Aug. 2007 Louisiana HSTA Newsletter P.1

Turn One

Our last issue was devoted to STAR 07, our club's premier, annual event. In my opinion, our yearly Sport Touring Association Rendezvous is the ESSENCE of Sport Touring....and Sport Touring is pretty much my favorite thing, combining the excitement of motorcycling, the allure of traveling and experiencing at high intensity (and often velocity) this big, beautiful, awesome country of ours (and hopefully some other countries as well), all amongst the wonderful friends we share this sport with and have come to love. In this issue we celebrate another aspect of motorcycling that some of us have come to love as well - Track Days. We are lucky in South Louisiana that we have a decent track and a very friendly and affordable Track Day organization, Tiger Track Days (www.tigertrackdays.com)

The rest of the issue is devoted to upcoming rides, which I did not have time for in our STAR 07 issue. Herein we announce a new, hopefully annual, North Louisiana ride, organized by regular newsletter contributor Tim Smith of Ruston. Also listed is the remainder of the years official, AMA sanctioned HSTA Regional Events. You will notice one is emphasized. That is because I hope to use this event as a recruiting drive. We already have a great HSTA State chapter but more members would make it even GREATER! To that end, I am asking every member to each recruit one new member this year. I know, it is not easy to convince someone to shell out $35 for something so intangible as fun and friendship since prospective members are RIDERS and thus probably ALREADY enjoying an abundance of fun and friendship! That is why I am inviting all to attend a Regional HSTA event (see the list below) AND to bring a non-member friend!. The price of admission, typically $30-$35, includes IMMEDIATE riding friends & fun PLUS a MEAL, (sometimes TWO meals), PLUS a years membership! WHAT A BARGAIN! A perfect example is the Ozarks Bull Shoals Rally September 7 - 9, 2007. This is a very popular event, and Ed & Linda Young, the host couple are great folks. Although the host motel is booked there are other good motels nearby plus a great campground. A bunch of us are already planning to attend and camp out so this is a great opportunity to make new friends, get to know some fellow members, and help recruit! The Bull Shoals Rally is just under a month away and if you can't make this one there are several more to choose from. Get out your calendar NOW!

Finally we again offer up in this issue our regular features from our "anything but regular" contributors Fast Timmy Smith and Lee Nangle: "Why I Ride" & "SwitchBacks". Hope you enjoy the issue.


Why I ride…

by Tim Smith

With the overwhelming amount of inquiries and questions, I was able to get to get some of the information concerning the Jehovah's witnesses and the Russian girls declassified. It all started in a cottage on a lonely road near Kiev in 1987… Well, maybe that is a little bit too far back. Let's start in June of 2007, on a slightly less lonely road near Athens, Alabama. After being in the US only three weeks, Irina, Kachka, Svetlana, and Helan, had little to prepare them for the unexpected and tumultuous arrival of 4 motorcycling vagabonds from the east. At their tender age, how could they ever have been prepared for the swarthy road warrior cyclists that blew into their world like a whirlwind from Siberia. ( or fallout from Chernobyl) Now all alone, and a half a world away from their homes, in the former Soviet Republic of the Ukraine, their lives
likely forever changed by a chance meeting with representatives of something so American, so revolutionary. I can't help but wonder what this world might be like today, if Soviet-American relations during the cold war had ever been held at such high intensity as was this brief international exchange of…ideas.

And ironically, this intercontinental rendezvous would never have taken place without the fortuitous convocation of more than 100,000 of Jehovah's Witnesses in nearby Huntsville, Alabama. Some might say it was chance, but I say it was fate. Some readers may marvel at this riding adventure, but many will question its credibility, but either way we still have those 100,000 witnesses that can confirm the event. I think I have strayed too long from the general topic that guides this column, and that is RIDING. Like a couple of weeks ago when I decided to take a trip and try out my camping gear, with the new tent packed, I was hell bent to ride. So even with a lousy weather forecast, I was up at 6:00 Saturday morning watching it rain. When the rain stopped at 8:30 I got ready and left - headed west to Texas. I made it only to Minden, about 30 miles, before I ran into the rain again, and it continued for the next 150 miles before I saw some blue sky. The next 100 miles or so was beautiful, and the riding was good. Kudos to Texas drivers that will move over and let faster traffic pass. (speaking of fast, I have got to slow down; my VFR is so smooth and stable, that my last 1000 miles or so have averaged near 100 mph. I know I should probably not even put this in print, but last week I passed a State Trooper that was in the median. I had slowed to 98 when I went by him. He never moved. It is just that when I slow to 80, it feels like I am backing up) The point of this epic ride description is that I was having fun, I didn't mind riding in the rain. Any rainy day riding is 10 times better than a clear day at work. And even as I sweated in the heat of the campground, and then shivered in the torrential downpour that followed, I was enjoying the experience. And also, it was just time for an adventure. I think one thing we HSTA (type) riders have in common, is a need for adventure, and the motorcycle provides a way to fill that need. Touring alone, and touring in a group are like two different sports. Both are fun and exhilarating, but the adventure of setting out alone has a special feel to it that satisfies a need that comes over me from time to time. My wife (God bless her) is very indulgent of my adventurous spirit, especially when it comes to the motorcycle. But she has never understood my compulsions to adventure alone. Whenever I have mentioned taking a trip and camping alone, she cannot understand why I would want to. And it is more than just the fact that she would never do it, she thinks there is something wrong with me. (Enter your own parenthetical comment here) Well, whether or not there is anything wrong with me, adventuring is something I intend to continue for as long as I can. It may be camping, hiking, river kayaking, running marathons, bicycle touring, sport touring on my Interceptor, or even finally making my debut at track day, or it could be something completely new that I haven't discovered yet. But you can be sure that before too much longer, I will be making plans for the next adventure. And more than likely, it will involve a motorcycle. And, of course, that is…

Why I ride.



There were no lunch rides in June due to STAR or July due to outside demands but 3 LA HSTA members participated in two Tiger Track Days.


Several LA HSTA members have participated in Tiger Track Days and two of us have made it a nearly monthly habit over the last two years. We have made many good friends at TTD/NPR and some have even become HSTA members. As a matter of fact track days has proven to be our most productive recruiting environment. Track Days, as Tony says, are truly addictive. Although after 14 or so track days, I still feel a bit of apprehension on the Sunday morning drive to the track, there ARE risks. But once there I am at home and among friends. This is a special group of riders and feel like I BELONG. AND I LOVE IT!

Tony Crowell and I rode on June 10, reverting to out original plan of sharing time on the SV650. There is more than enough track time to make bike sharing quite workable. After the costly crashing of Tony's FZ1 in May we decided to again pool our resources and optimize the SV for track duty and the plan is working well, mainly because the SV650 is a natural born track bike. We have added stainless steele brake lines, a quick turn throttle and new grips, a new windscreen and swingarm sliders; in addition to the ealier suspension upgrades and rearsets and frame sliders. Tony and I were back again July 22 in fabulous track conditions and weather. Tony was excited to post his personal best lap time, a 1:30.5. Below you will find a few pictures from June 10, including Bill Ellis on his red VFR and a slide show of Tony and I and some of our Tiger Track Day friends from July 22, enjoy.


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photgraphs used in slideshow courtesy Brian Noble, Track Day Photography

Next Tiger Track Day: August 12! Come check it out,
should be 4 or more HSTA members riding this one.

Sunday August 19
MEET at 8:00 am at STARBUCKS, 5720 Corporate Blvd # F (MAP) Baton Rouge
RIDE at 8:30


South LA riders will meet at a place and time TBA or ride up on your own. After lunch we head South to the Bonnie & Clyde Trade Days location - we will stop here if there is interest. Then the route will continue south to Bryceland (Fast Timmy's hometown) and on to Gibsland -location of the Bonnie & Clyde ambush museum. Then south on to Mt. Lebanon and Hwy 154 east to the Ambush site marker. Then some more backroads to Driskill Mountain (highest pointt in LA at 536 ft) and some more of Fast Timmy's favorite twisties to Hico, LA and back to Arcadia.

The entire loop is a little over 100 miles. There will be more details in upcoming issues and on the LAHSTA Website.

All the listings below are linked to informational websites, please click!
August 24 - 26
Mail Pouch Fly-By
Best Value Inn
506 Pike Street
Marietta, Ohio
(800) 526 5947
Jon Campbell (513) 932-3341
September 7 - 9
Ozarks BS (Bull Shoals) Rally
Theodosia Marina & Resort
Theodosia, Mo
(417) 273-4444
Ed & Linda Young (417) 926-3075
September 14 - 16
River City Ride
Baymont Inn
Corydon, IN
Don "Moose" Parish (317) 936-5818
September 21 - 23
Holiday Inn Express
Dillard, GA
(706) 746-3585
Trey Hall (615) 367-6495
October 5 - 7
Friends of Freddies XV
Roseners Inn
(800) 888-4241
Park Hills, MO
Bob LaMear (636) 938-3788

October 19 - 21
Arkansas Byway Boogie
Location TBA
Paris, AR
Mario Caruso (501) 624-3668
November 2 - 4
Texas Hill Country
Y.O. Ranch Resort
Kerrville, TX
(877) 967-3767
Ken Bowen (214) 533-6276
April 6 - 9, 2008
STAR 2008
Y.O. Ranch Resort
Kerrville, TX
Harry Hemstreet (970) 667-0460

by Lee Nangle

I have ridden for many years, and I do love sport riding as much as anyone, but for all these many years I have been living with a secret. I am a long time sufferer of an embarrassing malady that sometimes plagues sport riders, and I might as well just say it… I had chicken strips. I would beg of you not to judge me, I never wanted to have them, my lifestyle certainly is no indication that I might be predisposed to contract the "strips" . I have always tried to run with the right crowd, and avoid the seemlier* side of motorcycling. How many times have I cried out in anguish, WHY ME?

But things change. Now I can hardly contain my excitement, and I am very relieved, as you might imagine, to say that I have had a miraculous experience. I climbed a mountain (it was somewhere in NC) and like scales from the eyes of the blind beggar, my strips just fell away. I have seen my Service Manager and I can say that my Chicken strips are in complete remission. Xrays show that my Bridgestone Battlax has been road scuffed from edge to edge. Frankly,
it is surprising for a chick that likes to hang-off, you just don't see it everyday. I have thought a great deal about my recovery, and the best reason I can come up with is my decision to ride an Interceptor. I started drinking again, and devoted my time to chasing Italian bikes and Russian women, this is when I first noticed the improvement. But I don't tell this story to laud praise on myself for what I have accomplished, but rather to inspire a new generation, with a story of healing and renewal. Please, if you suffer from the embarrassing stigma of Chicken Strips, I encourage you to seek help. Find a fellow rider with an expensive Italian Steed and chase him (or her) up Hwy 28 in North Carolina, or contact Helan @ the Best Western In Athens, AL. Either of these can really be a boost to your immune system.

Keep spankin' it.


That's all for now.
Keep riding & smiling

Bob Chappuis, State Co-Director and Editor chappuis@demco.net

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GRANDbaby Gabrielle

Think Lee got her words mixed up ?
Don't bet on it... Lee means exactly what she says... Ed.