time for construction, Bill and the kids went with her. Bill home schooled their kids thru the internet with their school back home while in San Diego.
Bill likes BMW motorcycles, fast cars, old tractors (and beer). You know he has to be a great guy. Thanks to our members at Bob’s Bar in Martinsburg, he really had a good time there. He said it was the highlight of his trip. He and his family are now back home in Norway.”

Annual Meeting Questionaire Response

Thanks to those of you who took the time to respond to the questionnaire with last month’s newsletter. There were NO complaints - unless you count the several questions, “Where was the desert?” Imagine that, someone from Autobahn, aka “WHINE and DINE club”, wanting desert???

Favorable comments were:
--Food was good and plenty of it. Liked
the menu and the buffet style.
--Enjoyed the round table set up – easy to
visit. The party room was nice size.
--The cloth tablecloths & napkins, &
glassware made it seem special.
--There was easy access to lower level
entrance from parking area which also
had plenty of parking spaces.
--Good selection of door prizes which kept
everyone’s interest.

Everyone commented on one of the questions – availability of alcohol. It was unanimous. The availability, or not, of alcohol would not be the determining factor of whether or not an Autobahner would attend the Annual Meeting. However, several said they would enjoy a beer if it was available.

Some suggestions for future meetings:
--Give out some awards – funny & serious.
--If the venue serves liquor, do not have a
bar and bartender specifically for
Autobahn. Those who prefer a drink
would not mind purchasing from the
main bar.
--Could a simple desert have been
substituted at Cherry Creek for the
second potato entrée.

Below is an unofficial report on receipts and expenses from the Annual Meeting.

Meals and “bonus”
door prize tickets. $890.00
Meals $917.32
Room Rent 75.00
Door Prizes 340.25
Total Expenses $1332.57

Note from Tom Meister

Happy to see that the Autobahn Society is still in good hands. You (JoAnn) and Mary do a great job on the Newsletters. I’ve been reading last year’s letters to get me through the winter. Could you put a want ad in the newsletter for me. Wanted: A 33/11 rear drive for a R90/6. Also included a joke you can use if you want to fatten up the newsletter a little.
This April I will be celebrating an anniversary of sorts. I will have owned my R90/6 for thirty-six years. It doesn’t seem possible. The price was amazing, for me at least, at that time - $3200. That got me a 1975 R90/6 with crash bars.
This sweet running boxer has taken me to a lot of rallies over the years. From Key West & back, the Three Flags Classic which took us to Tijuana and up to Vancouver, and from there to Winnipeg and then down to the Dells BMW rally. Paige Herrig also riding a R90/6 at the time was a constant riding buddy of mine.
Due to riding style changes only, I am on the third fairing, second gas tank and third set of handlebars. I think I’ll keep her a little longer. I would rather sell my grandmother into slavery than sell that bike.

Autobahner Profile - Gordon Courbat

Submitted by Gordon Courbat
Susan and I met about 17 years ago in Denver where she owned a photography business and I was working in the roofing industry. This is our 15th year of marriage and we have been blessed with a son, Kohl, who is 12 years old and attends Tea Intermediate School. Susan is a Coding Manager at Sanford and I work on a seasonal basis with a contractor specializing in stone coated steel roofing, windows, siding and sunrooms. I spent nearly 20 years as a commercial photographer and the past 23 years in the roofing business. We also own and manage a few rental properties which keep me in a constant state of anxiety and frustration. We moved to SD 10 years ago to be closer to family members who had major health issues and we wanted to bring up our son with family and what we thought was a better environment for him to grow up in.
A 1952 Harley Hummer was my first bike at the age of 14 and at 16 I bought a 1948 Triumph 500 Speed Twin rigid frame (picture at bottom of page) that had been built for a flat track racer in Waterloo, Ia., and converted to a street bike. A friend of mine bought a new 1957 Bonneville and it really used to irritate him that my old 500 could leave him in the dust. Why did I sell that thing? My parents sold it for me while I was away in the Marines and needed the money*#*.
As the years passed by I have owned a succession of other bikes. In the early 60's I worked for Kellogg’s Cereal in Battle Creek, Mi. and started racing flat track and TT around the midwest area. We had a group of about 6 guys that rode together year around either trail riding or traveling to the races. Lots of fun and crazy experi- ences those days.
In 1969 I decided I wanted to be a photographer and moved to Santa Barbara, CA to attend school at Brooks's Institute of Photography. Later I had a photography business and camera store in Breckenridge, CO., and traveled for an advertising agency doing photo assignments - primarily for Eli Lily Co. in their farm products division. Later I took a job marketing stone coated steel roofing and discovered that I really enjoyed the work, the people, the outdoors and the fact I could also make use of my photo skills. So here I am still selling a product that I thoroughly believe in and getting the opportunity to meet a lot of nice people in the process. But, this weather is beginning to p_ _ _ me off!!!
I was introduced to Autobahn and BMWs by Jerry Zeeb and Gary Landeen. Last summer I bought my first BMW (89 K100RS) and a short time later sold it and purchased a 2003 F-650CS that seems to fit me much better. I have never really done any touring and am looking forward to some good rides and a little adventure with some of the great people I've met in your group. Susan is not too fond of motorcycles so I will be traveling one-up and taking lots of photos. Lately I have been trying to outfit my bike and equipment to be ready for the fun to begin! Always open to your tips and suggestions. Anyone up for the MOA Rally in Pa. this summer???
As a family we enjoy camping and bicycle riding and plan to travel to Chattanooga, TN, this summer to visit Susan's brother, Kevin Ault, and his family. From what I hear there are some pretty awesome places to ride in Tennessee. How do we fit this all in? We're going to try!!!