|Second Quarter 2013||Louisiana MSTA Newsletter||Page 1|
|A hearty welcome to two new members, Guy Lombard of New Orleans and Timothy Wilkes of Baton Rouge! Guy rides a BMW R1200 GS Adventure and Timothy rides a Honda NT700V and a Suzuki DL650 V Strom.|
We are into the summer and other than STAR 2013 I have little to report on. For our April lunch ride we met for lunch in Baton Rouge and checked out the Euro Fest Classic European Automobile and Motorcycle Show. We had a nice lunch but there were only a handful of classic motorcycles on display. A scheduled May lunch ride had only a single participant due to pessimistic weather reports and an illness but yours truly had a great ride to Natchez and delicious BBQ ribs at the Pig Out Inn. STAR 2013 in Lexington had a good Louisiana turnout, however and everyone had a fine time. Enjoy the story and pictures below.
Nine LA members attended STAR 2013 in Lexington, KY. Stacie and I (Concours 14) started out on Thursday and took three days, including a side trip to the Pisgah Inn, the Peak of The Parkway. Situated on the top of Mt. Pisgah it is the highest point of the Blue Ridge Parkway and is one of our favorite places to stay. The rooms all have private balconies with a great view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. There is an excellent restaurant on the premises as well. We arrived in Lexington Saturday afternoon after some nice twisties and spent the evening and Sunday just relaxing and catching up with friends, enjoying dinner with old friends Bill Royal and Eve Blazur of Florida. Stacie and I first met Bill and Eve at STAR 2000 in Hot Springs, AR.
Rod Fors (Honda ST1300) of New Orleans rode up with his son Cevin (Triumph Bonneville) who flew in from Port Angelas, WA and arrived early Sunday. Arriving Sunday afternoon was a group of four including Eric Babcock (BMW R1200RT), Kevin Yeats (Honda ST1300) and new member Guy Lombard (BMW R1200 GS Adventure) of the New Orleans area. Kevin's wife Julie had flown in the previous day. Finally, Frank Lamothe of Covington arrived on his Yamaha V-Strom.
The Crown Plaza proved to be an outstanding facility for a STAR and the staff there was extremely accomodating. Although very large it was easy to navigate and the lobby and entrance had plenty of nice areas for socializing and ride staging. The restuarant had fine food reasonably priced and the pleasant bar offered an extended happy hour and daily drink specials. And if that was not enough the Rite Aide across the parking lot had a good supply of liquor and beer!
On Monday I rode with two of my oldest MSTA buddies Chuck Hedrick, FL who I met at the first STAR held near Benton, Arkansas in 1983 and Jim Girton, KS who I met at STAR 1987 in Cruso, North Carolina. Chuck and Jim have both been good friends and riding buddies ever since. I led them on one of the routes using my GPS and a route downloaded from the MSTA website. All went quite well except for a road closure that put us onto about 4 miles of deep gravel with significant elevation changes. We struggled a bit but made it back intact and over all had a great ride.
Tuesday was the lunch ride to Blue Licks State Park and Stacie and I hooked up to ride with the Louisiana bunch, led by Tony Crowell, plus Jimmy Girton and Don Laderer of California (another old friend we first met at the first Mammoth Lakes STAR at in 1991). Tony added some extra twisties to the official route and we all had a ball. The hot buffet lunch was also by far the best I have had at any STAR lunch ride. We took back roads on the return to the CP.
On Wednesday we went with Don and Jim to Frankfort to tour the Buffalo Trace distillery with about 20 other MSTA members. Our tour guide was very knowlegeable and an excellent speaker and we ejoyed the tour very much, including some tiny samples at the conclusion. The contrast between Buffalo Trace, a large multi-brand opporation and the smaller, single brand Woodford Reserve distillery we toured in 2005 was quite interesting. Following the tour we enjoyed lunch at diner in downtown Frankfort recommened by the hospitality staff at Buffalo Trace. Gibbey's Diner was excellent!
Wednesday night was the big banquet and bike raffle. I did not win anything but the food and company were great. Thursday morning there was rain but it had all but stopped by the time we departed and we quickly rode west out of what remained. Home in two days of 366 and 439 miles with a stop overnight in Florence, AL. We rode southwest on back roads to Nashville then rode the entire length of the Natchez Trace. Stacie did not like the slow pace on the trace but I appreciated the slightly cooler temps afforded by the shade trees and the serene beauty of the trace. Another fantastic STAR and wonderful nine day vacation by sport touring motorcycle.
For some great pictures of STAR 2013 check out the AMA website gallery. And here are some links to some of my favorite pics of our group on the AMA gallery.
That's all for now. Stacie and I are flying to Europe in August for a motorcycle tour and we are so excited we can't hardly stand it. I should have a lot to write about next time!
Keep riding & smiling
Bob Chappuis, State Director and Editor