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Sometimes the phrase “It’s a small world!” can come to mind when one least expects it.
One hot sticky August day, when we were ready for lunch, we found ourselves in Kirkland, Il. We decided to check out Kirkland Family Restaurant, a tiny place we had never been to before.
In front of the restaurant we saw a Harley and a side car rig that caught our attention. The owners were just leaving and stopped to talk with us as we admired the side car rig. It was unusual to say the least. The side car owner was Kurt from Oregon (IL) and his buddy, the Harley owner, was Paul from Huntley. Kurt explained to us that the side car was an old Harley frame, and the engine was a VW (crate motor) with transaxle sitting behind the tub. It had car wheels and tires with the front tire and wheel a little smaller than the rears. There was power to both rear wheels. It was beautiful.
Kurt made the whole side hack himself. We asked how he came to have all the knowledge to make and put all these parts together. His answer was that back in the day when they were young they always wondered what they would wind up doing for a living. They used to take on what they called “50” day jobs. You know, work a job here, work a job there, couple months here, couple months there, as a carpenter, and then a mechanic, an auto painter, auto body repair, machinist, and then a welder. Kurt then went back to machinist and retired as a machinist.
Kurt and Paul are long time friends and meet for breakfast routinely at the Kirkland Family Restaurant.
We mentioned that we had bikes and we and that we belong to a MC club.
Immediately Kurt asked us the name of the club and we said JPC. He asked “Do you know Gary Cooper?” We said yes but he just recently passed away. Paul and Kurt knew that Gary died recently. In fact, they were childhood friends having grown up in Wood Dale. They even went to high school together!
Kurt said he actually made the first “rubber band trailer” frame for Gary before Gary started selling them. He told us he also built Al and Janet Gutenschwager’s trike.
It turns out that Kurt, Paul, Gary, Al and Janet (Gary’s sister), all grew up in Wood Dale. Kurt and Paul have fond memories of their friendship with Gary. In fact, they took many motorcycle camping trips to Door County and Apple River even before the founding of the Jerseypine Cruisers. They told us the story of how it was that Gary decided to start a motorcycle club for riders of all brands of bikes. Here we are 40 years later and the Jerseypine Cruisers owe it’s existence to that dream of Cooper’s.
It’s a small world!
Respectfully submitted by Lynn and Ken Vicker
The phrase “Houston, we have a problem” may not be a normal part of your motorcycling verbal repertoire. A space-age fix to bail you out of a potential disaster, though, may soon be a very real part of the safety gear that keeps you upright and on the road.
One prominent original equipment manufacturer is testing a jet thruster – yep, a thruster – you know, those things that fire in microbursts to keep a space vehicle on its proper trajectory and out of trouble. This thruster will fire when your bike is about to go into a skid. Its purpose is to help you avoid a very serious case of road rash – or worse.
When you’re heading into a skid, your motorcycle is leaned far enough over that you lose lateral tire friction and the bike begins to slide. Maybe you hit a patch of gravel or sand in a curve and the loss of traction tips your bike much further than you intended.
The answer, according to the physics geniuses, is to apply what they call repulsion force intervention which counteracts the slide path and stabilizes the motorcycle enough that the skid actually stops.
So is the bike going to have a couple of mini-jet engines bolted to the frame? Not likely. This thruster is more like an air bag. Instead of inflating to cushion you from impact, this kind of air bag expels the air it contains in a concentrated burst that provides sufficient force to counter the skid. There’s enough air to save your bacon just one time. Then, it has to be replaced.
If this is starting to sound like an expensive extra, just think of it this way – if you can afford one of these bikes, a replacement air thruster isn’t going to ruffle your bank account. Not to mention the issue of how much it’ll save you in co-pays for medical care following a bad skid with the wrong side down.
True, it may not be a lunar lander and it won’t exactly put you into orbit. On the other hand, it’s enough space technology to keep you from experiencing a very hard landing.
Reprinted from the Summer 2018 issue of the Foremost Insurance Group magazine.
I can’t say anything about the Parade because I did not attend but I can tell you about the picnic.
For 2018 the 4th of July Picnic was held at George and Bev’s house in Des Plaines. As past year the party was held here Bev did all the preliminary work, which means the greater majority of it, and George handled the Bar-B-Q grill. Again the food was outstanding, beer flowed like water, water flowed like water and deserts were magnificent.
The conversation, as at any Cruiser event was all over the board, from solving the world’s woes to why Honda’s are superior to Harley’s. (They just are, that’s why!)
If you want more say-so volunteer to be editor next year.
A hardy and well deserved “Thank-You” to Bev and George for once again opening their house and hearts to us Cruisers’ so that we may partake of our good friends and give us an opportunity to get to better know some of our newer members.
Most of you don’t know this but George handed me a can of Spam as Lu and I were leaving the party. I had been bugging him for a couple of weeks about serving Spamburgers instead of boring old Hamburgers. So to show him I appreciated the gesture I took a photo of me preparing my Spam & eggs on the morning of the 5th. Thanks George.
Photos and story by: The Editor (SLP)
I thought you just might want to see how highly regarded one of our members feel about a particular door-prize (a can of Spam) that was awarded at the July 24th meeting. Hugh Brandt supplied the following photos and comments.
· Fry em up
· Add eggs
· Toast bread (your choice) (not shown)
· Add cheese (your choice) to toast
· Add fried spam
· Add fried eggs
The JPC 40th Anniversary Party will not be held on August 18, 2018 as previously scheduled. New party date will be announced when has been decided upon by the Board.
Everywhere But Copper Harbor Event
The Copper Harbor event has been renamed the “Everywhere but Copper Harbor event”. Twelve hours before departure time, we learned of the “historic” storms that ripped through the Upper Peninsula on Sunday, June 17th and flooded areas and washed out roads. From various reports, we learned that many of the roads we had planned to travel were impassable. What do we do? We called Bill and talked it over with him. We decided that the reservation in Houghton would have to be canceled and the trip rerouted. It just wasn’t safe or smart to attempt going to the U. P. We now had no plans for two days of the four day trip. I called all the participants and had them cancel the Houghton reservation and said we’d decide how to proceed in the morning. One person opted to not join us on the revised route.
The group was standing around Rick’s phone when we arrived at Dilar’s Restaurant. The radar was showing huge bands of green with yellow and red areas in northeastern Wisconsin. What do we do? Half of the group did not want to deliberately drive into the storms and thought we could ride around in the area and go on Tuesday instead. The other half of the group was willing to go and deal with whatever we encountered, After all, as Steve remarked, “the pioneers did not stop the wagon trains just because of rain”. As we were discussing what to do, Steve checked the cancellation policy for the hotel in Eagle River, Wisconsin. The reservation needed to be canceled Sunday night so that charges would not be incurred. That ended the discussion. We would go. There would be eight of us that included Rick and Flo Tymczuk, Steve Penczak, Paul Zak, Ira Steurer, Bill Linwall, and Ken and me.
Next decision, what route do we take? Ken had a scenic route planned to Eagle River, but Bill suggested we take a more direct route. A consensus was reached and we headed up Route 12 towards Madison and picked up U.S. 39. Whatever was showing on the radar never materialized. We had a few sprinkles, but that was all. As we traveled across the areas where the rain preceded us, the temperatures were falling in the 70s rather than the 90s, which was a very pleasant change. We arrived mid afternoon in Eagle River and agreed to meet at 4 p.m. to discuss how we would fill the next two days.
What do we do? Do we ride around Vilas County for two days? Will we find enough good roads? Ken had roughed out two possible routes the night before. One route went east towards Whitefish Bay, but would we find motels and restaurants with no prior research and preparation? The other route went west across Wisconsin, staying away from the flooded roads in the north, to the Minnesota border. The group decided we would head west. After researching motels, we decided on Hudson and I secured rooms for us for the following evening.
After having a plan, we walked across the parking lot to Leif’s Family Restaurant for dinner. Our waitress, Perry, pegged Steve as trouble as soon as we sat down. She was a fun waitress and full of personality. She asked Ira if he would be her boyfriend and she took good care of her boyfriend. She was brutally honest about what she liked on the menu and what she recommended. All of her recommendations were delicious! We had a very enjoyable time at the restaurant.
That night, using Google maps, Ken laid out a route to Hudson, Wisconsin and back to Rhinelander for the third night, since that reservation was already locked in. The radar on Tuesday morning looked like the Twin Cities was getting rain. Once again, we managed to skirt the rain and only encountered a few sprinkles. We stopped in Hayward, Wisconsin for lunch at the Norske Nook. The restaurant is known for its pie. They had many varieties and Paul had the Butterfinger pie for lunch. Ira had onion rings and the chocolate strawberry pie for lunch. The rest of us did not have pie, but our meals were delicious. There are four locations in Wisconsin and it is absolutely worth a stop for breakfast, lunch or pie.
Wednesday found us going south from Hudson along the Mississippi River. It was very cloudy, but it did not rain. We ended up in Chippewa Falls, my hometown, for lunch. Then we made a diagonal line towards Rhinelander.
On Thursday, Bill and Ira left for another adventure and headed towards the Twin Cities. That left six of us to wander back to Illinois. The radar once again showed that we were probably going to get wet. At lunch, Paul asked Ken if there were any small towns he missed along the way. At Elkhart we split up going different ways to reach our homes after traveling 1240 miles together and we didn’t get wet – only a few sprinkles.
While we were unable to meet our original goal and go to Copper Harbor and I know the group was disappointed, but I think the trip was successful especially since we were flying by the seat of our pants and adjusting as necessary.
Text Submitted by Sandy McCall Photos by Sandy and Steve.
Lunch Date: Wednesday, June 13th ‘18
8 Geneva St, Williams Bay
- Ride Lead: Frank Wenzon
- Departure Date: Wednesday, June 13th ‘18
- Departure time: 10:00 am
- Meeting place: Starks Corner, Rt 47 & Rt. 72
- Miles to Destination: +/- 50 miles
- Arrival Time: Approximately 11:30 pm
- Return Time: Your option.
- Weather Outlook: Was great.
A good ride, a good meal and a good time was had by all.
Photos taken at All Saints Cemetery and at the Wreath Laying at Ridgewood Cemetery.
Twelve members attended on a very warm day and traveled to 3 sites (2 cemeteries and Lake Opeka)for the placing of the wreaths.