Look in the Blog Archive in the box to the right for past ride reports going back to 2006. New material posted as rides or other motorcycle news occurs. Thanks for reading. Comments always welcome, be sure to log in below. Comments will be reviewed. Please note the disclaimer below.

About Me

My photo
Motorcycling has been a life changing experience. I hope sharing the info and pictures on the Blog gives you some idea how impressed I am with the experience, travel and the people I have met. Made new friends especially among Riders here in Orange County. Special recognition to Johney (Wrench)-helps with all the maintenance stuff+rides, plus other great riding friends: Ken Y., Luis V. & Minita, Chuck & Patty, John R., Joe, Carolyn, Gregg, Charlie & Carol, Rick, Stan P., Ed & Susan P., Barry, plus Terry, Bob B., Brian H., Glenn, William & Daveta Jo, Bob (Concho) and others. ************* DISCLAIMER: This is my personal write-up (Blog) of motorcycling news, rides and events that I am involved with in some way and not affiliated with any group, organization or club that might be mentioned herein. There should be no confusion regarding the fact these are my personal comments and not those of any other entity.

Amazing scenery, great ride, wonderful time.

Amazing scenery, great ride, wonderful time.
Monument Valley, Utah-9/2011 photo by Johney Harper!

Monday, April 02, 2012

Tucson Chapter 108 STAR-BQ- 230 rides again.

The further back the camera- the better I look.

It’s O’Dark-30 (0530) Thursday morning and I arrive at the Best Buy/Starbucks lot to find only Chuck and Patty already there, each on their own motorcycle with the trailer attached to the Gold-wing as usual for long trips.  That's a boat light!
The other members of today’s ride crew for the long trip to Tucson to attend the Chapter 108 STAR-B-Q begin arriving and we form up into two groups to handle the 19 motorcycles and 22 people. Ed asks me to be his wing-man for group One on the long trip with Dan leading Group Two. Brian is Tail gunner on our team. The list of riders and crew this morning include Ed & Susan, Chuck & Patty, Doug & Pat, Rick & Lori, Brian, John R., Scott, Ken, Ed and son Matt, Dan, Carolyn, Keith, Charlie & Carol, Glenn, Jim R. and Me. Luis and Minita show up Friday night riding in with Chapter 415 and Kim, Jim’s wife arrived later as well. Who else shows up but Rick & Tammy members from Ch. 230 now living in Fountain Hills, AZ.
Flag B is the bird hit, Flag C is the farm house, Flag E is the first wait, Flag G is second wait.
The ride starts out at 6:25 AM taking the 91 Fwy to meet up with Route 60 but just as we get to the big junction of the 215/91/60 there is a big flash in the sky and a bit of a bang. I learn later, a big bird hit a wire and completed the circuit to make instant fried bird. Arriving at the Farm House Restaurant for our 1st stop and breakfast (of course) we learn that a bag containing two Kool Vests was lost on the road somewhere and Brian and John pulled over to assist the rider in tying down the remaining luggage. Brian will earn his pay on this trip. Our route includes a side trip out beyond Indio to the turn-off for Joshua Tree Park to take Box Canyon back to Hwy 111 and south along the Salton Sea to meet I-8 in Brawley for the ride to Tucson. 

The ride through Box Canyon is interesting and scenic but it adds about 30 miles to the trip.  As we exit the canyon and head to Hwy 111, we pull over and wait for Group Two, held up due to a sunscreen issue (too much?).  They catch-up and off we go.  We get to the town of Niland which is north of Brawley and Interstate 8 and again pull over to wait for the Tail-gunners Brian and John to get every body back, due to a fuel issue with the same rider that somehow missed actually turning on the gas pump even with the nozzle in the tank-see sunscreen issue earlier.   Luckily Brian had a siphon hose to transfer some fuel.

As a result of this we are looking into how a rig can be built to provide for on-the-road re-fueling off the tanks of the Gold Wing riders.  You roll up, take off your gas cap, a hose arm extends from the adjacent Gold Wing, you grab the nozzle with left hand and begin pumping gas into your tank all while rolling down the road.  It works with ships why not with motorcycles.  The Gold Wings have more than enough fuel to do this.  All you have to do is pay when you arrive.
The numbers tell the story: 1 couple, 2 motorcycles, 2 Kool Vests, 1 sunscreen, zero gasoline, 1 hour plus, all add up to a reality script no one would think of writing.  The one that comes closest is The Out of Towners: with Jack Lemmon and Sandy Dennis.  We will call it:   “I lost my gas on the way to Tucson”
The ride continues and we finally start chewing up the miles to arrive at our destination hotel at 7:30 PM and 13 hours later for the 2 day meeting, returning on Sunday.  I am very impressed with how well Ed and Dan led the groups into some unfamiliar territory with the whole bunch arriving and eventually returning home safe.
I am not too tired after that long trip or so I thought and joined up with several others to head to the Cease’s home (STAR Founder) for BBQ hamburgers and refreshments. 
 You bet those are tasty burgers

By early morning Friday it all catches up to me including a nasty-painful sore throat that needs medication. Getting a refill forwarded from my doctor in Brea to the Wal-Mart here in town winds up taking the entire day with numerous phone calls, waiting on line and getting bad info from Walmart, it does get filled but I miss the sight-seeing to Tombstone and Bisbee except for a short ride to the STAR office, and by Saturday I am feeling much better.  Star Touring and Riding offices...

It's on the trip to Walmart to pick up the meds I come to the conclusion that a number of people in this town are not too bright and the roads are terrible.  There is a Karaoke Friday night party but I'm not up for it.  I did hear rumors of some wild dancing etc. and the names Jim and Kim came up in the converstation plus I understand Chuck and Carolyn both took turns with the mike so who knows what went on there.
Saturday and off to the Pima Air Museum.  Lots of planes and that is an understatement.  On the way Dan mentions how he has come to appreciate wearing a mesh jacket even during hot riding days.  I just always wear a jacket as part of ATGATT (All The Gear All The Time) and it's nice of him to provide support and feedback to the idea.  This is just most of the photos:

 A Ural with side car

During the day there is a small motorcycle show and it occurs to me that I could have entered mine...why not, but did not know about it anyway.  Take a look at the entries, all of them! Except for the Can Am spyder which won a prize.

Saturday night is the final wrap up dinner and auction; I never stay for those however and decide to get some rest for the big ride home.  Food service for both dinners as well as the breakfasts was quite good and no complaints from me, except I ate too much, now my watch band is tight.

 There's Tammy in the middle with Susan to the right, and Ed giving Patty a hug after he accidently stepped on a land mine and nearly took out someone earlier in the day.  I was right there when it happened but no shrapnel even came close.

 ...To coin a phrase
My most embarassing moment, Peter has known me since at least San Diego STAR-B-Q, my first one, and meeting on other occassions as well plus reads my blog and knows all the motorcycles I have bought, but I just could not think of where I knew him so asked his name and I could tell he was like, after all these years you still don't remember me?  I took this photo in hopes I can burn it into my brain.  Getting older can be a bit frustrating at times is my only excuse.

Our return trip begins with the last free breakfast Sunday at 7:00 AM and push off at 7:30 AM.
 Some STAR members packing up for the trip home, looks like that trailer is carrying everyones extra stuff.

We ride into some strong wind and by the first gas stop in Gila Bend, 122 miles away  I am on reserve and getting nervous.  I take 4.03 gal of fuel on board, mileage was dropping to 30 MPG-yikes. The wind continues all the way to near San Diego, it is coming at us and really creates little concern except for the fuel consumption. We are heading for a mountain pass towards San Diego and Ken tells me we get to 2,000 ft. level so I don’t bother adding another layer, but we actually go over the 4,000 Ft. level and its darn cold, hitting 50 deg. I tap out at the last minute at a rest stop turn-off to add a layer of warmer clothes and others including Carolyn are very cold also so I am glad I did. The ride bunch back is smaller as several riders left much earlier at 6 AM and I was not among that group.
My other observations revolve around the Stratoliner and me on the road.  I guess I am getting used to the beast based on comments from Ed that I did a good job as Wing-man, but he did all the heavy lifting on this trip, I was there to help make lane changes to the right mostly-follow to the left and lead to the right.  Also, do not put me out in front of the group unless you want to see what happens when you take the cork out of a bottle of shaken champagne, I just GO  (out of fear of getting run over).  Total miles for my trip is 1,165 which is less than others since I did not do the sightseeing trips on Friday.  As I think of more I will add to this story.  If you are on Facebook look me up there under Von Luft, as well as on the blog and compare notes and trips.  Drop in a comment- always like to hear from readers.  I do this for my own entertainment and it is not connected with STAR or Chapters mentioned what so ever.

1 comment:

Carolyn said...

Another great job on our on wonderful trip to Tucson and back. Also a thank you on the quick pit stop at 4000 ft. It is miserable, riding when you are freezing. It was a very "Special" trip with everyone. I love my Star family!!! Carolyn