|Nov. 2007||Louisiana HSTA Newsletter||P.1|
I think I have mentioned something like this before, I don't know tho, the memory don't work so good anymore.... but I always thought
or at least hoped that reaching AARP status would mean slowing down, taking time to smell the roses and all that nice stuff. But it does not seem to be happening for me, in fact is has been going in the opposite direction. I really feel like I am trying to do too much and doing too much of it not very well. I need to cut back. As much as I have enjoyed the job of Louisiana State Director, it is time to accept a well deserved (IMHO) promotion to MEMBER. Of course, I am not achieving FULL membership status just yet as I will still hang on to the job of webmaster and newsletter editor. This respite is possible because member and regular newsletter contributor Tim Smith has agreed to step up. I am very pleased to be able to hand over the reins to such capable hands. Just browse through a few of our recent issues and read Tim's excellent "Why I Ride" pieces and you can't help but sense Tim's deep love and dedication to motorcycling as well as his keen insight into the many facets of the sport. Not only can he write better than me, he's better looking too! Oh well, at least I am faster than him and that's what REALLY counts....
Anyway, please join me in welcoming Tim as our new Fearless Leader! Tim will be taking over in January and I feel certain, you, the members can expect good things to come in 2008 and beyond. Speaking of 2008, one issue that will be revisited at the National level is a name change. Look for discussion in upcoming StarReviews of the pros and cons of losing the "H" part of our name and becoming a non-denominational congregation in name as well as in fact. Input from members and open discussion will be followed up eventually with a vote by the membership. See "Request for Input" below. Efforts are also under way for a new and improved, dynamic, interactive National web presence that will be a Cyber Destination our members will want to visit on a regular basis as well as an effective recuiting tool.
|Why I ride…|
by Tim Smith
I may have gone too far this time. I just ordered a new helmet, and I haven't mentioned it to Mary yet. I know I needed it but she brings up a good point when she asked me if I had counted the number of helmets we have. I have counted. This almost always continues on to a discussion of how many motorcycle jackets there are hanging in my closet. Yes, I have counted those as well. I know it seems excessive but they all have ( or had) a purpose and I can't help it if leather shrinks over time. Oh yes, it really does. The new leather jacket I bought just 7 years ago has shrunk by at least two sizes. Can I explain this? NO, she maintains a silly notion that it is not the leather that has changed sizes,
I mean….really. And of course I still need them; I just need new ones too.
Maybe it would not have been too far if I hadn't just got that new leather racing suit. Well, I didn't have one, so I am sure I needed it.
If she knew about the Under Armor glove liners and balaclava, and oh yea, another helmet that was just too tempting on closeout, she might really lose it.
It is not the best time to be straining the motorcycle issue, she says "dey are from the debbil" even though she doesn't really mean it. ( I think) It is not the best time because I am trying to help Caleb get his new bike. This decision is about as popular as Rush Limbaugh at the (Rodham) Clinton Family Christmas.
It is not the expense that has her panties in a bunch; it is her genuine concern for the safety of her baby. I have no argument for that, because I share the same concern, only I choose to face it head on, instead of trying to make it go away. It is not going away, so we choose a NEW, safe bike, easy to handle and economical to operate, and everyday and every ride will be riding school until he learns all I know. (to all of you who just mumbled under your breath something like "that won't take long" please bend over and insert your opinion where it belongs.)
Caleb ( K Bud) wants to ride with the HSTA, but for now I need to shield him from you hooligans, there will plenty of time to corrupt him later on after I bring him "up to speed" I am hoping that he will not be the only "young" rider that decides to join us in sport touring. Maybe K-Bud can help us to attract some younger riders. Even though we like to make light and make fun of ourselves, we might have the opportunity to influence some young, throttle-happy, sport bike riders with our skills and experience that could make them lifetime riders, instead of accidents waiting to happen. I know for sure it is what I have to do with Caleb. With the approach of year-end, winter, and the Holidays, I would like to thank Bob Chappuis for the opportunity to use the newsletter for my own self promoting forum, in the form of the 'WHY I RIDE" column, and for the indulgence of all of you in the LA HSTA for not demanding that it stop. And thanks to all of you with whom I had the pleasure to share the road and/or a hotel bed. (wait, ..that doesn't sound right)
I wish you all Season's greetings and hope you each have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. And more VERY happy riding in 2008
Remember, Loud pants save lives.
|Autumn in the Ozarks|
by Drew Newcomer
Four and ½ years ago, I decided to join the bourgeoisie of motorcycling and become a BMW owner. I have not regretted this decision and still interact with motorcyclists of lesser marques in an unobtrusive manner :) I pretty much existed alone until my friend and fellow HSTA member, Bob Mizner, from Texas, informed me of a get-together in Ozark, Arkansas of good folks that ride the veritable R1150R. So, having ridden with Bob in the past, I thought it might be worth the while to give Ozark a try, and meet some folks whose taste in motorcycles paralleled mine.
As things happen when work is involved, I was unable to leave work on time on Friday, November 2, and was worried about getting to Ozark before dark. I headed up Highway 425 from Bastrop and picked the interstate up in Pine Bluff, Arkansas after chowing down on one the worst hamburgers I have ever had. (If you ever come up this road and see the Burger King on the right hand side of the road as you go north in Monticello, just keep going!) I got to Little Rock right at 4pm and enjoyed all the traffic that goes along with the big city on a Friday afternoon. I navigated I-40 alright and rode west racing the sun. I arrived in Ozark with about 30 minutes of daylight left and checked into the Ozark Motel which is owned by some very motorcycle-friendly folks.
Bob was in the parking lot as I arrived and got unpacked. There were about 15 beemerphiles present and I was introduced to everyone. I was surprised to meet motorcyclists from as far away as Illinois, North Carolina, and Georgia. A group of us went to dinner that night by piling into a couple of automobiles that were available.
Saturday morning arrived with a chill in the air but the promise of a day perfect for exploring some of the many roads that any motorcyclist would love to ride. Bob had a loop planned so since I had not brought a tank bag and thus no map holder, tagged along with him. We started north on Arkansas 23, the Pig Trail, and encountered little traffic as we wound our way up to Huntsville. We headed east on 412 then turned south on 103. When 103 met 43 we turned back north until highway 206 took us to the well known highway 7. We gassed up in Jasper and continued south on 7 until we found 123 that lead us back to Clarksville where highway 64 brought us home to Ozark. What a great loop - about 200 miles in all in ideal riding conditions. There was not a cloud in the sky and we rode past a good number of bikers enjoying the perfect day.
Saturday night we met in a local restaurant which had a reserved room for us. We exchanged stories and experiences. A couple of the guys were quite knowledgeable from a tech standpoint so it gave me an opportunity to ask questions about a variety of things ranging from synthetic oil to tire choices. It was a great group of people and I even won a door prize!! That is always a very pleasant surprise. Now all I need to do is get off my butt and use the bike cleaner/polish that I brought home.
This was a great weekend. Good folks, good roads, great weather, all mixed in with a common interest. I appreciate Bob Mizner for thinking of me and getting me involved in this ride. Now I have access to a website that is dedicated to the R1150R and my number of motorcycling friends has increased. I know that there are many of these model specific groups are out there. With Bob Chappuis the proud new owner of a Kawasaki, the Concours Owner's Group comes to mind. I suspect there are boards with loads of information on the ST1300, the FJ, and many others as well. If you have some down time and are playing around on the internet, see what you can find. You might just get involved in a great ride in a great location with a great bunch of folks you'll be glad to meet.
|Meet at 8:30, International House of Pancakes, College Drive, Baton Rouge. Weather permitting it is always great to start the year off with a ride but even if it is too cold or wet for a ride it is good to get together and discuss plans for the upcoming year.|
The discussion of a possible name change vote was lively during our
November EC conference call. The last vote was almost 7 years ago and we
feel that enough members on both sides of the issue have expressed an
interest in conducting another vote.
The designated communication tool for the entire membership is STAReview. To successfully hold a vote we feel that the membership needs to be well informed of both sides of this issue.
In the first issue of 2008 we intend on having a short article from the EC explaining the voting process that is required under our operating By-Laws. Also there will be two articles one explaining each side of this issue. Please submit your point of view for keeping the name Honda Sport Touring Association or for changing the name from Honda Sport Touring Association to our new STAReview Managing Editor Chuck Davis at chuck_davis@.... Please keep your submission to 100 words or less. Submission deadline is January 7, 2008. Please no suggested names only your reasoning why the name should change or why is should not. Chuck will select the submissions to be printed in the STAReview.
Following these two points of view will be a note calling for letters to the Editor asking the members to tell there side of the issue. We feel that we must allow sufficient time for the members to receive the STAReview and submit there point of view so these points of view will be in the 2nd and/or the 3rd issues of the year.
This is YOUR club and we want to tell us the direction you want it to go!
Sincerely Dave “Brick” Brickner
by Lee Nangle
I have been putting in quite a few interstate miles lately, only because it was necessary, and it has brought home another issue that gets me so irritated I could run my tits through a ringer. Our interstates and multi-lane highways are being used so inefficiently. I think we have evolved into a driving culture that almost totally misses the advantages of the multi lane divided highway. The concept was started in Germany almost a century ago now, and the Germans were nothing if not efficient. The Autobahn has no speed limit because they don't need one. Why? Because the Germans know how to drive. They know that the left lane is for passing (overtaking) a slower vehicle in the right lane, it is not just an alternate lane to travel in. And even as most of you are nodding and saying yes, you know that, almost nobody actually drives that way. And in case you were wondering, I think I know why.
There are two main reasons why misuse of the left lane is so prevalent.
One is that our law enforcement has evolved into a culture of using speed enforcement more as a revenue gathering device than safety enforcement ( no doubt they would disagree) But in reality, drivers are so afraid of getting a ticket that they will not accelerate enough to pass a slower car for fear of getting a ticket. So they clog up both lanes.
The second reason is the overwhelmingly prevalent use of cruise control. Drivers are so resistant to driving without the cruise on that they will not change speeds when necessary. So with your cruise set to a speed that is ¼ of one MPH faster than the car ahead, you move out in to the left lane, and it takes THREE miles to over take the car. This is not proper passing.
It is my opinion that if the troopers would enforce this seldom used law of improper lane usage for the real reason, and not just an excuse to stop and search for narcotics, it would make the highways safer. The clogged traffic causes frustration in drivers, and accidents are far more likely when people try to pass in the right lane. Also more rear end collisions because of long lines of traffic following too close, hoping for an opportunity to pass.
I am not suggesting that there be no speed limit - way too many stupid drivers for that.
I just wish law enforcement would concentrate on what I think is a much larger safety concern than someone going a few clicks over the limit.
I am likely preaching to the choir here, since most M/C riders already have figured this out as well. It is just one of the several reasons…why I (don't) ride … on the interstate unless I have to. Sorry FT
So look for me on a two lane curvy road, but look fast.
And…Keep Spankin' it.
That's all for now.
Keep riding & smiling
Bob Chappuis, Editor and outgowing State Director