Sunday, August 21, 2011

Monthly Message for August 2011

Hi Folks,

The month of August has seen moderating temperatures in the Gateway area. Riding conditions have improved. Members of the Gateway Ducati Owners Group have been taking advantage of the lower temperatures and we are out on our motorcycles!
Before recounting the month’s events, some important information must be transmitted.

The September Bike Night is cancelled since it is the day after Labor Day. Also, the September group ride will be held on Saturday, September 10, 2011 rather than on the 3rd. The rain date is the 17th. Elections for GDOG officers will be held at the Bike Night on October 4, 2011. Only active members can vote for officers. Active members are those who have paid their $20.00 annual dues. Also, payment can be received as of the beginning of the October Bike Night in order to be an active member. If you are unsure of your status, please email me at

Another very important change has also occurred. For a long time, the bulletin board was the primary way Ducatistas in the St. Louis area communicated with each other regarding rides, meetings, challenges, etc. With the onset of the Gateway Ducati Owners Group, our website has been the primary means of outgoing messages along with emails, text messages, and telephone calls. With the onset of social media outlets, Mark Shomaker put together a Facebook page for our owners group and it has been alive for more than 3 months. In the past three months, our conversations are migrating to the Facebook site and away from site. In my opinion, this is a good thing. We now can utilize another channel to communicate with our members and attract new members. Since not all of our members are Facebook users, I believe it is prudent that all of our communication channels be used to keep in touch with our members. So, important events, changes, rides, bike nights, good news, and bad news, will be disseminated via email, telephone,, and Facebook.

Back to the events. The August Bike Night was held on the 2nd. Eventually 15 members showed up for the event. After a short business meeting, Joe Henderson presented the planned group ride route. One member described the presentation as a full mission briefing. Joe pointed out the great places, the problems, detours, and areas where adjustments needed to be made. A time line for the ride was established. The route was described in detail. Fuel and feeding stops were presented. The rules of the ride were discussed. Member feedback over the next couple of days was very positive.

The next event was the group ride held on the 6th. Joe led the ride to Bismarck, MO and back. No bad events occurred. Feedback from the members indicated that the ride was enjoyable. Apparently, most of the riders tamed some of their animal instincts on this ride and people completed the ride as a group. After a taste of leading a group ride, Joe volunteered to lead the September ride.

In preparation for the September ride, a small group of members joined Joe on a pre-ride today. Wesley Law, Joe, Mike Balducci (friend of Joe), and I left the QT located at SR 109 and Interstate 44 about 8:05AM this morning. We headed west on I44, exited to the North on Antire Road and took that to Melrose, then MO100, Melrose again, and then route T towards Washington. Once in Washington, we had our first stop on MO 100 where Wesley noticed a piece of metal protruding from Joe’s rear wheel. This could have ended the ride at that moment, but we had a tire plug kit with us. Mike used his surgical skills to plug the hole, the tire was filled with air, and it held, and we were off. We took MO 100 West to route A, turned South towards Krakow. At Krakow, we headed west on YY until in joined C. We continued on C all the way to SR 100 in New Haven. Apparently, we should have continued on YY and then turned on right on Y and then left on E. Anyway, we found E just West of New Haven, turned left and continued into Gasconade County were we met up with CR F. We took F to MO 19, headed toward Swiss, and then turned left on F. We followed F until it hit MO100, where we headed east and ended up lunching in Hermann. After lunch, we continued North on MO 19, crossed the Missouri River, and turned east on MO 94. There was a detour on 94, just East of Marthasville, so we followed directions and continued on 94 back to Highway 40. I broke off there and headed home. All riders returned to their homes intact.

We uncovered many issues on the pre-ride. Some of them are as follows:
1- The ride up Antire Road is likely to be slow due to cyclists and cars;
2- Routes YY, F, C, E road surfaces leave a lot to be desired;
3- There will be gravel and fresh oil on some parts of the route;
4- The detour on 94 will likely still be in place;
5- Having maps, a tire plug kit, and other tools while on a ride can turn a problem into a happy ending!

A brief word on the official DOC member kits: they have still not been received by the US Owners Groups. The situation is as normal.

The riding season is winding down. If the weather permits, we can ride through November. Let us hope Mother Nature is on our side!

Gary Kwawer
Chief Contact Person and President
Gateway Ducati Owners Group

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