Well, the ride was really boring for the first half. I quickly realized the route had to have been mapped out by an old fart on a Goldwing because almost all the speed limits for the first half were 25 and 30, and bumpy as hell. Only an old fart would send a bunch of other riders through 25 mph zones. And only a Goldwing rider would not be bothered by bumpy roads.
But then the second half of the ride got a wee bit more exciting...
We actually got into a 50mph zone for about 5 minutes! Yippee!!!
I think on the entire 116 mile ride, I went into 5th gear ONCE, and 6th gear NEVER!
If I were to plan a ride for 98 other riders (that's how many paid $15 and signed up) I'd get us out of cities and strait out into the country backroads. Oh sure, we rode some cool twisties yesterday! But have you even rode cool twisties at 25mph???
Nodoby broke down. That's a good thing. The band totally sucked. The singer was so off key that it about drove me off the lot. And he didn't even know half the words to the songs he sung, especially all the Allman Brothers and Bob Dylan songs. Plus the speakers were turned up so high that several people were complaining. Heck, I couldn't even hear my own voice when I was talking to the guy right next to me! I eventually moved my bike and myself way around to the other side of the building so I could think straight.
The thing about "Free AMA commemerative pin to the first 50 riders who sign up" turned out to be a table piled with pins and a lady telling everyone "Oh, take a bunch of them! Give some to your kids or your friends." Sure made MINE feel special.
I did win something though, with my door prize ticket! YEE-HAW! I won an AMA District 27 jacket patch, to put next to my NHRA Member patch in my desk drawer.
The chili and burgers and dogs were awesome!
I think the most surprising part of the whole even was that even though it was held at a local Honda-Yamaha-Suzuki dealer, there was only 1 or 2 actual sportbikes! I had assumed it would be 90% sportbikes, like on all the other group rides I've been on. But it was actual about 70% Harleys, 20% Goldwings, and the rest were assorted other bikes. No surprise at all: mine was the ONLY 919! And the cool part was how many other riders were checking it out, and how often people would comment about it or ask questions about it. Yep, the 919 stole the show!
All-in-all it was a good day, with sun all day and nice road conditions. I finally bought a cargo net thingy for my seat like everyone kept telling me I should get (but apparently I bought a P.O.S. because the hooks keep falling off and it's stiff and wirey like dried-out bungee cords). And I did get to meet sevaral AMA officials and local chapter big wigs.
The worst part of the day was the prize give-aways. Only because they gave out gift certificates to NON-AMA members for Youngest Non-AMA Rider, Youngest Passenger, Longest distance a NON-AMA Member rode to get there, and a few other ones. But NOT ONE gift certificate for MEMBERS! I noticed it, then others noticed it, and people were walking around mumbling about it and bitching to their buddies for awhile until finally someone went up to the AMA District Rep guy who was giving out the prizes and asked why there were no prizes for actual AMA Members but were a ton of them for non-members... He said there was, but "... he knew who all them were, and would just hand them to the winners personally", which really
got people riled up! What, the winners weren't even there? Funny, NOBODY but one guy who had to go to work actually left before the door prizes and drawings for the 50/50 and other stuff were handed out. So, HOW in the f*ck could ALL the prizes for MEMBERS be given to members who were not even there? Oh, you hand-picked your own personal friends who weren't even there to win? Nice. Yep, that part of the prize give-away got a LOT of riders pissed. I actually thought they were gonna turn around and start a riot or something. Not really that drastic, but everyone brought food for the food drive to get extra tickets, or did other things to get into the drawings, then NOT ONE AMA MEMBER who was actually there and went on the ride won anything! All the prizes for members were for names not even called out. Oh, and they had an entry for anyone who signed up for or renewed their AMA memberships: the winner got $250 cash! Unfortuneately I just signed up in December.
Other than that little episode, it was cool. I met a couple new friends who I rode with. Older guys like me (50-ish). There was going to be just us 3 but when we pulled onto the street we realized there was a Harley following us. What? A Harley riding with 3 Hondas? Wassup wit dat? But hey, the dude was really cool and stuck with us from start to end.
So there ya go. You didn't miss much. Unless you enjoy 25mph twisties!