Sunday, November 13, 2016

2 Bikes 2 Brothers

Anxious to sneak in (at least) one more ride this year, we had promised each other that we'd get out and go somewhere together and it seems that it took until a warmish day in November to make it happen.

I met Kev and June in Prescott at noon.....

The River Road, Wisconsin Hwy 35 was running anecdotally at 50% of the number of bikes that we'd have seen on a Fall Flood Run.  We all were appreciating another fantastic riding weather day but we were headed another, quieter direction.

We stopped on 90th St for a stretch......

After a coffee stop in Glenwood City the plan was to ride through Boardman and to run the 2nd Rustic Road of the day near Hudson but we ran out of time so whipped down to Roberts and I-94 where we split up.

Through River Falls on my way home, I was convinced that as long as the sun was still out the temp was actually climbing.  Such a nice afternoon and an almost winter sky as the sun was going down , I decided to take one more ride up to Memorial Park before the road closes for winter.

President Eisenhower commemorated this bridge over the main river channel and now they're telling us that it's time for replacement.

Speaking of brothers, yesterday while going through one of the archive piles at mom's place, I came across this folded over letter.  Many paper items have been tossed, almost as many have been read or at least glanced at to determine 'value' but this one was a no-brainer; it went directly in to the Keeper Pile.

Both sides of our family were letter writers; they wrote hard and often.  Mom's side did long hand, both dad and Gramp did all of their correspondence with typed letters, both gentlemen accomplished typists.  One of my graduation presents was a typewriter and from that point on, my longhand stopped and the keys flew. Seeing this note, I knew immediately that it was Gramp's 'writer and his style.

So I had to open it.  Dated May 7, 1973, I was 18+ and my little brother was almost 17.

Dear Folks,

"........Doug was to the farm all weekend and Kev was down Sat on his Titan then yesterday Kev, Berdy (our mom) and I went to Stanchfield for motocross and didn't get into any rain until just south of Cambridge so good thing we took the car.  The whole weekend looked like rain and a lot of it was promised but we were lucky it didn't rain all the time.

We are going to band concert tonight in which Dougs band plays but not Kev's.  We have been doing jobs around here in yard etc.

Kev went down to Burnsville to try a racing Yamaha 250 and guess they usually don't let kids try them without a parent along but they asked him how long he had rode and he told them since he was nine so the guy said he could.  He rode it in the field a few times taking it easy and the guy told him to dial it on if he liked and Kev did, said it really had a lot of power.  He designed a tuned expansion chamber - tuner combination for Dougs bike using formulas and made it part of which he had up there a couple of trips ago.  Doug was afraid to let him try it on his bike but he did let him and it worked great.  They said it made a 175 out of his 125 with lots of low end torque.  They brought it home and painted it all up looks like a factory job........."

Gramp did the underlining in pen, something he always did when his typing needed extra emphasis.  Kev bought an MX250 if not from the Burnsville mega-dealer then from someone else.  I know that he bought his Norton from them.  I shopped there a lot but never bought any bikes from them.


  1. So much good stuff in this post.

    I don't know which I like better the view from the park or the old letter.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Brandy, I thought the letter lots of fun, noticing it only because of the Upper Case 'warning' on the outside.

      I almost think I remember hearing about the test ride episode, most likely one of those legends that did a small amount of expanding.

  2. ... good thing Kev got the big bore kit to keep pace with the Helix... :)

    1. Mike, that day we made our counterclockwise part of the loop straight in to the westerly wind and Helix had her hands full. I pulled into a knee-tuck position to gain every bit of advantage that I could. It was whipping both bikes around; I struggled to make 55 mph up the slightest slopes. I couldn't tell if I was being laughed at from behind but he was considerate enough not to leave me behind.

      Until that time, the Helix was quite able to make the Posted :)