Asheville, NC, June 21- 25th, 2000 - CONTINUED

It stopped raining (just a drizzle) and we off loaded his IS and started getting things ready for the ride out. At my shop, we had access to pop, juice and restrooms before we hit the road. Another of the things to do before we left was to get Jim's Chatterbox hooked up (a quick & simple task), however, this was not to be. No Jim didn't forget it or any part of it, but he couldn't get it to fire up! I had the CB, it worked, and I could also listen to CD music or FM/AM radio, but, no bike to bike communications as we had hoped. I had a walkman I thought to myself, that would've saved me $180!!! Oh well, it would be a quiet ride down, hand/turn signals and head turns to communicate (we all know about that!). After a few more attempts to rectify the problem, we decided to push off and fix it later at Asheville.

The road was almost dry and we watched the heavy clouds as we headed south east out of Mitchell, IN. We all know about the limited range of the Valk, but my Standard doesn't have the range of Jim's new IS. Jim has only had his bike a few months, and I was on my second year and 12,000 miles on the clock. I know when it's time to stop (I don't like to hit reserve if possible, it's too limited to take a chance and have to push!).

At one stop in Kentucky, Jim pulled off first (a little early), I could've made another 20-30 miles, and as we pulled under the station canopy, the rain came down. Slowly at first, we filled our tanks, went inside to pay, and when we came out, it was pouring so hard, we couldn't see the interstate! Jim started to suit up his rain gear, and I asked why, he pointed to the clouds and frowned. I said "Don't worry, it'll be fine when we're ready to leave". I decided it was a good time to hit the restroom, and grab a coke and a smile, and when I came out (2 minutes later) the rain stopped and the sun was shining!!!

Jim was incredulous! I told him the Magic Rain Suit did the job as it was supposed to. From then on down, we had no trouble with rain. It was all around us, but never slowed us at all. A few times we got the visors/windshields wet, but the roads were dry and safe, so we kept going. Upon arriving at Asheville, we went directly to the Hotel first to get checked in. This was a new place on the south west side of town, just off Hwy 26 and 10 minutes or so from the Civic Center and the Hoot Central. As I said, this place was new, so new, the asphalt was still very soft. While we talked about what to haul in, our kickstands were sinking into the fresh stuff, about 2" in 2 minutes!

We scavenged for anything to put under the kickstands to keep our bikes up. Found mulch chips did the trick until that night, when Jim bought kickstand plates at the show. At the Civic Center downtown, we checked in. Jim had pre-registered, I didn't get it done early, so I registered there (no big deal, just cost a little more than a pre-registration). Then we excitedly headed down to the show floor. First thing we looked for was the VRCC booth, and low and behold, there it was, he was and they were!!! (The LaMonster Valk; Lamont himself, and Chris (Hal's son) and his lovely wife Melissa of the VRCC store).

I had met Lamont and his Black/Yellow at Montrose last summer, and in fact, had helped Lamont with the Kury Akyn ergo pegs that I had recently installed on my bike. That's one of the neat things about our group. The willingness to help and be helped by others. Lamont was surrounded most of the time by adoring fans, well, maybe it was the bike, boy was it different than last year. I should dig up a photo from last year to show the difference!!! Lamont and I had a brief talk, I also meet Dragbars Christian and several other VRCC brethren at the booth.

Lamont was giving out VRCC CD's with a VRCC screen saver and other information about the VRCC and all we have to offer. I doubt any Valk rider could pass up joining our club after seeing the advantages our free membership has to offer. I got a chance to take photos of Lamont on LaMonster, me on the LaMonster bike (see above), and Jim on the LaMonster! We even have Lamont with a special message to the Hoosier Valkyrie club. What a great time at the vendor show!

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