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.