Been a little over a month…

It’s been over a month since I’ve posted any ride reports here. In the past, I’ve used the Trip Journal app on my iPhone, and it’s done a great job documenting the roads that have been ridden. I’ve had some problems with the app lately (nothing against the app, just the way I’m trying to custom use it), and working with the developers to get a fix in place before I use it again.

So, over the past month, have done a lot of riding. Another trip back into Kentucky for an overnight ride with a bunch of friends. Done several trips to the southern part of Indiana, where there exists more curves and hills than the flat corn fields around where I live. We participated in a couple of good cause rides, including:

1. Russ Dellen Memorial Loop. This used to be the Loop for Life, but has been renamed this past year. They shut down I-465 around Indianapolis in one direction, block all on-ramps, and provide a very large police escort. Over the last few years, it had really grown with participation with thousands of bikes participating. This year, I think the name change turned some people off, and the participation was much, much lower…probably around 800-1,000 bikes give or take. It seems that they changed a number of things as well. For the first year, we and some of our fellow riders weren’t sure who the charities benefiting from the ride would be, the band playing with too loud of levels blasting away even the most faithful listeners (even though the quality of their tone seemed to be very nice), a vendor midway that wasn’t all that impressive, and a bike show with not many bikes in it.

From my understanding, the Dellen Automotive Group (one of the biggest sponsors, and whose family has participated in the Loop for Life forever) had a disagreement with the original organizers of the Loop for Life, and they decided to split ways.  At least that’s the way we heard it from quite a few others seemingly more in the know than we were.  Russ Dellen passed away in 2008, and after the split recently, the event was renamed.  Unfortunately, all of the advertising seen and heard leading up to the event really stressed the personal name, and this may have turned a lot of people off when the original loop wasn’t named for or associated with one person or family.  The modified event still benefits local charities such as Special Olympics, but for the first time, the charities didn’t seem to as prominently featured.

We went with the local HOG chapter, even volunteered at the event this year. It was fun working with our riding friends, and hanging out with them. However, not sure if we’ll do it again next year. Cost was over $70 for riding, and even though it went to charity, it just felt different this year and not quite worth the experience. In the past, the on-ramps and overpasses around the interstate used to be packed with people waving and cheering…this year, there was very little community involvement during the ride itself, and the majority of overpasses were either empty or with just a small solitary group.  Also, in the past, my fellow workers at my job always knew all about the ride before it happened.  This year, not a single one was aware it was getting ready to happen the day before.  Somehow the message either didn’t get heard very well, or people for some reason just didn’t want to pay attention to it.

Mind you, we do charity events a lot, donating money and time…never complained about either, and the accomplishment has always been felt. This ride, the change to the atmosphere was noticeable by the reduced amount of attendees, and the comments heard from others seemed to confirm our feelings.

2. Boone County Humane Society ride. The county needs a shelter..and has been raising money to put up and maintain a facility instead of fostering all the received animals with willing people in their own homes. This ride was actually this past weekend. Probably around 50 bikes joined….good ride, same great friends, and some good food on the back of the ride. Susan put together a wonderful event, it had a lot of sponsors, and it was a good cause. We’ll be doing this one again next year.

Getting a lot of “for the heck of it” rides now. Getting later in the riding season, and only have another cool two months left at the most to get enough riding in to carry me through the snowy, cold, winter months ahead. Been checking out some neat places to eat, and riding with friends around some of the somewhat curvy roads in the area. It’s more about spending time with friends then anything else…it works out well…ride for an hour in wonderful solitude with the wind through the hair, and then stop and chat for a while with others riding along.

I’ll try to throw up some dedicated ride info on the last few bigger rides for the season on here. The current plan is to head to Wabash, IN this coming Saturday with a few friends, to crash a dealer-sponsored hog roast. The last weekend in Sept is a overnight ride through Illinois, back to Evansville for the night, and then a tour of the western part of the Ohio River Scenic by-pass before stopping for lunch and coming back home. Looking forward to that ride, as it will allow me to complete my Indiana Harley shot glass collection with a stop over at the Evansville Harley dealer.

News for next year already: Already making very initial, very tentative plans of where to go on the Ultra Classic. Wife couldn’t make this year’s Blue Ridge Parkway ride, but after hearing my stories (and reading them here on this blog), she would like to go down there for a week or so next year and see some of the asphalt curves and beautiful scenery in person. With over 6 weeks vacation time with my job, I’m seriously considering doing a solo ride out to Colorado, up to the Badlands, or even try the Alaska trip next year. Not getting any younger…and all 3 locations are on the bucket list to complete. So, stay tuned here…I’ll probably put up some thoughts in the next month or so as I try to narrow down my choice.