Hi folks, I thought I’d write a bit of a report about our Fall Colour Ride for those of you who couldn’t make it. My intention is to write a report and forward it to everyone after each of our rides so let me make this my first.
The weekend weather could not have been better for this little jaunt so thanks to Rob for suggesting we shouldn’t wait too late this year and “let’s get on with the ride while the weather is still good”. I figured I’d better get to the meeting point early enough to greet anyone who showed up but naturally there were a few ahead of me even though I got there before 9:00 a.m. I left home at 8:15 and it was 6 degrees Celsius but there was a promise it would warm up soon. The dark blue clouds to the north west of Chelmsford meant nothing. I hoped.
Roger was already at Timmy's warming up with a coffee as his ride in from Manitoulin Island was not what one might consider “comfortable.” He was still shaking a bit when he walked out to greet us and I know it wasn’t because he was nervous. The rest of us gathered together and discussed the ride ahead and finalized a route and plans were set.
Along for the ride were Rob Lemieux, Ray Lemieux, Jim and Sandy Robinson, Ken Silver, Don Raymond, Roger Lachance, Leo Laframboise,Terry Appleby, and me. 9 bikes in all.
We rode to Parry Sound with a short stretch stop at the French River Trading Post. We stretched but for some reason Rob decided he was going to show us how he could lay his bike down in the parking lot and then lift it back up again. Not sure why and he didn’t want to talk about it much so I didn’t press the issue but then again I guess we shouldn’t be questioning our prez on everything he decides to do. I guess it was colder than I thought because I noticed too that his face was really red.;-)
In Parry Sound we stopped at the Trapper’s Inn where Jack and Cathay French had made reservations for us and they met us there for lunch. Cathay came out on her bike. That’s right she finally got her bike back and on the road after the accident in July. I should mention here that everyone who was involved in the accident in Algonquin Park is now back up and running. Rob got his Victory fixed, Gary has his Honda back, Cathy has her Harley again, and Sandra has a new 1100 Yamaha.
After lunch we headed out toward Huntsville via 141. We turned left at the Crossroads Restaurant in Rosseau and rode highway 3 into Huntsville. Make a note everyone, Avoid highway 3 it’s in very poor shape. Terry, Jack and Cathay left the ride about halfway to Rosseau as they had to get back to other things before our ride would end. Rob led us out onto Highway 11 then turned into Huntsville via the north Entrance into town and we stopped at the DQ for a quick cone. Did I mention it had really warmed up by now?
We decided to run through Huntsville to Port Sydney then take 141 (new asphalt) back to Rosseau then home. Just after we left Huntsville Ray’s bike died. It turned out to be a bad plug wire so after a quick fix he caught up to where we were waiting and we continued, for about 5 kilometers then I noticed we lost the riders behind me again. So after catching the rest of the group we backtracked and found them. This time it was Roger who had a flat tire. Unfortunately there wasn’t anything we could do for the tire so Roger made arrangements to have his brother come and get him and his bike. Once we knew he was set and going to be alright we started out again to get back home before dark (and cold). We got about 2 klicks and woops “were are those guys that were behind me?” This time it was Ray’s bike, again the spark plug problem decided to put him to the test. Rob went back and helped him out and after a bit of trial and error contacted us by phone and insisted they’d make out okay and that we should head home without them. So we headed out again toward Parry Sound.
The rest of the journey went without incident and we followed 141 through Raymond to Rosseau on a beautiful road surface then on to the new Timmies/Licks/Petrocan on Horseshoe Lake Road just south of Parry Sound where we gassed up and decided to hightail it straight home before nightfall. Rob contacted Jim on his phone and he let us know that he and his dad made out alright and were already in North Bay having driven up 11 to take 17 back home.
So after all that it turned out that our Colour Ride was a little more colourful than we had anticipated but it was still a great ride, and it was a dry ride. Bonus!!! Hey, shit happens, sometime no matter who, or where you are. Fortunately when it happens and you are with a group there are others with you to try and help you and at least make sure plans are in place to get you through it. Having said that I hope everything went as planned for Roger. They should have, as his brother was on the road to him when we left him. We joked that he was lucky because there was even a fresh cut pile of firewood beside him just incase it got really cold. Besides there was also a woman in the house across the street who offered to help any way she could.
It’s always best to have a plan for emergency situations and when you don’t then you’d better have a cell phone with a good battery. This was a good ride, the colours may not have been in full bloom but the weather was good as was the company and I’d say we all took something positive away with us and isn’t that what riding in a group is supposed to be all about anyway?
We stopped at the Timmy's at the four corners in Sudbury and before we disembarked for home we all agreed that we should attempt at least one more run before we had to stud our tires for winter. Keep checking your email because it will probably be a short notice announcement as we’ll have to make plans according to the weather forecast. We talked of a short “lunch type” run possibly to the Island or Elliot Lake.