February - Gateway Riders Index


February - Gateway Riders Index

Gateway Gazette

Gateway Riders BMW Club

The Legendary Riders of the Midwest

February 2008

Volume 36, Number 1

Gateway Riders BMW Club

PO Box 11563

Clayton, MO 63105


President: Art Mester



VP: Margo Bode



Secretary: Sue Anderson



Treasurer: Judie Northcutt



Rally Chair: Larry Floyd



Membership: Bill McAllister



Events: Jeff Ackerman



Webmaster: Rich Race



Editor: Marilyn Roberts



Technical: Vacant

Deadline for the next issue is

April 1. The Gazette is published

in February, April,

June, August, October and

early December.

President’s Message Art Mester

I can not remember how long I have been in the club. I believe I

came to my first Falling Leaf in 1991. I left later that year to go to

Kuwait for McDonnell Douglas, now Boeing. I was impressed by

the rally and so was my friend. I had a K75S and he was riding a

Honda 600. I did join BMW MOA while I was in Kuwait. Since

you could ride around that country in 5 or 6 hours, receiving my

BMW Owners News magazine allowed me to ride long distance

without having to cross a border. I would read of rallies, riders, and

see where people would travel. It sounded like my kind of riding.

While I had some very unique riding experiences in the Middle

East, I could not wait to get back and experience all the rallies and

see the people I read about each month.

Fast forward to the summer of 1995. I rode my K75 to just about

every rally in a 500 miles radius. I loved to ride with no borders to

cross and no sand over the road, no camels (nastiest and meanest

animals on this earth) and cooler temperatures (you had to wear

leather in the summer, your skin could burn if you didn't). Every

other weekend my garage door would open and I would travel to

another place and see people that I had read about. Wow, life was

good. By this time I had converted my friend from Harleys to

BMW's and we both joined the Gateway Riders. It proved to be a

great experience for me.

I hope during my term as president, I can give back to the club that

has provided me with the opportunity to have some great rides,

good friends and lots of camaraderie.

While my work travel schedule is pretty full again this year, however,

I hope to make more meetings and rides than last year. I

would like to put more miles on my bike and ride more often. That

is my goal for this year. What is better, it is Judie’s goal as well. I

hope we can place many safe and happy miles on our motorcycles

taking advantage of club rides and rallies.

I would ask each old member to take a new member under your

"wing" and get them interested and involved. New members are the

life blood of our club.

— Art

On the Cover: Phil is a monkey! This BMW sidecar racing rig is

located at Gateway BMW. The photo was taken by Kevin Tennant

on February 9, shortly before the Gateway Valentine’s Day party.

Page 1

Editor’s Message

Marilyn Roberts

If you are observant you may have noticed in the recent

past that your Gazette had a one dollar stamp on

it. The next issue, which weighed the same, had a 58cent

stamp on it. The December issue had a 58-cent

stamp on it but it had a lot of tape on it, too. Lately I

seem to get a variety of information—some of it conflicting—at

my local post office.

Most recently I am told that a piece of mail such as

the folded Gazette will go for 58 cents but it has to be

printed so that the fold is at the bottom and the taped

edge is at the top. This is reflected in the Gazette you

are holding in your hands. It seems that the sorting

machine will catch the open ends and rip the newsletter,

so the PO wants the fold at the bottom where it

goes through the machine. If a postal employee sees

that the pieces are done incorrectly, the entire mailing

will be returned. Oh joy. I’ve been lucky so far. But…

if we want, we can pay a 17-cent surcharge per piece

and someone will gently put them through the sorting

machine and not send them all back. I chose to bring

the entire December batch home and put more tape on

the corners to avoid a return and to avoid an extra

$7.48 in postage.

The cover shot is a cropped version of the top picture

to the right. And I included another one that shows the

right side of the rig. Unfortunately, I don’t have any

information about it. Stop by Gateway BMW and ask.

If I recall correctly, it’s for sale.

You’ll notice a slight change in design of this

issue. I just want to make sure you are awake...

I can always use photos, especially for the cover.

While you are out and about this year, please keep the

Gazette in mind and shoot some hi-res, vertically oriented

cover shots for me. Those without a lot of

“clutter” in the top third of the picture are best.

Last, but not least, if you would like to receive the

Gazette online and not via the USPS, please let me

know. Doing so saves materials and postage, and you

can see the Gazette in living color.

Ride safe and ride lots.


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BMW Unstoppable Open House

BMW is giving away one new F800GS at participating

dealers’ Unstoppable Open House on

March 8, 2008. The winner of this highly anticipated

bike will be revealed in a live webcast and

at your local dealership at 4 p.m. EST on March

8. Don’t miss your chance to own one for free.

See www.bmwmotorcycles.com

for participating dealers or just go to

Gateway BMW.

Early 2008 Events Calendar Jeff Ackerman, Events Director

Note: The ride starting points depend on the direction we are going:

NORTH: The east side of the Home Depot parking lot, between New Halls Ferry & Old Halls

Ferry, south side of I-270 in North County.

SOUTH: The McStop at Peveley (Exit 180 off I-55 at Z) OR the Dierbergs grocery on Hwy. 21

just south of I-270 (on the L/H side at the first light).

WEST: The QuikTrip off I-70 by I-370 at Mid Rivers Mall (north side in St. Peters) OR the

Amoco station just south of Hwy. 40 (I-64) on Long Rd., OR the MotoMart on Hwy. 141, just

north of I-44.

EAST: The Dierbergs or Home Depot – See above.

NOTE: Forever Endeavor has shop rides every 3 rd Saturday of the month (next rides are March 15

and April 19), followed by a hearty breakfast. Meet at 21 East 5th Street, Eureka, MO 63025, phone


* February 24: “Woo’s Folly” ride to Diamond Mineral Springs. Meet on the east side of the Home

Depot between New Halls Ferry & Old Halls Ferry on the south side of I-270 in North County at

9:45 a.m./leave at 10:15. (We’ll take cars if the weather is bad.). Jeff Ackerman, 314-838-2161.

* February 29 - March 9: Daytona Bike Week – See www.officialbikeweek.com or check

www.amadirectlink.com for info.

* March 2: Ride Hwy. W to Clarksville for lunch at Clarksville Station (on the south edge of town on

Hwy. 79) or Rider’s Choice. Meet at the QuikTrip off I-70 by I-370 (see above) at 10:00 a.m./leave

at 10:30. Ride leader needed.

* March 9: Annual spring ride to St. John’s Gildehaus for the chicken dinner. Meet at the Amoco station

on Long Rd. (see above) at 9:00 a.m./leave at 9:30. Jeff Ackerman, 314- 838-2161.

* March 16: Ride to Pioneer’s Cabin family style restaurant in Willisville, IL (northeast of Chester).

This is a neat place Susan found. Meet at the Dierbergs grocery at 9:00 a.m./leave at 9:30. Bill

Haugen, 314-831-7363.

* March 19: Wednesday General Meeting at the NEW PLACE: Spazio’s at 12031 Lackland Rd. It is

located in the Comfort Inn, which is located directly across Page Ave. from Westport Plaza in the

southwest quadrant of Page and Westport Plaza Dr. Exit Page Ave. at Lackland Rd. Arrive no later

than 6:30 p.m. if you plan on eating. Meeting starts at 7:30 sharp.

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Continued on next page

Continued from previous page

* March 29: (Saturday) 29 th Wurstfest in Hermann – Get your fill of sausages and other goodies,

maybe bring home some wine. Meet at the Amoco station on Long Rd. (see above) at 9:30

a.m./leave at 10:00. Ride leader needed.

* April 6: Spring Dinner (chicken and beef) at St. Joseph’s in Meppen, IL. Meet on the east side

of the Home Depot between New Halls Ferry & Old Halls Ferry, on the south side of I-270 in

North County at 9:30 a.m./leave at 10:00. Jeff Ackerman, 314-838-2161.

* April 12: Saturday BBQ ride. Take the scenic route down to Farmington. Meet at the Amoco

station on Long Rd. (see above) at 10:00 a.m./leave at 10:30. Dave Mattis, 314-968-1186.

* April 16: Wednesday General Meeting at the NEW PLACE: Spazio’s at 12031 Lackland Rd.

It is located in the Comfort Inn, which is located directly across Page Ave. from Westport Plaza

in the southwest quadrant of Page and Westport Plaza Dr. Exit Page Ave. at Lackland Rd. Arrive

no later than 6:30 p.m. if you plan on eating. Meeting starts at 7:30 sharp.

* April 20: Ride the backroads to Kampsville; take any bike you don’t mind getting dirty (~ 10

miles of good gravel). Meet at the Home Depot (see above) at 9:30 a.m./leave at 10:00. Jeff Ackerman,

314- 838-2161.

* April 27: Progressive Dinner – Our most popular ride! See maps and info in the next newsletter.

Breakfast (8 a.m.) – Judie Northcutt and Art Mester; Soup – Margo Bode; Salad – Rich and

Helen Race; Main Dish – Al and Jill Schroer; Dessert – Ava and Harvey Small.

* Events that are starred are point events. BMW rallies greater than 200 miles away are point rides, even if not

listed. Note: See the BMW Owners News or website at www.bmwmoa.org for more rally information.

Not Superman Rally Info from Jim Puckett and www.notsupermanrally.com

George Siede was the only Gateway

Rider to do this event last

year. Here he is bagging a bonus

at Tower Rock Winery.

The Not Superman Rally—a competitive endurance rally—will take

place again this year July 10-12 beginning in Cape Girardeau. Member

Jim Puckett is the Co-Rallymaster with Herb Anderson of Grass Roots

BMW. There’s a 12 hour rally and a 30-hour rally. There are 100 bonus

locations for the 30-hour rally—50 east of the Mississippi River

and 50 west of the Mississippi River. All bonuses are within a 660 mile

radius of St. Louis, MO and there is a 1700 mile mileage cap.

The most important thing to know about a competitive scavenger hunt

rally is that not even Superman can get to half of the bonus locations

listed. Speaking of Superman, he will be a bonus. The challenge is figuring

out what bonuses you think you can safely ride to and capture

(digital photo with your rally flag in the picture) and make it to the finish

line within the 12-hour or 30-hour time limit. Safe riding is paramount.

Full riding gear is highly recommended. Helmet, boots and

gloves are required. GR

Page 4

Doing Hard Time in the Deep Freeze Larry Stevenson

So, now what? It’s thirty two degrees outside, a cold

wind blow’n from the southwest, and overcast skies

are stretching out in all directions. For motorcycle

riders this could be a depressing time of the year.

“The bike, securely chained to a steel

post outside my room,

collected several inches of snow and

thoroughly amused the other

stranded guests.”

Let’s see now. Ice races at the Family Arena are on

the agenda, and maybe the motorcycle show in Chicago

on February 8 th -10 th. Or if it gets really bad, one

might brave the weather and solo down to Key West

for serious sunshine and craziness. There are always

options, my friends.

In previous years cabin fever forced me to saddle up

by mid February.

One year, I took a

long trip to Arizona

via the southern

route. The Daytona

Campout, or just

pointing the bike toward

some unexpected


makes more sense

than cleaning the garage

and vacuuming

carpets again. As I

said, we have options.

Mitch Baker wasn’t vacuuming

any carpets in Daytona last year.

Photo by Larry Floyd.

A few years ago I found myself in a blinding snow

storm that unexpectedly blew through Chattanooga. I

was seeking southern blue skies and warmth. Refuge

in a motel was only slightly better than staying home.

The bike, securely chained to a steel post outside my

room, collected several inches of snow and thoroughly

amused the other stranded guests. But, it all

ended well. Two days later and somewhere past

Macon, the temperature rose dramatically and the

riding became downright enjoyable.

Page 5

Hail seems to be a rider’s personal enemy and, at

least for me, my most feared problem while winter

riding. Sure, a full face helmet and proper riding gear

helps, but, these nasty little billiard balls can raise

hell with the bike’s finish, distort vision, and 18wheeler

tire spray can camouflage the projectiles.

Near Fort Stockton, Texas a couple of winters ago

the only refuge I could find from these pests was under

an overpass. It was late, dark, and the sky was

ablaze with lightning. I rolled in, dismounted, and

began sharing the space with two young ladies in a

small Chevy Cavalier coupe. They took one look at

me and went to “full lock down” thinking, I guess,

that I was some space alien sent earthbound to rape

and pillage. Shortly, they decided to brave the storm

rather than spend another minute in this wind

whipped cavern with Dr. Spock’s crazed nephew.

They left in a hurry, gunning the engine and spraying

mud and loose gravel over much of my two-wheeled

spaceship. They had options.

Late season camping can be iffy, too. I learned this

lesson at the RA rally a few years ago. I retreated to

my tent on Saturday night to escape the tail end of

tropical storm Albert. I woke the next morning, stuck

my head out of the tent to view the beautiful Shenandoah

Valley, and found a “thick,” let me say it again,

“thick” ice layer over the entire exterior surface of

my tent. No wonder I slept fitfully all night. Looking

around the campsite, I noticed that most (sane) individuals

had abandoned the field for warmer quarters

at the lodge, or simply packed up and disappeared

sometime during the night.

So there you have it…my cut of the long winter

ahead of us. Perhaps I should just forget about the

bike and return to my backup plan. As most of you

know, I’m the guy with the white beard selling

BMW’s at the newly opened Gateway BMW motorcycle

store. Drop by and say, ”Hello” the next time

you’re in the store. (Larry has left Gateway BMW for

a possible move to Washington State to be with his

daughter who is expecting twin babies. —ed.)

Ride safe and far. GR

Bill Has His Vespa Groove On Bill Graham

I bought my

1981, P200E,

Vespa baby

about 10 years

ago at a St.

Louis Honda

garage sale. It

cost me an even

$1000—a miracle

considering it

had less than 2000 miles and was in great, original

shape, including a factory fairing, trunk, radio (it

rocks), and Fiam horns. Putting around town on

my classic has been fun; it gets lots of longing

looks from those who appreciate the classic oldies

but goodies.

“...it came with a tonneau cover,

windshield, convertible top, front

and side bumpers, and locking

trunk. BUT, the only color left was

hot pink.”

In time, I found that with my fused ankle I kept

locking up the rear brake. So, how to fix that? Ah,

much to my dismay, I had to go shopping for a

scooter accessory to fix the problem—a sidecar. A

devoted motorcyclist shopping for a new toy—

torture, right? Ha! I had a blast on my quest to

find the perfect partner to hook up to my vintage


Scooter Works out of Chicago had a great sale on

the Cozy sidecar, which came in two styles. It was

hard choosing between one that looks like the

Steib S500 (the bullet nose) or the LS200 (like a

small squarish Ural). Decisions, decisions. I chose

the LS200 style because of its right angles that

tend to match the scooter lines. Perfect, huh? Not

quite. The price was right at $1200, as it came

with a tonneau cover, windshield, convertible top,

front and side bumpers, and locking trunk. BUT,

Page 6

the only color left was hot pink. That would be

quite a sight for sore eyes hooked up to the maroon

scooter. But, what the heck. I drove up to

Chicago and, to maximize my cycle time, I went

to the motorcycle show in the Windy City on the

way to pick up my newest addition (Jim Shaw and

I were along on that trip—ed.).

Paint. It needed a paint job. Badly. Larry Floyd

with his newfound skills to the rescue! The paint

he used matched like a charm, and he did a professional

paint job all around. So good, in fact, that I

hope to soon be giving him my vintage R90S to

attack. After all, a real enthusiast always has to

have a project in the works.

My plan is to

trailer my

new rig to

some scooter

rallies, putt

around town

(Judy does

tend to send

me to

Schnucks a

lot and it

holds an amazing amount of full grocery sacks—

the wide-eyed looks are a riot when I start unpacking

a heaping grocery cart and loading her up),

and attend some St. Louis scooter rides.

I’ve discovered one thing in the whole process. I

have just as much fun on my “little” two wheels as

my “big” ones. Any two wheels (or is it three?)

are definitely more fun than four!

One last thought. I’ve not yet named her. A call to

any or all club members: Get your creative minds

rocking and rolling, look at her picture, longingly

of course, and e-mail me your best shot of a name.

The one Judy and I like the best, she’ll be. Then

you can join Larry in being an integral part of my

latest cycling adventure and have the privilege and

honor of seeing your name in the next newsletter

as the winner. GR

Extreme International Ice Racing Marilyn Roberts and Al Schroer

Because I asked Al to write something and he did,

and so did I, I’ve combined the stories here. My

words are in this type (Times New Roman) and Al’s

words are in this type (Arial).

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words but

I forgot to take my camera to the ice races at the Family

Arena on January 26 th . It was a shame, too, because

the races provided some great photo ops. But

fortunately there is the Internet. And there is member

John Skala, who had a press pass to take pictures for

Biking Life magazine.

“Haugen had no intention of sitting

in a cheap seat; he just bought the

cheap ticket.”

Ice racing is not high on the list of activities that I

would actually go to, much less actually pay for. I figured

I would eat dinner with the club folks, enjoy

some conversation, maybe go to the arena, and if I

didn’t like it, I could always opt out and head home. It

might be too smoky, or too noisy, or just plain boring;

I had a lot of doubts.

There were seven of us—Griff, Haugen and Sue,

Cougan, Al, Smitty and me—and we had dinner at

the St. Charles Cracker Barrel before going to the

races. Al had shaved off his mustache earlier in the

day and the lack of facial hair made him giddy. He set

the tone with the waitress, who was more than willing

to be silly with us. She was young, with only 2 stars

on her apron, and probably deserved another just for

waiting on us. Haugen wanted cornbread but he

wanted cornbread without any corn in it (you know,

big pieces of corn). I began a conversation about a

website that, through a short quiz, indicates your

probability of eating your buddies should all of you

be trapped in a blizzard without imminent rescue.

Griff had gone off to the bathroom and returned during

that discussion. Having my camera to catch the

look on his face would have been nice: “Did I miss

something?” That’s kinda how our dinner at the

Cracker Barrel went.

Page 7

We were loud, we were boisterous, and we were all a

little giddy. It was just one of those nights. This is not

that normal for me. We had great home-cookin’ with

mashed potatoes, cornbread, corn, muffins, steaks,

etc. The place was busy, we were a little nuts, and we

fit right in.

Extreme International


Racing is the

only ice racing

series sanctioned

by the

American MotorcyclistAssociation.

These Photo from www.xiir.com

races were part

of the XIIR/AMA Championship Series, and this was

Round 1 of the series. See www.xiir.com for more


Art and Rita Shafer and James Feinberg sat a couple

rows up on the finish line. Some of our group went to

visit with them and vice versa later in the evening. And

John Skala was also there, as I mentioned before.

If you’ve not been to the ice races, the track is short,

about a quarter mile, so the riders are constantly turning

and skidding. The bikes are 450cc to 500cc speedway

bikes with steel studs in the tires to provide traction.

Quads also compete. Bikes have 800 steel studs

in each tire (below right). Heats of 4 riders lead to the

final race of 6 riders. The fuel is noxious-smelling nitro

methanol but ventilation

in the Family

Arena is decent. Because

of the ventilation

and the ice, the

air gets chilly after

awhile, so you need a

warm coat, and ear-

Photo by John Skala

plugs are helpful.

The arena was bustling with all sorts of people: kids,

teenagers, older adults and parents. The arena was

probably one-third full, I figured about 4,000 people.

We bought the cheap tickets and were told to go up to

the top level and find a seat. Haugen had no intention

of sitting in a cheap seat; he just bought the cheap

Continued on next page

Continued from previous page

ticket. We finally sat in the far end of the arena, down

near the ice, in a section that was virtually empty.

There was the usual announcer fanfare before the

heats began.

Although they rev to 14,000 rpms, the bikes aren’t

terribly loud but the ice races are a little like attending

a concert featuring loud, lively music from the

‘70s and ‘80s (the Village People, George

Thorogood, Queen, various rappers, etc.) … so loud

that conversation was difficult. But it kept the audience

pumped up and sometimes dancing. The kids in

the crowd loved it and even some of our group got

into the groove. It was great music. An official with a

video camera kept the kids waving, wanting him to

focus on them because the video was projected on the

jumbotron above the track.

As I sat there, full of dinner, taking in the event, the

crowd, the whole affair, I started to have recurring

doubts why I was there. But as it all sank in, I began

to enjoy myself. The music was absolutely awesome!

Not too loud, nice changes from country to oldies to

rocknroll to hip-hop; I loved it. And what was really

nice, so did everyone else!

The cameraman on the floor was doing acrobatics

getting shots of everyone in the crowd. He would

stand up, lie down, crawl, whatever it took to get an

interesting view of the fans and the racers. His camera

provided the feed to the jumbotron scoreboard

and it was entertaining just to watch what he created

with his video. I had a lot of respect for his work that

night; it was outstanding.

Riders have nicknames, such as The Hippy (I thought

he was pretty cute!), Demolition Mann, Double Trouble,

Dynomite, British Bulldog, The Bomber. During

the intermissions riders would come out onto the ice

and throw t-shirts into the audience or give autographed

photos to kids at the rail, or have snowball

fights with the ice shavings piled up by the studded

tires. They have a variety of injuries, some of them

permanent. A spectacular crash between two of the

quads resulted in a

flip. The rider of the

flipped bike slid

himself off the track

on his butt using

only his arms, dragging

his legs behind

him. Of course the

audience thought

Photo by John Skala

he’d severely in-

Page 8

jured his legs or back. As other riders lifted the fallen

rider back onto his righted bike, the announcer told the

audience not to be concerned because the rider normally

uses a cane to walk.

We saw one great quad crash due to an overzealous

challenge from the second place rider, we saw another

crash into the straw bales where one rider slid

wide and literally pushed another rider into a DNF, we

saw a couple of riders push their bikes across the finish

line because a fourth place was better than a DNF.

I began to figure out who was fast, who was smooth,

who had the best handling quad, who always got the

holeshot, who would always challenge on the curves. I

started tapping Griff to make verbal bets on who

would win each heat. By the last heat, we all had our

favorites and we were cheering a lead change or a

crash. I thought sure Ramirez was the winner of the

last heat. He was so smooth, so quick, so in control.

And he thought so, too. But he lost his focus on a turn

and he went wide. The British Bulldog charged on the

inside to the last turn, and there was no way Ramirez

could regain his lead. The British Bulldog, aka Anthony

Barlow, a transplant who married locally and

lives in St. Peters, came from behind to win.

Overall, the ice races are pretty entertaining on a lot of

levels: good racing, good music, and good friends.

I think we saw as much as you could see that night. I

left with a big smile on my face that I could not wipe

off. I’m sure my wife thought I was nuts. GR

BMW Pleasure Credits Frank L. Palmeri, aka Cranky Frankie

Editor’s note: I frequent a number of forums and lists

on the Internet. One of them is the K bike list, hosted on

Yahoo. This story was posted last December. I hope you

like it as much as I do. It’s printed here with permission

of the author.

James was just about ready to leave for the farm. It wasn't

cold out, but he took his leather jacket anyway, because

this was the third Thursday of the month. Life in

Aurora, Kansas in this Year of the Alliance 2069 didn't

offer much to look forward to, when you really thought

about it, except for the third Thursday of the month,

thought James. But this was more than most had.

"Going out tonight, James?" his mom asked, as she always


"Yeah Mom, going down to Doc's farm to help with the

loading and stuff."

"Well, you be careful, and don't drive too fast."

What a joke that was, James knew.

Since 2042, when the Free World Alliance had finally

outlawed the use of any kind of petroleum products,

"driving fast" had been a thing that only the pilots of the

inter-city air cushion monorails did. While the death of

the Internal Combustion Engine surely was a blessing

for the measly remains of the Earth's ozone layer, a

whole culture of cars, bikes, speed, grease, and assorted

folklore had been wiped out. At least until James found

out about Doc...

Had it been three years ago? Time went fast when you

worked, went to school, and put in the required community

service hours. That chance meeting with Dave in

the school library, hanging around the old bike and motor

repair books, when he should have been studying for

that Introduction to Socialist Capitalism exam, seemed

like only yesterday.

"Hey man, you like the old stuff too, huh?" said Dave.

"You know it, pal, I just wish I'd been around to hear

and seed this stuff, the bikes especially, they're beautiful."

"Tell you what," Dave whispered, "there's this old farm

about 50 kilometers south on 189, this guy Doc owns it,

Page 9

I think you'd like to meet him." And that had changed


James put on the leather and got in the old Ford, after

unplugging it first. It was an oldie but goodie, a ‘54

XTZ290, with 300 amps starting power, a top speed of

91 kilometers per hour, and batteries that would let it

run almost 12 hours between charges. He put it in gear

and headed out, briefly wondering if he should take the

bike instead. The bike was a used Honda, a '63 Titanium

Strut that was OK for short hops, like out to Kara's and

back, but its tiny batteries only allowed a top speed of

75kph, and they needed charging every 3 hours. That's

why it was great for going to Kara's for their weekly

"study" session; three hours was just enough time to get

everything charged that needed to be charged, grinned


When he finally got to Doc's, the whole crowd was

there as usual. He plugged in the car at the charging

coral and headed to the barn. The site of all the

tiny cars and bikes plugged into the power outlets kind

of reminded him of his old kids’ western story books,

where the leather-vested cowboys would tie up their

horses at the water trough and swagger into the saloon.

James thought again about that first meeting with Doc...

"Yeah?" the old man grunted as he stood guard at the

door, tired but piercing eyes glaring at the young kid

with the Universal Honda Motor Co. t-shirt on, emblazoned

with the newest bike craze, the 85 amp Mediterranean

Coast. "Un, hi, my name is James, and I'm a

friend of Dave's and he told me..."

"Come on in, son," said Doc, "and where'd you get that

ugly t-shirt!"

And that's how it had started, with Doc giving James a

virtual history lesson of cars, motors, but above all,

bikes. It was knowledge more important to James than

anything he was learning in college, even his favorite

class, Introduction to Conserving Resources Through

Regression Analysis. The scope of the operation, after

all, would even make his professors gasp with amazement.

Here was this old farmer out in the boonies, still

growing and harvesting like in the old days, when almost

all food products were created hydroponically. No

one made any money farming, and the few who did

mainly survived on the novelty of their product. People

would buy anything, even a lumpy ear of Doc's corn,

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when you could just as easily get a perfectly made artificial

one in any store at half the price. But that was the

beauty of it. Everyone thought he was just an old eccentric

who liked to farm, but they had no idea of the regeneration-ionization

distillation processor (Doc called it a

"still") that he had created to turn the old corn ears into


James stood in amazement as he first glanced at the bikes

in the barn, the chill in his spine always new as if glancing

at them for the first time. He loved them all, of course, but

his favorite was the Norton. It was black and gold, made

in 1974(!), and looked fast even standing still. The elegant

simplicity of its lines, each part having a unique purpose,

with none of the plastic, lexan, and polycarbonate materials

of the later designs. To James, the Norton was

"absolutely orbital," as the popular saying went. And HE

would get to ride it! That was the deal - when you had

paid your dues by gathering the corn, learning about and

then operating the "still," and apprenticed by performing

various maintenance activities on the ancient beasts, Doc

would finally let you ride.

He was ready. While Dave had already started the 2025 8cylinder

Honda GL 2500, James checked over the Norton

one more time. He "freed" the clutch, "tickled" the carbs,

and, "whilst" holding the throttle slightly open, used his

whole body weight to kick the big twin into breathing,

shaking, rumbling life! It was unbelievable! He followed

Doc, Dave, and the other riders through the carefully laid

out path in the woods behind the barns, and he was happy.

Truly happy, as only one who has ridden an "English

Lady," as Doc referred to the Norton, could be.

When it was over and the bikes had been carefully put

away, they would all gather in the big old red barn and tell

stories for a little while, mostly Doc and the older guys

telling the kids what it was like in the old days.

"Would you believe," said Doc, "that every now and then

the Editor of the old Norton News magazine would have

to plead in his column for the members to send in stories

and pictures, and for the non-members who just scarfed a

friends copy to pay their dues and join the club?"

Everyone gasped, especially James, who said "With a

bike like the Commando, you would think that people

would be sending in all kinds of stuff, like tips, memories

of interesting rides, or just pictures of these beautiful

bikes with a pretty sunset or mountain in the background."

All agreed that the old saying was true, "you don't know

what you got ‘till it's gone."

When James left it was dark out, the full moon illuminating

the night in a surreal glow. As the Ford hummed

Page 10

along he was still thinking about the ride on the Norton,

when he saw the flashing lights on the video display

monitor picked up by the rear facing camera. He pulled

over and waited; it had been a while since he last had

gotten stopped. He certainly wasn't speeding!

"Good evening, officer, is something wrong?" he said,

the light from the trooper's neon flashlight making him


"We've had reports of hydrocarbon emissions in this

area, son, and we've been warning everyone in the area

and asking folks to contact us if they see anything suspicious.

You haven't seen anything, have you, James?"

The trooper already knew James' name, age, and probably

when he last ate, from the Ford's auto-id monitor

box, standard equipment on all vehicles manufactured

after July 1st, 2051.

"No officer, I just got off work and I haven't seen a


The light shone down now.

"Say, what's that stuff on your hands, and what's that

smell on you?"

The grease from the bikes was hard to wash off, and the

corn oil distillate had a unique aroma, but James was

ready, adrenaline flowing now, barely allowing him to

stay calm.

"Oh, the farm where I work part time has this old hay

baler that's always breaking down. Had to fix the master

link tonight, and this old grease sure is hard to wash off.

Smells like the dickens, too ("Jees," thought James, "got

to stop using Doc's corny old expressions!").

The trooper still stared at James, and those few seconds

seemed to last forever.

"Get home safe, son, and remember, anything to do with

petroleum products or combustion engines is an Alliance

Level One Offense, punishable by a severe loss of BMW

pleasure credits. You be sure and call us now if you see


The trooper walked back to his car, James's heart still

pounding as the ominous vehicle pulled away. James

waited a bit, then continued on his way, taking a full

breath of the cool night air (the Air Breathability Index

had been unusually low lately) and wished for the good

old days that he had never seen. GR

2007 Events Summary Jeff Ackerman, Events Director

While the emphasis of the club is, obviously, riding motorcycles, there has been a lot of hard work done

by many of our members to make the wide variety of club events held this year possible. This included

some new ones like the hay ride/hot dog roast after the rally. This briefly summarizes the club activities

for the last year. The 2007 season started with last year’s Christmas party (Dec. 2006) and ended with

the end of season tech day at Judie and Art’s on December 1.

We had 43 rides this year, counting the two tech sessions, that someone went on and for which I got an

attendance roster; we had 36 last year. We held more events, but a few, like Old Timer’s Day were cancelled

due to weather and some were just never attended. I am still having problems getting attendance

rosters for the events I didn’t attend, though this year was better than last. If you go to a rally, lead a ride,

etc. please jot down the names and get them to me; email works great and a number of members have

done that. There were several events, like some of the rallies, that I am sure some members attended but

for which I never got a roster. I would love to give people credit for all the events they attend, however,

clairvoyance doesn’t work. If you don’t tell me, I don’t know, so please get me those attendance rosters.

We had 6 parties (with the Christmas party and the pool party), 9 general meetings, and the 32 nd Falling

Leaf. There were also a large number of rallies listed as events. A summary of attendance at the various

types of events is given below along with the best attended (maximum attendance) for each type of

event. The Progressive Dinner and Christmas party remained the most popular ride and party, as they

have been for the last four years. However, the best attended meeting this year was September, rather

than the usual May meeting (best attended the previous 3 years).

Event Type 2007 Average 2006 Ave. 2007 Max 2006 Max Event

Rides 9.0 (up 23%) 7.3 41 36 Progressive Dn.

Parties 27.2 (up 3%) 26.3 41 48 Christmas

Meetings 29.8 29.7 33 39 Sept. 07/May 06

Falling Leaf 44 42

Attendance was up slightly this year, over last year. We also typically had 2 to 3 non-members (often

future members) at the meetings and often had a guest or two along on rides. Also, as I have already

mentioned, many of the attendance rosters were incomplete, and not all the rally attendances were reported

so even more members were attending events. However, I can only record the information I get.

Ride Leaders: These are the people who spend their time and effort to arrange, organize, and lead rides.

Without their hard work, we wouldn’t have the wide variety of events that we have or the main reason to

have the club. Ride leadership also includes things like Phil bringing his grill to the hayride so we could

cook the hot dogs. While some rides may be a simple, straight from memory ride, like leading the group

to St. John’s Gildehaus, others take hours of planning and preparation to organize and execute, such as

the bed and breakfast rides. I would like to give special thanks to Dave Mattis this year for planning and

leading a number of different rides as well as Phil for always finding the best scenic routes to lead the

group on, and Art Mester for organizing the bed and breakfast rides.

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Member Number of Rides Led Rank

Ackerman, Jeff 5 1 (first 3 same as last year)

Mattis, Dave 5 1 (first 3 same as last year)

Sulfstede, Phil 5 1 (first 3 same as last year)

Mester, Art 4 4

Smith, Richard 2 5

Hosts: Being an event host garners the most points per event—5—because it requires the most work. Judie

Northcutt and Art Mester were the champion hosts again this year, with 4 different events, including the 2 technical

sessions. Al and Jill Schroer were hosts twice this last year (which we really appreciate), and a large number of

people were hosts once including our gracious progressive dinner sponsors.

Points Ranking: The first table below has the top ten point rankings for 2007. These are a combination of the

number of events attended (see the second table below) along with the credit given per event (being a host at 5

points is worth 2 ½ rides at 2 points).

Member: Rank Points

Smith, Richard (Smitty) 1 75

Mester, Art 2 73

Judie Northcutt 3 71

Mattis, Dave 4 69

Shaw, Jim 5 66

Ackerman, Jeff 6 61

Roberts, Marilyn 7 53

Schroer, Al 7 53

Green, Jay 9 51

Ovshak, Ed (and Myra) 10 46

Events Ranking: Number of club events (including BMW rallies) attended.

Member Number of Events Rank

Mattis, Dave 39 1

Smith, Richard (Smitty) 38 2

Shaw, Jim 33 3

Judie Northcutt 32 4

Mester, Art 31 5

Ackerman, Jeff 29 6

Roberts, Marilyn 27 7

Green, Jay 26 8

Haugen, Bill 25 9

Graham, Bill 24 10

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The 2006 Events Points winner was Smitty (again), who had 69 points spread over 35 events last year

and second place last year was Jeff Ackerman, who had 63 points spread over 26 events. In general, the

main contenders had more points and attended more events this year as compared to last year. However,

your poor Events Director spent too much time on company travel this year, and while attending more

events than last year, I still fell out of the top five points score for the first time in years.

I look forward to seeing you all on a number of the club rides in 2008, and remember, I am always looking

for the next ride/event idea. GR

2007 Gateway Riders Mileage Contest Compiled by Ed Ovshak

1. Bill Graham, 20,001

2. Bill McAllister, 18,700

3. Marilyn Roberts, 16,371

4. Fielding Childress, 14,438

5. Jim Shaw, 14,061

6. Kevin Tennant, 13,185**

7. Smitty, 12,864

8. Larry Stevenson, 12,000

9. Jeff Ackerman, 9,487

10. Jay Green, 9,069

11. George Siede, 8,849

Last but not least… Art Wheeler, 30

The average rider for 2007 was Larry Floyd with 7,500 miles. This was down from 2006’s average

of about 9,500 miles.

** Editor’s note: Kevin says this may be for two years! GR

Page 13

Photos by Marilyn Roberts unless otherwise noted.

Ava, Judie and Harvey at the

Christmas Party.

Harvey gets an award at the

Christmas Party.

A big group rode to The River’s Edge

restaurant on January 6th. Sorry, I

don’t remember who took this photo.

Cathy and Dave at the stroke of


The rowdy table at the Christmas Party.

Photo by George Siede.

Tom Huff at Classic Motorcycles’ Open

House on Christmas Eve.

Mary and “Yoda” at the New

Years party.

New Prez Art, and Judie, welcome

the New Year with John and wife in

the background.

Page 14

Jim Shaw receives an

award at the Christmas


Fielding and Al at Classic Motorcycles’

Open House on Christmas


Sharon is ready to welcome

the New Year.

Mary and Jeff drink a toast to the

New Year.

The Gateway


In This Issue:

Doing Hard Time in The Deep Freeze

Bill’s Vespa Sidecar Rig

Event Schedule

2007 Summaries

The Ice Races

The Motorcycling Scene in 2069


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