Thursday, June 21, 2012

Walt Ride 2012 Group Portrait

What a crowd......

Random photos from Walt Ride 2012

Our mascot, Mr. Happy on the high plains of South Dakota and the Ben Ash Monument; the whole reason for this ride.

South Dakota rest stop. Note that there is plenty of shade.

Brett celebrates cell phone service in at least one part of South Dakota.
Rob's new GS made the trip in fine fashion

Tim being Tim. Of course.

Homeless guys from Gettysburg, SD

Walt Ride 2012 is one for the books...

Fast facts on Walt Ride 2012: (sorry for the delay in getting this and some photos posted; part of a neighbor's tree took out my cable service.)

Miles covered: 1828:
     Day 1: Red Wing to Gettysburg, SD - 421 miles
     Day 2: Gettysburg, SD to Custer, SD - 287 miles
     Day 3: Custer, SD to Devils Tower, Wyo. - 275 miles
     Day 4: Custer, SD to Needles Highway; Iron Mountain Road,  Custer State Park, Nemo, SD - 190
     Day 5: Custer SD to Souix Falls, SD - 394
     Day 6: Souix Falls, SD to Red Wing, MN - 261

The bikes: (includes two bikes that covered part of the trip)
     BMW GS1200 - Sir Robert
     BMW 1150R - Little Timmy; aka Race Bannon
     Honda VFR 800 - Thor
     Honda VFR 800 - Paul & Amanda
     Honda VTX 1300 - Brett
     Triumph Sprint 955 - Bill
     BMW K1200 GT - Mark
     Yamaha FZ1 - Scot
     Yamaha FJR1300 - Christian
     BMW GS1150 - Ron
     Ducati 750 - Neal

Parks visited: Devils Tower, Custer State Park, Minuteman Missile Historic Site, Badlands, Black Hills, Ben Ash Memorial and we drove past Mount Rushmore.

Close encounters with large animals - 0
Animals spotted along the roads (at safe distance): donkey, buffalo, prairie dog, antelope; horse
Accidents - 0
Gas misadventures- 1
Mechanical failures - 0
Loose chains - 1
New friends met- 2
Misguided comments about Aerostich suits - 1 "Hey, you going snowmobiling in that thing?"
Beers consumed - lost count
Bugs splattered - millions

Various scenes:

Tim does his best Ben Ash impersonation at the Ben Ash Memorial site.

Thor keeping an eye out for trees

Paul exhibits the the fire dance that he learned from the locals

Rob properly recycles a plastic bag in the fire pit.
.Thor, a man of many talents, show everyone how to open a beer bottle with a piece of paper, a lighter or a crushed beer can. All were amazed.

A much deserved toast and beer at the end of the ride

Devil's Towner; No UFOs or Richard Dreyfus sightings

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Why I Ride, part 4

     I blame Evel Knievel, doughnuts and adventure for my love of motorcycles. I grew up in the 60s and early 70s when Evel was the god of all that was cool and dangerous. When I’d see his red white and blue bike and red cape flying over a row of cars I became enchanted with anything on two wheels. First my brother and I tried clipping playing cards to our bicycle spokes and jumping curbs and dirt mounds. Sure, we got air, but not “Evel” air- and there was no growling sound. Then, we began to conspire a way to raise money to get our own motorcycle and discovered Spudnuts! Yes, little delicious doughnuts we could sell for a $1 a bag door to door and get .50 profits. Soon the 50cc Broncco mini-bike was ordered and we began riding over and thru everything imaginable. At 9 or 10 years old we didn’t weigh much so we did get air… and lots of road rash from crashing. In a couple years we outgrew the Broncco and moved on to a Yamaha Enduro 125. It was yellow with high white fenders and knobby tires. It wasn’t long before we had the Yamaha’s speedometer red lined in the little stretch of dirt road near our house. We had wheelie and jumping contests and stole a fair amount of plywood from new housing sites for our “Evel” ramps. About the same time my Dad bought a black street bike with seven gears - I think it was a 250 Bridgestone. During the day would take the long black fenders off and put them back on before 5 p.m. when he returned from work. This ruse worked most of the summer until we put the front one on backward and were busted.

After high school graduation I stepped into the big time buying a Kawasaki KZ 650. It was deep blue with a sissy bar and stepped seat. Looking back I took more pictures of that bike than my family or girlfriend at the time. I made it though two years of vocational school still owning the bike but when I entered college I had to choose between it and an education. Education won. Work, kids, a house and an ex-wife followed and for nearly 30 years I was bike less. Then I turned 50 and pulled the trigger on my current bike- a Honda VTX 1300 cruiser.

My bike’s not red white and blue and I rarely wear a cape but when I am riding I feel as free as Evel must have when he flew over those cars and buses in the 70s.

- Brett Groehler

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Isle of Man action, right here in Coolsville, baby.

Catch all the Isle of Man action at the official website. Racing is currently underway across the pond. Will Guy Martin beat John McGuinness? Will Kawasaki beat Honda? Will Barbie ever love Ken after that cocaine fueled weekend in the Poconos? Stay tuned here for all the race action and drama:

Also, here is good read on the IOM from our Red Wing bretheren at Superbike Planet:

And for good reader's digest, straight to the point coverage of daily action and awesome photos, go here:

Walt Ride departure details... pay attention

Here are the important things to know:

Leave Caribou in Red Wing at 7:00am.
- Have enough fuel for 100 miles.

- Show up earlier if you want to BS and drink coffee.

Meet at Emma Krumbee's in Bell Plaine at 9:00am.

- Have breakfast.

- Emma Krumbee's about 40 miles north of Mankato on Hwy 169, at the intersection with Hwy 3.

- There will be signs. If you found your way out of your mother's womb, you can find Emma Krumbee's.

Leave Emma Krumbees at 10:00am.

- Then we fuel up and RIDE!

Random notes:
It is 322 miles from Henderson to Gettysburg, SD. With a large group like we have, that will take all day. Figure 50 mph average speed, we'll need 6.5 hours to get to Gettysburg, should be there around 5pm. Gettysburg is still in CST, so no timezone freebies until the next day. Sunset is at 21:28 that day, If things get really screwed up that gives us 4.5 hours leeway until it is dark. Around 8pm we'll be riding into a sun low on the horizon and that sucks ass, thus the earlier departure.

This is a travel day. We are saving the touristy stuff for the ride home, when we're a bit more tired. We'll stop for a break every 75 miles or so, just to see how the gang is doing, get fuel, empty coffee, etc. I'm tempted to stick to gas station snacks (or bring your own) instead of lunch, to avoid the expense and time of stopping for an extended lunch. This will also prevent that "falling asleep after a meal" thing, and then we can plan on a decent dinner in Gettysburg

Monday, June 4, 2012

This just in from Euro Girl.... Please standby

Newest Ducati model revealed in Derka-Derkastan, and Euro Girl gets first test ride of the 2,500 cc Testosterone Power Scooter, Stay tuned for details at 10 p.m. on your local nightly news.

From The Dept. of Stuff To Do

This afternoon at 5 p.m. be at the Red Wing ELC (Environmental Learning Center) to hear about Doug’s motorcycle trip to Vietnam last summer....