LRW-Spam-a-Palooza July 14th

LRW-Spam-a-Palooza @ The Bunker
Dateline: Wednesday, July 14th, 2021
It was a beautiful clear and mostly sunny day when I rolled out of bed this morning. After being forced to cancel this ride last week I was very much encouraged to see the sun light streaming in my window.

On my ride over to the Hoffman Estates McDs I was trying to remember how many responded positively to the flyer notice. I guess, for the most part we had what we have begun to call the “Usual Suspects.” Myself, Hugh B., Don K., George G., Frank W. (Candi had an excused absence), and Kurt L, a recent convert.

My route consisted of a lot of tried and true road segments that would certainly be familiar to a lot of members who have ridden to Wisconsin with us before. My planning and execution of the route was absolutely perfect right up to the point where in ended in a Waterford WI residential neighborhood. As they are wont to say even the best laid plans sometimes go astray. Mr. Brant stepped forward to direct us to the Bunker and I made a note to check my GPS file when I get home to see what happened.

George decided on Pulled Pork while the rest of us ordered our Spam Burgers and fries. We then spent the next 30 minutes drooling in anticipation of their arrival. 4 of us agreed that there was no finer sandwich in the world while Frank said he could take it or leave it and George just said “too much salt”.

After lunch and photos we were treated to Mr. Brandt’s patented ‘return routes” This is definitely one ride that will be repeated. How often will depend on the number of requests we receive. All in all, a great time was had by all. We enjoyed the nice weather, the ride, and some of us even positively enjoyed our lunch.

Story by: Steve P.

My Eagle Cargo Trailer

This is a cargo trailer manufactured by Smitty’s of Ames, Iowa.  I purchased it in 1981when we were doing a lot of travel by motorcycle.  A couple of years later Smitty’s came out with a taller bottom shell which gave the trailer a full 9 c.f. of packing space which was perfect for our travels at that time.  We pulled our Eagle cargo trailer behind our 1976 Goldwing throughout the USA, from Key West to Washington State, from southern California to Nova Scotia.  And many points in between.  Countless 3-4 day motorcycle rallies and JPC weekend campouts.  Camping gear and personal items were inside, 2 lawn chairs strapped to the luggage rack and our Little Oscar cooler strapped to the luggage rack on the bike.  The Eagle trailer was also put to use for Cub Scout and Boy Scout campouts.  By 1992 our 2 growing lads were at an age where we needed to spend a lot more time with them and their activities so the camping days came to an end and the trailer went into the garage.

Fast forward to 2021 and I had a need to make room in the garage for a bigger car so something had to go.  Sadly the trusty old trailer was chosen.  I gave it a good wash, checked for any accessories and checked the tires (yes, they still held air !) and put it out on the road with a For Sale sign attached.  On day 3 a Harley guy stopped by and showed interest in buying the trailer.  We had a good chat and all his questions got answered.  A few hours later he was back to buy it.  Terms agreed to, money changing hands and we stuffed the trailer into his truck and off it went.  That was the first week in June.

Today I heard what sounded like a motorcycle engine idling but I could not place from where.  Much to my surprise there was a Harley sitting in my driveway with the Eagle trailer hitched to it.  My friend had cleaned the old thing up, painted the inside, cleaned and polished the wheels to a like-new chrome finish and upgraded the wiring.  And it looks terrific behind the bike.

I am now happy knowing that my old trailer, which served us so well. is once again on the road in very good hands.

HGB   7/18/21

Cancelled July 7th LRW-CET Ride

Dateline H.E.: Wednesday, July 7th, 2021, 6am.
The weather in our area did not look all that bad. However, when I checked the report for Waterford WI they were already reporting light drizzle with some real serious looking weather lurking nearby. Because of this I sent out an email calling off my Spam-A-Palooza ride to the Bunker.
Now Cruisers’ being Cruisers’ I decided to ride over to the Hoffman Estates McDs to inform any who showed up that the ride was cancelled. Sure enough I had 4 ride in; 2, George G. & Bill L., that didn’t get the message, 1, Don K., that happened to be driving by and saw the bikes, and Hugh B. who knew I was going there to see if anyone else would show up.
Well you know how they say that when one is handed lemons the best thing to do is make lemonade? Well that is precisely what we did. I had a restaurant in Elgin I wanted to check out for a potential Sunday breakfast ride so I gathered up Bill, George and Hugh and after a 30 minute ride we pulled into the Iron Skillet Restaurant. We enjoyed a pretty good meal but were disappointed when I asked about bringing a group and was informed that they do not take any reservations.
Even when things don’t go as planned with a little thought and some flexibility from fellow riders a good time can still be had.
Story and Photos by: Steve P.

LRW-CET Wednesday, June 30, 2021

It was a cold morning, with temps in the 40’s, NOT!

The temps were in the mid 70s with a good deal of clouds dotting the sky when, precisely at 9:30 (more or less) our 12 bikes followed our Ride Leader out of the Dunkin Donuts on the start of what would be a really nice 70+ mile ride through the countryside. Don’s route started in Gilbert’s and made a large loop through a nice variety of long curvy roads, and what we who live in this area refer to, as scenic Midwestern motorcycle roads, taking us to our destination, The DogFather Hot Dog restaurant in Bartlett.

Don’s chosen roads had little traffic on them, only a few stop lights and were in good shape so we didn’t have to worry about dodging potholes. There were also some neat old farm houses to look at along the route.

We arrived at The DogFather at 11:40 where we found 4 of our fellow members who arrived by Quadra-cycle, already enjoying their lunch. We proceeded to enjoy “Cheap Eats” hot dog lunch’s along with the tons of laughter and BS-ing that goes on anytime bikers get together.

Attendance was excellent for a somewhat rainy looking day. We had 15 ride and 18 dine and some of us even got to sit and enjoy some new people that joined us for the ride (Welcome Tim, Curt and Val). I think I can state from the comments I heard that everyone had a great ride and that all had a great time.

Thanks Don for leading the ride and arranging for the ‘special’ bikers lunch pricing.

Submitted by: Steve
Photos by: Steve and Bill H.

LRW “The Long & Not So Windy Road” Lunch Ride

If there ever is a perfect day for a ride, Wednesday, June 16th was it.  In the early morning the temp was mid 60’s, during the ride mid 70’s, low 80’s and for the ride home upper 80’s with sunshine and a cool breeze.  Couldn’t ask for better. 

For this ride the meeting spot was the Dunkin’s Donuts on Rt. 72 in Gilberts.  I reasoned that single riders could navigate the “urban crush” from HE to Gilberts easier than a large group.  It turned out that most of the LRW riders enjoyed the change.  Outside seating was plenty for our group, Dunkins’ coffee is really good and fresh donuts to start your engine for the 50 mile ride to lunch in Marengo.  By KSU time we had nine (9) bikes and ten (10) members ready to ride.

The ride to Marengo was as advertised:  “long and not so windy” making for a relaxing ride.  The route featured well paved roads, some hills, some curves and lots of good scenery for visual entertainment.  Plus we avoided all towns staying on mainly county roads.  Bob W. has a GPS that can record the route start to finish and he was laughing about the circuitous route taken to get to a nearby town (17 miles as the crow flies).  Now I know that Bob is entertained by more than round-abouts (the route included a couple, just for Bob).  We arrived at Pointers at 11:20 am, 10 minutes early despite all the doubters who said I couldn’t ride slow enough to take 1.5 hours to travel only 50 miles.  I showed ‘em.

We lunched at Niko’s Pointers Saloon in “downtown” Marengo.  Pointers is a very comfortable place with lots of rough wood and vaulted ceilings and a decent menu.  Our table for 10 was waiting for us upon arrival and we went to the head of the line for seating.  Soon enough drinks were ordered and delivered.  Lunch was ordered and delivered.  And colorful conversations, of course.  I think everyone enjoyed the meal and conversation.  We finally paid our bills, bid ado and departed our separate way at 1 pm.  I rode home a happy member of the LRW riders.

Many thanks to our LRW lunch enthusiasts who participated:  Frank & Candi, Bob and Marge, Steve P, Don K, Bill L, Joe H and Smilin’ Ben L.

HGB  6/18/21

LRW – *CET Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Our second annual LRW –*Cheap Eats Tour was a success. Our 10 bikes departed the Hoffman Estates McD’s at precisely 9:30 am on a 60 mile ride that ended in the parking lot at Flips Beef & Gyros on Route 38 (Roosevelt Rd) in Glenn Ellyn.
Wednesday morning dawned sunny and warm on this 2nd CET ride to Flips. The day turned out to be a flip-flop weather wise! The original forecast was for occasional thunderstorms throughout the day but all we had to contend with was bright sunshine and a little heat. We prefer to see the sun on our rides and we got a lot of it today.
My 60 mile route took us out onto the roads west of Elgin and St. Charles as far as Virgil, IL before we turned East to get to our Glen Ellyn destination where we arrived just in time for lunch at 11:25 AM.
We had 10 members make the ride and 9 stayed for lunch. Rick was working later and does not like to eat before he sleeps, so that left Me, Hugh, Frank, Candi. Bill H., Bill L., Greg, Don and Bob W. enjoy another wonderful CET lunch; i.e. hot dogs & fries. The food was good and, as always, there was lots and lots of sparkling conversation, and a few loud discussions, around the 3 tables that our group occupied. It was all in fun and, as always, it was great to see and dine with our fellow members.
We did some great riding, had a good lunch and had some great fun. Try to join us on next month’s ride.
Submitted by: Steve P
Photos by: Steve P.

Sunny Side Up Family Restaurant,Dousman WI

Wednesday, June 2nd we (Hugh, Don, Steve, Frank and Candi) had an impromptu ride to the Sunny Side Up Family Restaurant, 159 WI-67, Dousman, WI 53118
We braved the threatening weather (Clear and sunny with temps in the mid 70s) and partook in an 85+mile ride to Dousman. For the most part the Wisconsin back roads were in very decent condition with plenty of hills and corners to keep the 5 of us amused.

We departed from Starks Corner at 9:30 am and pulled into the restaurant around 11:45 am. We were a bit surprised to find that the restaurant was attached to a gas station building. Nothing I had read about Sunny Side apprised me of this fact so we ended up making a rather abrupt stop and left turn (imagine some cursing and tire squealing) into their parking lot. (My apologies to all!) None of this dampened our spirits or our appetites. The food was plentiful and quite good. I had a grilled chicken sandwich that contained the largest breast I had ever seen.

After stuffing ourselves we gassed up and Mr. Wenzon guided us back toward Illinois where each of us turned off and headed for our homes.

As an aside, on the way out of the gas station I noticed a sign that said there was a Saloon in the rear attached to the same building, making it your one-stop gassing, eating and drinking spot in Dousman.

Text by Steve P.
Photo by Hugh B.

LRW “Rite of Spring” Lunch Ride

With storms in the area it was touch-&-go for our annual Rite of Spring lunch ride.  For once, the forecasters were correct forecasting that the storms would clear out by 6:30 am on Wednesday, the day of our ride.  That they did and our ride was on.

Seven riders met at McD’s in Hoffman Estates for a 9:30 am departure including a new LRW rider, Ben. on a gorgeous Victory in sparkling red.  Our destination was the Thirsty Horse located in southeastern Kenosha County, Wisconsin. The Thirsty Horse has been a Spring favorite for the last 5 years (minus 2020 of course) so the traditional Spring ride continues.

A 50 mile route was planned taking us through some of the most scenic areas riding mostly quiet county roads   The sun was up, the temperature perfect and traffic light so all was going well.  Until I missed a turn.  Which eliminated a really nice 2 mile stretch of rolling Lake County featuring outstanding equestrian pastures and housing.  Unfortunately the road I missed was the only way into this area so I kept going until we were back on the planned route.  On the plus side I didn’t lose anyone along the way. Upon arrival just shy of 11:30 am, two more Cruisers were waiting.  Greg on his bike and George G. 4-wheeling it as his bike remains with the bike doctor.  Our table for 10 was waiting for us and drinks and lunch was quickly ordered.  The service was friendly and fast.  You could tell when the food was delivered as all conversations stopped and quiet ensued.  Our server, Miranda, took really good care of us even taking a group picture so the whole group could be included.  Couldn’t ask for more.

The days goal was to provide a nice group ride and a nice lunch with plenty of good food and conversation.  Mission accomplished.  Around 1 pm the big group split up into small riding groups depending on which way was home and off we went.  Many thanks to Ben, Bill L, Bob W, Frank & Candi, Joe H, George G, and Greg B for participating and making this a great group ride

Upon my arrival at home I parked the bike and settled in my La-Z-Boy for well deserved nap.

HGB   5/27/21

LRW – CET Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Our first annual LRW – Cheap Eats Tour was a success. Our 8 bikes, including a visitor from the North, departed the Hoffman Estates McD’s at precisely 9:30 am on a 70 mile ride that ended in the parking lot at Tommy’s Red Hots on Route 14 in Crystal Lake . Our route took us as far West as Sycamore before we turned North/Northeast and headed towards our destination. We rode mostly secondary roads with occasional forays onto some still unimproved “farm roads” that were barely 1 ½ lanes wide. Because of this rural routing we were able to avoid most of the road construction zones that, almost overnight, have popped up everywhere.
We arrived at our destination around 11:20 am and found fellow Cruiser, George Gauss holding a large table for our group. His bike down for repairs, George 4-wheeled it to Tommy’s to join us for lunch.
After a hour or so of eating and conversing we broke up and headed our separate ways. From the comments I received I would say that both the ride and the event were a success.
Thanks to my co-chair Hugh B and attendees Frank and Candi, Bob W., Don K., Bill L., Geo G., and our guest from The Land of Cheddar, Cosmo for attending the inaugural event.
Submitted by Steve P.
Photos by Hugh B.