Thursday, April 29, 2010

Monthly Message for April 2010

Spring has arrived and with it the first organized ride of the Gateway Ducati Owners Group. On April 3, 9 riders met at 9:00AM and rode to Stone Hill Winery. We arrived at 11:30AM and were greeted by fellow group member Shaun Turnbull. We dined at the restaurant, and afterwards, Shaun, being an Assistant Winemaker, took us on a tour of the winery. As we were on two wheels, we opted out of the tasting session. All the riders returned to their homes safely. 

The April meeting was held on the 6th at Nick and Elena's pizzeria. A total of 12 members attended. The restaurant treated us well and seemed to appreciate our business. The other group members welcomed our newest member, Andrew Quinn, who is a transplant to the St. Louis area from down the Mississippi River in New Orleans. We discussed future activities of the club, discussed the safety aspects of our rides, and just enjoyed each other's company. Details of the future group's activities will follow.

A brief note on those weekends when there is not a group ride- use those days to go riding and get lost. Discover a new route, take a new turn, etc, and find a new place that all of us might some day like to ride and visit. This is a chance to experiment, learn, grow, and discover. In other words, just play on your motorcycle!

Please indulge me as I pass on some observations from people who have ridden with us, also from people who are members of our group, as well as from me. It was pointed out to me that unlike most clubs who tend to have one type of motorcycle (i.e.: sport touring, sportbike, etc) we have all types of Ducati's represented and all types of riding styles and abilities represented. Super Sports, Superbikes, Monsters, Hypermotards, STs, and Multistradas all show up on each of the monthly rides. Each of these bikes was manufactured for a unique purpose, even though the same manufacturer makes all of the motorcycles. Each of the motorcycles appeals to a completely different rider and demand different riding styles. We also have riders who have been riding 20+ years, as well as riders who have been riding less than 4 years. Some people feel that this is a recipe for mass chaos during the rides and that there is no way the group can stay together during the rides with this mixture (I disagree with this viewpoint-the proof being that we have been doing this since August of 2009 and it is working). Others feel that this is a unique group that allows for all riders, once a month to enjoy each other and ride together (I agree with this and the increasing popularity of the group rides attest to this). I think and believe that the diverse makeup of our monthly rides is a sign of the strength of or group, the ability for those less experienced to build riding technique and equipment knowledge. I also believe that this group has been, is, and will continue to be, a great opportunity for people who never would have met each other, to become friends, just because of the brand of motorcycle they ride! All my actions are directed towards this last observation. I hope those who follow me will continue in this direction.

The remainder of April, as well as May and June are beginning to fill up with activities.

April 17, Saturday, 9-3, Open house for the Classic Motorcycle Company 3537 Chouteau Avenue.

April 23 (Friday) and April 24 (Saturday) Donelson Cycles will be having their open house. Those members of the Gateway Ducati Owners Group who are attending will meet at the store on the Rock Road at 11AM.

May 1 Monthly Group Ride time and place to be announced.

May 4, Tuesday, 6:30PM- Monthly meeting- Ducatis on Delmar. We will be meeting at Pi restaurant again.

May 29th Weekend- the Springfield Mile in Springfield, IL. If you are attending, please make your plans now. My wife has given me permission for us to attend.

June 5- Sunday- The Gateway Motogiro event. We will start at 8:30AM Place to be announced. The route will be unveiled at the event. This will be a rally event, precision, not speed, will be paramount.

June 7- Monthly meeting place to be announced.

June- World Ducati Week- check on website for details.

MotoGP- check their website for dates at Laguna Seca and Indy.

In September, I will be riding to the Baltimore area and back, other members are also planning longer rides. Communicate with your other members and plan something together!

Please ride carefully and return safely.

Gary Kwawer 

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