2001 Ride Reports
courtesy of Rabbai

This is my "we done it" page. Whether it was a planned ride or an informal get together. 
This page has been constructed to give a sort of report (or results) of the happenings of the

Connecticut Valkyrie Riders

Sunday, January 21, 2001 -
VRCC New England - "PMS" get together at the Plymouth Marina's, Mayflower Restaurant, Plymouth, Mass. During the height of the Plymouth's area first Nor'easter in years. A group of us got together for lunch, lies and laugh's. Some driving as far as 175 miles (one way) to be part of this group that has become more of an extended family than a bunch of riders whose original focus was the "World's Greatest Motorcycle" and the country's most scenic roads. We call this

the Dragonfire

Paul S (Tangeman)/Ava, Hanover, MA
Randy G (Rabbai), Western, Watertown, CT - CT Rep
Ron (Valkrocket)/Carol-Anne, Plymouth, MA
Steve Mile/Bev/Steve Jr, Cape Cod, MA - MA Rep
Dennis, Cape Cod, MA
Martin, Wooster, MA
Olaf (Maineman)/Sherry, Brunswick, ME - ME Rep
Don (V-Man)/Kim, Southern, Berwick, ME
Ed (Burnt Rubba)/Deb, Central MA
Tony C. (Weatherman), Boston, Metro West, MA
Bobaloo/Spouse, VT - VT Rep
Tom Charron, Central MA
Brett (dalai-lama)/Trudy, Western, Watertown, CT
Gene/Peggy, RI
Glenn (Hoss), Worcester Area MA
Thierry (Grd_Zero), Worcester Area MA
Kim (Heís New !), Cape Cod, MA
Weatherman's note: Posted on the New England Bulletin Board, Sunday, January 21st, 2001, 8:35 PM. 
A special thanks to Tangeman and Valkrocket. Last November, Tangeman suggested we get together for lunch during the winter. The manís got a heart as big as he is tall! And to our paisano Valkrocket, thanks for making the arrangements with the Mayflower Restaurant and sweating out the details on headcount and weather with the me.
The Chapters leaders got together after lunch to plan rides for this coming season. Watch the Board because itís gonna be awesome!

Friday, February 2, 2001
A small group got together at Senior Ponchos Restaurant in Southbury, CT for dinner, drinking and dallying. The Mexican flare got us merrymaking on Margaritas in short order. Guess who came . . .
Ron (IronHorseMan) and Cindy B,
Barry (The Boz) and Judy B,
Brett (the dalai-lama) and Trudy with son Steve,
Randy (Rabbai) and Chris G. 
CT Rep
A really great time was had by all. The roving Mariachi Band made for a great evening and only more VRCC'ers would have made it better.

   * * * *   Saturday February 24th, 2001   * * * *  
Report on The NYC Jacob Javits Center Motorcycle Show for 2001

Saturday, February 24th, 2001. MainMan (Maine State VRCC Rep) is up and out of his place in Brunswick, Maine about 03:45 hours. The evening before he had called me and asked what I was doing today and I twisted his arm into coming to Connecticut (a 4 Ĺ hour ride in itself) so we could go see the "Big Daddy" of Motorcycle Shows in the Big Apple (another 2 hour ride). Sure enough, 09:00 hours and Olaf drives in the driveway right on schedule (even after my giving him bad directions), with that ever pleasant smile we all know and love, and a fresh cup of coffee, off we go, Olaf, Chris (my wife) and I. Two hours later we pull into a parking lot across from the Jacob Javitts Center and I don the ever popular "horn hat" so a friend can spot us and give us our tickets that she stood in line for. With a twinkle in our eyes, smiles on our faces and money in our pockets, up the escalator we head, to the NYC Motorcycle Show for 2001 (the "BIG ONE, THE BIG DADDY OF THEM ALL). What a damn disaster . . . . . we should've stayed home and watched it on the tel-e-o, or gone to a movie. A good flogging would have been more fun. Keel hauling might have been worse, depending on the size of the vessel . . . . This show was terrible, miserable and I for one will never be stupid enough to do that again. You think Iím kidding, you think maybe my expectations were too high . . . . Youíre thinking maybe Iíve got it all wrong . . . Ask anyone you know who went, ask Olaf, this was terrible. So what was wrong youíre wondering, what was so terrible that the Rabbai will never do the NYC Motorcycle Show again. Planning and Consideration for both the consumer and the vendors. Floor layout and the "severe" lack of comfortable room. I am positive the NYC Fire Marshal could have written tickets every minute of the hour for the Fire Code Safety Occupancy Violations. Planning on the part of the Jacob Javitts Center and/or the Show Promoters showed an absolute lack of any concern for the comfort and safety of the visitor. Without exaggerations, we were shoulder to shoulder from start to finish. If you stopped anytime to see a vendor you were impeding the flow of traffic and were subject to being pushed, trampled and cursed. The floor plan went something like this . . . .

Take a big box, say 10 feet by 10 feet and in the center of that put another box 6 feet by 6 feet. now you have a corridor of 2 feet all around the inside box. Now give half that space (1 foot all around) to the small venders (ei: mom and pop small company trying to make a buck or two) and leave the center box for the big venders (ei: Honda, Suzuki, BMW, Kawasaki - you get the picture). Now fill the 10 by 10 box 15 feet high with people. All pushing and shoving and trying to go in different directions, all at the same time. It was a whore house on payday and the deal was two for one. The irony of it is the place has "LOTS MORE ROOM" if they decide to use it, but they didn't. Now, Iím not sure how this is going to effect the Promoters or the Jacob Javitts Center, but my opinion is, if you have anything else you could do . . . anything at all . . . The NYC Motorcycle show is not worth the time and expense of going. Buy the time you get into the City, by whatever means you choose, park and pay for parking your car, pay the "new" $12.00 entrance fee, get pushed around like cows, or sardines at best, grab a bite to eat, buy a few souvenirs, drive home again . . . folks, it just ainít worth it. See the pictures, check them out. And if you end up doing the NYC Motorcycle Show ever again . . . well, shame on you. Me, Iíll pass.

See the pictures at ....(http://community.webshots.com/album/10534507CuyfuSOWGM) ....


* * * *   Sunday March 25th, 2001   * * * * 
First Ride of the 2001 Season 

22 degrees outside and I left the house at 08:30 heading for Patty's Pantry. As I'm coming down the ramp at Exit 16 off I-84 West Bound, I see "the Boz" getting off on the East Bound side. He heads for the Mobile station and I head for my first cup of coffee. Richie and Robert Haxhi (brothers, as Patty's is "family" owned), make good coffee and excellent conversationalists. This weeks discussion turns to Mrs Richard Haxhi's being "in the family way", and how proud the expectant parents are. Five minutes later the Dalai shows up and most of the "regulars" are here. 09:00 and it's time to roll . . . . Marcus Dairy, here we come.
Boz takes the lead and with his new tires and trigger wheel he's showing off on his first real test. He pulls out with what I call, "gusto". Lily's not having a hard time keeping up and somewhere in the rearview mirrors the Dalai Lama is a spec barely
recognizable. Twenty five minutes later we're pulling into Marcus and this feels good. The crowd was small, maybe 50-100 bikers in all, but it's early in the riding season for the most part. A quick walk around to see the bikes and accessories and we're heading in for breakfast. Of course while eating, the Connecticut Yankee shows up and our table is complete. Don gives us a heads up on his tentative plans for this year, we share our thoughts for the upcoming Memorial Day ride to Washington D.C.. It's good to see old friends. After breakfast, we're outside kicking a few more tires, checking out the latest doodads and thingamajigs and getting ready to head home. It's still cold, but the Dalai and I head back to Watertown in what had to be the longest way I could think of. Maybe next week will be warmer, after all, it's Vermont on Sunday. I hope some of you can make it.....              Rabbai


* * * * *  Sunday April 1st, 2001  * * * * *

New England get-together in Saxtons River, Vermont, at

Averill's Restaurant

Those of you who didnít come made a mistake, they know how to throw a party !
Sticky buns and coffee almost as soon as we walked in the door, drinks, live entertainment (a Willie Nelson impersonator who would have made the master himself blush), and a buffet "all you can eat" that included, roast pork, turkey, pheasant, dressing, chicken lasagna, mash potatoes, gravy, salad, cranberry sauce and more sticky buns, all cooked to perfection for a $10.00 per person cover charge. You should have canceled your plans, rearranged your schedules and beaten a path to the back door of Bobalooís and Averill's restaurant in Vermont. We met Dino (New York VRCC Rep) and his lovely new bride Lolita, Dennis made the trip from the cape and brought Sally (his new bride) and we finally got to meet Karen, our only trike driver. All the regulars were there and no one walked away either hungry or regretting they came.
Paul (Tangeman) should have paid triple, it took a lot of food to fill that boy. Ed (Burnt Rubba) was seen searching the kitchen, he wanted gefilta fish. Don Chembars (V-Man) liked the sticky buns so much, he was caught wrapping up the leftovers for the trip home.
The day will long be remembered by those who made the trip.

Once again, Iíd like to thank you, Bob and Averill (and your crew) for hosting such a terrific get together. I personally look forward to the Fall Foliage Run, when we'll be passing by your place . . . . . again.         Rabbai


* * * * *  Sunday, April 15 th, 2001  * * * * *

Marcus Dairy's "Super Sunday"

Well the title just about covers it all. Sunday, certainly was SUPER .............

VRCC members from all over New England were there to catch the "deals" and the "rays". Yes, it was hot ! Connecticut set records for not only itís temperatures (92í an all time high for the day), but also itís humanity. The Humanitarian Award of the year (NE-VRCC Style, of course), goes out to the Connecticut Yankee, who after finding out about ValkRocket's electrical problems, loaded Ronís bike onto a trailer and drove Ron and TwoMaidens back to Plymouth, Mass. After a well deserved dinner the Connecticut Yankee headed home, not returning till 2:30 AM the next morning. Of course, had ValkRocket not been held back by that "RustBucket" he probably would not have developed the alternator problem to begin with. Way to go Don Hibbard !!!!! You sir, are the essence of what makes this New England Valkyrie Riders Cruisers group, the best there is.
I read in the Danbury news that they estimated between 10 and 12 thousand bikers made the trek to Marcus Dairyís Super Sunday, another record. I sure hope all of you get to experience the Super Sunday some time when your looking for something to do on a lazy Sunday morning.



* * * * *  Saturday April 28 th, 2001  * * * * *

Depot Honda - Rye, New Hampshire

Don "V-Man" Chembars posted on the NE Bulletin Board that there was going to be a few motorcycles at the open house at Depot Honda in Rye, New Hampshire. Little did that tidbit declare the storm of motorcycles that over took the place that day. You could tell by the hoard of bikes that motorcyclists were tired of the long cold winter and were not about to let an opportunity for a gathering pass them by. VRCC Members "guestamated" at about 40 - 50 showed up and just "covered" half of the parking lot. For the Dalai-Lama, the Boz, the Clue-Collector and I, it was a fantastic 2 Ĺ hour, 80 MPH ride up, to near the Portsmouth Circle and the same coming back. What a terrific way to "bring in the New Year". CJ (Dragon 1) showed off his latest chrome goodies, and new VRCC members were met and greeted, some for the first time. If V-Man post this for next year, I suggest you find the time .... itís a fun ride.



* * * * *  Sunday, May 6 th, 2001  * * * * *

Franklin Delano Roosevelt's
Hyde Park, New York

This was a very impromptu ride that showed up on the NE bulletin Board "all of a sudden". Chris (my Conscience) had been thinking about a ride over there for a year but never found the time. I called Dino (the VRCC Rep for NY) and asked what it was all about on Saturday, and that was all it took. 9:00 hours, Sunday, Barry, Judy (Mr & Mrs Boz) Chris and I were off to Hyde Park, NY. Where we met up with a small group of New York State VRCC'ers. Iíd mapped out a route that followed all back roads and with that we were off. About two hours and 80 miles later we were at the Diner "Eveready" in Hyde Park. Evereadyís is a fiftyís style dinner on Rt 9 just about Ĺ mile up the road from the entrance to FDRís Homestead. Itís got fantastic food, shakes and if you dare, try the "egg-creams", made the way we did in old Brooklyn the home of the official "Vanilla Egg-Cream". Hyde Park is a historians delight. Artifacts and FDRís way of life are well preserved and well presented. Go some day, enjoy the trip, enjoy the view of the Hudson River, enjoy Eveready's.


* * * * *  Saturday, May 6 th, 2001  * * * * *

New England 1000 
Iron Butt

copied from the New England Bulletin Board upon their return

Posted by MaineMan on Sun - May 20 - 10:19am:

We made it back in one piece, but are pretty beat (at least I am!) V-Man, Clue Collector, Spiderman (formerly Craigster), Tangeman, Dalai Lama, TC, and myself. Clue Collector's Dad rode up with him on his Harley to help send us off. Really cool dude, hope he rides with us sometime.

We met at the hotel in Augusta at about 1430, had dinner and then went out to get ourselves registered for the IB. got to bed around 10pm. Wake up call was 0130. Tried to sleep, couldn't!
V-man and I got about one hour before the hotel room phone rang. Weather forecasts said intermittent showers moving in from Ohio, should be clear by morning, inland should be "WONDERFUL." Hooray!!! We left before 0200 had to go to the IB officials house about 8 miles from where we were to get checked out. No rain, we left Augusta close to 3am. We hit Bangor, got fuel and headed out RT 2, a dark and windy two lane road, famous for its selection and abundance, in wildlife. Not 5 minutes on RT 2, it started to rain and fog up wicked. Our glasses and goggles were useless. It poured and poured! You didn't need to drink, just had to open your mouth. It did this for seven friggin' hours! We were soaked and frozen. The battery in my cell phone got wet and shorted out, despite my thick cordura/kevlar jacket. By the time we got to (near) Montpelier, VT, the rain had stopped for the most part. We stopped at a local laundry mat and I tumble dried every stitch of clothes I had including my boots. It was a much needed break. We took off again. Just when we thought the weather would hold, those mountainous valleys seemingly held the storm clouds dumped on us some more till we got to Burlington, VT. Man, what a ride! Over 300 miles in six or so, very wet (and cold), hours. Despite all of the nasty weather we averaged about 50 mph. In Burlington VT we picked up I-89 to I-91 and rode down to New Haven CT. The weather was beautiful, but hot and we ran 80-85 mph. We were doing 75mph right thru the middle of New Haven just keeping up with traffic! From New Haven, we picked up I-95 and went up to Providence RI, down 195 to Falls River and New Bedford, came back up 495 to 24 North bypassing Boston, and headed up I-95 towards Maine. Once we hit RI, the weather started getting really nippy, but was clear. By the time we hit the Maine line, our teeth were practically chattering. We ran up 95 about 75 mph and finally hit dense fog (in places) as we neared Augusta. TC and Brett said they couldn't even see thru their windshields. It was coooold! We checked in and got our beautiful IB plaques. I said my goodbyes to my old friends and new friends and we all headed back to the hotel. I peeled off at I-95 and headed back to Brunswick for another cold 40 miles. All I could think about was my luxurious bed and warm down comforter. On the highway, I turned on my high beams (looking for deer and moose) only to have darkness. My right spotlight also had burned out. I just slowed down a bit for safety, but it was surely crisp outside. The last four miles, I really had to concentrate on keeping myself upright, I felt like I was drunk. Got to bed at 0230 and woke up at 0900 because the phone rang. Now I'm off to get Runaway and meet up with V-Man, Tangeman and TC. We are going to V-Man's for a bit. That's the saga. I'm sure the others will color in some of the blank spots. I was a great trip because it shows you what you can do. It also confirmed, once again, what a great , reliable, performance machine we ride.

Posted by Craigster on Sun - May 20 - 2:55pm:

In Reply to: Iron Butters (Long) posted by MaineMan on Sun - May 20 - 10:19am:

Oh, oh, I think this this Spiderman handle is gonna stick!!
Great story MM, all I can say it was great to meet you guys, and I had a great time with great people. Man what a ride.
Look forward to some of the more social events, we sure don't get to talk much on a 1000 miler!
Some impressions....
Man you guys can all ride! I gotta tip my hat to ClueCollector, any guy that can ride a naked bike that far in that weather deserves respect. Great ride Joe... and that's after he did a dry run on the route a few weeks ago! Insane! I was inspired to see that.
The guys on the run know I was hurting bad the last 100 or so miles.
I just hit the wall with fatigue, and was trying to do anything to find a way to stay alert. I really appreciated everyone giving me some extra time to get my head together.
Everyone just wanted to get it over with, and I was holding things up. Sorry about that again everyone.

That Rt 2 is one of the best bike roads around, even in the rain. Especially from Gorham into Vermont. Awesome scenery. And the twisties are great too.

I feel bad for anyone that has to drive Rt 91 in New Haven everyday. I almost got offed by a couple of SUV's that decided they needed the space I occupied on the ramp to 95. I believe they felt that there was 2 feet of space between me and the concrete wall, and that should be enough. It's one thing to have that happen by accident, but it's another when the look at you while they run you off the road. I damn near bought it!

The last 100 miles up 95 was as intense a ride as I can remember. We were hauling ass, with the halogen lights on, doing 75-80 at midnight and looking for deer, knowing we had to make time, and everyone had been awake for almost 24 hours. Seven guys bearing down hard on a goal that was so close to being done....I did see a deer near the road too near Augusta.. could a been a hallucination, but I don't think so! I will remember that part of the trip for a long time.

All the bikes ran great... we do ride a great machine, don't we?

Dalai, Tangeman, Maineman, V-man, ClueCollector, TC... thanks for having me.. It was fun! You guys are really great.

Craigster.. (or is it Spiderman.. jeez do I hope someone already has that handle.)

Posted by dalai-lama on Sun - May 20 - 8:40pm:
Just got home about an hour ago after stopping by and seeing the Rabbai (TC I dropped your riser clamp off with him).
What a couple of days. A little over 1700 miles in three days and only my mind and my eyes are tired. Not my butt!!!I want to thank all of you guys for sharing the ride with me. I especially want to thank Tangeman for setting this up. Maineman for leading us as much as he did though some pretty hairy riding and TC as well for later in the day. V-Man for keep track of us stragglers and making sure that we all were okay as well as Kim for you guys hospitality today. The ClueCollector as an inspiration and showing that it really can be done, not once but twice!!!
You guys are great. One final note for Tangeman. Ya had to go and play with that guy on the Harley didn't ya? You big juvenile :):):)

The dalai

Posted by TC on Sun - May 20 - 8:21pm:
Thanks guy's... I had a great time!!!
Tangeman and I (Dalai Lama and Clue Collector in tow) Blew off a Hardley around North Andover, MA.... we chewed him up... and spit him out... like he was on a moped!! He had to be shocked!!
The Iron Butt was all I expected and "MORE".. the weather sucked the first 300 miles or so.... But with the determination from all of the Crew... we made it...
I will post more tomorrow night... When I am all rested...I am beat!!
I did 1645 miles since Friday.. The guys south of me did more... What a weekend !!!!
Thanks to all the guy's that were there... It helped me accomplish a very important goal !!! I will say again that I am very proud to be a part of the VRCC New England Chapter .. I also want to thank "DC" again for hooking me up with you all...He was with "us" on this one for sure...
Thanks again all... I'll post more tomorrow. I'm going to take a shower and "crash"


* * * * *  June 11th thru June 23rd, 2001  * * * * *

Florida Ride Report

All in all Olaf and I had a great time. Leaving Monday June 11th, Olaf met me in the service area on 95 south bound between exits 22 and 21 at 9:45 ish. The original plan called for 09:00 but traffic and the weather was something we were to be plagued with the whole trip.

Our first day had us sightseeing Perth Amboy, lunching at the famous "Coney Island Hot Dog Palace and continuing onto the DC area where we spent our first night, lounging in the hot tub and swimming in the pool. Olaf had put on over 600 miles today and this was a welcomed stop.

Our next day had us barreling down the pavement towards Florence, South Carolina where we spent our second night. The Motel 6 was comfortable and affordable. Like as tired as we were we would have really noticed anything different. After a quick dip in the pool and dinner, it was beddy-bye time and nobody argued.

The next day we were up and out early enough to get to Savannah, Georgia by noon ish and this was after already "touring" Hilton Head, South Carolina. As soon as Olaf heard that Iíd never been there before, he turned into "instant" tour guide. We had a brief stop, seeing the local sights, drinking establishments included, and a quick "walk through the Olde Town section".

Next stop ... St Augustine.

We pulled in early enough to unpack, hop back on our Valkyries and go running through the "tourist sections" of St Augustine. We slept good that night as I recall. We have now traveled farther away from home on a motorcycle, than I had ever been and this was turning out to be a fantastic adventure.

I gotta say, somewhere between Florence and St Augustine, we ran into the remnants of hurricane Allison. To this point, I had never driven in such downpours in any of my motorcycling life. It poured, and it poured and after it stopped ... it started again. This was to be the curse of our trip for the next ten days.

Miami turned out to be the next stop, I didnít know Florida was "that" long. After a full day of riding we entered the town that was to be our home for the next four nights. I have always been one "up for a challenge", so when Olaf offered dinner in a "Cuban" restaurant, I swallowed, bit my tongue and said ... SURE ...
What I was introduced to, was to awaken culinary taste buds I didnít know I had. Guys and gals, I gotta tell you, if you ever have the opportunity to do "Cuban" and you turn it down, youíve done yourself a tremendous injustice. What the Latin community does to food is like comparing the fireworks of this countries 200 birthday in New York City to ... 
just lighting a candle.

And donít miss the coffee. REPEAT ... donít miss the coffee.

The next couple of days found us wondering around, sometimes by ourselves and sometimes together. I looked up some of my old family homesteads, saw one of my old schools, walked Miami Beach and got the oil changed in Lily. Saturday we did Key West. For me, this was the whole reason for this trip. To ride Lily down US 1 to the end of the Keys. To bask in the sunshine of my old Florida, maybe even to grab a quick drink at Hemingwayís hangout "Sloppy Joeís". Enjoy some "real" Key Lime pie, and get a picture of me and Lily at the "Southern most tip" of the contiguous United States. Well, I did it all. Once again I got "feeling good" at Sloppy Joeís, got my pictures, grabbed some souvenirs for family and friends, walked Duval Street, felt real good, acted like a jerk. But, like the man said, "it doesnít really matter, Ďcause you ainít never gonna see any of these people again". God bless philosophers and bar room singers, sometimes they really do know what theyíre talking about ... Did I mention I lost the keys to Lily ?? Yea, somewhere in Key West, is Lilyís keys. Thank God for "the hidden key". It would have been a long walk home without it.

Next we were off to Gainesville where we were to spend the next two nights. Olaf thought long and hard on this, the decision was, Alligator Alley (Rt 75) or the Tamiami Trail (Rt 41) ?? As luck would have it he chose the Tamiami Trail, where I picked up lots more pictures, and an Alligators Claw (he doesnít need it any more), and ran into my first "State Prisoners Working" road gang of the ride. This is a wonderful concept we should learn from. It gets them out of their cells doing something constructive, it helps offset the cost of their incarceration and makes "jail" a place you donít want to go to, something we here in New England fail to communicate.

Once we got back into civilization, my first order was a Honda shop where I could get another "set" of keys made for Lily. Paranoia had set in and being with only one key made me very uncomfortable. Next we were back on Rt 75 heading for Gainesville. Earlier in this story I told you about riding in the remnants of hurricane Allison, well this was to be the initiation, the test run, the ..... walk in the park if you will. What we ran into riding up 75 just out of Fort Meyers all the way to Gainesville was pure hell (or more rightfully put ... high water). Rain coming in torrents, so hard .. so long .. that seeing beyond our windshields was an impossibility. Lightening, so fierce .. so often .. that the hair on your arm stood on end. Hail, so intense that it was the "final straw" and we pulled over. We tried hard that day to make time speeding out from cover at every opportunity, running from overpass to overpass, only to be beat back again by nature and her elements. This was the most fierce storm I had ever witnessed, and I was riding a motorcycle right through the heart of it daring mother nature to "zap" me. We were foolish, we deserved to be hit. we should have stayed put, but we covered ground. What should have been a leisurely four hour run turned into eight hours and when we hit Gainesville, we were drenched, everything we owned was drenched, but our Valkyries kept running throughout all of it.

The next day Olaf looked up some old friends in Gainesville and I headed across the state for another trip back to St Augustine. I had some unfinished business there and this was the perfect opportunity to collect some information. I had always been told that my maternal grandfather was the Sheriff of St Johns County (St Augustineís area) for the better part of 25 years. Well as it turns out, my memory or the tales I was told were embellished. Grandpa Fischer was only a Deputy Sheriff, but for the better part of twenty five years. Grandpa Fischer was the last deputy to incarcerate anyone into the "Olde Jail" and none of the paperwork was not to be found because the "new owners" failed to see the importance of that and now they only showcase the present Sheriff and some of his accomplishments as well as some of the history of the "Olde Jail". St Augustine has turned out to be, "Tourist Town, U.S.A.". For those of you lucky enough to know the area from years before will do well to keep those thoughts sacred and never return. Youíll find a city you donít know anymore and probably wouldnít appreciate.

Saying good-bye to Gainesville was tough for Olaf. Good friends rarely leave each others company without a certain amount of anxiety of when the next "get-together" will be, or how they will fair till then. But we were off to Knoxville and the Honda Hoot.

Running as far and as fast as we could, got us to Sweetwater, Tennessee, forty miles south of Knoxville. Did I mention the rain ?? Yea, it rained again today. To date it has rained every day but two along this trip. We are well experienced and accomplished in riding in the rain. Too well. Olaf broke down and let me eat in one of my favorite "fast food" restaurants, "Long John Silvers". It just so happened that this particular one had to share the building with an A&W Root Beer joint and he ate hot dogs while I gorged myself on fish and chips the way I like them best, "Long John Silvers" style.

Early the next morning we were off ... to the much talked about ... much hyped and anxiously anticipated "HONDA HOOT" in Knoxville, Tennessee. We could hardly wait. Here I was going to have new tires put on Lily, Iíve got 15,000 miles on my Metzlers and theyíre tired. Here we bumped into Chris (again) of the VRCC Store fame. We had met him a few weeks earlier in Lake George, New York at Americade, and ran into him again when we stopped at the store/warehouse in Miami and now again in Knoxville. We were putting on the same miles he was, but he used an airplane, we used our Valkyries, who do you think was having more fun ??

Well, back to "THE HOOT". After we had paid our $12.50 entry fee, been stamped and walked a half mile to get to the vendors area, the shock set in, not slowly mind you, it was more like that cold slap of reality you felt as a kid when your mom caught you with your hand in the proverbial cookie jar. Here we were, rode all the way up from Florida, actually planned our trip to have it coincide with "THE HOOT". Folks, it ainít worth it. The Hoot turned out to be a dud. If youíve ever been to Marcus Dairy on one of the "Super Sundays", or gone to a motorcycle show in Boston, youíve seen better than the Hoot. My advice is .... donít give a hoot for the hoot. There was no Avon Tire company selling tires. Also, there were no tire companies doing tire sales or changing. There were lots of little "trinket dealers" much like you would find in a "Swap Show" or "Bikers Week" in Torrington, CT twice a year. Honda wasnít admitting to knowing anything about the "new 2002 Valkyries" as we had been told they would. Full dress riding gear was required by all the manufacturers for Demo rides with the exception of Victory Bikes. Guys, understand something, it was 95 degrees and the humidity was thru the roof, the sun was shining for the first time in days and everyone was feeling the heat. Three hours later, Olaf and I were on our way out of Knoxville (and that was after breakfast at the local Shoneys), and we were headed for the DC area. After one wild and crazy run, from Knoxville, to the junction of the 495 Belt Way and Route 66, late that evening, Olaf and I said our good-byes. After twelve days and over four thousand miles, Olaf was loosing his wing man. I felt sad at saying good-bye, we had had a great ride together. In the next few days, my presence would be forgotten as he hooked up with Sherry, Don and Kim in the Pocono's.

As I sit here at home, Chris near by, familiar CDís playing in the back ground, listening to Chris puttering about, finishing her spring cleaning, itís good to be home. The familiar sounds, smells, the grand kids, who were over for breakfast today.

Iíve had the unique opportunity to look into a few more lives these past two weeks and that helps me to appreciate even more what I have. Iím very satisfied with my life and most of the things Iíve done with it.

Thank you Olaf, for your offer ... and your friendship.

Thank you Chris, for your love.


* * * * *  July 21st, 2001  * * * * *

Connecticut's Mystic / Abbotts Ride 

My personal thanks to those of you who made the trip. I truly was pleased by the turnout. I know some of you got up "early in the morning" for your ride to Connecticut. I trust you were as pleased with how the day went as I was.
Joining us from Connecticut were;
Joe (the ClueCollector) & Cathy - A Valkyrie Rider
Dana - riding her Shadow
Michelle - riding her Ninja
Larry Crooker & the Mrs - A Valkyrie Rider
John Mahoney - A Valkyrie Rider
Barry (the Boz) - A Valkyrie Rider
Bill (Buffalo Bill) Morrell - A Valkyrie Rider
Brett (the Dalai) and son Steve - Valkyrie Riders
My wife Chris and I - Valkyrie Riders
and from the Great State of Massachusetts (a Territorial of Maine ??)
Paul (Tangeman) Sullivan - A Valkyrie Rider
Ed - A Valkyrie Rider, and a beauty too !!
Tom - Valkyrie Rider

and a special thanks to Martin (ValkMaster) who joined us at Patty's Pantry for breakfast on his way to .... In-Zane.

We had a delightful trip out to Mystic via all sorts of back roads (and one bad move on my part which led us into a "dead end - with a view") touring a lot of Connecticut's coast line and ocean views. Abbott's turn out (once again) to be a big hit and the ride home was fantastic. Thanks to Buffalo Bill for sharing his knowledge of the local area and leading us down that terrific Route 217. It's five miles of pure ... I want to do that again, but faster ! ! ! 
Thanks too, to Clue Collector for leading us to a great spot (one of his afternoon favorites), Harry's in Colchester, for "more" ice cream and refreshments on the trip home. To those of you here in Connecticut who didn't make the trip, if you had the day off and chose not to come, you blew it. I believe everyone had a great time. 

Thanks Again,

Randy "Rabbai" G and the Mrs.


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