April 2006 Louisiana HSTA Newsletter Bob Chappuis, Editor


A big welcome to two new members this month, Scott Toups and John Thompson, both of Thibodaux. Scott rides a Suzuki Hayabusa and John rides a Yamaha R6. Both attended the HSTA T-18 event, see below


Myself & 8 other LA HSTA members from all over LA (Hahnville to Homer) made the ride to Queen Wilhelmina State Park near Mena, AR for the 18th annual HSTA event held there. Members and Bikes included an Bob & Stacie Chappuis, Honda VFR800, Tony, Crowell, Honda ST1300, Bill Ellis, FJR1300, Uncle Billy Jones, CBR1 000Paul Lefort, Yamaha FZ1 1000, John Thompson, Yamaha R6, Scott Toups, Suzuki Hayabusa 1300, Kevin Yeats, Honda ST1300 95 CBR1000. Ages in our group ranged from 25 to 70! Headquarters for the event were at the Queen Wilhelmina Lodge at the top of Rich Mountain, access via the Talimena Parkway. Since the lodge was booked we had to stay at a motel in Mena at the base of the mountain, which meant we had to ride the incredible parkway up and down the mountain quite a few times. Darn! How inconvenient! In between trips up and down Rich Mountain we covered about 220 miles of twisties in the area including the road up to Three Stick Monument on Kiamichi Mountain in OK, another awesome road but with wide high speed sweepers and numerous passing lanes where the big sport tourers really shined. While writing this I got curious and did some online research and found this: "Three Sticks is an historical monument. It was dedicated to President John F. Kennedy for his participation in the opening of the Ouachita National Forest Road on 29 October 1961 in Big Cedar, Oklahoma. The three "sticks" symbolize Land, Water and Wood. The monument is found high on a mountain slope on US 259S between Big Cedar and Smithville -- on the way to Beavers Bend. The view sweeps off for many miles. US 259 in this area is traversing a rugged, wonderful scenic drive with several 180 turns which leave you not knowing if you are coming or going." Emphasis added.

Queen Wilhelmina Lodge

New Member Scott Toups and the gang

The Lookout at 3 Sticks Monument, Kiamichi Mountain, OK

Farkle gazing

The monument
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My rear tire by the time I got home.

An AR HSTA member caught and passed us on the way up 3 stick, wheelieing the FJR in as he went by. He stopped and visited with us at the lookout and checked out his FJR. He had a significant portion of his footpegs worn away. His C-stand was not all there either. The last picture shows what was left of my rear tire by the time I got home Sunday. The last 250 miles were ridden on steel instead of rubber! We had to put Stacie on Bill's FJR and hold the speeds down to 60 mph, otherwise I don't think I would have made it home! To save rubber, Stacie and I left the VFR at the motel and were passengers for the ride up to the lodge for the banquest. I rode with Tony who was challenged on the parkway by one of the faster Texas HSTAers, also riding two up. Needless to say the ride was exhilarating!

T-18 was well attended with 92 showing up for the banquet ta the lodge Saturday night. I though the banquest was delicious. The weather got a little cooler than we anticipated and only Bill & Stacie had brought electric vests. Thus were pretty chilly Saturday night riding down the mountain and Sunday morning on the ride home. Although the cool temps forced an early return Saturday night they may have allowed me to make it home Sunday. It seemed the accelerated tread wear did not occur until the ambient temperature reached 60 degrees F.

Birmingham, AL

Tony and I met in Kentwood, LA Friday morning at 8:00 am and headed out on my '99 VFR 800 and his 03 ST1300 via some decent back roads to Meridian, MS where we had lunch at Abblebee's. From there it was the Superslab the rest of the way to Birmingham. We managed to stay just ahead of some prodigous thunderstorms and arrived at our motel, strategically located on 280 just a few blocks from our secret, twisty, backdoor route to the most beautiful racetrack in the USA. We were able to blast our way to and from Barber each day at a high rate of speed and enjoy some nice curves en route.

We met up with Drew Newcomer of West Monroe and 7 of his Beemer club buddies who were also staying at our motel. There were probably a total of about 20 bikes at the motel, including a Kowasbusa. ZRX with a 'Busa motor! Although there were a Copelands and an O'Charlie's retaurants adjacent to the motel both were closed! Ww were told they had been shut down for non-payment of taxes! So we hiked up a hill and across an office complex parking lot to TGI Fridays each of the three nights we were in town. Very good food well worth the hike!

We arrived at the track early Saturday and checked out the vendor displays then hopped aboard the tram for a ride around the track to our chosen spot on the hill above turns 1, 2 and 3. We enjoyed a good view of the Superbike Race 1 and the support race and had some good conversations with some local bikers who had some interesting stories about Birmingham and Mr. Barber.

Saturday night we hooked up with the Beemer group at Fridays for supper. This was the only time we got any rain during the whole trip and it let lose just as we began our hike. Due to our large froup the wait for a table was long but eventually an iterprising waitress stuck three patio tables together for us outside on the covered patio and we had a really enjoyable meal in the fresh air.

Sunday morning we rode to the track early and staked out a great shaded spot on the hill above the straight between turns 10 and 11. Our only problem was a lack of chairs since the ground was a bit on the rocky side. This problem was solved for a good part of the day by a friendly old couple who had set up beside us. They left to visiting and asked us to watch their chairs and were gone for 3 hours!

Tony and I returned to the motel after the last race once again making a quick escape from the museum lot and avoiding any significant traffic via our secret route. Once more we enjoyed a fine meal at TGIF Fridays. Mondays return route was mostly Interstate but we made great time and I was home in plenty of time to catch up with my postponed lawn chores

The 06 Barber trip/race was the 3rd for Tony and I and Drew since the track opened in 2003. It is a fanatstic venue and I hope we can make it an annual road trip.


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Natchez Trace Picnic Ride

Postponed from April due to predicted thunderstorms, let's hope for better weather this go round. (April Showers bring May flowrers). Meet at MCDONALDS on Higway 61 in St.Francisville, 9:00 am. ride starts at 9:30.
Ride to Natchez and then about 60 miles of the Trace to Rocky Springs Recreation Area. Pack a lunch or we will grab some fried chicken, etc. in Natchez . The map to the left shows a single picnic area but if memory serves there were 3 or 4. I will be sending out an email as the date gets close with additional details.

STAR '06

June 18-21, 2006



Only Kevin Yeats has activated his entry so far (in addition to mayself and Stacie) http://www.barrowcreek.com/hsta/membership/login.asp Come ON folks, this won't work without more participation! Activating your entry will by default only display your name, date joined HSTA and your ride and this information will be accessible by HSTA members only. To access the members only area your user id is your email address and the password is united.


The time has come for a new HSTA Louisiana State Director. I have done my best and it has been fun and rewarding but I am approaching burn out. Somebody out there can do a better job and we need it. A better job recruiting new members and coordinationg local activities. I have reached a point where I am fullfilling my goal of spending more and more time on the road. I have dedicated several weekends over the past year to track days as well. As a result is I have less and less time for State chapter activities.

So the LA HSTA State Directors job is open. The job is what you decide to make of it. It can include editorship of the monthly newsletter or if you prefer I will continue with that duty. Everything is negotiable. Got a partner in crime ? We can have Co-directors to divide the work up. Creativity is your strength and not organizing? The newletter editor job is open also.

Give it some thought. The club is only so good as what the membership puts into it and that includes YOU!

Y'ALL KEEP IN TOUCH! chappuis@demco.net (225)635-3171 home (225)281-0799 Cell. and Ride Safe,
Bob Chappuis