Gateway Riders BMW Club
The Legendary Riders of the Midwest
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
Deadline for the next issue is
April 1. The Gazette is published
in February, April,
June, August, October and
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.
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.
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.
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.
for participating dealers or just go to
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
* 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.
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,
* 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
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
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
makes more sense
than cleaning the garage
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.
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
about 10 years
ago at a St.
garage sale. It
cost me an even
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
“...it came with a tonneau cover,
windshield, convertible top, front
and side bumpers, and locking
trunk. BUT, the only color left was
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,
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
new rig to
tend to send
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
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.
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.
Racing is the
only ice racing
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
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
Photo by John Skala
he’d severely in-
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,
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
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,
Continued on next page
Continued from previous page
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
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
"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.
Continued on next page
Continued from previous page
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
Continued on next page
Continued from previous page
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
Photos by Marilyn Roberts unless otherwise noted.
Ava, Judie and Harvey at the
Harvey gets an award at the
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
New Prez Art, and Judie, welcome
the New Year with John and wife in
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
In This Issue:
Doing Hard Time in The Deep Freeze
Bill’s Vespa Sidecar Rig
The Ice Races
The Motorcycling Scene in 2069