Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sturgis - Here We Come USCA Rally JUne 25-26-27

What a great week for riding this has been.
We started on Saturday June 20 with Helena's Last Chance Riders group picking up beer cans along the Wolf Creek Canyon  Recreation road on the south end of the canyon.
Breakfast at Frenchies was great and it was a perfect day for riding.
A quick ride to Three Forks for lunch at Wheat Montana Farms made a nice mid week diversion.
The big day was Wednesday when Bill Ryder brought the Honda back from the shop and announced:  "You are now a DARKSIDER."

I have been wearing out rear tires with amazing regularity and have long talked about installing an automobile tire on the rear wheel. Bill made sure it could happen and the flat tread actually seems to make the rig even more stable.
I am looking for far more than the 5 or 6 thousand mile life I have been getting on standard motorcycle tires.

 The DarkSide Tire!

I tried it out with a quick ride to Butte on Saturday.

 Great ride with little traffic and plenty of wind in the canyons.

The big test comes Tuesday morning this week as I head off to Sturgis, SD for the United Sidecar Association annual rally.
First stop Tuesday morning will be to join Al Olme and several other Sidcarists from the Twin Cities for a ride over the Beartooth Highway to the Top Of The World Store.
We'll stop for the night in Red Lodge, head out Wednesday for Sheridan, WY and then to Sturgis on Thursday.
This should be a great rally of sidecar riders from all over the United States.
There will be lots of tire kicking and story telling so it should be a great week.
To top it off the Black Hills Bluegrass Festival is taking place at the same time in the same Elk Grove camp grounds. Bluegrass and sidecars!
Can it possibly get better than that?

Following the rally I will head off to Dawson, MN to visit Pastor Al and his family, then off to Minneapolis to visit twin brother Dean and his wife Bev as well as little sister Vivian and her husband Dave.
Following a short visit there I will be heading for Helena and home.
I will be riding A SaddleSore 1000-1 Iron Butt Association ride from Monticello, MN to Helena, MT, a distance of 1,044 miles in 24 hours or less.
Should be a great ride, enhanced by having the darksider car tire on the rear wheel.

It was also a big Media week at our house with Andy Curtis from Ch 12 TV coming out to do a story about the old guy who rides motorcycles. Andy did a great story for the 6 & 10 PM News, and seemed to have a lot of fun doing it. This was his first ride in a sidecar and he had a good ride out I-15 to Montana City and back.
You can watch his News Story here:
Ch 12 TV Story

Marga Lincoln a reporter with the Independent Record in Helena did a great story in the paper on Sunday, Fathers Day, which made all the kids and Grandkids happy.
You can read her story here: Helena Independent Record Story

This has been a good week and I am looking forward to a fantastic ride on the Beartooth Highway and a big week at Sturgis. We'll update RLA so you can join in the fun.
Watch for me, I'll be in the Right Lane America.

Del "Lonnie" Lonnquist

Monday, June 8, 2015

What a Weekend Ride It Was

The Last Chance Motorcyclist Club in Helena, Montana had scheduled a short Saturday morning ride into Wolf Creek Canyon to visit the Vintage Motorcycle club of Great Falls, MT.
Old Harlys and Indians plus many other old bikes would be there.

We headed out Jon Chacopulos, on his new Royal Enfield, Charlie Dickert, astride a Suzki V-Strom,  Jimmy Wallenberg kick starting his 1973 Triumph Bonneville and I on the Honda VTX 1300 with sidecar.
It was a great ride north on I-15 to Wolf Creek where we soon discovered the planned breakfast stop at the Oasis was no longer possible since they had closed their doors.
A quick run to the other side of the highway brought us to Frenchies where a great breakfast sandwich was on the menu.

Still no sign of the vintage bikes from Great Falls so Charlie said, I'm going up the road a piece to find them.
Sounded like fun to me so I followed him out the door.
I soon found out that Charlie rides his age, and a little more.
(He is 76 years old)
22 miles up I-15 and I had managed to stay close behind him on his V-Strom.
When we arrived at the location where they were supposed to be, we were the only bikers there.
Charlie said, "They must have run on down to Wolf Creek and we missed them."
Away we went to Wolf Creek.
22 miles later we found several other Last Chance riders at Wolf Creek, but no vintage bikes.
Charlie decided he would go for a ride on the way back to Helena, so of course I followed.
46 twisting, winding miles later we found Highway 200 and rode into Lincoln.
The Pit Stop Restaurant is a for sure biker stop and I have to say they make a great cheese burger and fries.
I'm sure Dr. Paustion, the Cardiologist would approve this great meal.
Leaving Lincoln, Charlie headed for Helmville where he said there was a great winding road that would take us over to Drummond.
Sounded good to me and we did make some good time winding through those hills.
Drummond was a good gas stop and Charlie said he knew how to navigate the frontage roads so we could avoid those darn Interstate highways on the way home to Helena.
He was right, they were good and not as much traffic either.
We ended up on Highway 12 at Garrison and headed for Helena, without stopping at the BarSL ranch. We passed rather quickly.
In Helena I couldn't go home until I saw the Corvette he keeps under cover in that oversize garage.
Checking the mileage as I pulled into my garage, I found that we had covered 253 miles of the spectacular backroads of Montana.
With temps in the upper 70's it was a perfect weekend ride.
Oh, I know we missed out on seeing those vintage bikes, but as you all know the only thing better than looking at a bike is to be in the saddle and riding one.
Great ride Charlie.
Thanks for introducing me to some backroads I had no idea were there.

Watch for me, I'll be in the Right Lane America

Del "Lonnie" Lonnquist