Wednesday, September 24, 2008

TexSTOC Ride Report

TexSTOC was my first event I've been to since I wadded up my ST1100 in May of this year. Rode down on Saturday on my new-to-me Ducati ST2 (hey, it's still an ST!) - it took a while to get psyched up to go ride, but I did it. Intellectually, I was ready to ride, but my body still remembered the last time I was riding it rather hurt. Lots of autonomic responses trying to make me stay home. (translation: I was skeered)

Turned out to be a fine ride down, great people too. Met up with a good chunk of the KC crew that I'd seen occasionally at Culvers or for BBQ over the past couple of years, plus a new member, Maureen, from Lees Summit. Spent an hour or more talking with Mike and Allison from Louisiana about their BMW club, pets, kids, lowering bikes, their Cajun ride to eat and rock in November and more.

Saw George Catt across the room at dinner but never caught up with him - guess he was across the street atCampSTOC Hi, George!

I won the door prize (set of screwdrivers) for the most unreliable bike there -- thanks, Keith!

Going home was even better than coming down. Rode from Eureka Springs up to Eagle Rock, then cut across MO Hwy F through Roaring River state park. (that'd be a great location for a camping evnet!) 'F' took me to 112, south to Seligman, then North on 37 to Washburn, and 90 across to Southwest City. Awesome route! From there, down through NE Oklahoma and up US69. Passed through Pitcher, OK, a sad rural wasteland. They've had a double dose of hell - first the tailings from lead and zinc mining have toxified the entire area - no plant growth, serious heavy metal poisoning in the animals and human stock left there - and were hit by supercell tornadoes on 11-May of 2008 killing six. No one has bothered to rebuild - just left the ruined buildings and found somewhere else to live. It gave me remembered shivers looking at themoto photos from the Chernobyl area

However, I did manage to hit lots of twisties on the ride home, and got my rhythm back. The new Avon on the back of the Duc only has about a quarter-inch chicken strip left on it. That Ducati sure handles sweet and really has a great growl coming out of the corners. I wasn't sure if I'd be willing to push it any after wadding a bike, but I was hitting the corners harder and faster than I ever had on the ST1100.

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