May 2010 Louisiana MSTA Newsletter P.1

Turn One

Our May lunch ride, a ride and picnic on the Natchez Trace Parkway was canceled due to rain. Three days prior to the scheduled ride the rain probability began to slowly but surely increase 20%, 40%, 60% until 70% the night before. I canceled at the last minute and because of the late notice I showed up at the meeting spot in just in case somebody failed to get the cancellation notice. Nobody else showed up but since the skies looked ok to the north I went on a solo run in that direction. I did not get far when the temperature suddenly dropped several degrees, the wind picked up and I soon found myself in a thunderstorm and downpour! I decided to try to run from it to the east and that eventually worked but not before about 15 miles of heavy rain and lightning. I was soaked! Safely back home, I checked the radar and saw that the storm was now dead center over the location of our planned picnic. Some days you just can't beat mother nature!

So, no lunch ride to report on but luckily Kevin Yeats made a trip to the Smokey Mountains/Deal Gap area that same weekend and had better weather. So thanks to Kevin we have his ride report for your reading enjoyment.

STAR 2010 is less than a month away! The Louisiana Chapter has 14 members registered for STAR 2010 in Taos, New Mexico. That is way over 50% of our membership and I think two more are planning to attend but have not yet registered. This year's annual national rendesvous promises to be terrific fun! See Y'all at STAR...


We welcome aboard new member Frank Lamothe of Mandeville. Frank is a veteran street and off-road rider and currently rides a Suzuki GSX-R 750 and a Suzuki V Strom 1000.


Kevin Yeats / VFR / Trip Report Thursday May 13, 2010

Julie and I had originally planned to go to Hot Springs. I was going to ride while Julie was going to play tourist.  You know, shopping, warm spring bath, massage, observation tower, duck ride, etc.  On Wednesday the forecast was calling for 60% chance of precipitation. So, we changed our destination from Hot Springs to Robbinsville, gateway to the Dragon, Cherohala, Highway 28, etc.



Loaded the ‘08VFR abs bike into the back of the truck and loaded ’57 wife into passenger seat and departed bright and early.  We took interstates all the way to Cleveland, Tn. From Cleveland it was Highway 74 east then Highway 129 north.  We arrived in Robbinsville and checked into the Microtel Hotel.  We ate supper at the recommended establishment, Lynn’s Place, small town locally owned café with good food and great deserts.



Highway 129 is closed near the Foothills Parkway due to a rock slide. “The Dragon” section from Deals Gap to the rock slide road blockage is only open from 8am till 8pm.  So, I left Robbinsville at 8:30am headed to ride the Dragon wondering how many bikes and cages were going to be on it.  I was expecting it to be busy, but instead it was empty.  I rode the Dragon from Deals Gap north to the road block and back to Deals Gap and I was the only bike on it. Headed north I passed one truck and one minivan.  Headed back South I passed one Tennessee State trooper.


After the Dragon I headed South on Highway 28 to 143, and took 143 back to Robbinsville.  Not sure what it was, altitude, curvy roads, hotel breakfast, old age, or a combination of them all, but I was feeling a little motion sickness. I went back to the hotel and laid down for 30 minutes.  Now being 11ish, I headed to Wendy’s and had lunch.  After lunch I rode the Cherohala Skyway to Tellico Plains and back and called it an early riding day. 190 miles total. 


Later that afternoon, Julie and I took the truck to Deals Gap to look at the bikes, cars, people, etc. and stopped and took pictures at the dam.  Friday supper, back at Lynn’s Place. This time we shared dessert, hot fudge cake, it consisted of hot chocolate cake with ice cream topped with whipped cream, drizzled with chocolate sauce and served in a very large bowl. yum yum.



I headed South on 129 to Highway 19. West on 19 for a short ways to NC-1310 (also called Wayah Road). Took Wayah road to US 64, and then East on US 64 to Franklin where I picked up Highway 28 and headed North.  Highway 28 from Franklin to Lauada is just great.  I had ridden this road last year with Tony Crowell when we were headed to SE Star.  At that time, I was on my ST1300 and it was pouring down raining and my butt hole was puckered up so tight that I was constipated for a week. I digress. I rode 28 North to Deals Gap. I stopped at the café, started to eat breakfast, but it was 5 minutes pass 11:00.   Ms. Hillbilly said in her Nazi soup voice….. no breakfast for you, lunch only.  So instead of eating breakfast or lunch, I just sat outside and watched the people.

  One guy wanted to take his picture on his Cam-am spyder at the sign but it would not fit past the post on the ramp so he tried to ride it up the small grassy incline (see picture).  This was a hoot. He was spinning his back tire and the bike was fish tailing, he backed it down, tried it again, same results, he backed it down again and was going to try it again, but one of the staff guys came running over yelling “stay off the grass you dumb ass”. Simply priceless movements in my very dull life.

  Since the traffic was very light I rode the Dragon again. Then I headed to the Cherohala and rode it again to Tellico Plains. At Tellico Plains I headed south where I latched onto a three bike train with full leather clad riders. The train consisted of a Ducati Multistrada, Ducati ST4s, and BMW R1200S.  The train, now four with me in tow, had to force our way around seven slow moving Harley’s who did not want to get passed.  But, we gott err done.  After we passed the Harley’s, these guys must have been in slow down mode, because I was able to stay right with them on Highway 68. We all turned left onto Highway TN123 (which becomes NC294), which I already had in my GPS. I was headed to Murphy where Julie and I were going to spend

Saturday night. About 15 minutes from Murphy I christened the VFR to her first ride in the rain.   As the three other bikes continued on NC 194, I headed east into Murphy and to the hotel.  I ended the day with 240 miles . . . .  my two days of riding the great roads in and around Robbinsville, NC had come to an end.

LA MSTA member Paul Leforte On the film set of "Samuel Bleak"(Release Date: January 2011) with fellow actors Lydia Laine and Lance Nichols.

As mentioned above a bunch of us are going to Taos. Stacie and I are departing on Friday June 18 and arriving in Taos on Sunday. We welcome any who are going to STAR on the same schedule to join us on our route. Email me for itinerary. That's all for now.
Keep riding & smiling

Bob Chappuis, State Director and Editor