Sunday, August 3, 2014

Wisconsin Moto Guzzi Rally - 2014

Another really, really good rally down in the deepest SW corner of Wisconsin...... not sure any of us would ever be able to expect otherwise.  No rain, August appropriate temperatures with just the right mix of most everything else; more than adequate food to eat, beer to drink, lies to tell as well as listen to.

Dave and I met for breakfast in Alma and worked our way to Lake Joy Campground.  I'm justified in saying "worked" because Dave noticed and commented upon the fact that every time he looked at his GPS, we seemed to be going at right angles to his Purple Line.  Had he been watching MY Purple Line, he'd have seen that we never left the prescribed path, varying not at all, true and consistent.   IIRC, two points define a line.  MY purple lines contain many more than two points.

We really did have all day (though we did arrive too late for my size of short sleeved T-shirt) and I'm not sorry that we wandered.

There were coffee (Justin prefers bottled water) as well as bathroom breaks.

We stopped up on top, catching the cooling breezes across the hayfield.....the last grey shadow is Iowa across the Mississippi River Valley.

We rolled in to Lake Joy around 4PM on Friday afternoon.  I was thirsty, but did manage to register and get my tent set up before visiting this place.

Notice the 24/7 light above the menu to promote clear and concise choices.....

Someone (can't remember who) called me a Hop Head.  As a very part time, casual enjoyer of beer, I may have initially felt slighted, I'm now proud of the distinction....that Central Waters' was a delight to behold.  I sampled most of the flavors, it was just that the Central Waters samples were larger but don't get the wrong idea.  I didn't stick around the rally site all day on Saturday because of the beer.  Instead, through procrastination and laziness (bad hunch really)the week before, I overestimated the remaining tire life on the Hyosung's 150/70-17 rear.  Almost ordering a new tire twice, that would have still allowed me time to get the tire mounted, I put it off thinking I'd make the season with this bike's tires as is.

I had Routed a GPS loop of around 150 miles for Saturday though when I noticed the condition of my tire upon arriving, I decided to pull the plug on Saturday's ride and spend the day saying hello instead, saving the rear for my 225 mile trip home.

These both run, are Moto Guzzi's and yet are very different.

Eating/seating/soda/coffee/Registration/movie-watching/gathering area....

Dave and I found a spot for our tents....

Dan's new bike, affectionately and hopefully with caution, nicknamed "Hooligan".  We're sure that Dan will be mindful of what it will and will not do.

John's new-to-him trailer and awning served us all very well as a gathering spot.  John took under advisement our suggestions for more square footage of coverage and more chairs.  Of course as long as he is doing the carrying, we're quite willing to suggest all sorts of things.

One of the 'other' bikes, obviously an attendee at the MOA National Rally in St. Paul this year with encouragement to visit next year's affair in Big Sky Country.

She rode from Colorado.....

I just liked all of the colors.....during the day on Saturday while everyone (else) was out riding.

Florida represented.....

Pilot and Mogs headed towards New Glarus and Mt. Horeb......

I rode (very soberly) to nearby Platteville for a salad and a tank fill.  Happened upon this amazingly colored field of tobacco and knew I had to stop.

When I got back to the campground, I started up the Flip video recorder and made a pass through the grounds to share what the place is like; the up and down, the number of seasonal units, the beach, the wooded areas and so on.

My plate Saturday evening and I'm unashamed to admit that I made most of this go where it belonged.  Here you've got your pulled pork between bread, roast beef  beneath the chips, real pork and beans beneath the fruit salad and cole slaw beneath the potato salad.  The napkin is beneath the plate.

After we ate and after the awards were presented, Paul hustled up to see Dave's new very high tech jacket liner and new tent.  Dave went all out Saturday on his trip to nearby Cabella's, freshening up his camping gear and replacing a tent that's seen way too much UV time.

We did everything we could to delay Paul and his trip home to Iowa in the evening since he'd only come for the day.  His new V7 Sport is a supreme example of a motorcycle and one I heartily endorse.

Saturday evening, we were once again treated to the Golf Cart Parade.  Our dusty access road could really use a watering before the parade however; the dust gets pretty bad.  I counted 33 carts in all.

We weren't really in a hurry to leave this morning and though many riders had already gone by the time we were on the road, there were still many there.  According to George, there were just over 200 in attendance.

Deciding to mostly do a direct ride home, we were very unsuccessful at our planned breakfast stop(s).  Our first intended break was going to be just north of DeSoto which we were too early for.  Next we wanted to stop in rural LaCrosse which road construction challenged us to the point of ..."let's just keep going" and then when we got to Rollingstone, MN and saw barricades in the street, I was certain that we'd messed up Try #3 but we managed to arrive around 1PM (for breakfast) and it looked like the parade wasn't going to begin until 2PM.

The young women serving us in Bonnie Rae's had T-shirts declaring....
"Before the band....."
"Before there was a song...."
"We were here....."

Lots of Luxembourg lineage in Rollingstone apparently......

Here's my tire and though I'm sure that another 150 miles could have been done on it yesterday, I'm also glad that I chose not to.  I know that others use up the last millimeter or two of their tires consistently but I do not, preferring to replace before they get this worn.  There is a difference in carcass thickness between brands and models of tires; I don't know how thick these actually are.  The GT250R will have a new rear tire the next time it leaves the farm.

Just eked out 500 miles for the weekend.

Tomorrow.....a new job, new hours, a new schedule and new responsibilities.  We'll see if the old(er) dog can still learn some new tricks.


  1. .... say.. don't you own a Guzzy... ? ... So.. if you attend a Hyosung rally.,... would ya ride a Guzzy... what are the legal parameters about a rolling beer tap trailer ? have ya thought about.. " inflight" refueling... :)

    1. I was afraid of this....setting a precedent by riding the Proper machine to the Proper rally. I've done it once with the Beemer and once with the Goose.

      It may never happen again.

      There's obviously so much about beer that I don't know; this sort of issue should be dealt with by experts.

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  2. Coop - A perfect sized rally and you've gotta love it when a friend brings the awning and chairs. The Joy Lake campground looks like quite a nice place (complete with grass and water) ... I may have to look it up as a spot to stop by.

    1. Karen, you are very right about the size of the rally. There are many attendees that I don't know but most of the faces have become familiar and I continue to work at it. :)

      These private campgrounds seem to be scattered around our region, places where families seasonally gather away from home. 3 of the rallies I attend happen in the "transient" areas of these 'grounds with all sorts of activities available. Lake Joy has their private lake, no fishing license required.

      Next time you head this direction, be sure and ask for suggestions!

  3. It sounds like a great weekend even if you didn't do the ride on Saturday. Somedays it is best not to tempt fate and chance the tire.

    Congrats on the new job (a wanted move I hope) I am sure you still learn a lot of new tricks.

    1. I really enjoyed the day with everyone. Had I been stuck alone in an awful place it may have been a different story. I did the right thing. Rain and thunderstorms were possible, they didn't happen but the thought of riding much of the way home on drenched roads with a racing slick was in the back of my mind.

      Thank you, it was a very interesting day and definitely out of my norm. I'm going back tomorrow and very much looking forward to it. :)

  4. What a lovely area for a rally. Looks like you had a fantastic weekend.

    And congrats to the new job. I hope you'll like it. Have fun!

  5. Sonja, that area of Wisconsin is more rolling in topography than it is right here along the river, but some of the 'roll' changes are quite dramatic. Around here, we may have steeper changes but the areas around the rally site provide many incredible vistas as the roads follow the spines of ridges and when the ridges drop, the really do.

    Thank you, it was a really good day and I had fun. I'm going to like this!

  6. C00P:

    so sorry you didn't get to ride with the group. Must have been lonely there being by yourself with all those empty tents.

    good luck with your new job. Hope you didn't have to start at the bottom with vacation accruals. Sometimes change is good, and sometimes bad if it was forced upon you. I am thinking this would be much closer to home

    bob: riding the wet coast

    1. Bob, thanks for your concern but I actually suffered through the ordeal without much damage.

      Appreciate the well wishes for the new employment; it's been a really good (4 day) week and looks to be a very fresh and welcomed change. I've been quite lucky throughout my career to almost always make changes at my discretion and this was another one of those. Not an easy choice; that in itself was a good thing. This weekend there will be some riding time, Tuesday I'll be in L.A. for training, sadly missing Richard's reunion. :)