Saturday, January 19, 2013

Freedom Riders Kris Kringle

January hasn't worked out as we had planned. Right after New Years, Sandy and I caught the flu (despite my getting the shot in the fall). We missed the Toronto Bike Show and dinner that Stonewall put together, as well as a series of meetings and other gatherings. It was a nasty one.

Lucky for us, we were well enough to attend the Kris Kringle. The Freedom Riders decided long ago that the most convenient time for a Christmas Party is AFTER Christmas. Less conflict in both venues and personal schedules. This gathering involves a pot luck dinner and cutthroat gift exchange.

The food was amazing. I tried to eat light but still overdid it.

An awesome selection of food

The members tuck in

Another angle

Sandy looks like she is enjoying it

For the gift exchange, each person brings a gift marked for a man, a woman or gender neutral. I look after pulling the names and people can either take a gift from the table or steal one that is already opened. The person stolen from then has the same choice with the caveat that they can't take a gift already stolen in that round. It is easy at the beginning but, with over forty people in attendance, it gets hard to keep track of near the end. I compounded the trouble by leaving one name out of the drum, something that has never happened before and will never happen again.

The gifts ready for the fight to begin

In addition, we held an Attendance Draw. This is a new idea to promote club participation. Throughout 2012, we kept track of attendance at each event. For each one attended, every member got one chance at the draw for a refund of their 2012 dues and a  $275 gift certificate from Leather Works Plus, a local purveyor of biker gear and paraphernalia. Normie won even though he wasn't in attendance.

We had a snow storm last night and another smaller one this evening. We were at a playground building operated by the Lions Club and the City had forgotten to plow the parking lot, so one of the major concerns was to not get stuck. This new 4WD truck is working out pretty well.

Sandy and I left pretty early since getting enough sleep is one of her great concerns these days. When we left, it looked like everyone still there was getting ready to party. It looks like this is going to be another good year of riding and camaraderie.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

2013 Plans

The plans are coming together for the upcoming season. It looks like we have three major trips planned.


SEVROC in Maggie Valley, North Carolina is scheduled for May 16th to 19th. I am hoping to get a room at the Applecover Inn. They are at a premium and we used the RV the last two years, but I hope we are on the short list.

I would like to leave around the beginning of the month. There is a Northeast VROC ride the first weekend of May in the eastern Pennsylvania/New Jersey area that we could attend, as well as maybe finding time to visit the cousins in the York, Pa area (it has been way too long). Then I hope we can settle into the Outer Banks of North Carolina for a few days to explore an area we haven't visited before. After that, on to Maggie, arriving early to get in some extra riding on the best roads in the world. We'll then wend our way home.

July - August

Leaving in early July, our first stop will be Deadwood where Jamey T and Trouble are organizing a gathering from July 8th to 11th. Then we will roll on to Solvang, California for the Aebleskiver Rally that Cat and Jim are organizing for the third consecutive year. We missed it last season. After that, we have some time to kill on the left coast as we wait for the WWR VII to begin in Logan, Utah on August 15. We may use the time to visit some old familiar haunts like Topaz Lake, Nevada and see some new ones like my cousin Mary-Lou in Portland, Oregon. We have also never been to San Diego and we might get far enough north to see Malcolm in Vancouver. Anything is possible.


The Eureka Springs Rally is set for September 17 to 21. If nothing transpires regarding the NEVROC Maine run, and even if it does, it might be nice to take a leisurely wander and explore some other roads, particularly in other parts of Arkansas, along the way. Or to visit them after ES,

Still up in the air

There has been no word on the NEVROC Laconia run in June, although the Boscobel Rally is Wisconsin is scheduled for about he same time, so this is a question mark. As well, the dates for the Interlochen Rally in Michigan in August are also unknown. But we will decide what to do as information becomes available.

In any case, it looks like it is going to be a bang-up season. We will be doing a lot of riding with VROC friends and spending time with Sherm at more than a few gatherings. So hurry up, Spring, and let's get the show on the road.

Happy New Year

The neighbor's Christmas tree

The big news the last week was a visit by Kim, Mike, Jolene and Robyn. They arrived last Friday complete with multiple suitcases and child paraphernalia, the kind of things modern parents need to travel with.

It seems Cambridge is not yet blessed with snow so the kids were thrilled to see that we has some white stuff on the ground. Jolene wanted to build a snowman so I had to explain there were different kinds of snow and this was to dry and fluffy for that. It was, however, just right for making snow angels and so they learned to do that with glee. Mike got a sleigh and we towed them around for a bit. It was necessary to hit the packed street because the fluffy stuff in the back yard caused it to tip over too easily.

Working on the sleigh strategy

OK, rethink the plan

Jolene has it worked out

Robyn is cheerful more often than not

OK, now we have it all worked out

In addition to playing in the snow, Mike and Kim worked Saturday night with me on Operation Red Nose. We had a lot of runs and they delivered one couple who share a wedding anniversary with them. New Years Eve. What were the chances. Anyway, they did a great job.

Our Red Nose team

The end of a long night

Yesterday, Great Grandma and Great Grandpa came over for a visit. It was good to have four generations under the same roof.

The girls enjoying the company of Mom and Great Grandpa

Robyn the camera hog

Wait, I'll figure it out

Kim and Mike celebrated a quiet anniversary last night and then they all left for home this morning. It was good to have them here for a while.