August & September 1999
by Bob Hennessey
Thank goodness fall is right around the corner. The heat has been unmerciful! Unless you get started early in the morning or late in the evening, your motorcycling experience is bound to be a wet and sticky one. This is especially true if you wear any sort of protective gear. I think that there definitely is a market for air conditioned riding apparel here in the deep south.! The first Sunday in August was indeed a scorcher, but we had six brave souls who went against common sense and decided to ride anyway. J. C. (Ledbetter) was there sporting a beautiful color coordinated Sargent seat cover on his mean green Kawasaki ZRX. Toby and Michelle were on their custom painted, maroon ZX11, Juan and Beryl on their 'classic' Honda V45 and I showed up on my Honda XR650L dual sport bike. Since we didnt want to punish ourselves too badly, we decided to make a short ride. Trusty old HWY 40 got the nod. I took the lead on my semi-knob equipped XR650L and was pleasantly surprised by the confidence my tires gave me as we scampered through the many twists and turns After almost taking out several bicyclists who did not want to share the road with us, we continued on HWY 40 until it intersected HWY 445 S. From there we proceeded to HWY 22 and the Taste of Bavaria Restaurant. After a bite to eat and some cold beverages to wet our parched throats, we parted ways. The beads of sweat were flying as we hurried back to the comforts of our air-conditioned homes!
By Bob Chappuis
It has been a busy summer. Since returning from STAR, I have been busy moving to St. Francisville and trying to take care of the many changes that this relocation involves. One change that impacts the club is a new Internet Service Provider. Intersurf is not a local access call from St. Francisville so I began a search for a new ISP and host for the LA HSTA Website. St. Francisville is still a very small town and the options are not plentiful, in fact, DEMCO.NET is the only local access provider I have found so far. The good news is the monthly fee is the same. The bad news is that server space is cut in half. I have had to axe two of the websites I had been hosting and the size of the HSTA site will have to remain static. That means as new stuff goes up, old stuff must come off. If someone knows of a free web host they would like to recommend please E-mail me.
St. Francisville is hilly and the countryside is beautiful. Stacie and I have been exploring the roads that surround our house and have found some nice ones. I am putting together some route maps, which I will put in a future issue. The town has an interesting historic district and the area has many fine Bed and Breakfast establishments. Be sure to give us a call if you are in the area: 635-3171. The Roadside Bar-B-Q on HWY 61 a few miles south of St. Francisville has some of the best pork ribs in the state. Just a short ferryboat ride across the river in New Roads is Satterfield's steak and seafood. Some of us enjoyed a fine lunch there on a club ride and I can report that their evening menu is also excellent.
Stacie and I plan to attend the CMRA club road racing event scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, September 18 and 19 at Texas World Speedway in College Station Texas. A friends brother is racing and we will be there to cheer him on. This is a high-speed track similar to Daytona International Speedway and the track where I first discovered how "exciting" road racing can be! Be aware that this is also a Texas A&M game weekend so local accommodations may be hard to find. The track is about an two hour ride from Houston.
The first Sunday of September will be September 5. We meet at 9:00 am at the Shoney's Parking lot in Covington past the I-12 exchange on the left side of the road. You can usually count on Bob Hennessey to show up. Anyone who can correctly guess which bike he will show up on gets a free cup of coffee. Covington is about 100 miles from my new home so I will need to get a mighty early start to make the 9:00 am rendezvous.
DONT FORGET CAJUN CHRISTMAS DECEMBER 3rd, 4Th
and 5Th. CONTACT THE PARK TO RESERVE YOUR CABIN AT (318) 363-2403.
Be sure to tell them youre with the HSTA.
By Ken & Evie
The start of our summer vacation on Sunday, June 6th, arrived about two weeks too early for us due to our hectic schedule; the packing list check off of everything needed for a four-week trip was reduced to throwing the first things in sight into the bags, and packing the Gold Wing and trailer the night before we left. (After all of the times weve vowed NEVER to do it again, too!) We figured that if we found out we had left something that we needed, we would just buy it, but of course there was no leaving our king-sized pillows. Tuffy (our 10 lb. Yorkie, who loves to ride) had to have a travel bag as big and as heavy as each of ours. (Thank God for an Escapade trailer!) We rolled out of the driveway at 4:50 A.M., with Tuffys pet carrier bungie-corded on top of the trailer. (Tuffy was in Evies lap, wearing his little, black leather, bikers jacket. (His leather cap and sunglasses are reserved for picture sessions, where he poses patiently for anyone who is fortunate enough to have a camera on hand. This adds 10 minutes to just about every stop we make.) Heading north, we took advantage of the clear day, and lack of rain, to push hard up I-59 and I-20 to our first nights stop in Commerce, Ga.; a long day, for all of us, of some 560 miles. We wanted to reach Gastonia, N.C., early the next morning, in order to visit friends before heading on to the Atlantic Coast and the Outer Banks.
On Tuesday, the 8th, we left Gastonia early in the morning (up and rolling at 4:30 A.M. again) to take advantage of the cooler riding, and traveled east, through Washington, N.C., Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Nags Head and the Outer Banks. We were monitoring CB channel 19 for traffic and road conditions when we overheard a couple of nearby truckers commenting on the how good the big, red Wing looked, and wondered how this guy got that woman out of bed and on that motorcycle at 5 A.M. in the morning. Kents reply was: "No problem with the woman; the biggest trouble is putting the dog in the cage, on the trailer. At 5:00 in the morning, hes worse than a Pit Bull with a toothache." This brought a gale of laughter from every trucker listening to channel 19. June 11th found us in Williamsburg, Va., and with us came the rain. (But whats a little rain when youre a Motorcyclist on vacation, right?) We purchased a one-years pass to the exhibition (which was the better bargain) and set out to see all there was to see in Colonial Williamsburg, dressed in our yellow, DryRider rainsuits, and posing as Mr. & Mrs. Big Bird, from Sesame St. (Dont laugh. We were two of only a few tourists who were dressed for the weather and could have made a small fortune if wed wanted to sell our rain gear that day.) After that, we ended up spending several days in the area, enjoying the historical sights in Williamsburg, Jamestown, the Powhatan Indian Village, the ship replicas at Yorktown, and Roanoke Island. Since Evelyn works at Destrehan Plantation, and wanting to compare the style and quality of the tours being given in other parts of the country, we visited Sherwood Forest Plantation, home of President John Tyler. We enjoyed the presentation of the buildings and grounds, and the history involved with this "interim" President who sat in the Whitehouse prior to the election of Abraham Lincoln and the start of the Civil War.
By Monday, June 14th, the weather cleared up beautifully and turned exceptionally cool, so the leathers felt good as we Turned west toward the mountains again. Passing Richmond and Charlottesville, Va., we found ourselves at the southern end of the Shenandoah National Park and decided to hang a sharp right, head up Skyline Drive and continue on into Maryland. From there, we turned west again, across southern Pennsylvania, and into West Virginia. As the elevation went up, the temperature went down; when it dropped into the 60s, out came the chaps, and Tuffy got a turtleneck under his jacket, but still kept that little nose out in the wind.
On the 16th, we found ourselves in Bridgeport, West Virginia, just east of Clarksburg, and spent the next few days traveling the winding, scenic, 2-lane "motorcycle roads" connecting the small towns Appalachia, discovering the covered bridge at Phillipi, and walking the streets of Glenville, as it was celebrating its 50th annual Folk Festival and Bluegrass Music Competition. Since it was only a short, mornings ride to Marietta, Ohio, on the 19th, we checked out late from the Knights Inn that had been our "home base" in Bridgeport; Tuffys "Public" turned out in force to see us depart, with the Manager, Desk Clerks and all nine cleaning ladies waving us a VIP goodbye.
Arriving in Marietta at noon, we were able to check into our hotel early and got the first choice of downstairs rooms. The host hotel for the Honda Sport Touring Associations "STAR" event didnt accept pets, so we stayed next door where Tuffy was welcome. There were several Goldwings and motorcycle trailers at the motel when we checked in; it seems that the GWRRA Ohio State Rally and the "Buckeye" Rally were ending that evening with a light parade through town. We hitched up with several other Wingers there for the event and found ourselves invited to watch the parade with them. Cheryl Sholly, and her mother, were attending the event on Cheryls purple, GL1500 Trike and offered Evelyn a chance to "try it out". No sooner said than done! (But after a close call with the back end of a Buick Roadmaster, I began to wish she had told her, up front, that you have to STEER a Trike like a car; you cant lean it like a bike.) Once she got the hang of it, though, she had a ball and we have pictures to prove it.
The next day was spent with registration, renewing friendships made in Taos, N.M. last year, bench racing, tire kicking, and watching all those beautiful (mostly red) motorcycles roll in and out. One of the great experiences of HSTA is the camaraderie of the HSTA women riders. Our meeting, like the one in Taos last year, was full of fun, information for women riders and an important exchange of ideas. Immediately following the meeting was a ride into town, by trolley, to the waterfront. There, a group of us (who wisely made the reservations early) enjoyed a wonderful dinner cruise on the sternwheeler, The Valley Gem. Water seeks its own level and the six people at our table were the noisiest on the boat; a couple from Brooklyn, another from Canada, one single, 62" Country gal, and another single guy who looked Italian/Jewish, but was Cuban. The evening was just beautiful, and ended much too soon.
Tuesday 22nd was a day to see the sights in Marietta. We had lunch at a little sidewalk café, where Tuffy amused everyone who ventured by; we sampled some delicious Georgia peaches (and bought a bag full). We also visited "The Castle"; a local mansion and historic house built in 1850, where Tuffy was even allowed to take the tour because "he is soooo cute". Wed. 23rd. Kent rode the local roads with the black and yellow "rubber snake" signs and I took the time to repack and lay out by the pool. The farewell dinner was that night was hosted by Haas Honda of Marietta in their huge boat showroom. It was a wonderful evening of really good food and fun, along with a great guest speaker, Dave Despain, who is the voice for "Speed Vision" on cable TV. Next day we said our good-byes and headed west to Cincinnati to visit Evelyns grandson and then turned south, down through Kentucky and Tennessee, stopping in Decatur, Ala., for the night. We were close enough to home at that point to smell the crawfish boiling, so we were rolling on the superslab at 5:00 A.M., headed for home. The rain greeted us at the Mississippi State line and got steadily worse, the closer we got to New Orleans. The last 10 miles of the trip, down I-310 to River Road and Destrehan, were made in a typical 2"-per-hour Louisiana downpour. Even so, we made 586 miles that day, arriving home about 2:30 P.M., giving us time to spend the evening with friends from London, England, who had been visiting the city and staying at our house for the past week.
We had a great, relaxing trip, totaling more than 3800 miles. We took time to stop along the Skyline Drive Parkway to lay in the grass, smell the wild flowers and watch the clouds heap themselves into fantastic shapes in the sky, just for our enjoyment. The forested slopes of the Appalachian Mountains at this time of year were beautiful, and we never saw so many deer along the side the road, especially on the Parkway. (This, of course, encouraged us to ride with more than a little caution! Kamikaze Bambis can make a terrible mess of expensive Goldwing body parts.) Tuffy was a little trooper, anxious every day to jump aboard, relax across my lap and just let the hair on his big ears stream in the wind. He mostly enjoyed the attention he got while standing guard on the seat of the Wing while we were inside a restaurant. Sorry we missed the activities of Chapter "K" in May and June, but were looking forward to seeing you on the road in July. Looks like some good rides! Now to plan for our Octobers trip!
Ride safe! KenT, EvieC and Tuffy:
Bikewriter, The Bionic Butterfly and Sir Tufford The Terrible.
|OCTOBER should offer some heat Relief and fall foliage! Mark Oct. 3rd on your calendar for the Covington 1st Sunday ride. I am working on a mid-October Feliciana Parishes Ride so stay tuned.|