Thursday, December 16, 2010

Riding Poem

Although I consider myself more of a solo, long distance rider, I do occasionally ride with small groups. Many of my riding buddies also enjoy group rides. I am sure, regardless of riding style, we can all relate to this, each in our own way.

I Rode With My Buddies Today
by Kari Prager

I rode with my buddies today.
We rode in a line of headlights and tailpipes,
not going anywhere special, not even going fast,
just meandering like a herd of elk
to move through the forest at our own pace.
Our sound precedes us, not loud
but unmistakable, the power of
this most romantic way of moving.

The pleasure is in the going, the mobility,
the little acts of control that contrive
to keep us centered on the road.
The crackle of dead leaves,
the burnt bitterness of autumn,
the smell of the moon still shining in the blue of the sky,
magical in the motion of the moment.

I feel my friends flowing around the bends, the line of bikes without
conscious order, in symmetrical array, till we signal the end,
stopping and turning back into individuals, the magic
fading as the motors are stilled, the jackets come off, and we breathe
in the mundane and profane air of the stationary world.

~ Reprinted from The LD List ~

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. ~Anonymous~

If you want to make enemies, try to change something.   ~Woodrow Wilson~

Saturday, December 04, 2010

FDR's Christmas Parade - Potluck Chili Luncheon

(Click Pictures to Enlarge)

Each year Paducah holds it's Christmas Parade on the first Saturday of December. In conjunction with the Parade, FDR Powersports and The Riders of the Long Table hold an annual Potluck Chili Luncheon. 

Who wouldn't like to find a brand new motorcycle under their Christmas Tree?

Mark Holmes (FDR Co-Owner)

 Sam Williams and Kevin Moran (FDR Co-Owner)

Brittany Nichols & Kristin Holmes

Sweet Pea Stewart

Jan & Charlie Bell

Debbie Essner & Haskell Sheeks

Bob Evans

Brothers Sweet Pea and Ted Stewart solving the worlds problems with Mark Holmes.

Nancy and Charles (Sweet Pea) Stewart

Mike Blevins

Danny McCarty & Charlie Stuart

Lined up on the back pew like crows on a fence.

Fritz Poat, Sam Williams, Terry Denton, Don Massey and Jim Lamphere

Phil Givins & Ken Thompson

Ada Garland & Wayne Duncan

Eddie McCarty & Jan Holland

Terry Denton

There was no shortage of delicious chili and fattening desserts!

Out back, Randy Holmes and Sweet Pea Stewart were in charge of cooking the hot-dogs.

Jim Lamphere and Fritz Poat check out the latest hot items on the sale board.

David Morgan and Kevin Moran man the Parts Desk.

Lucas Keeling - FDR Mechanic

Dustin Medley - FDR Mechanic

Kevin Moran & Mark Holmes 

Wayne Duncan

Nobody was bashful when it came time to dish out the chili.

Don Massey, Sam Williams and Jim Lamphere

Mike Klein caught in the middle of a bite!

It got very quiet when the food hit the table.

Don Massey, Jim Lamphere and Mike Klein 

I might as well throw in some beautiful Eye-Candy.
Kawasaki C-14 Concours 

The all new Honda VFR

I think it can safely be said everyone had a good time and if you left hungry it was your own fault.

Be who you are and say what you feel... because those that matter... don't mind...and those that mind...don't matter!  
~Dr. Seuss~

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistance. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.  
~Calvin Coolidge~

Monday, October 18, 2010

Founders Feast - Paris, Texas

(Click Pictures to Enlarge)
Yes, Paris, Texas does indeed have it's own Eiffel Tower, although considerably smaller and sporting a multi-gallon red cowboy hat.

The Best Western Inn of Paris, Texas was the host motel for this event.

The Ride Around Texas (RAT) and The Texas In-State 1,000 began from this motel earlier in the week. Many MTF'ers arrived throughout the week, participating in organized flower-sniffin rides, demonstrations, or simply exploring the area.

Old friendships were renewed and new friends made during the many parking lot bull sessions.

Buck Lemme of Dances with Turtles Fame.

Art Garvin gave a very informative parking lot Tire Plugging Demonstration using two different kinds of plugs.

Anyone willing was encouraged to try their hand at plugging the tire.

Jack Sholemire and Tim Yow

Jack's custom axillary fuel cell was a thing of beauty!

BMW R1200 RT's were plentiful!

Don Braziel (Braz)

Joe Freeland and Mike Blevins

An old riding buddy and his wife drove up from near Dallas to take me out for some "REAL" Texas Brisket. I had to agree, it sure was good!

Jim Ragon's bike trailer was of special interest to me. Extremely well built and the back end folds up allowing the trailer to be stored upright, standing on it's tail, when not in use. It is more than capable of carrying a full size touring bike.

The banquet was held Saturday night. I counted somewhere in the neighborhood of a hundred people in attendance. Announcements included new Board Members, next year's rides and events, and the location for next years Founders Feast. Certificates were also given to the RAT and Texas In-State riders. Mike Kneebone (President of The Iron Butt Association) joined us for the dinner and participated in the awards ceremony.

After the BBQ Brisket Dinner, drawings were held for numerous door prizes. 

I can't say enough about the quality of the event. No detail was overlooked. The rides, the food, the parking lot camaraderie was great!

If you don't think every day is a good one, just try missing one.  ~Cavett Robert~

The doors of wisdom are never shut.  ~Ben Franklin~

The Winding Mountain Road to Founders Feast

(Click Pictures to Enlarge)

This years annual Motorcycle Touring Forum's - Founders Feast Meeting was held in Paris, Texas. I decided it was a great opportunity to take a few days to explore the mountain back roads of Arkansas on my way down. 

Bright blue skies and crisp cool air foretold the coming Fall Season. This years drought has impacted the coming fall colors.

Lake Norwood - A great place for a picnic or a quick break!

The White River

(between Harrison and Russellville)

The Cliff House Inn - Hwy 7 - Arkansas Grand Canyon

After a beautiful day of exploring north-central Arkansas, I spent the night in Russelville. The next morning, after a brief stop at Mount Nebo, I continued south on The Scenic 7 Byway through The picturesque Quachita Mountains.

Parked atop Blakely Dam - Quachita Lake
This earthen dam formed Quachita Lake and is open to ride over.

Quachita Lake

The view down-stream from atop Blakely Dam.

After doubling back through the Quachita Mountains, I turned west toward Mena, Arkansas and the scenic Talimena Trail.

I rode The Talimena Trail west from Mena, Arkansas into southeastern Oklahoma. 

From Mena, the Talimena Scenic Drive / Ark. 88 Scenic Byway travels northwest and quickly enters the Ouachita National Forest, climbing Rich Mountain, Arkansas's second highest peak at 2,681 feet, and passing through Queen Wilhelmina State Park on its way to the Oklahoma border 18 miles to the west. The drive then continues into Oklahoma on Rich and Winding Stair mountains. The route offers mountain vistas unsurpassed in mid-America of forested peaks and valleys, lakes and streams. The drive is especially picturesque when the surrounding mountains are clad in spring and autumn foliage and when it sits above clouds and fog in the lower valleys. (Arkansas Scenic Drives)

After riding The Talimena Trail, I made a quick stop at Sardis Lake and then continued south to Antlers, OK on the way to Paris. 

Unfortunately, as I was leaving Antler, I hit something in the road, seriously denting the front rim of my Wing. I returned to the spot but was unable to find either an object or a pot-hole in the road. I am guessing whatever I hit was knocked off the road. I cautiously continued on to Paris while watching to see if the tire lost air or if I felt a serious vibration. Neither happened. 

The next day I took my Wing to the local Honda dealer in Paris for their opinion. They did not have a replacement wheel in stock and told me it would take a week to order one. They agreed with my riding buddies that the tire would be safe to ride home, provided I took it easy and stayed off the two lanes mountain roads I had come down on. Sadly, this would impact my plans to return home exploring other Arkansas mountain roads.

Taking their advice, I parked the Wing at the motel in Paris and did not ride the bike again until it was time to return home. I had no problems at all on the return trip and will now figure out the best way to correct the problem.

"The point of living is not to delay death; it is to celebrate life." ~Martin Eden ~

I don't want a bike that "CAN" be fixed ...  I want a bike that doesn't have to be fixed.