Monday, September 2, 2013

Gateway Ducati Owners Group September 2013 Message

Hi Folks,

August started off interestingly.  Apparently, an email line went around discussing the tendency of some of the Ducati tanks to swell after exposure to gasoline mixed with ethanol.  Under warranty, Ducati sent those affected new tanks, made of the same material.  Now, that is how the manufacturer chose to solve the problem.  What I am more concerned about is the fact that the emails get sent in a reply to all, except for me.  I do not want those emails, nor do many others, so please target your responses accordingly.  For those of you getting unwanted email, try deleting them.  Getting angry or sending angry emails does not engender good will.  Also, if you are going to pass on information in those emails, please ensure that it is factual.

Some calendar items.  Due to Labor Day, there will be no GDOG Bike Night in September.  MotoEuropa's Bike night will be on September 5.  I plan on attending as they are our sponsoring dealer.  The first group ride of September will be on 8th, meet at 8:30M, leave at 9:00AM.  The second ride will be on the 21st.  The October GDOG Bike Night is on October 1.

All of you on the email list received a survey from Joe Henderson regarding our group rides.  Joe has compiled the results, and they are interesting.  Joe and I are planning on implementing some of the items immediately.  In 2014, full implementation of the results will be in place.

The first August group ride was led by Joe Henderson and was a Bixby run, starting at 8:30AM on August 3.  The ride was attended by a total of three club members (Joe Henderson, Mike Balducci, and Carlos Acosta) along with one guest.  The threat of rain I am certain reduced the number of riders.  I was not on the ride, but I understand there was a brief period of rain on the trip and then blue skies.  All the riders returned safely and had a great time.  This experience opens up another area of discussion: should we be riding our motorcycles if there is a change of rain?  Having put 40K miles on mine, I say let it rain, but be safe.  This is a matter for each individual rider.  I respect everyone's choice.  So, to be clear, unless it is raining at the time of the ride and at the starting location, the ride goes on.

The GDOG bike night was held on Tuesday, August 6 at Tavola V on Delmar, east of Skinker.  The restaurant was very accommodating and gave us a great table.  We had 13 riders and 9 Ducatis, 1 BMW at the event.

A table for safety equipment was provided:

Jeff Pittinger gave a presentation on the Advanced Riders Course and we shall be holding one in March or April of 2014 exclusively for GDOG members.  Apparently, many of our riders can benefit from such training as will be seen below.  Randall Noldge, head of Cycle Showcase St. Louis, gave a presentation on the event for August 25.   Also, we were lucky to run into a 1098 rider who became a new member of our club: Michael Palmer.

The second ride in August went of on the 17th.  It was a beautiful sunny day, with highs in the low 80s.  All of us are unsure that it is August in St. Louis.  Joe Henderson provided the below photo prior to the start of the ride:

Joe Henderson led the ride and was joined by Frank Trau, Joe Heyduck, Craig McElroy, and Nagendra (Jay) Jayanty.  The ride was going well until unfortunately, Joe Heyduck had a bit of a challenge during a right hand turn, crossed over the oncoming traffic lane, and ended up in the dirt on the opposite side of the road.  Thankfully, there was no traffic oncoming, so Joe is alive at this time.  Hopefully, his Duc will be easily put back together. We all wish him well.  Unfortunately, there was a second incident on the ride.  While Frank Trau and Craig McElroy were stopped in their attempt to check on Joe Heyduck, Jay came around the corner, and tried to split between the two motorcycles.  Apparently, Jay's right brake lever hit the exhaust canister of Craig's bike, snapping off part of the lever and damaging the canister.  Luckily, no one was hurt.  This second incident could have been very serious and lives could have been lost as well.   After the two incidents, the rest of the riders continued on once Joe's health was ascertained to be ok.  The motorcycle was rescued, as was Joe.  The ride continued to Sullivan and then home.  The remaining riders arrived at their houses in one piece, on the same Ducs they started on.

The two incidents on the 2nd group ride are confusing to me.  We have had group rides for almost 5 years as a "club" or an "owners group."  While we did have one ride several years ago when the group leader went off the road, there has not been a year like this one, ever, in the life of the club.  On two rides this year we have had accidents.  On the first one with Kovy, on this one with Joe Heyduck and also with Jay. To a certain extent, the motorcycle operator, not cars or road conditions,  played a part in the incidents.  One reason we are arranging for the training class in 2014 is to raise awareness, and improve our skills, while riding on the street.  While I know that many of our riders are track day aficionados, riding on the track and riding on a group ride with a great variety of skill levels and types of motorcycles, are different.  Now, many of our members do not show up at the group rides for that very reason- they do not want to go that slow, or that fast.  I understand that.  But let us take a step back and look at the reason for the group- it is because we are all owners, and fans, of Ducatis.  So, instead of looking at the rides as either at a level above your abilities or below your abilities, try looking at it as a way to have camaraderie with other Ducatistas during a ride.  Similiarly, the bike nights are an opportunity to break bread and share stories about rides with those same people.

The GDOG Scavenger Hunt 2013 edition is still on.  The idea of the GDOG Scavenger Hunt was conceived last year by Joe Henderson as a way for the members of the club to ride their Ducs to places they might not otherwise.  Last year, the hunt was only for a short time.  This year, we started it in May and it runs until September 30.  Unfortunately, Joe's crash takes him out of contention as he will not be able to bag many more photos until his machine is repaired.  As of now, there are only two contenders actively emailing Joe Henderson regarding the event.  The early leader was Craig McElroy, as he road his Monster to Kansas and throughout much of Western Missouri to grab photos for the event.   Craig, as of this writing has 57 items and 8273 points.  Craig has stated that he plans on getting all 72 items on the list.  Unfortunately, even though he has ridden in hail, sleet, and pouring rain, capturing the atmospherically generated, naturally occurring rainbow, has proved elusive.  The intense effort and focus that Craig demonstrated spurred the current leader's interest and got him back on his motorcycle for some epic rides.  At the current time, Gary Kwawer (me), has 71 items and 17031 points.  The rainbow shot has been elusive for me as well and is the last item remaining.  The great thing about this particular list is that it forces the rider to be in Southwest Missouri near Branson, Northeast Missouri near Hannibal, Springfield, IL and other areas within and without the two state region.  In speaking with Joe Henderson, he felt that the list was challenging enough that maybe 70-75% of the total items would be captured.  He is blown away that two riders are that close to the entire list.

So, please ride safely.  Enjoy the experience of owning a Ducati.  I shall see you on the group rides and bike nights.

Gary Kwawer
Chief Contact Person and President
Gateway Ducati Owners Group

No comments:

Post a Comment