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Ron_B

Blitzin' to Branson

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Ron_B

Monday, April 14th. It was 84 degrees in Chicago today. A week ago, we had several inches of snow and the trees were so covered with ice that they made a crackling sound with the slightest breeze, sort of like high tension lines and transformer stations in the rain. Spring can be weird sometimes, and that first, much awaited trip of the year can't come soon enough........

 

Thursday night. My bike's prepped, packed and is sporting it's #2 set of wheels with a good pair of BT020s. (the other tires were just too "iffy") Branson Missouri is ONLY about 575 miles and it's ONLY a long weekend, but it may as well be a ride to Alaska. In other words, I'm pumped! So long, winter, you won't be missed.

 

Up and on the road before dawn, I'm off to connect with Eebie at his place, about 20 minutes straight south. Rich and Gabe were supposed to join us, but decided to light out on Thursday. I didn't think ANYONE was more ansy than I.

 

The direct ride from Chicago to Branson, if you're trying to make time, is easy. I-94 through dah big city to I-55, pick up I-44 in Saint Lou-ee, turn south onto route 65 in Springfield, and soon, there you are. Like I said, easy. Easy and bor-ing. Boring on a bike, however, is STILL enjoyable. Don't you agree? A little over nine hours, and there it is. Got to be dat big place wit' all dah BMWs parked out front. Yup, dat's it.

 

The "Blitz to Branson" is a yearly get-together sponsored by the Internet BMW Riders. This is my first. It's really a simple event, sort of like Torrey. For my Chicago friends, I'll describe it in familiar terms. Imagine a three day Highland House, attended primarily by BMW riders, based in the parking lot of the Branson Towers Best Western in Branson Missouri. Like HH, it's surrounded by miles and miles of fun, twisty roads and gorgeous country scenery. (that last one was a joke) Also like HH, the motel has a restaurant with great food. (umm, that was another one) It's all quite simple: hang out, eat, hang out, drink, hang out, meet new friends, hang out, see old friends, hang out, ride the wunnerful, wunnerful roads, hang out, repeat!

 

Among those in attendance was the bag-lady herself, Helen 2 Wheels. Sporting a cane, she ambled around just fine, the only other clues of her recent misfortune being the missing portion of one thumb, and the fact that she came in a motorhome. I got a big hug, and asked her if she could make it to the un-rally. She said she'll try.

 

Lots of folks showed up for this one. Said hello to Jim Catlett, who came towing his Uni-Go. Enjoyed chatting with Stan and Jan Walker, who managed to escape a still snowy Colorado. Lots of good people.

 

BONUS! I finally got to meet Ardys Kellerman! What an amazing woman! She's tiny, and looks like she couldn't possibly hold a bike up, let alone riding one a zillion miles a year and competing in ironbutt rallies and such. Friendly and so soft-spoken that I sometimes had to lean over to hear what she was saying, this sweet, grey haired 70 year-old, grandmotherly looking lady went out on Saturday and did 600 miles before returning to the motel. I guess she wanted to get a good start in the mileage contest. What an inspiration she is!

 

On Saturday morning, Eebie, Rich, Gabe and I saddled up to sample the local roads. What a pleasure! With David in the lead, we headed west through a portion of the Mark Twain National Forest, South through Eureka Springs, through the Ozark National Forest/Newton County and back north to Branson. Returned to the Towers with 60,002 miles on the odometer. They sure pile up fast, don't they? Anyway,this country is MADE for riding, with beautiful, well maintained, fun-to-ride roads. I suggest that you come to the Un-Rally and see for yourself!

 

Saturday night, we sampled the buffet, attended the awards ceremony in the next room, then hung out some more. Had a great time.

 

Sunday morning, we had a light breakfast, then headed out to sample some more back roads before hopping back on the inter-slab for the ride home.......

 

Monday, April 14th. It was 84 degrees in Chicago today. A week ago, we had several inches of snow, and the trees were covered ice. Tonight, I took a long walk after dinner. It felt like a warm summer night.

 

Only 33 days 'till Torrey! grin.gif

 

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ghaverkamp
Monday, April 14th. It was 84 degrees in Chicago today. A week ago, we had several inches of snow, and the trees were covered ice. Tonight, I took a long walk after dinner. It felt like a warm summer night.

 

Yeah. 84 degrees? That's because it's more than warm... smile.gif

 

Great report, Ron.

 

Greg

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BMWRich58

Up and on the road before dawn, I'm off to connect with Eebie at his place, about 20 minutes straight south. Rich and Gabe were supposed to join us, but decided to light out on Thursday. I didn't think ANYONE was more ansy than I.

 

Gabe and I were!!!

 

Excellant roads,weather,people! Just an excellant time had by all!!!

Eureka Springs (we just had to take a sneek peek),in the Fall "WOW",you really don't wanna miss this one!!!

 

 

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murrayg

Ron B,

Great report and thanks for visiting the great state of AR-Kan-SAW. Sorry I didn't bump into you all. Earlier in the day I was with the family in Kansas City, but was back home and ridding around at about 4:00 p.m. I'm glad that you had a great time on the local roads. Are there any that you would recommend for our folks at Un2. I got Ebbie's list, any new ones you discovered?

 

Is it great to ride without the heated vest and grips turned on high? smile.gif If you feel like playing down here again and want some company e-mail or PM me.

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gabe g

Well for me it was a ride that almost wasn't.

Night b4 Rich mounted new rubber front and rear

Wouldn't you know it, on the ride home

picked up a screw in the rear. Sheesh got a whole

22 miles on it. That's got to be a record of some kind.

If so it's not one I'm glad to have.

Was able to get back to Rich's Thursday am.

There he patched/plugged it.

Did the trick. Made it to Branson and back, no problems.

Estimate somewhere around 13-1400 miles on it.

He could give a better explanation of the method used.

Many thanks to Rich!

Had a great time at da Blitz. Ron you hit it on the

head. Like a weekend stay at the Highland House.

Great people, Bikes, Bikes and more bikes.

Oh yeah, then there was that "Captain" fellow.

He's a good time.

Dave thanks for taking the lead on our day ride.

Beautiful route and nice pace.

Hope to do it again. (all but the flat)

gabe grin.gif

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