South Haven Ride, July 23rd...a big success!
Written by Scott E. Townsend
Our first effort to get some in the South Bend/Elkhart/Goshen area together was an embryonic experience to say the least. We met at Fazzoli's in Elkhart on May 23rd and had a very positive experience! Four Valks were represented at that meeting ... so, our next goal was to sponsor a ride and get 12 Valks to attend. Little did we know what was in store for us!
It must have been something in the water, or better put the gasoline, or just that a lot of us in this area have never really experienced riding in a larger group of like-minded Valkyrie owners. Monte Holmes and I wanted to make the trip up into South Haven because it is such a beautiful area to visit, and Gary and Joyce Freeman suggested the MI 40/43 route. So we took a trial run of the trip the Saturday prior to the actual trip so that we could publish a fairly good synopsis on the website for others to see. We ate lunch at more than one (he, he) of the food vendors at the Venetian Festival is full swing during our arrival. Here's a shot of Monte in St. Joeseph on our trial run.
The Big Day Arrives! At roughly noon, Monte rolls into my driveway, and shortly afterwards, we head to the Krogers parking lot. Little did we realize that the entire city of Goshen (it sure appeared that way) was in the parking lot where we were supposed to meet getting ready for the Elkhart County 4-H fair parade! There were tractors everywhere, and very difficult to get everyone together. We waited patiently there, and since visibility was so poor, Monte volunteered to cruise around hoping to find people. I'm on the corner trying to wave down every Valk I can see cruising on the main intersection.
Returning very excitedly just a few minutes later, Monte gestures that he's found "a pocket" of Valks at another location in the huge parking lot. So, I fire up the bike, and low and behold, there are fully nine Valks in the parking lot including mine. I just couldn't believe that we had so many from our area there! To say that I was more than a little pumped would be a huge understatement. Everyone seemed to genuinely mesh together just fine, people were talking about themselves, their bikes, accessories, and all the normal stuff. We had a blast just getting to know eachother in the parking lot, and the ride had not even got started yet!
Michigan Valks make the difference! The surprise of the event was the surprising enthusiasm from the Michigan Valk group that unselfishly joined in the fun. They put our goals way over the top. I need to credit Richard's leadership in posting the invitation on behalf of the Hoosier groupon this own web site. Thank you Richard!