|FALL 2005||Louisiana HSTA Newsletter||Bob Chappuis, Editor|
I don't need to tell any of you that the Hurricanes have had a major impact on life in South Louisiana. HSTA activities and this newsletter included. I hate to make excuses (especially since these newsletters are usually rather late even without a major disaster) but I am anyway. Aside from loosing track of the disc that contained my first attempt (way back in August just before Katrina knocked out our power) I just have not found the motivation. Several Louisiana members and immediate family have been displaced at least temporarily, some permanently. Several suffered losses ranging from minor to catastrophic. I have been busy with the disaster aftermath on various fronts: work, family and HSTA. I have tried to contact all Louisiana members who lived in Katrina'a path and have been able to confirm that all are safe, except for one. I have no email address for JC Ledbetter and several attempts to reach him by phone were not successful As of today I still get: "number is being checked for trouble, please try again later". JC, if ya read this give me a holler.
Despite the hurricane havoc we were determined to go forward with Cajun Christmas. However, after hearing from a couple of members who tried to make reservations and were told none would be granted for the rest of 2005 we were forced to reconsider. The State Park system has waived cabin fees for folks displaced by hurricane Katrina. I personally confirmed that no new reservations will be accepted through December 31, 2005. Additionally, all October reservations have been canceled. Although no decision has been made yet to cancel existing December reservations, a poll indicates we had a total of only 3 cabins reserved. This the decision has been made to Cancel the event for 2005. We will be back in 2006 bigger and better than ever!
Bill, Ellis, Tony Crowell and I took a 10 day ride to Frisco, Colorado in mid August to attend the 3rd Annual Suzuki Cyclefest. I crossed the ferry in the 5:30 am darkness and met Tony at Penny's Diner one highwau 190 in Livonia. Bill had to delay his departure until Wednesday at 4:00 am due to work constraints and would meet us in Amarillo. Tony and I had a short, 390 mile day, Tuesday 8/16 stopping in Durant, OK. We enjoyed a swim and ate at the authentic Mexican restaurant on the premises. Good food and way too much of it.
We left Durant early Wednesday am and arrived around 2:30 at the Big Texan Motel, too early too check into our room. We went next door to the the world famous Big Texan Steak Ranch for some refreshments and to try out the wireless Internet with my laptop and new wireless adapter. I got online with a little help from the friendly staff. Bill arrived about the time our rooms were ready and we changed and jumped in the pool shaped like the state of Texas. The water was frigid and we did not stay long before heading back to the restaurant for some serious beef eating.
Thursday we again set out early heading Northwest out of Amarillo to Dalhart, TX and Clayton, NM vis highway 64 on to Raton Pass where we rode I-25 to Walsenburg, CO. From Walsenburg we got on 69 and the riding and scenery began to get awesome. South of Cotopaxi we took a wiggly shortcut to US 50 that Tony had spotted on his map. It proved to be a very exciting shortcut with some fun local pickup jockeys and sand hazards. At the junction with 50 we stopped and had lunch at a neat little diner beside the Arkansas River where Stacie and I had enjoyed a lunch stop on our way home form Avon STAR in 2000. We then followed 50 to Salida where we turned North on 285 to Fairplay. From there it was clear asphalt surfing on some awesome highway 9 waves until we hit tourist traffic in Breckenridge. It was hot in the stop and go traffic but we were soon in Frisco and checking into the Sky Vue Inn. The Sky Vue proved to be a great motorcycle friendly motel and Frisco was a nice town to visit with several good restaurants. There were quite a few motorcyclists staying at the motel and we met and chatted with several. Especially a friendly Canadian who had ridden down from BC to attend the Hayabusa Owners Rally. He had brought a stash of Canadian beer with him and insisted we drink a few. We did our best to recruit him into the HSTA and told him about the club and our many rallies. He sounded very interested and we are hoping to see his name on the membership list soon.
Most of Friday, Saturday and Sunday were spent at Cyclefest except for a spirited ride to Leadville down 91 and up 24 to Avon to check out the STAR 06 location. The run from Leadville to Minturn was even better than I remembered and I was reminded of one of the reasons Avon is such a popular location for STARS.
Cyclefest was great fun, the town was given over to motorcyclists of all sorts for the weekend. Tony managed to ride the Buell Hercules demo but I was unable to do a demo ride due to a snafu on my drivers license. During my recent renewel the OMV clerk had failed to include my motorcycle emdorssment - a requirement for the demo rides! We had fun watching the trials riding exhibition by 9 time US National Trials champion Geoff Aaron, sportbike stunt riding exhibitions and freestyle motocross jumping exhibition. Then there was the accessories vendors show which commanded much attention and ultimately lightened our wallets. Some great riding gear was on display and available at some significant discounts.
But the main reason for our visit to Copper Mountain was the SuperMoto races and they did not disappoint! We watched races Saturday and Sunday from just about every part of the track. There was a cool wind blowing most of the time and some occasional light showers but that did not stop the racing nor did it dampen our spirits.
Our return home was a continuation of the fun as our route included some interesting stops and some great roads. We rode East to Emporia KS after a stop in Denver to check out the Iron Butt Ralley competitor machines and a buffet breakfast at the Doubletree Hotel. Then South to Eureka Springs, AR. The highway into Eureka Springs was fantastic! We found a mom & pop motel in town at a cheap rate (after a little negotiation). It was walking distance from a good Bar-B-Q restauarant so we spent our final night on the road tired but happy. The final leg home included some more good AR twisties, including the Pig Trail. By afternoon it was starting to get quite hot but my evap vest and mesh clothing kept me comfortable. As usual, we were greeted on our return to Louisiana with the first significant rain of the whole trip: a torrential gully washer just south of Tallulah. This frog choker had the 18 wheelers pulling over but we soon rode through it to clear skies and were stripping off rain gear in the sweltering Concordia Parish heat! The rest of the trip must have been uneventful (since I can't remember it) but we all made it home safely. It was a great trip and reasonably priced splitting accomodations 3 ways. Tremendous fun the the money spent! Of course having great buds to ride and room with is the key. Other than Tony's earthquake simulating snoring I could not ask for a better pair of mates for a road trip!
by Tony Crowell
The cold front was slowly inching its way south as Kevin Yeats and I departed Baton Rouge for the '05 Friends of Freddie rally in Farmington, Missouri. It was close to 70 degrees at Bluebonnet and I-10 where we met at 6am. By the time we got to Natchez, Mississippi temps had dropped to 60 and layering of clothing was in order.
By that time though, the sun was up revealing a beautiful blue sky. With the lower humidity and cooler temps we made our way to Tallulah for the first stop of the day for breakfast. A very un-inspiring buffet at the T&A truck stop. Mounted up and heading north we passed the pretty oxbow lakes of Providence and Chicot on US65.
Now we were into serious farmland of eastern Arkansas with very few curves to keep my V-strom interested. However, my plan was to ride Crowley's Ridge as far as possible when we arrived at Forrest City. Taking a series of small AR state roads you can actually ride the curves from there almost to the Missouri border at Corning…which is what we did.
The wee strom loves the curvy roads. Kevin stayed locked onto my tail the whole way on his ST1300. He simply MUST do a track day on that bike. I would love see the looks on the faces of 600 riders as Kevin passed them on a fully saddle-bagged touring bike. After a brief stop in Corning we continued to Poplar Bluff on US67. Kevin took the lead and promptly missed the turn onto 67 north so we had to go through the median to head in the right direction. Soon after, we found ourselves in a construction zone being pulled over by the Missouri Highway Patrol along with about 5 or 6 other unfortunate souls.
It seems that they had a very clever speed trap set-up. They had someone hiding at the very beginning of the construction zone and over a mile later he called into his buddies who were raking in the big bucks. 76 in a 40 for me and 74 in a 40 for Kevin…ouch!!!
As I begged for mercy I could hear the guy with the radar calling out descriptions of other victims. At $250.00 a pop I'm sure they made over $3000.00 just in the 15 minutes we were there. My cord had shorted out on my radar detector and I never heard a thing. There was so much microwave activity there that if not for the bad cord I would have been warned in plenty of time. After much consultation with his partner, the Trooper let us go with a warning and we continued at a slower pace to Farmington.
We arrived at the Tradition Inn about 5:30 pm. The weenie roast was in progress so we ate our fair share… and then some. There were about 110 HSTA members registered along with all kind of cool machinery. Nothing as exotic as the Veramati super-moto bike from last year, but cool nonetheless.
On Saturday morning we departed for pretty much the sane route as last year. Temps in the high 50's and sunshine to start the day. On highway 'C" we finally caught up with some spirited riders and had a great ride with them to Piedmont. I followed a guy on a VFR with Corbin bags most the way. I later found out he low-sided on highway "HH". Luckily not much damage. His bags were scuffed but not cracked…pretty impressive. There was another more serious crash on "HH", but I never got the details, only that the rider was in the hospital.
That night at the banquet I broke my losing streak and won some Honda cleaning products. After a little more tire kicking it was off to bed and thinking of the long boring trip home.
We slabbed it down I-55 on Sunday. By that time a front was closing in and with it more humidity. It wasn't that bad as the temps never got over 92. 92 degrees on my ST1300 is like 102, but on the Strom it's not so bad. We cruised at 80mph most of the way. Luckily most of the Mississippi troopers were at work on the coast.
Made it home about 5pm. Another great rally. FOF is one of my favorites. Good food and good roads and this year, good weather. Who could ask for anything more?
I will meet South Louisiana members 8:30 at the McDonalds on Highway 61 in St. Francisville and we will ride some back roads up to Natchez. The North Louisiana members can organize there own ride or ride down solo. Watch the website www.barrowcreek/hsta.com for updates
THAT's IT for now. Hope to see y'all soon. KEEP IN TOUCH!
email@example.com and my telephone number is
and Ride Safe,