The day began with a run down to Medicine Lodge, KS, with Dwight and Beth from our CMA chapter. We attended a Toy Run sponsored by the Gabrielís Thunder chapter of CMA in the Pratt and Medicine Lodge area, during which the group did a 50 mile ride, and followed that up with food and bike games. About 2:00pm I headed out for Emporia, but, about 40 minutes or so out of Medicine Lodge, two of the three mounting brackets for the fender over the wheel on the ìdriverís sideî broke just outside Danville, KS. I pulled off the highway onto a gravel road and thought Iíd just take the fender off and be on my way. However, I did not have any SAE wrenches with me and my metric GoldWing tools would not do the trick. After I made that discovery, I heard the familiar sound of an airhead BMW and a fully loaded R100 went by, slowed down, and turned around. When he pulled up, I got to meet George Hlubik from New Jersey who was on his way to Colorado. He offered me the use of his tools, but none of them would work, either. While he and I talked, a guy and his two sons came along, stopped, and looked the BugWing over, and, after they left, Randy Blanchat pulled up on the gravel road from the south and asked if we needed assistance. He didn't have any wrenches with him, but he was only about a half mile from his shop and invited me to come to it. After I talked with George a while longer, I turned around and headed for Randy's shop. While taking the fender off, George rode by and continued his trip to Colorado and, eventually, back to New Jersey. Nice meeting and talking with you, George.
After taking the fender off, Randy cut three pieces of metal, ground the paint off the three brackets, and then welded those pieces on. It took several attempts at some additional grinding of metal to make it fit again, but it was put back on and I was on my way by about 5:00pm, I think. Randy wanted nothing for all the time spent doing this while he could have been doing the work he had planned on some farm machinery. Thank you, Randy!!
Before I left Great Bend, I planned my route and wrote it on a yellow sticky note, making note of places to stop for fuel since I didn't want to run out again like I did last weekend. However, I blew right through ElDorado and forgot to make my planned stop. Two stations to the east of town were closed, so, instead of going back, I decided to try for Eureka about 30 miles to the east. About half way there, the "passenger side" fender over that wheel started shaking like the driver's side had earlier. I prayed it would stay on and I wouldn't run out of fuel, and made it to Eureka. I stopped at an Alco store and bought a small blanket to wrap the fender in, some inexpensive SAE wrenches, and a long funnel, just in case I get into trouble with the fuel situation again some time. When I returned to the parking lot I met Larry who was looking at the BugWing, and also talked to another 6 or so people who gathered during this process. Larry and I had a good conversation before I had to leave. Following that, I got gas and met 6-8 more people while doing that, and I continued to Emporia to see a friend who is co-author of a paper we've been working on for some time. In addition, we had plans to ride to Cassoday, KS, on Sunday morning for a monthly gathering of maybe a couple of thousand people and a lot of motorcycles. After I arrived in Emporia, much later than planned, we went to eat with a mutual friend.
On Sunday morning about 7:00am Mauricio was getting into his leathers and we headed out for the 35 mile trip to Cassoday where I parked the BugWing right next to the Christian Motorcyclist's Association booth where I got to see some of the members of the Hyway Harvesters chapter out of Augusta. Throughout the morning I got to meet many people and talk with many of you, and Mauricio and I posed for one shot. I certainly don't remember all your names, but it was a pleasure meeting and talking with you. While there I got to look at some of the motorcycles, and did this shot looking west down Main Street that was filled with bikes and people, along with the side streets.
Shortly after noon we headed out, taking a very scenic ride on the way back to Emporia where we did some photos of Mauricio's BMW and the BugWing. We did some reviewing of our paper, following which I headed for home. I fueled up in McPherson, and, while sitting at the pump getting ready to leave, I noticed a guy outside a motel room, and another one lurking (just kidding) inside the door with a camera pointed in my direction. I rode over there to check them out and met Leith Compton and Mike Cooper from the North Island of New Zealand. They've been in the country since May working with harvest crews. I could detect they were from somewhere around that part of the world, but intitally thought it was Australia. They got me corrected on that point, and, after a very pleasant conversation, I got back on the road. Nice meeting you guys, and everyone else I encountered along the roads, fuel stops, in Cassoday, and other places this past weekend. While checking e-mail when I returned, I found a message from Roger Baugh, one of those I met in Cassoday, and he had already put a link the the BugWing site in this site. He knows how to do a really nice web site. That's it for now. Don't ignore the message.
October 11-13, 2002
After work on the evening of the 11th I packed up and headed for Emporia to spend the night there before heading on to Lawrence on Saturday for the semi-annual meeting of Kansas State CMA Chapter Presidents. I got to meet and talk with some people while fueling up in McPherson, KS, and then stopped for a break in Strong City where I met a number of people, and got to talk with some of them. Kammerer and Tish, her mother, were among those I got to talk with. I learned Tish rides a Harley and she was going to be doing a presentation on riding while at a workshop in Arkansas. I also got to talk briefly with this unidentified gentleman who did a photo of the BugWing, as well as a truck driver who came over and talked a while.
After spending the night at the house of my friend, Mauricio, I went on my way Saturday morning in the drizzle. I did OK until I stopped for fuel in Ottawa, but, after I got back on the road, the drizzle picked up and became rain which fell relatively hard until I reached Lawrence. I had hoped the Rain-X would do the trick, but it's almost like the windshield does not get the wind flow my car gets. The rain did not run off the windsheld well at all. It was a somewhat spooky ride, during which I decided I would find a windshield wiper and add it to the BugWing, even though I don't have to have one since it's a motorcycle. I have some semblance of good judgment.
The President's meeting was very informative and worthwhile, and, after it was over, I hit the road again around 2:45 or so since I needed to get back home. There was a nasty crosswind from the north, and, not wanting to run out of fuel and not knowing where the gas stations are in that area, I eventually pulled of I-35 and headed north into Melvern. The guy who owned the station rides a Harley and said he had seen the BugWing in Cassoday the week before. After I left Emporia headed west, I decided to go off-course two miles and do a photo of the courthouse in Cottonwood Falls, KS. I got to talk with a guy there for a while, and then talked to some more people at a gas station where I got some ice cream. After that, I continued the trip and stopped again in Hillsboro for gas where I had the opportunity to talk with some more people before I headed out and finished the 240 miles back home from the meeting.
On Sunday morning the 13th, those of us who could, got together and rode to Pawnee Rock for a visit at the Christian Church, where Rhea from our chapter led music, accompanied wtih the assistance of Denise who also sang, and Pat, her husband, who ran sound. I presented some information to the congregation about the Christian Motorcyclist's Association, following which two people from our chapter, Dianne and Vic, provided personal testimonies about the profound changes that had taken place in their lives, too, after they accepted and entered into a relationship with Jesus. The church congregation prepared an outstanding meal for us and we ate withh them after church. Following that, we talked with each other for some time before we all had to go our own ways. Thank you, Pastor Paden!
Waiting for me at home was e-mail from Mike LeMasters who did photos of the BugWing in Cassoday last weekend. He provided this one to me initially, and followed that up with a shot of the side and the front. After he sent the first photo to me I told him I'd be moving from www.digitalbiker.com to www.bugwing.com some time soon, so he changed the lettering in one of the shots. Thank you for the photos, Mike. I hope to meet you down the road some time.
Don't forget the message.
October 18 & 19, 2002
On Friday night, I took the BugWing
out the the Sunflower Rod and Custom Association Car and Bike show at the
Expo center west of Great Bend. The buildings are right next to the
drag strip where the very first National Hot Rod Association national drag
races were held in 1955. Two
buildings were filled, and
many others parked their cars outside. In addition to cars and motorcycles,
the Great Bend Army Airfield
Museum guys had their display of World
War II vehicles and a tank
on display. These guys deserve a lot of credit for what they're doing,
and I'll post more information about them at a later time. The place
was filled wtih too many vehicles to comment on, but one of my personal
favorites was one of Brock McPherson's
cars he races in vintage races. After the door prizes and trophies
were distributed, a good
meal was served and I took my tired feet home. The
message hasn't changed.