Sept. 2007 Louisiana HSTA Newsletter P.1

Turn One

Time is flying by and much has been happening! A great August lunch ride with a record turnout, the Ozarks Bull Shoals Rally with LAHSTA well represented and another Tiger Tracks Day since I published the last newsletter. Reports and/or pictures on each of these happenings plus contributions from members Tim Smith and Drew Newcomer.

Cooler weather has finally started to give us a tease and what many consider the best time of year for riding is right around the corner, don't missout!. We have a new local event planned for October in North Louisiana, a great chance for our mostly South LA membership to enjoy a change of scenery and some North Louisiana HILLS! Our September lunch ride will take us back to the Pi Out Inn in Natchez for so,e dlectable Bar-B-Que. It is also time to make your plans to attend our annual Cajun Christmas. Info below...

Why I ride…

by Tim Smith

The morning broke with iron gray clouds and the sky spitting drops of warm rain, and the road had a wet film that did not inspire confidence for a spirited ride. But it was cooler than it has been and riding was suddenly more fun and relaxing that it has been in a while.
As the first miles went by and the mist disappeared from my face shield, the road also began to get dry and the speedo needle started to react. The sun popped through the clouds and I started to really regret the recent loss of my Ray- Bans. ( Note: don't leave your Ray-Bans on the seat of your bike while you are in the bike shop) Now some other rider has my glasses.
So I flip down the tinted shield, forget the glasses and start to really enjoy the ride. And it is this discovery that brings the smile to my face. I am smiling inside my helmet as I revel in the knowledge that I really do love to ride motorcycles.
I had been away (from riding) for a while, and I wondered if would be the same now after almost 5 years without riding, but it feels like I never left. Even on this gliding roadship with more car like features than some …cars, it is still unmistakably a motorcycle, and I love it. My previous ride had been a 1997 Interceptor which was a surprise gift from my wife on my 40th birthday in 1999. It was, and still is the best birthday present I ever received. If she were not already my wife I would have married her, (given her a blood transfusion, a kidney and a body organ to be named later) the bike was a new 1997(in "arrest-me" red) still in stock in March of 1999.
But alas in 2002, my first of two sons entered the University of North Carolina and my budget had not enough room for the red rocket and the Tar Heel blue tuition, so I reluctantly put her up for adoption.
I had been a four -wheeled traveler ever since.
I began riding off road at about age 12, and my first real job was selling Motorcycles in Ruston LA. In 8 years of selling, I was also customer, and in 1983, I bought a new bike from Honda called the V45 Interceptor, you may have heard of it. Later, I dropped down to the 500 Interceptor in 1985 and learned more about riding than I ever imagined, what a sweet machine that one was. I cut my sport-riding teeth on the roads of northern Arkansas following the leather-clad, Army helicopter veteran- Tony Crowell, on a R65 with a John Deere transmission, who showed me how much fun it could be to ride a motorcycle. I was hooked.
The 500 gave way to a new CBR600 Hurricane in 1988, a bike I regrettably sold prior to my big move to North Carolina. 2006 brought me back to Louisiana, the land of my birth. Shortly before I left La. In 1991 I had joined, and was momentarily, the North Louisiana director of the HSTA. I liked the organization, and I was excited at the opportunity to share riding experiences with fellow lovers of sport touring. But a job change and subsequent relocation to North Carolina interrupted my plans.
I didn't give up riding, I just relocated. The mountains of North Carolina are beautiful, and a splendid venue for riding, which I enjoyed for several years. I enjoyed a NT650 Hawk, another CBR600, a CBR1000, and the aforementioned VFR, before I found myself back in LA and riding once again..
Oh, yes, the roadship was a 2004 Gold Wing, a fabulous bike, but it ultimately was not the bike for me, yet. Cause at age 48, I would still rather ride a sport bike, and a VFR is a very good compromise. Sport Touring with more SPORT than touring. The big six cylinder 1800 was a pleasant ride, but not very flick-able, and I do so much want to flick. I needed something to flick. Meanwhile I am still enjoying every day riding on the highways and back roads of north Louisiana.. I have already put together a short "High-Country" tour of North La. Which includes a stop at the top of the state - Driskill Mountain, and some meandering through the hills on some roads ( less traveled) that you would not find by accident, but would likely remember, Especially on something flick-able.
Now, Caleb (my 19yr old son) is working at McKinney's and is riding a dirt bike, gaining experience to progress to sport riding on the street. I very much look forward to a lifetime of riding with my son, and sharing all the fun. Along with a hundred other things, this may be the most exciting reason…

Why I ride.

…and remember. Loud clothing save lives!



30 riders on 26 bikes showed up for the August lunch ride of which only 6 were HSTA members! Due to unusual circumstances, this ride turned into a combined HSTA,DSRL, AdvRider plus Guests ride. I am a member of Dual Sport Riders of Louisiana and I customarily invite this compatible group to join our monthly lunch rides. Often I get a taker or two sometimes even 5 or 6. This time things were different.

Long time Georgia HSTA member Randy Ashurst, who I first met at STAR 99 in Ohio, was looking for a Dual Sport bike to buy for his son Mike (also a STAR 99 attendee) who is scheduled to return from duty in Afghanistan in November) and happened to find what he was looking for in Louisiana, for sale by a DSRL member from Mandeville, Austin Church. Randy made plans to come to pick up the XR650L the weekend our Sunday lunch ride was scheduled, which Austin was planning to attend. So he decided to join us for the ride. Not only that but a bunch of DSRL and AdvRider members decided to take Randy out to dinner in New Orleans Saturday night, just because that's the kind of folks they are!. So with all the various message board traffic the word spread and the August HSTA lunch ended up with 24 guests!

Leading a ride with such a large group was not without its problems however. Inexperienced as I am with such a crowd, I went a bit overboard trying to get the gang on the road promptly in order to insure a safe ride and timeley lunch and managed to lose three riders, including the guest of honor!

The bulk of the group had gotten across the Mississippi River and I had stopped at the turnoff from LA 1 to LA 76 when Austin caught up with me to advise we had lost Randy and two others! At that point I asked Brian Noble, Chief Honch of DSRL to take over the lead and I headed back towards Baton Rouge to look for the stragglers with no real hope of finding them. Luckily I felt my phone vibrating and managed to stop and get my helmet of to answer. They too were on LA 1 but heading in the wrong direction. I gave directions to my location and after about 10 minutes the three lost sheep were found.

We proceeded to attempt to catch up with the main group but various obstacles would conspire to prevent that. First, the dirt oriented Honda XR650L Dual Sport machine with knobby tires was not at all well suited for pursuit of sport and sport touring machines, especially with a rider who was totally unfamilar with it. Then there was the ferry that never left the opposite bank and then the brake caliper mounting bolt that fell out of the XR650! It was a minor miracle that BMW rider Kevin Craft had a suitable bolt in his saddle bags! The four of us nevertheless had a fun ride and by shortening our route a bit we managed to arrive at the restaurant just a few minutes after the main group. The help at Middendorfs had graciously accomodated our large group on moments notice, allowing all of us to sit together. The food and service were both great!
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by Drew Newcomer
Well, I may have found motorcycle nirvana and it is here in the good ole USA. I left West Monroe on August 3 and headed for West Virginia. One the way I rode on the Blue Ridge Parkway for most of a day in North Carolina. I enjoyed that very much but you don't progress very far very quickly. Still, it was something I wanted to do, and I enjoyed the 100 miles or so I covered.When I arrived in West Virginia on August 5 it was raining, but that wasn't a bad omen. I found lots of scenery and lots of mountains and not one bad stretch of concrete anywhere. The state is very friendly with "Bikers Welcome" signs displayed everywhere (even in front of a Subway Sandwich Shop in which I dined!) The governor and his wife have their photo on the back of the state map on their Harley. The roads were phenomenal and I found lots of sweepers that were easy and fun to negotiate. Needless to say, I encountered lots of bikes but saw very little law enforcement presence. I did not witness any "stupid bike behavior" either.

I stayed in a cabin about 10 miles west of Petersburg. The cabin had a full kitchen and was very clean and new. As I rode, I saw cabins for rent everywhere. The Beemer ran great and was quite at home in the West Virginia mountains. I didn't get too bothered by the heat, although on the way home I was pretty much ready to stop by 3pm each day. As many of you know, I like to get an early start and this was important with the temperatures being as hot as there were up in the afternoon. I traveled 2662 miles for the eight days I was gone. The one downside was I left home without packing my brand new digital camera (purchased, of course, with the idea of taking it on motorcycle trips!) So, I purchased two disposable digital cameras from a Rite Aid in North Georgia. The picture quality was not as good as I would have liked, but I hope you get a small idea of what the riding was like. As you can tell, I really enjoyed this trip and would recommend a visit to West Virginia to anyone that enjoys traveling on two wheels.

Theodosia, MO., September 7-9
by Bob Chappuis

Seven LA HSTA members were among the large crowd that braved the ominous weather reports to enjoy this popular rally in 2007. Bill & Sherri Ellis, Kevin Yeats, Tony Crowell, Tim Smith, Bob Chappuis and Dennis Headrick all attended. Kevin, Tony and I departed Thursday afternoon and stopped for the night in Ruston, LA where local member Tim Smith, his wife Mary & son Caleb joined us for dinner at a fine mexican restaurant. The four of us got an early start Friday morning allowing us to ride a scenic route to Theodosia while Dennis and the Ellis' departed from New Orleans and Baton Rouge, respectively; Dennis on his Triumph Tiger and Bill and Sherri trailering their bikes.

Only Kevin had a motel room reserved, the rest planned to camp. The weather proved too wet and or warm for Tony, Dennis and I and we broke camp and opted for some availble motel beds! It rained a good bit both Friday and Saturday nights with a front stalled right on top of Theodosia but by heading south into AR where the best roads are anyway)for Saturday's ride, we managed to have a great mostly dry ride, although most of the roads were still damp or wet.

Both the Friday night hotdog cookout and the Saturday night banquet were great fun. The banquet menu was outstanding and the food plentiful and delicous. Our group one some nice door prizes as well. Many old friends were present at this rally and we all met several new ones. Ed & Linda Young were wondeful hosts and do a great job organizing. This is one more annual event to add to a growing list of favorites! Check out a few photos:

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Tony, Bill and Bob
and our seriously fast friend Jay

Some ON TRACK Video:

Tiger Track Day Sept. 2, 2007

by Bob
Bill on his VFR

Tiger Track Day Sept. 2, 2007

by Tony
Jay on his SV650 showing how it's done.

Saturday September 29
MEET at 8:30 am at McDonalds in St. Francisville
RIDE at 9:00
LUNCH in Natchez at Pig Out Inn


TIME AND PLACE: NOON, LUIGI'S RESTUARANT RAILROAD AVE - DOWNTOWN ARCADIA, LA Details and updates: http://www.lahsta.com/bcr/
South LA riders will meet at a place and time TBA or ride up on your own. After lunch we head South to the Bonnie & Clyde Trade Days location - we will stop here if there is interest. Then the route will continue south to Bryceland (Fast Timmy's hometown) and on to Gibsland - location of the Bonnie & Clyde ambush museum. Then south on to Mt. Lebanon and Hwy 154 east to the Ambush site marker. Then some more backroads to Driskill Mountain (highest pointt in LA at 536 ft) and some more of Fast Timmy's favorite twisties to Hico, LA and back to Arcadia.

The entire loop is a little over 100 miles. There will be more details on the LAHSTA Website as the date gets near.
Friday & Saturday November 30 & December 1 Jimmy Davis State Park. (AKA Caney Creek Lake State Park) To reserve a cabin or campsites, call 1-877-CAMP-N-LA (877-226-7652). or reserve online http://www.crt.state.la.us/parks/

It might be tough to top last years great event BUT WE WILL! According to the online reservations 8 of the 19 cabins have already been reserved including one of the large 4 bedroom ones that sleep 14! Assuming these are all HSTA folks, it looks like we will likely have another great turnout. NEW THIS YEAR: We will have a catered dinner Friday night at the park. $11.00 Pre-Preregistration REQUIRED. Menu will include catfish filets, fried or boiled shrimp, corn fritters, turnip greens, french fries or baked potatoes, homemade hushpuppies, cole slaw, peach cobbler and iced tea. Online Pre-registration will be available from mid-October to late November.

Also, as suggested by one of our favorite Cajun Christmas attendees, I am going to open our, dormant for the past year, Yahoo Group to all HSTA members so as to allow the use of the group message board for cabin sharing and planning for Cajun Christmas. Hopefully all LAHSTA members' group info is still current. if not and you are planning to attend CC07 log on and update.

All the listings below are linked to informational websites, please click!
September 21 - 23

Holiday Inn Express
Dillard, GA
(706) 746-3585
Trey Hall (615) 367-6495
October 5 - 7
Friends of Freddies XV
Roseners Inn
(800) 888-4241
Park Hills, MO
Bob LaMear (636) 938-3788
October 19 - 21
Arkansas Byway Boogie

Location TBA
Paris, AR
Mario Caruso (501) 624-3668
November 2 - 4
Texas Hill Country

Y.O. Ranch Resort
Kerrville, TX
(877) 967-3767
Ken Bowen (214) 533-6276
April 6 - 9, 2008
STAR 2008

Y.O. Ranch Resort
Kerrville, TX
Harry Hemstreet (970) 667-0460

That's all for now.
Keep riding & smiling

Bob Chappuis, State Co-Director and Editor chappuis@demco.net