|September 2006||Louisiana HSTA Newsletter||Bob Chappuis, Editor|
NEW MEMBER WELCOME
A big WELCOME BACK! to Tim Smith of Ruston.
Tim is a veteran rider and was a member of LA chapter back in the 80's until he moved out of state. He recently returned to Louisiana - and to motorcycling after a 5 year break.
Tim currently rides a recently aquired Honda Goldwing but rumor has it that he may soon be riding a new VFR! Read Tim's story about his HSTA Bull Shoals experience in this issue!
NEW MEMBER WELCOME
This issue marks 5 years that Stacie and I have been C0-Directors of the Louisiana Chapter. We all know what that means! Due to the TERM LIMIT clause in the HSTA BY-LAWS we will sadly be forced to give up this highly lucrative gold mine. Can't complain tho, we have made our millions, now time to give someone else a chance. Who's next?
LA Chapter had 3 members in attendance at the anuual Bull Shoals Rally in Theodosia, MO. Below are two accounts of their trip by members Kevin Yeats and Tim Smith
by Kevin Yeats, Hahnville, LA
Bull Shoals ’06 started out where I was going to meet Tony in Baton Rouge at 5:45 am to head out to Theodosia, Mo. which meant I had to leave Hahnville at 4:35 am. It was going to be a long day in the saddle to make the rally in one day. So we changed the take off time to Thursday and made the Comfort Suites in Vidalia as the Friday morning departure. Tony had to gamble so we took a shuttle van to the Isle of Capri casino. Tony dropped a Benjamin in like 5 minutes and I was like you crazy fat bastard lets get out of here. But no, Tony headed to the ATM and got another Benjamin. I was semi freaking out at that point. End results, Fat Bastard ended up $300 to the plus and I had to drag him out of there kicking and screaming.
We met up with Tony’s old friend and new HSTA member Tim Smith in Rayville. So the La trio departed Rayville Waffle House at 8:35am headed to the rally. Rider/bike – Tim/’04 Wing, Tony/’05 6-fiddy V-Strom, Kevin/’03 ST1300. Our first stop was on the north side of Little Rock where we met a couple of guys headed to Mena for a ham radio get together. One guy was on a KTM supermoto. He was putting gas in his extra reserve tank, a plastic 1 quart oil bottle! Pretty regular roads until we got north of Little Rock. Things progressively got curvy the further north we went. We took highway 125 north and crossed the ferry at Leeds. Also heading to the rally and crossing the ferry were two women HSTAers from Springdale, AR. One was on a Honda 919 and other on a FJR.
La trio arrived at the marina around 5:30 for registration and to pig out on the gourmet hotdogs. We spoke to Pat Coleman who had motored in from Colorado on his new FJR. Pat had led us on some great roads (except one which needs to be closed to traffic) around Kerrville at last years Hill Country. We stayed at the Applecreek Inn which everyone describes as “rustic”. This place has four cabins which were built in 1952 (I would have guessed 1925) when they were building the dam for Bull Shoals. Tony brought candles to suppress the smell of 54 years of smoking and who knows what else. Nice touch T. We had lucky Cabin 2, next door to the blonde haired bombshell from Texas driving a Ford F-250 dual cab 4x4 Power-Stroke diesel pickup truck pulling what looked like a 22’ bass boat with a Mercury OptiMax 225HP outboard motor (can you hear the barking sounds too). She was fishing a woman’s bass tournament on Bull Shoals. She was talking to us and was real nice, until later on when she saw T with his candles. Then she didn’t seem interested in any of us. Damn candles.
Saturday morning we had breakfast buffet at Cookie’s, the marina restaurant which was very good. We then blasted off to catch highway 125 north of 160. This is a great smooth curvy low traffic road. T tore the roads up, while Tim and I did our best to try and keep up. Highways 14, 76, 160, 95, and 181 composed the rest of our journey. Tony and Tim switch bikes for a spell. They both seemed to enjoy riding very contrasting machines than their own. The banquet was okay and typical of most HSTA rallies. I managed to win an AMA t-shirt. Tim bought six 50-50 tickets and as Louisiana luck would have it, the guy next to Tim with the very next ticket won the $140 50-50 pot. Sorry Tim.
Sunday morning started as a repeat with breakfast buffet at Cookie’s. We departed Cookie’s at 7:35am and were headed south. Tim split from us at Searcy and Tony and I split at Tallulah. I had one last touring road on my way, Mississippi Highway 27. Then it was interstate 55 south bound for the ST1300 and me. I caught rain around McComb, but I welcomed the relief from low 90’s temperature. Plus the rain has an added benefit of getting all the bugs off the bike and me.
I logged 1618 total miles for the trip. Lastly, I think the biggest plus for this rally/area was we encountered light traffic on the roads. No overtaking 18-wheelers, 3-5 car trains, etc. on the curvy double yellow roads (as in Colorado, ed.). Bull Shoals Rally, put it on your ‘07 Events to Make List.
by Tim Smith, Ruston, LA
I know you can relate. It is much easier for me to climb out of my comfy bed, occupied by my comfy wife, if I know I am going for a ride. Throwing my already packed bag into the trunk of my glistening white Gold Wing, knowing I am going to ride right on by my place of employment and just keep on riding today, is the feeling we live for.
After 5 years of not riding, I am finally back in the saddle, but after a lifetime and litany of sport bikes, I have found myself at age 47, astride a Gold Wing. (Oh my!) How did that happen? Wasn't it me who once shivered at the thought of such a thing? Ride a Wing-a-bago, a "tuna boat"? -Yikes! OK, I am over it. The 1800 six-cylinder is widely accepted as a great handling machine with a sporting pedigree, and I agree. The friend who sold her to me said she handled like a CBR…well maybe like a 900 lb CBR, but however you describe it, it is a pleasure to ride. And this morning the pleasure was all mine. There is something truly special and thrilling about the first minutes that you start to ride, as you first roll on the throttle and the air begins to move around you, the whine of the engine and the acceleration that pushes you back on the seat. It is a sweet feeling the non-riding world will never know. The big six cylinder, with enormous power, and perfectly smooth manners makes it a near orgasmic experience. It is like getting to relive your first kiss over and over again. And so it was this Friday September 7, as I accelerated away from Waldron Hill to head east and meet my HSTA buddies for a ride to the HSTA Bull Shoals Rally in Theodosia, MO. I was scheduled to meet Tony Crowell, and Kevin Yeats at Le Chateau de Waffle in Rayville at 8: AM. I cruised in 5 minutes early. Soon Tony and Kevin appeared and taxied into the lot, Tony parking his V-Strom next to Kevin on the ST1300 and I watched as it took 7 minutes for the boys to detach all the electronics with wires connecting rider to bike. After greetings and some gourmet coffee, we loaded up again to hit the highway, me, by hitting the start button, and Tony and Kevin by reconnecting all the wires. When done, we were off. I quickly surmised that some of the electronics were stealth related, as the pace of travel escalated from my normal few MPH over the posted limit to… " limit" ? we don't need no stinkin" limit"
The next 200 miles were a blur as we whizzed by farm and field and who knows what, or who else. After we got past Little Rock and the road started to get curvy, at last we were able to really speed-up. Yep, that is when we really got cooking. I thought we passed a policeman somewhere in there, but I was going too fast to really tell. After the first four or five curves, I lost sight of Tony and Kevin,... they were gone. I banged my right foot peg into pavement about that time so I stopped to beef up my suspension ( which means I had to laboriously push a button and wait 4 seconds to change the pre-load from 11 to 19 PSI) Whew, that was hard! I was off again in no time, but by then I was 16 miles behind Tony and Kevin. Lucky for me, they stopped for gas and a full body massage and bikini-wax and I was able to catch up.
I was able to enjoy a quick drink and reminisce about my delicious lunch, the shrink-wrapped sandwich from the gas station we stopped at earlier. We adventurers eat only the best, lucky for me Kevin brought beef jerky, the ultimate traveling food. Beef jerky has been sustaining rugged adventure travelers for centuries, I don't think ours was that old, but it was very good. Thanks Kev. After blitzing up Hwy 14, we hit Hwy 125 which took us to the ferry crossing Bull Shoals lake. At the crossing we found two other riders waiting, also bound for the BS rally. They were two female riders from Arkansas on a brand new FJ and a pristine 919. After the ferry ride they followed us to Theodosia, having no trouble keeping up with the Great White road shark. The ladies peeled off at the Marina, but we continued on to our lodging destination, the "clean-but-rustic" Apple Creek Inn. Built during the Truman administration, the cabins have all the original wiring , plumbing and probably some of the original dust from 1952, but they turned out to be adequate accommodations, if not the luxury I am surely used to. The lovely lady that checked us in gave us nothing but the key, and an admonition to be careful while riding. She also informed us that all of the other cabins would be occupied by women who had come to compete in a ladies-only fishing tournament being held on the lake. I think Kevin may have enjoyed this development a bit more than Tony or I, maybe due to some long held fantasy about bass-fishing women, and outboard motors, can't say for sure. But our neighbors were friendly, and our stay was enjoyable.
We returned to the Marina after depositing some luggage at the Inn, and signed into the Rally. Kevin and Tony found some familiar faces and talked of rides in the past, I enjoyed meeting new people and admiring the two-wheeled finery. The guys from MO were very friendly, and put on an excellent Gourmet hot-dog roast, we ate our fill and discussed the path of our Saturday ride. The Main ride scheduled would take riders through some of Arkansas' finest pavement, but we chose to ride an alternate route in Missouri on roads we may not have traversed before. Tired from the day's travel we headed back to our cabin for the night. With Tony snoring like a wilde beast being ravaged by hyenas, Kevin dreaming of bass-fishing women, and me having a nightmare about wrestling a 900 lb polar bear, ( that I realized eventually was just my Gold Wing on Hwy 14) we tried to sleep through the night. We awoke early and headed to Cookie's for breakfast, along with most of the other riders. After our meal we headed out on Hwy 160, then on to Hwy 125, which turned out to be the favorite section for all of us. A banked racetrack of curves going for mile after mile, a great place to learn how to handle a Gold Wing, and I did learn, and I got much more comfortable riding in sporting conditions. We continued on Hwy 76, which is like a roller coaster ride through a beautiful section of Missouri countryside. Tony expresses a desire to ride the Great White machine so, mid morning we traded rides for about 50 miles. It took me 10 or 15 miles to get used the vastly different Suzuki, but when I realized it would go anywhere I asked it to go, the pace got quicker and the ride got more exhilarating. All the curves I had been through had me really wanting to ride a bike I could move around on. This did the trick. It was also a kick to watch Tony, with his race-track experience, thrash the big Honda through the turns, I think he really liked it too.
Saturday was great day of riding, we rode on some super roads, saw some fantastic scenery, albeit quickly, and personally, I regained some of my lost riding skills. I also think I learned a lot about riding my new touring bike. I know I have intentionally made light of speeding and riding very fast, and much of my rhetoric is exaggeration for the sake of the story and to give some insight into my(sometimes twisted) frame of mind. But I must state clearly that when I ride, and Tony and Kevin will agree 100 %, that SAFETY is first and foremost in our minds, and we never ride too fast for the conditions, and never try to push beyond our own comfort limits. If that means falling behind other riders, then that is what we should do. Crashing and injuring yourself or others is the worst result our sport can produce. I can say proudly that we all returned from our rides safely with no casualties noted (excepting one indecisive squirrel and one very unlucky turtle that fell victim to Honda's flagship)
The banquet on Saturday night was a nice affair as riders exchanged stories of the day's ride, but I am loath to say that the LA contingency were almost shut-out on door prizes, sans a T-shirt won by Kevin. The ride home on Sunday was nice but uneventful, I split off from the boys at Searcy, AR and I made it back home to Ruston a few hours earlier than the South LA residents. Later, I was happy to hear that both made it home safely. I look forward to many more safe and happy rides with the LA HSTA.
Our South Louisiana members (Thibodaux) hosted this ride, led by Paul Lefort on his FZ1. Paul planned a route hitting the best twisties on either side of Bayou Lafourche and with a lunch stop at Boudreaux's Restaurant in Chackbay. The ride began on highway 70 near the Sunshine Bridge on the West side of the Mississippi River. Paul, Scott Toups (Suzuki Hayabusa), and John Thompson (Yamaha R6) were waitng for the East side members who assembled on the other bank for the ride over. These included myself on my Honda VFR 800, Ken & Evelyn Treas on an ST1100 and Juan and Beryl Quinton in their pickup truck. Juan & Beryl drove over from Baton Rouge just to visit and send us off but had great news to report. Juan has a new bike on order (after losing his to hurricane Katrina) and expects it in November.
After a good session of meet & greet and tire kicking we saddled up and headed out. Our first loop included LA 996 via 70 and 69. Some of us are quite familar with 996 as it is the road where No Problem Raceway is located. 996 has some great curves and is nice and smooth with little traffic.
Next we rode South on LA 1 to Napoleonville and turned West onto 401, a twisty road that ends at Attakapas Landing on Lake Verret, a popular fishing area. Then back to LA 1 via 400 at which point we crossed Bayou Lafourche and rode 308 South to 304 which took us via more twists and turns to Chackbay and Boudreaux's Restuarant on LA 20.
Boudreaux's was casual and clean and the service was extremely friendly and efficient. More importantly the food was delicious. Boudreaux's is NOT one of your touristy restuarants boasting Cajun cuisine but a real, family restuarant deep in the heart of Cajun Bayou Country! My soft-shell crab po-boy was superb! If I had not had so far to ride home I would have tried the alligator sauce piquante as well!
After lunch Ken and Evie said adios and headed home to attend a wedding and John and Scott headed home as well leaving Paul to lead Ryan and myself on an assualt of the final, and perhaps most challenging set of twisties on Choctaw and Sanchez Roads. Back at Highway 20 Ryan and Paul turned back South for Thibodaux and I turned North to make my way home. Total mileage for me was 283 miles. For me it was great to ride some new roads and even better to ride agian with our South Louisiana members!
Stacie and I are planning to attend this year's event and I think Tony, Kevin, Paul and Bill and Sherri are also in. Remaining non-smoking rooms are getting scarce so hurry.
MEET AT CABOOSE CAFE IN JENA for LUNCH at NOON
This is the location for our Cajun Christmas lunch ride. It was a hit in 2004. We will check it out and make sure it is still a good choice. We will also pre-ride some or most of our Cajun Christmas Lunch Ride route. That means LA 126, the best motorcycle road in Louisiana! I will lead a group from South Louisiana that will meet at the McDonalds in St. Francisville.(The St. Francisville/New Roads ferry is currently not operating so we will route through Natchez.) Details will be posted on the website and emailed to everone soon. Our Northern Liaison Drew Newcomer will be coordinating with me to get our North Louisiana contingent in sync. It would be great to get ALL members together for lunch! E-mail me if you have any questions or suggestions.
Route and lunch destination to be announced.
Meet at Starbucks on Corporate Blvd in Baton Rouge 9:30 Ride at 10:00
Friday night restaurant dinner, Saturday Lunch Ride, Saturday Night Cookout and Christmas Party with gift exchange. Cabins are going fast with raiders from Texas, Ohio, Missouri and North Carolina gathering to invade and eat our Gumbo! The Louisiana State Park website now has an ONLINE RESERVATION FORM. Only 7 of the 17 2 bedroom cabins are left, MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS SOON Go online or call 1-877-CAMP-N-LA (877-226-7652)
That is all for now, make your plans to ride with us soon!
Ride safe and keep in touch. (chappuis AT demco DOT net)