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. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Motorcycle Touring Forum's Annual Founders Feast, Paris, Texas - Oct 11th to Oct 16th 2010

The Motorcycle Touring Forum (MTF) is an online community of motorcycle enthusiasts interested in all facets of riding. These include Long Distance Touring, Off Road, Sport Touring, Cruisers, Trikes and Hacks. 

Throughout the year members get together for MTF sponsored rides including Iron Butt rides, Off Road Adventures and Flower Sniffin Tours.

Other social events include Ride to Eats (RTE's). Simply put, anyone can call a RTE, at any location, by simply posting where they will be eating and inviting whoever wants to make the ride. Most of the time the fare will center around bar-b-q, fried chicken, catfish and burgers. MTF'ers have been known to ride hundreds, even thousands of miles to eat, kick a few tires for an hour or so, and then turn around and ride back home. Many of the MTF Ride to Eats benefit worthy charities.

The highlight each year is the Founders Feast. This five day event (more or less) is held in a different location each year, anywhere in the country, and celebrates the members and their accomplishments. It is open to any member who wants to attend. This year the MTF will sponsor two rides during the event. The Ride Around Texas (RAT) and The Texas In-State Ironbutt Saddle Sore 1,000. There will also be daily organized flower sniffin rides. The event finale will be a Bar-B-Q Banquet on Saturday night. 

I will be leaving Paducah Wednesday morning, with the goal of riding the back-roads of Arkansas on my way to Paris, Texas. I will be using my SPOT Satellite Tracking Device on this trip. If interested, starting Wednesday morning, simply click the SPOT logo on the right side of this page. Remember to set the map controls to "ALL".

 Advil is one of the Major Food Groups for this crowd" 
~Lisa Landry~

I have plenty of empathy. I'm just picky who I share it with. 

"No one is interested in something you didn't do"  
~Adventure Rider~