June, 2005

June 4, 2005

With chapter members going a variety of different directions during any given weekend of the summer, a small group from our CMA chapter went to the Fort Dodge Old Soldiers Home near Dodge City today.  This is one of two State-run facilities for veterans in Kansas, and we wanted to help meet needs some of the residents have for things like shampoo, soap, some clothing items, and so on.  Since the BugWing is awaiting a new aluminum radiator and a new fan, I pulled the trusty old 1981 BMW R100 out of the garage.  It has taken me a lot of miles since I got it, and I knew it was ready for some more.  It hasn't seen much action since the BugWing hit the road.

We met at our usual place, but I inadvertently caused the group to be late leaving town.  One of the guys in our chapter is also a city police officer who can be seen driving up the street in the photo posted above, and, after he finished a call in the neighborhood, he came by and stopped at the end of the driveway.  I had been keeping an eye on my watch as I prepared to leave, but, while I was talking to him, I noticed his watch had the wrong time in comparison to mine.  He was way ahead of me, and his said 10:10 am.  As we talked and I tried to convince him he was on eastern time it became clear to me my watch was the one with the problem.  I was supposed to meet the group at 10:00.

I did some scrambling to get finished with my preparation and caught up with the group who had been informed by him what was taking place with me, and we left.  The ride was uneventful, until we were about 20 miles from our destination.  All of a sudden I heard a loud backfire, and I heard that two bikes back from where it happened.  I saw Doug going for his reserve fuel, but the sputtering continued until he had to stop.  Attempts to get it going weren't successful while we were along the highway (apparently watching Mike J. fill his coffee cup here), so another Mike B. called his daughters who brought a pickup and hauled it home for Doug.

After the bike was loaded we continued to the Fort Dodge Old Soldiers Home, and, since we were running much later than what my watch caused initially, we went straight to the Old Soldiers Home, instead of going to eat as we had planned.  After we got parked we got to meet a number of the residents that afternoon, and got to talk to some of the staff, as well.  They had iced tea and cookies waiting for us, and, after spending a couple of hours there and doing some photos, we got ready to leave. I wanted one more photo of the R100 with the fairing on it since I've had plans floating around in my head for it to be transformed somewhat by removing the fairing and back rest, and putting the European handlebars back on it, before doing even more than that.  Stay tuned for that.......

When we left the Old Soldiers Home we headed for the truck stop restaurant in Dodge City where I had the biggest "half" chef salad I've ever seen, and some others had some pretty big portions of whatever it was they ordered, too.  Truckers must eat big meals.  Following the meal, we all headed east, until people in the group had to start splitting off to head to their respective homes.  It felt pretty good to get back on the bike, but the fork seals need to be replaced.