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April 2008 Louisiana HSTA Newsletter Page 1

NEW MEMBER WELCOME!
We extend a hearty welcome to new member, Matthew T. Moore of Bossier City.
Matthew rides a 2004 GSXR1000 and a 1996 VFR750. Welcome aboard Matthew!


Turn One

by Tim Smith, State Director

First of all, a big thanks to Bob for Re-filling the role as Supreme Commander while I have struggled through many changes and loss of my internet connection. Between moving to new house, and leaving my former job ( with my most used E-mail addresss and cell phone) I have been lost in the wilderness. Enough about that....since I last wrote, many fun things have happened, including my first ever track day at NPR on March 29, and our trip to STAR 2008 in Kerrville, TX, April 5-10. Even though, I have been hard to find, I haven't exactly been overrun with riders wanting to participate in the two rallies I suggested at our first meeting in Natchez. The TABASCO butt ride is still available as well as the LA Tourista even though each day that goes by gives you less time to achieve points. If you are interested, and need more info please contact me fastimmy21@wildblue.net or (803)412-2376.
So what is up for May? I am looking for suggestions. I know that some members are planning a big ride soon to Salt Lake City for the World Superbike at Miller MP. I will not be making that trip, but I would like to find some curves closer to home. I hope to make a trip to Arkansas in May with Caleb, maybe camping before it gets too warm (hot) - looking at 5/16-18 as a possible if any of you would like to ride along.

Please don't drag your bike, drag your knee.

Fastimmy



RIDE REPORTS

My first STAR (The pie run) Kerrville, Texas April 6-10, 2008

By Dave Dickson

The light absorbing blackness of the chilly pre-dawn and the rain slickened highway were better for a wake up than strong Louisiana coffee. I peered intently into the inky darkness looking for deer at 80 mph. Dennis said that if I had seen one at that speed, I would have barely had time for the famous words. Then the rain started. I will write 100 times, always pack your rain gear no matter what the weather channel says. Ö always pack your rain gear Ö always pack your rain gearÖ

This was the end of trip to the Hill Country, which started on a fine Sunday morning five days earlierÖ

Dennis and I were off for our first STAR, the annual gathering of geezers who are living life like the new 60 is the old 30. I told my wife of the average age of the attendees and she asked if AARP was a prerequisite. I love her for that smart ass stuff.

Hedrick and I are familiar riding buddies as we have ticked off destinations five hundred miles away with west as the only compass point left. Daytona BikeWeek, Honda Hoot in Knoxville, Barber Motorsports SuperBike week and Vintage Races, the Dragon multiple times, Arkansas BYWay Boogey, where I joined the HSTA, and now we were off to the west, having covered the compass counterclockwise from 3 oíclock to 9. 6 oíclock obviously not being an option for Cajuns (or New Orleanians) on bikes.

Our route over to the Ranch was similar in nature to the other trips, we ride to where we were going to ride. The most efficient way to cover a lot of distance fast is of course the Interstate. We do travel secondary roads where itís possible when we extra time, but itís hard to fight the logic of efficiency. Just for the record, Dennis hates Interstates, as if anyone in the western hemisphere didnít know already.

†ďLetís eat,Ē Food being one of my favorite things, I was all for that. So we stopped a Waffle House for the first food of the day, hours later just east of San Antonio, we stopped for Bar-B-Q. At the BBQ restaurant, there more stuffed heads of exotic wild life than I have ever seen in one place adorning ALL the walls in the large dining area.

The food was good. The BBQ was buffet style and they served apple cobbler and soft ice cream.

Back on the highway and soon we were turning into the parking lot of the Y.O. Ranch Resort. The excitement was beginning. The parking lot and the portes cochŤres were decorated with sport touring bikes. BMW RTís and GSís were popular, Honda VFRís, ST 1100ís and 1300ís, made up the majority, Gold Wings were in attendance but not in large numbers, FJRís and Kawasaki Concours were all represented. Also a few Honda VTX cruisers and a few one-of-a-kind for this event were there. There was a Moto Guzzi, one BMW K1200R Sport and one Kawasaki 650R twin. There were probably some other solos but at that time my focus was getting my butt off the saddle.

We checked in and unloaded. Both of us have hard bags on our BMWís to protect our squeezed/compressed clothing. Quickly unpacking washing the grit off, we walked back over to the hunting lodge style lobby, or so they tell me, Iíve never been to a hunting lodge, to see some familiar faces. Tony Crowell had ridden over on his VFR from Baton Rouge. Tim Smith on a VFR and his son, Caleb on a sport bike, rode in from Ruston. Kevin Yeats on his silver ST 1300 rode in from Hahnville, while his wife Julie drove in. Bob Chappuis rode in on his new Kawasaki Concours, still looking good even though his wife tried to back over it.

Tim, Caleb, Bob, someone not a member of the hair club, Kevin, Jimmie and Tony under the portes cochŤre (franÁais for "Hot Pit" -Ed.) at the Y. O. Ranch Resort

Early the next morning, we found out that the rest of the gang werenít early risers. I buzzed down to Destination Cycles for a pair of riding gloves. I had performed a bit of magic on the way over on Sunday and made one glove disappear while riding. It was good and helpful that they were open for us on a Monday. Many others were there for oil changes and tires.

That first day for us was Monday and it was gloomy, and a wet fog dampened the roads. With Tonyís knowledge of conditions and roads we zoomed out to Stonehedge, Easter Island (2 miles off Hwy 39 on FM1340) then out west to Camp Wood on mostly straight roads.

Do you sing inside your helmet? Some of these roads suggest songs to me. My kids used to pay not to sing, even in the shower. The helmet works for me.† Some Beethoven (5th & 7th) or Wagner (Flight of the Valkyries), sometimes the Eagles (Hotel California) or Johnny Cash (Iíve Been Everywhere) among others come to mind.

Highway 55 showed us some curves on a beautiful four lane stretch of sweepers. Tony was so happy about the ride he was jettisoning electronic devices. The first group meal of the day was B.J.ís Sweet Shop.† Burgers were quickly served followed by PIE. Eat to ride, ride to eat.

The afternoon sharpened up everyone with steep lean angles, an occasional deer (on our side of fences) and exotic animals on the other side of fences. All chicken strips were obliterated on Highways 335, 336, 337 and 187. These are the called ďtwisted sistersĒ by some. Numerous cattle guards vibrated our bikes at regular intervals on Highway 336 and the random cow in the middle of the road was a treat. Tony, leading the pack, ďget along little doggiedĒ them away from the narrow gravel topped paved roadway.

Rollin' Rollin' Rollin'
Keep movin', movin', movin',
Though they're disapprovin',
Keep them doggies movin'†††††††† Rawhide!
Don't try to understand 'em,
Just rope and throw and grab 'em,
Soon we'll be living high and wide.
Boy my heart's calculatin'
My true love will be waitin', be waiting at the end of my ride.
Move 'em on, head 'em up,
Head 'em up, move 'em out,
Move 'em on, head 'em out††††††† Rawhide!
Set 'em out, ride 'em in
Ride 'em in, let 'em out,
Cut 'em out, ride 'em in†††††† Rawhide.
Rollin', rollin', rollin'
Rollin', rollin', rollin'
Rollin', rollin', rollin'
Rollin', rollin', rollin'
Rawhide!

Music and lyrics by Frankie Laine

That evening back at the ranch, a free ice cream social was held around the pool. A member of the Texas Highway Patrol told us to watch out for the elderly people around Kerrville. His red-faced realization was that we are the old people the rest of them should be looking out for made for a good laugh. The THP did a good job of keeping a very low profile over the next four days. If any bunch had deserved speeding tickets more than us, then I donít knowÖ at least we were safely speeding with all the gear. As far as I know, none of the 300 in attendance got any tickets.

The next day, Luckenbach Tuesday was the lunch run day. Dennis and I left early for a run down curvy Highway 16, over to Vanderpool, up to the museum (which was closed) on Hwy 187, then down to Bandera and up to Luckenbach for lunch the back way from the southeast on FM1376. Without GPS, and the thoughtfully given coordinates, we would not have found the lunch spot. As it was, as we turned off the pavement unto a dirt road I still didnít see the destination until we were literally at the Post Office.†


BBQ pork sandwiches were served along with iced tea and chips. This dance hall is often filled with country and western performances. Red Neck Mother was recorded here live,

This tin roofed building has a stage at one end, tables and benches around and a dance floor in between.

http://www.luckenbachtexas.com/

Fred Rau (the Santa looking fellow) was the keynote speaker, seen here eating, as he was most of the times we saw him. He likes apple pie too.

After photos etc. we headed south on old Highway 9. Tony video-ed us while he did tricks, like going airborne. This was a seriously narrow road and it was tight when a pick-up truck and then a van heading north surprised us while southbound. The road was narrow enough that if I were in my truck, I would have stopped for the pass.

At the gas station at the next intersection we executed a keystone cops maneuver. While moving around at the gas station, I ran into the back of Dennisí RT at about .01mph. It was enough to dislodge the ram tube from my airbox and lift his hard bag off one of its supports.† Both popped back in place without damage. I didnít see the piece fall off but Bob did who stopped and picked it up. Dennis and I left late and finally caught up to the rest of the gang, except for Bob and Jimmie*. They lost track of us, but after a phone call we were back together and off for more spirited riding.

* Jimmie is a kamikazi on a Honda ST1300 from Olathe, Kansas and has attended 24 Stars.

We buzzed down (Iím on an in-line four, I buzz) to Medina and took Highway 470 west to Hwy 187 north, east on Hwy 337 at a most adrenalized clip and up Highway 16.

Highway 16 has switchbacks and curves that are tight and fun.† I personally think switchbacks are too tight, but then my bike does have a very long wheelbase, so maybe itís just me.

Dinner and pie at the ranch and videos in the lobby finished the day.

Wednesday was museum day. We started off a mid-morning 9:30-ish and we headed southwest on Hwy 39 then south on Hwy 187 to the Lone Star Motorcycle Museum. The morning was misty and almost rainy.

The ex-pat Brit who runs the museum was an interesting fellow with a very nice collection of mostly British bikes. These leaked into their kitty litter filled pans. There were also Ducatis, a Harley or two and a Whizzer. This was the first Whizzer I had seen in person. There probably is one in Barber MotorSportís museum, but likely got lost in the amazing collection there. If you havenít been yet, itís worth the road trip.

After the museum, we were off to Medina and Bandera and lunch at OST. OST is an acronym for Old Spanish Trail. It could be called John Wayne-ville. In lieu of paint, they hung pictures of the Duke, everywhere. Itís okay with me though, Iím a fan. The Tex-Mex was outstanding. We made a relatively short day of it and headed back to the ranch early.

That evening in the lobby, before the banquet, we ordered pie and ice cream. The meeting covered some business, a nice meal and a very entertaining talk by Fred Rau.

You didnít win the motorcycle. Me neither.

To tell the truth, Fredís tour in Feb 2009 doesnít sound bad. The special HSTA rate is $2,795 for seven days, including motorcycle rental, food and lodging, oh yeah and Fred. All together it sounds like a good time.† Itís in the Mojave Desert and around. Well, more on that later Iím sure.

http://www.fredrau.net/

Thursday morning and the weather situation was multiple fronts moving east. We picked our front and left early. Near San Antonio we crossed the rainy front into warm humid air. The temperature went from 57*F at Kerrville to 80*F at San Antonio and 87*F in Houston. Then the serious southerly strong and steady winds started and blew hard for a couple of hundred miles. We rode leaned to starboard 10 degree for a quite a while.

Everyone made it home safely and checked in by email.

We rode 1,901 miles in five days and enjoyed the roads, the company and the adventure. Many thanks to all for making the trip fun, funny and a safe ride.† Film at 11.

 Note: Two of Dave's photos failed to display due to some MAC/PC issue, they are represented by the white spaces above. I will patch these in at a later date if we can get tgis resolved when Dave returns to the mainland.-Ed.

MORE PHOTOS FROM STAR 2008

by Tony, Kevin and Bob

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Local Events

Mark your calendars and look for details soon in your in-box and on our website.

May 11 2008
Tiger Track Day
NO PROBLEM RACEWAY
Belle Rose, LA
Info:TIGER TRACK DAYS


5th ANNUAL LA HSTA
NATCHEZ TRACE PICNIC RIDE
MEET FOR LUNCH: Natchez Trace Mile 54.8
Rocky Springs Picnic Area.
Noonish, Saturday, May 17
Baton Rouge Area members:
MEET: 9:00 am McDonalds. St. Francisville
RIDE: 9:30 am

TABASCO Butt ride

Louisiana Adventure for the Iron-Butt types among us. Rider can start at any point in LA. Rider needs to obtain a timed and dated receipt at (least) at each of the TABASCO cities and complete the circuit in less than 24 hours. TABASCO locations: Tallulah, Alexandria, Bogalusa, Avery Island Tabasco Factory store, Shreveport, Cameron, New Orleans. Rider can choose their own route and locations do not need to be visited in any particular order, just complete the seven locations, obtaining a timed and dated receipt in each location. A rider log is not required, and witnesses are not required. Upon completion.. send copies of receipts and $ 15 entry fee to ME. Success gets you decals for Bike/helmet + Fame in the form of Newsletter and STAReview publishing. Fastimmy Smith LA HSTA state director 2127 Hwy 563 Simsboro, LA 71275

SWITCHBACKS
by Lee Nangle

You may have heard that I was leaving, but as Mark Twain said ďthe rumors of my death have been greatly exaggeratedĒ Did you know that the mirrors on a Harley Sportster actually are etched with ďobjects in mirror are closer than they appearĒ For some reason I find that unsettling on a motorcycle, but just as if all you fat guys were Harley riders...I am closer than I appear. Well, you may have heard that I got a call from the StarReview Editor, seems they were interested in getting me to write an article about Star 08. They said that my comments about Star 07 were widely read and found to be refreshing. They also expressed that in addition to STAR, they would like to get the female perspective on a regular basis. HUH? I had a question or two myself. Did they actually read what I wrote? And if they did, do they think that this is a representative female perspective? Well after a short interview, it was clear that I had lost my chance for fame, I have about as much chance of writing for the National magazine as Hillary does of being President. I mean ....It could happen, but honestly, nobody really wants to see it.

But lucky for me, and you guys here in LA, all I needed to do was wink at Bobby and have my spot back in the newsletter, and with slowtimmy asleep at the wheel, I am prepared to give you my take on STAR 08. Yea, I was there. Along with maybe 150 others who could well be in the witness relocation program. Less than 300 riders on hand, yet anonymity was not only possible, it was easy. Seriously I talked with a dozen people who never saw the thigh- high boots and neon Mohawk helmet. Like I asked last year, you call this a rally? Well I got an answer...no, it is actually a rendezvous. ( a place to gather to begin an adventure....I like that!) Anyway, letís get to what I did, and did NOT see at STAR ( rendezvous) 08

I saw: The Yamaha FJ 1300 to be given away( the actual bike, not a picture). A very good and very helpful Yamaha Dealer whose involvement made a huge impact on the event. What I didnít see was ANYONE win the bike....the air went out of the room like flatulence after Mexican night, when the winner was not present to accept the bike. Excuse me just one second while I hike my skirt and hop up on this soap box. I want to go on record as officially proposing that you must be present to win the bike. I would even support only selling tickets at STAR. I donít think revenue would suffer much, if any....and it would sure be more of an incentive to rendezvous next time. I saw: The BMW -only bikewash. At least it MUST have been BMW-only, because those were the ONLY bikes I saw being washed .... I didnít see bikini girls to help with hosing ( sorry, somebody was going to say it) and accepting tips and revenue. I know I would have had my bike washed everyday if.... oh well you understand. I saw: A nice resort, good weather and great scenery and pretty good roads. The YO ranch ( and I have to tell you, I actually thought it was theďWHY - O? Ranch and that is really why I was there....I wanted to know WHY) is a nice place, if you donít mind the glassy stares of long dead Wildlife and a few overweight, not so dead, ST riders. BUT I didnít attend a single party, or concert by local artists that might have added at least one alternative to 3 hr evening conversations about the idiosyncracies of the latest GPS systems (yawn...just buy a map) I saw: The unveiling of next yearís ďrendezvousĒ location at Snowshoe, WV, and I could not be more pleased....yeah, I will be there, but likely I will not be wearing the badge of a STAReview editor, or thigh-high boots....not that you would notice anyway. And yeah, I will tell you what I think, if you give me a chance. I didnít see.....any reason why this canít be a larger and more popular associaton - The HSTA has it right when it come to riding- we should just not try so hard to keep it a secret.... Come on guys...letís share the fun.... I will show you mine, if you show me yours..... Later gators.

Lea

A big thanks to Dave for his excellent report on STAR 2008. And great to have Lea back too!
ATTENTION: Kent & Evie your email is bouncing, Caleb, I don't have an address for you.
That's all for now. See you at the picnic. Meanwhile...Keep riding and smiling....

Bob Chappuis, Editor [email: bob@this here domain]