New Cruisin Cousins and Familiar Territory

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Another Saturday, and another charity ride ahead of me. Actually, in Indy during the riding season, you can have your pick of what ride you want to go on. There is a lot of charity in this city. I knew of three rides that I could have been in, but the one today struck me, as it would take place in north, central Indiana, centered around the town of Peru, Indiana. Besides being the Circus Capital of the World, it is also where my father grew up, so I knew he would want to join me on this ride.

First up, breakfast, and I would be meeting someone named Kevin, who I had met through the Indiana VTX Owners Forum. He was coming up from the southside, so we agreed to meet on the east side, and ride up to Westfield together. I wasn't waiting long when he pulled in. I was a little concerned about the volume of my exhaust, but when I heard his short shots rumble up next to me, I lost all fear. We greeted each other, fired up the bikes, and head for the northside. We took 465, Indy Beltway, north along the east fringe of the city, and then west through the northside. At Keystone Avenue, we took the ramp to the north, and proceeded through the town of Carmel, Indiana. Keystone merges with US 31, and we would follow that north to Westfield, and across SR 32. We were meeting at Lincoln Square, and it was on the northside of Westfield. The area had been one restaurant for a number of years, but had changed hands numerous times of late. I don't recall ever eating at the restaurant that stood here, though I had passed it a thousand times to visit relatives.

Kevin and I pulled in, being the first two VTX's to enter the parking lot. We would venture inside to get a table after Jerry, another VTX Rider from the forum, and the one who had suggested the ride, as he rode it last year, and Greg, the guy from the Cruiser Club, and the ride with Julie. As we were inside waiting for our table, I saw my father pull up. Once I saw where we would be sitting, I went out to retrieve him.

We made our way around the table with introductions, and the conversation started immediately. Before our breakfast was done, Paintman also showed up, but had a young birthday party to attend.

We paid our bills, and headed up further north on US 31. We would be on this dual lane, divided, mostly straight, stretch for about 45 miles. Passing the likes of Tipton, and "stoplight city" Kokomo, Indiana. The by-pass was in serious need of a by-pass. Our starting point was Fort Grissom Air Force Base. The ride was to raise money for veterans of foreign wars, and the stop points would all be VFW Halls. I had programmed them into the GPS, just in case.

After registering, and receiving our vague instructions, I went over and chatted with Ken and Ed, from the Fort Wayne Chapter of Cruiser Club, USA. There were about 30 bikes all sitting around, as everyone was waiting for the first person to pull out, and we would all follow them. No one was willing to be the first person, and most of us were confused on which way to get out of the parking lot!!

After some debating, a couple of bikes riding two up decided to lead us. We rolled through some back roads to Logansport, Indiana. In town, the group got broken up, and eventually, I would have to lead what was left of the group to the VFW Post. I figured we would get a ticket, draw a card, or something, but apparently we were supposed to get drink, or a doughnut or something while at the post?

The group left in mass to head to Rochester. Once again, but much more quickly, the group got broken up, and I had to take the point, and get us back on track. The VFW in Rochester was tucked away along the lake, and was herd to spot, but fortunately I was alert enough to see it.

From Rochester, we departed to the east, to head to Peru. Dad and I had talked about where the post was, and the info I found online was different from our recollections. I was just following the crowd, so I decided to stick with them. Once again, but all as a group, we were led astray. After rounding a city block, we returned along part of the trip, and made it to the correct location.

By this time, in Peru, everyone was getting tired, and more importantly, hungry. It was nearly a unanimous decision to just get back the base as quick as possible. We would us SR 24 back to US 31, and head south.

Back at the base, we claim our prizes, collected a pulled pork sandwich, and sat inside the officers club for a late lunch. I was ready to go home, and I wasn't alone. Kevin and Greg rode back down US 31 with me, and Kevin stayed until Washington Street.

I will have to down load the tracks from this one, as I am not sure what roads we traveled, and we had directions!!


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