Sunday, August 18, 2013

Minnesota Moto Guzzi Rally 2013

It's been another perfect August weekend, a great weekend for a Minnesota meeting of Italian motorcycles.  Dave and I met in St. Charles for breakfast on Friday, then managed to find some dusty gravel, the shortcut but not really, from there to the Money Creek Haven Campground.

Jack arrived not long after we did, here at the registration tent.  No, it's not a Guzzi but if Guzzi made a 2-wheel drive rig, he'd probably have ridden that.

I've seen Jack and waved hello at previous rallies but this weekend finally was able to really meet him and discuss roads as well as common riding areas.  He knows the area roads better than I do  Hopefully we'll be able to follow through on a coffee ride or two.

Here's a Guzzi sidecar rig with accompanying camper trailer, a one wheel drive in this case and for most purposes, sufficient.

Louie showed up on one of his Victory's this time, though there's talk of something else in his future.  The question is and will remain, will his machine count remain the same or go up one??

Since Dave and I live so close, our ride, even with a late breakfast, put us at the rally site before noon.  There was a method to our early arrival madness.....some Friday afternoon gravel exploring.

We come upon "Road Closed" signs from time to time, not necessarily a barrier to our plans, though this weekend we were foiled more than once (and a couple of times that we should have been).

Here's a favorite "Minimum Maintenance" road that's been a favorite...we're both wondering if it will ever be again after this spring's various flooding.

No way were we getting through this one.....'course if it hadn't been for that big sidecar along, I'd have popped right through this minor obstruction.  :)

This one didn't stop us....this time....but may next time.

Since it was coffee time, or even slightly past, we headed for the touristy Lanesboro.  The Friday afternoon Tubers, Canoers and Bicyclists were showing up for a weekend of Root River Valley fun.

I thought this duded up, fender skirted pickup truck was pretty cool.  I wanted to center the truck in the shot but one hand was holding some exTREMEly hot coffee from the Pedal Pushers diner.

It then was time to head back to the rally site since our pulled pork Friday dinner would soon be served.  There were many new arrivals back at camp.

Mike showed up on his Moto Guzzi Norge, their Sport Touring model and he was a Mike I didn't know.  As it turns out, I used to work across the isle from his wife at one company and he works next to a life long machinist friend at another medical company.  Rides will soon be planned that will hopefully get the three of us together in one spot.

Saturday morning dawned cool, clear and foggy.  I walked down to the naturally spring-fed pool to prove there was moisture in the air.

On our way to Hokah for breakfast, we discovered this huge road improving project.  This one led us to a Minimum Maintenance road that wasn't, so we had to turn around and do this part twice.

Our Saturday morning breakfast spot in Hokah.

A potty stop and leg stretching spot.....for Justin naturally.....on a steep, almost-Iowa gravel road.

This frog simply can't possibly have a big croak, can it??  It was doing its best to hide on this milkweed leaf but I was too sharp to miss it.

The New Albin City Meat Market and Store....a necessary stop for my favorite smoked pork jerky.  John, I brought some back to camp for you but you weren't time.  Offered to a few other campers, they initially didn't care for any.....then..."well maybe I'll try some".  Not long after, "hey, could I have another chunk?"

I bought a pound and brought a couple of ounces home.

After making Dave, really, really dustier, we were back at camp.  He stopped at the car wash to make his bike black again; mine's still a dingy grey-brown.

This one was for sale, very reasonably priced but I tried not to spend any more time there than necessary or I'd have been tempted to......

Brad's eternally beautiful Triumph....Jack's GS isn't hard on the eyes either.

A Ural that had seen as much dust for the day as we had.

That Twin Headlight guy's KLR.........

Somehow I even got into this shot........almost too many cooks in this one.

Scott's "1000 hour" custom fairing, bags, snack box (on the tank), windshield, etc.

On the left, one of many rows of campers and full season trailers not connected with our group.

After our steak dinner, there was more discussion, more enjoyment of a perfect Saturday evening before bedtime.

Sunday morning again arrived clear, cool and foggy.  Dave and I weren't in any hurry, leaving just before 9AM.  Once again, many riders from further away were already long gone.  Since this is the closest rally for both Dave and me, it's hard to be in too big of hurry to head for home.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Sunday, August 11, 2013

"Where Have You Been....?"

That's what the ST2 wondered today.

She was rubbing the sleep from her eyes as I rolled her out into the daylight.  It's been parked in the darkest (deepest) corner of the garage and the bright afternoon sun was almost too much for her squinty eyes.  With tomorrow's planned commute to work and attendance at our monthly Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Rally, I needed to know that the bike would make the 160 mile round trip, let alone run.

The bike needs a new rear tire and that's roughly $200 (even when I change it myself) that can buy a lot of smiley gas miles on the other machines.  When it comes right down to it, there really aren't any other good reasons for the Duc to be parked so long....I guess I'm just having a barrel of fun on the other, smaller machines and this one simply doesn't get into the rotation very regularly, or at all.

I took the camera along but there was much complaining at the outset.....

"One camera stop and that's we just go."

So go is what we did.

"You know that road, that one road you like so much, that one that used to be so much fun...can we go there??"

I reminded her that I like many roads.

"Yeah, but there's that one that you really like.....let's go do that one.....I'm really excited...."

More miles today than the bike has seen in '11 and '12 combined.  It is still a delight to ride.

Friday, August 9, 2013

1913 Harley Davidson

I've not done this before and most likely won't again, but am so impressed by this little video that it seemed worthy of Posting for my riding friends.  Buddy Ihor sent me this link (he shares some pretty cool stuff) and I thought the easiest and best way to get this out to those that might care would be from 'the Corner.

The almost 10 minute video highlights an original 1913 HD, with some interesting factory options.  It was sold and continues to reside in Canada.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Wisconsin Moto Guzzi Rally 2013

I was there.  Taking Friday off, it was a relatively early start on a cool, lovely early August morning.

The ol' Ascot (TranZalp) with Lake Pepin, the wide spot in the Mississippi River.

I met Dave down in LaCrescent, MN and we stayed on the west side of the river, taking a break just north of Marquette, IA.

Pretty sure Louie is wondering why anyone in their right mind would ride that thing to a Moto Guzzi Rally.

Half of the attendees in this photo are from Nebraska, one real member of the Wisconsin MG club and one from MO?

John once again trailer-less.....

Thankfully, we're all quite neighborly.....

I got a short ride in Dave's CSM sidecar....

The private Lake Joy......

Registration for new arrivals....

A panorama view of the main 'upper area' grounds; the 24/7 beer trailer featured at the beginning.

We three rode up to Highland,  WI for breakfast at Grandma's Kitchen.  I'd have taken a photo but my lens wasn't wide enough to cover the plate.

Besides Dave's sidecar rig, Rick was there with his 750 Breva, an actual Guzzi at the rally.

Both on the way to and then again from breakfast, we found lots of up/down, narrow lefts and rights blacktop.  Here we stopped at The Big M.

After lunch with some friends in Mineral Point, the 3 of us headed out for another loop, this time down to the river at Potosi Point, a man-made narrow peninsula stretching for what seems like half way across the wide river.  Once used as a way to access deeper water for loading the area's mined lead into boats, now it serves as a convenient boat launch and fishing spot.

Some Guzzi's and an Italian infiltrator.

A new, modern Adventure bike (non-Guzzi) in the background with a machine (Guzzi) that normally would have seen more than its share of Adventure in its day.

The Traditional decorated and well-lit Golf Cart Parade on Saturday night, put on by the campground's seasonal campers.  I  heard someone counting but lost track, though I believe there were 20 or so carts.

The parade was led by this Lead Dog cart, complete with air horn (loud) and flames shooting out the two exhaust stacks (bright).

A really fun rally, 624 miles on the Honda, fine rides down and home again.  Though friend Gene didn't attend the entire rally, he stopped by on Saturday afternoon to share lunch with us and it was very much appreciated.  This Madison group of Guzzi Rider's work tirelessly to make sure that we attendees never get hungry or dry during our stay; they truly put on an incredible gathering for just over 200 people.