Sunday, June 3, 2012

Rhubarb and BMW's

Though not necessarily in that order, it was another rally weekend for me with the main focus on the Hiawatha (Minnesota) BMW Rally in Money Creek.  The weather was perfect, many of my friends that had not been at the rally a couple of weeks ago were at this one; the first time I'd seen many of them since last fall.  Once again the club, the volunteers and Money Creek Haven Campground put on a worthy show.

Out of the norm for me, I did very little actual riding on Saturday, instead spending more time with friends and for the first time, attended the Rhubarb festival in Rushford, a now-common event for Gene and Dave.  So, between the rally site being relatively close to home in addition to little other riding, it was a low mileage weekend.

The Morphous at a gas stop Friday afternoon; note the fine BMW pendant on the 'hump' bag that Mike loaned me to increase the Morph's Cred among the other Bavarian machines.

Old and dear friend Chris was finally going to make it to the rally and true to plan, arrived late Friday evening; in his words "a full 20 hours before I did last year".

In the Registration area.......

We could tell Friday sitting around the campfire that it was going to get cold and my Coleman thermometer confirmed when I climbed out of the tent Saturday morning.........39 very fresh degrees where we were tucked into the low valley.

Sunrise down at the pavilion, waiting for our coffee to finish brewing.  There were still enough coals from the hotdog roast Friday evening to get some dry chunks started for some very welcome heat.  I cast a looooong shadow.......

After our coffee and bananas (as well as more sun), we rode over to Rushford for breakfast at Stumpy's, always busy rally weekends serving groups of attendees.  From there it was up to the Wayside/Lookout above Rushford for a view of the Root River Valley.  The turkey vulture that was willing to fly at our eye level and a scant 20 feet from us was an amazing site.  Ugly creatures on the ground, they truly fly as though they know what they're doing.

Not to slight anyone of the other guys, but Gene's always the most photogenic.

After the overview of our world, it was back in the saddle west to Lanesboro; some of us took a direct route, some of us wandered their way over.  Lanesboro was a busy place with rhubarb celebrators flocking around the City Park, the summer location on other weekends of a large Farmer's Market with many Amish products offered for purchase.  We saw some pretty fine baskets and furniture.

Quilts as well.....

The Rhubarb Girls commemorating the plant with song.......

In case anyone forgot why we were there, the canopy was very plainly marked........

Chris inspecting a quiet spot in the Root River.......

Chris very kindly buying us both Rhubarb Sodas, a product of the Spring Grove Bottling Co.

A rhubarb recipe author and her books for sale......

Dave and Gene opted for the rhubarb pie, my original intended sweet but then I saw the cheesecake with rhubarb, changing my  mind........... I would do it again too.  Though I'm not in the photo with my desert, I will admit that an image of my "pie place" would match those featured......we are after all, pie connoisseurs and know where good pie belongs.

After leaving the Festival, we explored a Rustic Road, then headed back to the campground since Chris and I were booked for some Demo Rides that the fine Leo's South motorcycle dealership annually makes available for free.  I was signed up for a Moto Guzzi Stelvio; Chris was going to try out a Norge on the test loop.

Chris calmly waiting for the group to get back for our slotted 2:45 ride......

The riders and machines back from the 2:00 group, those of us ready for the next ride suiting up.

I enjoyed my ride on the Stelvio more than Chris enjoyed his time on the Norge, but the ride I was most excited about was in the next time slot.  Friend Dave's recent interest in sidecars has piqued my curiosity, enough to get me eagerly on the list for a spin on the Ural Patriot rig.

The rider and his daughter that had the Ural out before me, discussing their experience with a current Ural owner.  My lack of a passenger came up and it was suggested that the 'expert' here accompany me on my test ride.  It didn't take him long to decline the offer, wishing me very good luck.

I wasn't interested in the Can-Am Spyder but very interested in the Ural......

My view from the saddle.......

The group was taking a bit longer than usual to get ready and since I wasn't going along with them, I went out on my own, heading west up the hill on County 26 to the point where the road starts dropping down into the valley again and turned around there.  I really enjoyed the ride and would find it very easy to spend time on a rig, riding the backroads as is my normal practice.  The 4 speed tranny and shift points were right up my alley.  Thanks Leo's!

The group in the Shelter, finishing up their pulled pork meal and waiting for the awards presentation.  I should mention that I was again a winner, this year a $25 Gift Certificate from Dennis Kirk.  Last year it was a $100 Cert from Aerostich.  Hopefully the BMW folks will let me come back again next year.

I think we all slept better Saturday night, partially due to being more tired but also due to it being just enough warmer.  Another bluebird morning, with not a cloud in the sky.  I was down extra early for coffee and easily managed to get the last couple of logs glowing from Saturday night's coals.

The crew getting packed up......

Dave's 650 Burgman, was a complete surprise to me; I guess our long winters don't allow enough time for Dave to have SHARED with me that he was now a fellow scooterist.  By the next rally, he'll be fully forgiven for keeping his new machine such a secret.  Dave likes his new scooter, but is a bit critical of the harsh ride.  He kindly offered me a test ride for my opinion in return and I'd agree with him that it does seem a bit harsh for what I would have expected, but then Dave's most likely spoiled with the plush BMW smoothness he's been accustomed to for 127 years.  We'll see if together we can't get it tamed down a tad.

Once packed up, the 4 of us headed down to Houston for a Departure Breakfast.  In only one of many things discussed, Dave informed us of the possible pitfalls of a certain pancake restaurant chain. He returns again and again, only to be more disappointed with each and every visit.  Sooner or later he's going to avoid the place.

So, to sum it up, quite possibly one of my best Money Creek rallies to this date.  Dan and I discussed our Helices (he owns REAL BMW's), Sidecar Dave introduced his new friend to us and taught me more about 3 wheel rigs, Tim and I discussed family history and old rural memories, Chris and I discussed the pros and cons of Hill People vs. Valley People, Bob and Gloria helped me with prioritizing time management, I was corrected on the fact that Gary drives red tractors rather than green (I guess I just assumed.....)when he's not riding German or Italian motorcycles, Gene and I covered more than enough in the political realm and of course Dave tried to save us from dining disappointments in our ongoing quest for good, wholesome and nutritious morning meals, only one of his interesting topics.

Had a great time all and topping this one will be a worthy quest!

1 comment:

  1. OH Great... after Erin reads this to Mark... he'll get stoked and want to attend the ruffage fest also... I guess he'll want to borrow the Bee Mer badge for one of Hondas... :)