Dec. 05/Jan. 06 Louisiana HSTA Newsletter Bob Chappuis, Editor


The Louisiana Chapter would like to send a warm welcome to new member John Daigle of Marrero (NOLA west bank).
John rides Kawaskis ZZR1200 and KLR650 and he rides them WELL! John is also a talented photographer http://www.pbase.com/jaydee/motorcycle_images.

2005 RECAP

Despite yours truly breaking his shoulder in January and the New Orleans hurricane catastrophe in August, 2005 was a good year for the Louisiana Chapter. We started the year off well with our first annual New Years Day breakfast and ride with a good attendance on this typically busy holiday date. Although we scheduled only 7 monthly LUNCH rides this was due in large part to the fact that a bunch of us were out of State so much on club road trips! Only one ride was rained out! Louisiana was represented at the following Official and unofficial HSTA events: Ride The Rio, Big Bend, TX in February, Fools on A Hill, Mt. Nebo, AR in March, Florida Fling, Tallahassee in April, May Edition Texas Hill Country; STAR, Lexington, KY in June, Friends Of Freddies in MO in September and November Edition Hill Country in November. STAR was attended by 40% of our membership! Additionally we had group rides to Memphis, TN for the Art of the Motorcycle exhibit in May, and Copper Mountain, Colorado for Suzuki CycleFest in August. Three members also participated in several track days at No Problem Raceway Park in Belle Rose, LA and one took an Alaska Idleweis Tour. To top it off our little chapter gained two new members. I am looking forward to an even better 2006!


The December 17 Lunch Ride

Canceled due to crappy weather. The night before forecast was calling for temperatures in the high 40s and 70 percent chance of rain and adhering to our RAIN OUT guidelines (whatever they are) I called a bail out. The actual weather was even worse: low 40s and moderate to light rain ALL DAY, at least in St. Francisville

New Years Day Breakfast Meeting and Ride

Six members and two prospective members got together Sunday morning, January 1 for breakfast at the International House of Pancakes in Baton Rouge. Cindy Earle, Kevin Yeats and Tony Crowell and his friend Craig arrived via four wheeled transportation. Bill and Sherri Ellis, myself, Wayne Andrus and Steve Knecht rode in, taking me up on my invitation to start the new year out right with a ride. Bill on his FJR1300 and Sherri on her FZ6. Wayne rides a Goldwing and Steve and I were on red Honda VFRs. Steve lives in Zachary and is a member of the VFR email list that I also belong to. Although Wayne has been an HSTA member for quite a few years and has even contributed pictures and a story to the newsletter, it was a pleasure to finally meet him in person. After a meet and greet we all settled into a long table and enjoyed some tasty breakfast and conversation and some tentative plans were hatched for upcoming road trips.

Despite the ongoing enthusiastic conversation, the folks with motorcycles waiting in the parking lot eventually got too antsy to sit any longer and headed outside to saddle up, wishing the others a farewell and Happy New Years. I led Wayne, Steve and Sherri and Bill to River Road via College Drive and Brightside Lane, turning downriver. The weather was pretty much perfect but the roads were still damp wherever they were shielded by trees from wind and sun and I accordingly set an easy pace. There was barely any traffic on River Road and we made a pleasant run alongside the levee to Highway 22 at Burnside. We headed North on 22, crossing Highway 61. Things started getting interesting as soon as I turned onto 936 to enjoy a short twisty side loop. Here the road was damp and my rear Avon stepped out dramatically in turning into the first 90 degree left. I was able to gather it up and stay on the pavement but slowed the pace significantly until we later found some dry pavement. Mental note: Avon Road Attack wet traction -1

Back on 22 we continued along our usual route to Head of Island and Maurepas. Here we were slowed by 4 wheel traffic on the great 20 mph twisties that are otherwise so much fun but I figured with the still partially damp pavement that this was not such a bad thing. Instead of continuing on 22 as usual we tuned south instead on 444 through Bayou Barbary and back to Highway 16 at French Settlement. 444 has some long sweepers and some straights and permits some high speeds but midway we came upon a stretch of pavement that was covered with about half an inch of mud from recent passage of some construction equipment. I avoided it but heard later that Wayne got the Goldwing a bit sideways! At 16 Wayne turned toward home and the rest of us turned West, stopping at a gas station in Port Vincent for a break. After a gas and rest stop Bill and Sherri headed south toward home in Southeast BR and Steve and I continued on 16 then left onto 1028, AKA 4H Club Rd, and Denham Springs. Steve and I split up at that point going our separate ways to Zachary and St. Francisville.

Despite some minor adverse riding conditions it was a good ride and a great way to start off 2006!


Tony Crowell and I took advantage of every track day held at No Problem Raceway Park in Belle Rose, Louisiana since the November 14 track day I reported in the last issue, Sunday November 27 and Monday December 11. Our riding continues to improve and although we have both had a few off track excursions I am happy to report no crashes. Next track day is Monday January 30.

The Mighty WeeStrom
Bob & Blair Battle of the SVs
Tony & Bob in the Paddock
Bob in Turn 4
McDonalds St. Francisville 1-2-06
The Pond Store 1-2-06
On Track Photos by J.D. Daigle, Brian Noble and Craig, THANKS! The two non-track pictures above were taken during a street ride I joined on Monday January 2, organized by a member of Rocket Madness, Louisiana's premier discussion forum for Crotch Rockets. Visit the Rocket Madness website at your own risk. The strange form of MADNESS there is highly CONTAGIOUS.



Saturday January 28 LUNCH RIDE

Meet at 9:00 at McDonalds in St. Francisville. Ride STARTS AT 9:30! I am working on a route to Natchez of approximately 150 miles that incorporates some nice Mississippi roads we have not ridden before, revealed to me by some madmen (see above). Lunch Location and Time to be announced.

Monday January 30 NPR Track Day
Belle Rose LA 8:00 to 4:00 PM


Fools on a Hill 7
March 17-19
Always the last full weekend of official winter, atop Mt Nebo, AR. www.ArkansasRider.com
Contact: Mario Caruso, 708 Prospect Avenue, Hot Springs, AR 71901
guinzomoto@aol.com 501-624-3668

April 7-9, 2006 Queen Wilhelmina State Park
Contact: Becky Wing, bwing@pgtc.com, 501-824-3413 (h), 501-824-5738 (w)

April 21-23, 2006, 2006 Birmingham, AL




THAT's IT for now. Hope to see y'all soon. KEEP IN TOUCH! chappuis@demco.net and my telephone number is
(225)635-3171 Home, (225)281-0799 Cell

and Ride Safe,
Bob Chappuis