Sunday, December 25, 2011

Autobahn's Annual Meeting/ Winter Party

Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012
HyVee Party Room
49th & Sycamore, SxFlls
(South of Empire Mall)
Complete details next issue

Prez Sez, by Gary Johnson, Dec. 2011

Hi there Beemer Fans. What a November! Lots to be thankful for. It was a great day for the late fall Martinsburg ride. Great turn-out! The next two Saturdays weren't so good, so thanks to all who were able to go.

Then there's the matter of Thanksgiving Day. A near perfect day to ride. I rode to Newton Hills, (saw two bald eagles) then on to Hudson, Hawarden, back to Newton, then Fairview, and back to Canton. I was on the RT with it’s new back tire. Oh, the turkey dinner was good, too. The dry weather continues. Maybe December will favor us with some good rides. I hope all of you had a very good Thanksgiving.

I hope Christmas will treat all of us well. I'm still hoping for that new R1200RT. (I will settle for a good used one). Looking back, 2011 has been a very good year, it starts off with a car wreck, (but that was good, because Jan & I both survived), we had a good trip to Arizona, some good bike trips, lots of good breakfast and dinner get-togethers, and countless other blessings all of us enjoyed because of when and where we were born and ended up. It is my desire that next year we all will be blessed with good health, good travels, and all the other components that keep us together as a club and a strong country.

I'm going to switch gears just a bit here and announce the date of the annual meeting. We are planning on Feb. 11th with the venue of Hy-Vee at 49th & Sycamore, Sioux Falls. Please let Mary, Jo Ann, or me know what ideas you may have for a program. Club officers are to be elected at that time and 2012 dues will be collected

Take care, ride when you can, have a very Merry Christmas. Gary (lame duck?) Johnson.

My New Ride? (Not New New, Just New to Me!)

Gordon Mulder writes, “I shore 'nuf ain't no riter, but here'z a story”

My journey to my new ride started, unknowingly, the first part of August. My daughter was home from Denver for a long weekend. The usual questions of catching up with what is/was going on in her life—how ‘ya doing?, what ‘ya doing?, what’s happening in your life? And the same question from her to me and my wife.

In the discussion she mentioned that her motorcycle was not running very good. She was riding a Honda something or other, and was going to put it up for sale. I mentioned that my ’94 Beemer was running smooth, as well as my ’87 Goldwing. (I had purchased the Goldwing a couple of years ago because of the super nice passenger seat which my wife liked much better than the seat on the Beemer.) In fact. I had found myself riding the Goldwing by myself a few times because of the greater knee room.

And then my daughter said, “You can’t ride two machines at once. And since you are riding the Goldwing more and more, why not sell me the older Beemer?” ULP! I had never considered that avenue of action, but she did have a point. So after looking at for prices, we came to an agreement on price, considering the machine was going to a good home.

Next problem, how to get the Beemer out to Denver. I could ride it out there and thumb my way back -- or not says my wife. We could trailer it out there—what a waste of good riding. And then my wife asks if we could meet in the middle—say somewhere in the Black Hills—Labor Day maybe? My daughter checks her schedule, and she is “good” - as in not having to work those days. We were good as in not having to work those days—and so it was set—we would trailer the bikes out to the ‘Hills’ for a riding weekend, and Jody would trailer the Beemer home to Denver.
We called out to Keystone to see if the cabin where we usually stay was open. It was, so great, now we even had a place to stay.

The Thursday before Labor Day, I load the Beemer in the back of my pickup, hook up my trailer and load my Goldwing. Friday after work my wife and I head west to the Hills.

Saturday morning we unload both bikes and decide to go for one last ride on the Beemer before Jody gets to the cabin. We head west to Hill City, south to Custer, south to Pringle, east to the Custer Wildlife Loop and then head back north to get back to Keystone. All along the wild life loop we see signs, “Buffalo are dangerous! Stay on the rode! Stay away from the buffalo! Be careful!” And I’m thinking ya, ya, ya. Big Deal. Seen them before.

The motorcycle must go a little faster than some of the cars, because before long I’m in back of three cars--with no place to pass, and so we puuts along. Suddenly I see tail lights on the first car, and then it stops. I see tail lights on the second car, and then it stops. Same with the third car. And so we also stop. I look ahead and see the road in front of the first car disappear because a herd of buffalo is moving from an upper meadow to a lower meadow—using the road as a pathway between the rocks. The buffalo herd part and go around the first car and come back together. They part the second time and go around the second car. (I’m starting to wonder what I should do—turn tail and give them some room or what?) The buffalo part and start going around the third car, and I decide to zoom up to within 4 inches of the car’s rear bumper. I shut the motor off and tell my wife to hold perfectly still, make no noise, and make no eye contact while the Buffalo pass around us.

We could hear their feet shuffle along, we could hear their breathing, and see their big brown eyes looking at us as they passed within four feet on either side of us. And I suddenly think of a rhetorical question—if a proud member of PETA would get dressed up in a bright red body suit, and get into the middle of a herd of angry buffalo, could they expect not to get charged because they are vegetarians? Hmmmm. And here my wife and I are sitting on a cranberry red bike trying not to look suspicious or threatening. Suddenly two bulls start gouging each other, and shoving each other in a circle just to the side of the car in front of us. Oh boy, they could dance over us and not even know it, but no, they straighten out and walk past us nicely.

The buffalo herd is just about past us when the car in front of us pulls out and away from us. Oh crap—don’t leave us here! I start the bike and follow ever so close until we are out of the buffalo herd.

And then back to Keystone and a nice uneventful weekend of riding the Hills. Monday we load the Beemer on Jody’s trailer and she heads south to Denver. We then load the Goldwing on my trailer and head back to Luverne.

A couple of weeks later I tell my wife that I miss the old Beemer. Yes, I know that it has a new good home, but there was something about walking into the machine shed and seeing it there and knowing it was ready for another ride. And my wife asks, “Well if you need to get another Beemer, what would you get for your perfect dream bike?” Hmmm… good question—first it would have to be a Beemer - it is a quality thing. Size wise—oh, about 1200 cc’s, and I would like a reverse on it if I ever trike it. New one’s cost too much (I still have too much Dutch in me)—so have the bike about ten years old with low mileage between 30 and 40 thousand miles. It needs a radio and a good passenger seat, as well as a good seat for me. I’ve been blessed with long knees, so I need knee room.

And she says, ‘Geez, anything else?’ And I say, ‘Blue, I would like it dark blue.’

The very next day at 12:50pm, Lois calls me and says, “You’ll never guess what I found on Craig’s list - a 2002 K1200 with reverse, 30,000 miles, radio, good seats-front and back, and dark blue.” What is not to love about that?

We go to see it and sit on it. Oh what a wonderful bike! I can hardly stop from grinning! The owner wants to sell it, as he doesn’t ride it enough. I tell him I had to sell my Goldwing first, and then I would be back. He says, “Older Goldwing? That is what I’m looking for!” And so we trade bikes, with some boot money thrown in for good measure. And we are both happy.

My, oh my, what a really nice ride it is!

BMWMOA Get-a-way & Slimey Crud Run, by Gary Pedersen

(Ed.Note: There is a short history of the Slimey Crud Run following this story for those of you not familiar with the event.)

This report started in August when Kay told me that she would be going to San Diego for our youngest daughter’s baby shower, and would be gone from September 28 through October 5. It was to be a girl thing! I wasn’t invited! Gee, what could I do to entertain myself? Oh, how handy, there was a BMW MOA “Weekend Get-a-Way” in Tomah, WI, September 30th through October 2nd. AND…..I could make it to a Slimey Crud Run that Sunday at Leland, Wi. I left September 30th taking Highway 30 east across Minnesota to Wisconsin. (The farther east I got, the less the wind blew. Imagine that!)

The “Get-a-Way” was headquartered at the Cranberry Lodge in Tomah. It is a large, rustic looking lodge with a log and rock façade, large clean rooms and a huge indoor waterpark. My room was a suite with a 32” and a 29” flatscreen TV. It is the smallest room they have. The staff is pleasant and helpful. The bartenders were off-duty US Marines – no, not Soldiers, Marines.

After registration Friday night there was a reception set up with meatballs, drummies, nachos, and fresh vegies and other assorted finger foods. There were 92 MOA members pre-registered and with the late arrivals there were about 100 people at this gathering. It was there that in addition to the ever present Tom Buttars, I also found Larry Davis and Rod Elsing new Autobahner from Worthington. My apologies if I missed any other Autobahners.

Sue Rihn, Vance Harrelson and Tom explained the schedule and the 4 rides that would happen Saturday. There were 2 GS rides. One was for knobby tires only and had 4 riders. The other GS ride had about a dozen riders and didn’t require full knobby tires. This ride’s off-pavement was hard packed dirt back roads that are part of the Trans Wisconsin Trail. There was a Sport Bike ride with about a dozen riders that was led by our own Tom Buttars. And the last ride was the sedate ride that was all paved and toured a cranberry harvest, cheese factory and some very neat roads through Amish Country. I opted for the sedate ride. There were about 40 riders on this ride which was too many for one group. It was a test of patience for me. The good news about riding through the Wisconsin Amish Country is that the roads are good quality asphalt with lots and lots of curves and great scenery. The bad news was all of the horse apples on the road left a brown stripe on my timing cover and on the inside of my fenders. There is something poetically wrong about having your motorcycle smell like a horse. YUK!!

The rides went from about 160 to 200 miles on paved roads with real curves through very scenic country. The scenery was enhanced with the leaves turning and I think that everyone had a good time. Saturday night there was a banquet with door prizes for dessert. I didn’t win anything. After the door prizes the evening turned into a sort of business meeting with most of the comments focused on how to speed up the closing ceremonies at the National Rally. It was +34F on both Saturday and Sunday morning, I couldn’t believe all the whining about the cold. I should get to see days that nice in Alaska.

On Sunday I left Tomah for Leland, WI and the Slimey Crud Run. Leland is about twice the size of Buffalo Trading Post. There’s a bar on each side of the road. Leland is also the finish point for the Slimey Crud Run and there were about 200 motorcycles there when I arrived. By 2:30 when I left there were probably about 1000 on site with large groups arriving all the time. Most of these were late model rides, but there were a significant number of motorcycles there that you would normally only see in a museum. It was great to see, and hear these machines out and being ridden. Most of the antique machine riders were also dressed in period correct riding clothes which added to the show.

I rode to Austin, MN, on back roads and stayed there for the night. I don’t like riding into the sunset, and I really don’t like to ride at night. A few near misses with deer, raccoons and skunks will make a believer of you. Riding at night in Alaska in the summer doesn’t count, the sun is up all the time. Monday I headed home via US-14. No, I didn’t do the brewery tour in New Ulm. I saved that for another trip. When I was getting gas in Tracy, MN, there were a lot of sirens, fire trucks, police cars headed west on US-14. A corn field was on fire next to the highway and the road was closed for a while to non-emergency vehicles.

It might be some kind of mental thing, but I know with each mile that I rode closer to South Dakota the wind speed kept increasing, and I don’t like wind.

As of Saturday night the MOA had not yet scheduled another “Get-a-Way” for next year at Tomah, but if they do I will be there and will have to choose between the sport bike ride, or the easy GS ride. Also, seeing a Slimey Crud Run is something that should be on every rider’s bucket list.

Slimey Crud Run History as taken from Slimey Crud Run web site:

There are no big ad campaigns, no corporate sponsors, no official website, no local or regional newspaper or TV promotions, not even the usual obligatory one-size-promotes-all beer banners with the name of the event emblazoned on a huge blank white spot.

Despite all the makings of what should be an unknown event, the Slimey Crud Café Racer Run in southern Wisconsin is attended twice each year, on the first Sunday in May and October, by riders from all over the country and routinely has participants from at least five states in the upper Midwest.

Its origins are nearly as murky as Stonehenge, dating back to the early Seventies, according to one of its co-founders, former Triumph/Bultaco/Matchless racer and current Triumph dealer Lyall Sharer. From humble beginnings, the event has become an organic thing that thrives on its own energy. At each gathering, it isn’t uncommon for anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 machines to show up.

The Crud Run meanders across the scenic Wisconsin River valley from Pine Bluff in Dane county to Leland in Sauk County. The distance between the villages is less than 30 miles in a straight line, but the road mileage can vary from about 70 to, well, who knows? No specific route is prescribed, so the best way to go depends entirely on your imagination.

Despite the name, the event is not limited to the sheathed-in-plastic sport bike set. In fact, while there’s something for everybody in every class of bike, the event seems much more like a rolling vintage and classic bike show.

Flathead, knucklehead and panhead Harleys; TR-6, Daytona and Bonneville Triumphs; Lightning and Thunderbolt BSAs; Moto-Guzzi Falcone and 850 Le Mans, Ducati SS-900 and Diana, Norton Commando, Vincent Black Shadow, Munch Mammut, BMW, Velocette Venom, Royal Enfield, Indian Chief, Suzuki RE-5, Honda CB 77, Hondamatic, CBX; Laverda Jota, Kawasaki H1, two-stroke, four-stroke, rotary, flat-trackers, touring, choppers, bobbers, adventure bikes, rat bikes, to name but a few of the types, brands and models seen at recent Slimey Crud runs.

Next Crud Runs scheduled for May 6 and October 7, 2012

Fall Ride to Martinsburg, NE for Burgers!

The Sioux Falls Autobahn group put out the word early in the week that this would be the week (November 12) for the Fall Ride to Bob's Bar in Martinsburg. I sent out a note to the GLMC and Big Sioux Riders. Some years hardly anyone shows up, but this year we had well over 40 riders. Even some of the Sioux Falls Goldwing club showed up. The weather was pretty darn good, too.

A guy from Minnesota named Vinny rode a Bandit all the way from St. Cloud. They said temps started at 23 degrees ... People from Minnesota make us southern brothers look like ... Anyways, three bikes came down from the twin cities area.

The hamburgers are so large you need to eat them with a fork