Not a lot of activity lately, plenty of rain and now some real cold weather. Well, not "real cold" but cold enough to make you ponder a while before you go for a ride. But we have gotten in a couple lunch rides thanks to Tony. Tony organized rides for October and November. I attended the November ride and have a little report below but was in Kansas for October. Also, Dennis and I did half a track day at NOLA Motorsports Park before rain chased us off. Stacie and I did a nice over-nighter to Alexandria Thanksgiving weekend as well as a trip to Biloxi, MS.
It has been another great riding year for me highlighted by our Europe tour with Edelweiss plus trips with the boys to to Big Bend, Bull Shoals and of course STAR in Lexington, Kentucky. I should close out 2013 with close to 27,000 miles. That is down a bit from last year but still pretty decent for a tin butt. My goal for the last 10 years has been to increase my mileage each year but eventually that get's harder and harder to do!
As an MSTA state chapter I think we had a another pretty good year. It seemd like everybody had a great time on the rides I attended. We lost a few members this year but we have gained some good ones as well. Hopeflly Santa will bring us a State Director for Christmas who will lead us to an even better 2014. But if not I have no doubts we shall ride on anyway!
NOVEMBER LUNCH RIDE
Thanks to Tony Crowell's initiative, a few of us met up at Taste Of Bavaria near Ponchatoula, some meeting in Sorrento for a ride up highway 22. I came in from Biloxi, newest member Timothy Wilkes rode in from Baton Rouge and it was great to finaly meet him. The weather was great for sitting outside on the patio and we had a great meal and chat before heading off our separate ways
NOLA Motorsports Track Day
Dennis Hedrick and I participated in a track day sponsored by NOLA Motorsports Park on Friday, November 22. Saturday and Sunday was a WERA motorcycle race and several racers attended the track day to get practice laps. There was a total of about 22 riders, counting 4 "control riders", about evenly distriubuted between the three groups: Advanced, Intermediate and Novice. The racers, including Tiger Track Days founder Shane Liles filled out the Advanced Group. Although this was my first time at NOLA I opted for Intermediate Group so I could follow Dennis around and learn the track. I think first timers are supposed to ride with the Novice group but since a couple of the control riders were old riding buds from the other track (NPR) they let me slide.
It was humbling to be the slowest rider in Intermediate Group but then I was on the oldest and least suitable track bike, my 1999 VFR. At any rate one of the control riders told me I was too fast for the Novice Group and that made me feel better. It was great to finally ride the smooth and wide new track and great to finally see what the VFR could do on a track after 125,000 street miles. It was also great fun to try to follow Dennis on my old SV650. Although I could not quite stay with him for a whole lap I learned a lot. I found learning the new track to be a challenge, I think because it has just enough similarities with No Problem Raceway (which is probably permanently burned into my brain cells after 30 plus track days) to seem familar but with enough differences to get me in trouble. More track time was what I needed but our last session before lunch break was cut short by a crash and red flag and as lunch break ended the rains came. Dennis packed up and I did not see much point in trying to learn the track on wet pavement so I packed it in as well.
The track is great track day venue and the NOLA sponsored track day was well run and I plan to be back. It was really nice to see some old riding buds and a bonus to have them as controll riders.
November Dinner Ride
Stacie had the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend off and she suggested an overnight trip on the Concours. What a wife! We have been making trips to Vicksburg for the last few years at this time of year but our favorite motel/restuarant in Vicksburg had changed hands on our last visit and not for the better so we needed a new destination. Back in the day I used to work overnight in Alexandria and stayed at a nice motel and ate at a great restuarant next door on the government dime. Current Internet reviews show the Cajun Landing is still highly regarded and the motel next door is now a Choice Hotels property and I had plenty of points for a free stay. The weather would be perfect, all I needed was a good route to Alex and back and I went to work with Mapsource. The motel was old but good and the Cajun Landing's food was good but not as good as I remembered it. Of course, they may have just had a sub par night. But all in all it was great trip with a great ride hitting some of the best roads in Louisiana, check it out:
I MAY ride to Stockton, AL (about 30 miles north of Mobile) for this non-MSTA event on Sunday, December 30. If I do I will be heading across the West Florida Republic via the Zachary Taylor Parkway to Poplarville, MS and continue on MS 26, US 98 and backroads to Stockton, AL, 245 miles from St. Francisville. My plan is to arrive by 11:30, eat, hang out and and mingle and be back on the road headed home by about 1:00.
See event details below.
That is it for 2013! Thanks to each of you who have participated in club activities. And special thanks to those who have helped out and offered moral support. MERRY CHRISTMAS and a Prosperous and Safe NEW YEAR to all of you. KEEP IN TOUCH!