by Bruce Mike
As the summer is coming to an end I realize, as I usually do, that I haven’t done as much riding as I wanted too. I don’t think I have ever done as much riding as I’d like. I have been on rides where when I get home I’m glad to be there and it’s usually because it rained the whole trip or I’m just finishing a whole lot of miles in a short amount of time. I recently had one of these rides and it was the weather and not the miles that made me grateful to be home.
A group of us went to Sir Benedicts in Duluth for the Bring Out Yer Dead Rally. This was my kind of rally. No hipsters riding over-done bikes just a group of folks who love motorcycles. There was everything from old scooters to ‘70s Japanese choppers. I love all that stuff. As I’ve said before, “if it’s got wheels and a motor, I want to ride it, drive it, or at the very least, hear it run”. While I didn’t get an opportunity to ride any of these interesting machines, I did get to hear and see a bunch of them on the road. The rally included a short ride in the afternoon which had to be short because when riding an early 1900’s motorcycle, going a long distance takes a while.
The rally ended with enough door prizes and awards for pretty much everyone in attendance to go home with something. Everyone in our little group won something. The fabulous prizes included t-shirts, oil changes and even a Lavender Bath & Body Wash set. The Lavender crap was re-gifted before we even left Duluth. This was a great rally with great people who put it together and I would highly recommend it.
As with most bike rides it’s the journey and not the destination where the adventure happens for me. This ride was no different. While the ride up to Duluth was uneventful the ride home was quite memorable. We started our journey at a friends house in Forest Lake. I was late getting there which never works out well for me. When I’m running late, which isn’t very common for me, I end up forgetting things that turn out to be fairly important. This time I forgot my rain gear. This particular Saturday morning was clear and sunny and the forecast was for good weather. Becasue of this, when I realized I had fogotten my gear I decided going back for it wasn’t really necessary.
We left Duluth about 6:30 in the evening and decided we’d take Highway 23 because it’s a much nicer ride than I-35. About 20 miles out it started to rain so we stopped to gear up and check the radar. The place we stopped had some shelter but no cell service. Someone in our group was kind enough to offer me his extra rain coat. The storms we rode through that night were amazing. Patches of bright blue sky on one side and giant, ominous, thunderheads on the other. The lightening was at times constant and it was some of the heaviest rain I’ve ever ridden in. Normally I would stop and wait it out but at the point when it seemed to be raining the hardest, I was about nine miles from home. It was a long nine miles. Currently my rain gear is in my saddlebag and that’s where it’s staying.
The above photo is of editor Pearman astride a 1967 Velocette LE. It is a 200cc 4-stroke, 2-valve, liquid-cooled, shaft drive. 1-up 3-down right-side shift. This example is an ex-Toronto cop bike. Thanks to Antique MC Club’s Dave R. for the test ride!