In This Issue
- Recess is over
- Get those miles in
by our roving reporter, Randall Eggert
Martin Regional Library – 2601 S Garnett, 7:00 pm on Tuesday, 10th August
Been riding any?
BMW of Tulsa has a Scavenger Hunt where a number of locations in Oklahoma? are plotted. This has been out since the beginning of July so I guess you have to hurry to finish. I’m thinking it is a summer only event. Someone check it out and let me know.
How are those doing with the K&N Discover Oklahoma? Kendall and Bob got those in the panhandle upon returning from their ’round the country return from Billings. I got J.F.K. memorial yesterday. (I had to test the work on my RT that was done that morning).
We’ve still several rallies to attend that is usually popular with the club. The RA event at Harrison.
Tom and I rode up part time with Harold and Dave, also coming were Kendall, Bob and Mike Vaughn. Driving up are Norma Jo and Myron. Although I didn’t see everyone, got back reports of all the above (except Mike) made it. Veteran riders the Dauers, Walter and Nathalie made it in also.
Rally officials told Dave to show up at the MOA desk on Saturday by 2 for his picture to be on the large screens during the 6 pm presentations, as no one else was near his age! A very good round of applause during the announcement in the amphitheater. Picture, complete with the hat! My prize ticket was called for a paid trip somewhere in Europe. To bad my numbers, 2535 were swapped to 3525 and won by the guy in the next section. I need to have a recount of chads.
A bit over 5,800 attendees.
Next year is near Buffalo, NY.
Lack of interest over the summer seems to peak, so without any consultation, I canceled July’s meeting.
MOA National – 1 of 3
Been wanting to go to Billings for the National, how to justify it. I get a call from Bentonville. Can another fellow ride with me? Paula prefers me not to ride alone, safety in numbers. Sounds good.
We plan to leave Monday morning the 20th around 8:30 from S.S. and head west. Great, no Tulsa morning traffic. With Saturday’s test ride draining my tank, the scoot by QT in the morning is necessary. Still, my co-rider beats me. I learn this is his first long distance, previously doing Arkansas rides, and being a dirt rider before then. Being on a ’14 R1200GS WC, I wonder if I can keep up with him? We set a good pace on the Cimmaron Tpk and north to Wichita for our first fill-up. The GS’s tank isn’t as big as mine.
Stopping at Schlotzkys in Salina before we leave the interstate is a good place for lunch, and afterwards, north of I-70, they keep the 75 mph zone going for a while. Down to 70 mph, then eventually we lose our 4 lanes. Some construction zones slow us to 55, and I fail to remember, summer is construction. Past I-80 in Nebraska, we start hitting the curves of rural highways as we head for Neligh, NE, were we plan to meet up with Dave C and Harold D coming over from Maryville where Dave has been keeping track of the grandkids for a week before departing.
Figuring out my simple phone and the message Harold sent me, they had extreme showers in Maryville, then a burst oil filter before taking off. So despite being more than 1/2 hour late on our agreed meeting time, DC & HD are later. We find the motel of interest and check in. Ouch! Hunting in the fall is a big deal up there, and it is normal to keep their expensive hunting dogs in the room with them. Apparently they pee to mark their territories to quench the odor of the other 40 dogs before them. I do need to update their motel web presence of our displeasure. Dave and Harold pay about $8 more and get the luxury room. They have space between the beds, and the bathroom has a bathtub. My riding partner wondered how I was able to shower in the upright coffin of the stall our bathroom had.
Subway next door becomes our restaurant and supplier of choice. I think their plastic bags contained my used clothes through the remainder of our trip.
Tuesday morning was grand and the 4 of us set out west. Breakfast a bit up the road, and in Ainsworth we were either going to lose a rider or a short nap. The motel odors of the previous night almost sent him off the side of the road. Fortunately the rest returned him to normal and again we headed west. Not finding the gas to our bikes’ satisfaction, a couple of us headed back a mile to a Sinclair for a stronger brew.
I picked another great road for heading north into South Dakota. Construction trucks going up and it looked freshly tarred, but it was starting to sprinkle and I didn’t want to root for another route. Yep, one lane construction. The end of the road we were in Martin for another Subway. At 4 for lunch, they weren’t too concerned about our wet riding gear and helmets. They had plenty of time to mop up before the dinner crowd rolled in. Further west after lunch, I headed north again. Due to the rain, we decided to forego heading into the badlands and delved further into the Pine Ridge Reservation. Shortly thereafter, I had reservations about my choice. The road was disintegrating into something that look like it was maintained in Oklahoma. I think it was just potholes with some mud spread over it by previous traffic. It actually turned into one of the better views we’ve hit so far. The rain stopped, the road curved this way then that, with hills and swells, trees and a bit of forest, it was a great motorcycle road. I started fooling around with the GPS. ‘Where is the nearest gas station?’ About 40 miles from where we were. I can make it, but a couple others, that would be pressing it. Fortunately about 10 miles later at the main highway was a trading post. Bathroom breaks, drinks and gas. Ahhhhh!
We’re on good roads and running through sections of the Badlands. I’ll have to go back to see more of the Park, it piqued my interest. Up to Rapid City, we go the wrong way to get on I-90. Those capable on their smart phones look ahead and make reservations in Spearfish. Harold was just up here less than a month ago for a Valkyrie convention, the sport version of Honda’s Gold Wing. I-90 is great for opening the bikes up a bit. I’m sure Harold is still holding the reigns in, but the traffic is moving and so are we. Sturgis, yes, that one, flies by as the road goes by the town. In two weeks they predict some 1.2 million Harley friends of the marque will be congregating here. With the motel’s address plugged in the GPS, we just follow the directions. About the same price as the previous night, but no odors and a regular bathroom. We walk down to a local bar for burgers and fries. Dave gets his delivered back to the room.
The next morning, Harold takes off to gas up, find a car wash and polish his chrome. I get gas and find the Walmart. As with any trip, I always forget something. I left a pile of socks on the bed that did not get to the cycle before departing. I don’t wash a pair of socks each night in the sink. This place doesn’t open until 9! Run across the overpass to hit the K-Mart. I liked to shop K-Mart in Sand Springs because it was easier to park and get in and out than our local Walmart. This one in Spearfish looks like Sand Springs K-Mart after they had their closing sale. Don’t find the socks I want, and head back to Walmart. They should be open by now. I think the same buyer worked at both locations. Beggars can’t be chooser, so I grab short and long socks and head back to the motel. The calf length socks I use with the riding boots are tube socks, but they work well and do not shrink down my leg while riding.
Tom is packing, Dave is packing, I start to pack, and Harold is still out. I break the foursome apart and Tom and I head to breakfast at Perkins up the road. There seems to be a Chevy convention going on as there are a number of early 60’s Impalas that look new parked all over town. Last night at the bar, this morning at Perkins. Tom queries the waitress on the conventions, Sturgis, and winter time business there at Perkins. Very cyclic. We jump back on I-90 and head to Wyoming to jump off at WY-14 – Devils Tower. Fortunately under the overpass is a Conoco that apparently is set up for bikers, as he has non-alcoholic premium at a premium. Since we’re going fairly rural, it doesn’t take much to get Tom to fill his GS.
WY-14 is a rider’s road. Hills and Curves and ~35 miles up there to the monolith. I had forgotten how gorgeous the surrounding area is even before we get to the park. We get our picture from outside the park and turn around. No need to pay to get in. There is a line anyway. Going north again to get to US-212, we find more construction. The flagman tells us to follow that truck about 1/4 a mile ahead, else we’ll have to wait another 40 minutes. The single lane lasts several miles of red moist dirt and gravel, but no trouble traversing. They are re-laying the road. Several miles later, we’re on asphalt again.
US-212 is long, straight, 2 lanes and it is getting hot. Goodly # of miles between stations, too. We stop at the first opportunity and there are lines like the ’73 oil embargo. I find parking under the station’s logo in the shade. The GPS says there is another station 0.4 miles up, so we head up there. No one there. Older pumps No credit card computers. The display on them say ‘Err 4′. Doesn’t look good. A woman comes out and says they are all running, you just have to come in to pay. So we do so. Come back out from inside and more people have collected. The empty lot scared everyone away until we showed up. Unfortunately, while filling up, the intersection was cleared to allow a large vessel on a truck transport to make the corner and get ahead of us.
We catch up to the transport just as he’s cresting the top of the hill and the yellow line starts. He’s doing about 12. The yellow on our side is real, so no sneaking around. Acceleration from 1st is really so useless, I’m barely past his rear wheels before I have to shift. Other than some locals that think they can ride your ass since they have to be there now, we didn’t have much problems other than it getting stinkin’ hot and the gas station before the interstate (I-90 again) was closed down. Got instructions to the nearby town (<1 mile) with the very busy general store / gas. After downing an electrolyte laced water, suited up and jumped on the 4 lane for the 50 miles left to Billings.
Did I mention it was hot? Reprieve! I see dark clouds lingering over the big town ahead. Billings! The air is so clear, on the way I could see a number of large clouds dumping their contents on the prairie. Now, if that liquid ever made it to the ground, I’m not sure. One particular menacing cloud seemed to be effective as the dark beneath is extended to the ground, but that was some 10 miles off to the left. The thermometer on my bike went from 100+ to 89 in about 4 minutes, as a number of dark clouds and dust being raised were in Billings. Along with 20+ mph gusts attempting to force us into other lanes. For the temperature reprieve, I’ll deal with the gusts.
We exit onto one of Billings’ main drags that goes around the MOA fairgrounds on the other side of the chain link. Campers already crowded in there. It is a blur on what we did next, but we made the motel, Tom got a luggage cart, offloaded and took the elevator to the 4th floor. Ahhh! They have the air running on our behalf.
Nearby motorcycle events and BMW rallies in our area.
- August 7-9 – Husker Rally – Franklin, NE – uh, NOW, all you can eat.
- August 13-16 – Beartooth Rally – Red Lodge, MT – we were just there
- August 21-23 – Eureka Springs, AR – MOA Getaway
- September 1-4 – Curve Cowboy – Coeur d’Alene, ID
- September 11-13 – Bavarian Mountain – Vadio, NM – mountains – cool
- September 18-20 – Trail of Tears – Jacksonville, AR
- September 19 – Ride to Eat – Sulphur, OK – burgers for lunch
- September 25-27 – Central OK BMW Campout – Talimena Campground
- October 1-4 – RA National – Harrison, AR
- October 9-11 – Falling Leaf – Potosi, MO
- October 11 – End of MOA’s mileage contest – being average wins a set of tires!
- October 23-25 – South Central BMW – Fayetteville, TX