This could have been a really short posting but if I tell you I had a good time that is a short story. If I tell you I had an awesome experience taking pictures that is a long story. If I tell you about June 10th then the story is more in keeping with the length of my Doctoral Dissertation in 2001.
Thus you decide!
Short story, being a vendor and not a member participant meant no tours in the mountains, no noon dinners, no networking after the day of riding was done. All of that was supposed to happen following the event. I did enjoy the vendor experience, Meeting many of the attendees and hearing about their ride to the event was a thrill Sharing photographic experiences with the members as well as some of my art certainly did add to the experience each day. I did sell some art while I was there but the stay started late and was not long enough. More on that…
The longer story… There were about 350 bikes at the conference and rally this year. I think I got a picture of nearly each one of the bikes. There may not be an individual portrait of each bike in the collection but many are seen there. I did focus on a few bikes because the graphics, the chrome, the side car, or the color caught my eye. There were several that were more interesting than others. For instance the 1998 Red N’ White Valk in the lobby seen in the attached photo. Shown here are also pictures of the evening ride to the downtown museum that hosted a private viewing of the museum materials. Additionally I did take a series of shots featuring the evening raffle, the tech sessions, the bike rodeo and a few specific bikes who had their portrait shot at this event. The tech sessions are designed and delivered to meet the identified need of those VALK RIDERS in attendance. The Thursday morning Rodeo had many thrills with absolutely no spills, VALKS that is. There were a couple of broken balloons and a dropped tennis ball or two. The final test of rider and passenger was the hot dog bite.
The longer version… I left for the InZane event on Saturday and headed toward east central Indiana. The riding day was hot and windy. The wind factor meant more stops along the way for gas because I was hauling a trailer loaded with camping gear and the necessary photographic gear. The road south through Wisconsin and Illinois was very bumpy with many potholes and construction areas. The KOA in Terra Haute was a welcome sight that evening. A nice bed, a cool breeze and soft music made for a restful evening.
I was up early the next morning and packed ready to hit the road. I was delayed for 3 hours because all hell broke loose at 8:05 that morning. There was morning lightening than I had seen or heard in many storms combined. The rain was a real down pour and the winds were lashing the trees and fields from Terre Haute to Madison Indiana. The delay played into decisions I would make along the way all day.
The ride that day had little traffic but that is expected in central Indiana; 1) the rain was continuous; and 2) it is Sunday and other than some tourists headed to the State Parks along my route most residents were in the many churches I passed along the way. I had to keep my rain gear on and my helmet on my head with the visor down. The rain also meant a slower rate of speed along the way; which all adds time to the trip. I lost time because my keys the only ones I had along with me were miss placed for almost an hour. Because there are multiple pockets on my First Gear pants, instead of placing them in a pocket I slipped them into a opening that lead to a secure pocket but was only the opening with no bottom except the end of the pant leg. Fortunately the keys did not escape my pant leg and eventually they were maneuvered by movement to a tight spot in the leg and became apparent to me by poking me in the lower leg,
The afternoon ride through southern Indiana was for the mostly part on US Highway 421. A tight road with small shoulders and many turns; a joy even with the bad weather. The fact that the road was tight meant a slower ride. The chances of getting to Bristol TN yet on Sunday was becoming more and more remote.
I crossed into Kentucky at Madison and put the Ohio River behind me. Route 421 was leading me to Frankfort KY and this would be about 4:00 that afternoon. As with traffic else where on Sunday, the traffic in the state capital was light and I had the opportunity to look around and enjoy my second passage through this Capital City. As I exited the city on the South East side on 421 I had decided to head to I-64 to make a higher speed run at Knoxville and make a serious run at my reservation in a KOA campground in Bristol TN. As I was riding out of town the speed limit was rising from 35 to 40- to 45 and finally to 55 MPH. As I approached the intersection with US Highway 127 and a lighted traffic control signal, a riders worst thoughts came to life.
My front tire went flat in an instant. One minute I was seated upright in my saddle on the bike and the next minute I was leaning left and headed to the ground. As I went down I looked at the bike and saw the sparks flying from my engine crash bar. I did also look between my legs to see if there was any traffic headed toward me from behind. I had time for one last look at my bike and see it hit a car that was in the left turn lane waiting for the lights to turn green again. I have run the scenario through my mind multiple times each day since the 10th of June.
As all riders are probably prone to do I checks my body to see if all was attached and intact when I finally stopped sliding down the highway. The woman who’s car my bike had hit and was at my side before I could get my helmet off and get to my feet. I was not hurt, no broken bones, no skin tears, no internal injuries; just a sore shoulder on the left side that was the first body part to hit the highway. In this space I want to thank the driver of the van in the right lane that was Johnny on the spot to check on me and assist with the post accident mayhem. The officers that were quick to make it to the accident scene and join us all in the rain and they secured the intersection and kept traffic moving around the accident scene. There also has to be thanks to the towing service that picked up my bike and trailer and took it to their yard on a rainy Sunday afternoon. After we arrived they took the initiative to find a hotel for me and to take me to that hotel including some of my photographic gear. Finally thanks to Elizabeth, my wife, and Matthew, my youngest son, who dropped his birthday celebration and drove through the night to get to the hotel and help.
Wisconsin Board rep gets the bikes registered for the morning Bike Rodeo events.
the slow race
The portrait of one of the raffle winners
Followed by the slalom event
The next event to challenge the riders was the addition of a passenger and the placement of a tennis ball on a safety cone.
The Patterson Bike
The next event was the Balloon toss depicted in the next series of pictures
The final event of the Bike Rodeo was the hot dog bite; which is depicted in the following shots
And the winner is of the hot dog bite is this passenger shown immediately above.