Friday, April 6, 2012

Masters RTE - 2012

Since I joined the MTF forum I have always heard about, “The Master’s RTE” and to be honest I kinda’ thought it was just for certain members. I figured that you had to have been a member for X number of years or completed X number of rides. Yea, I know, I’m very naive. It didn’t dawn on my until last year that this RTE happened to be held in Augusta around the same time as The Masters golf tournament. However, to my defense I was raised riding motorcycles, other sports just didn’t seem to make the cut and quite honestly the most I knew about golf was from a skit that Robin Williams did…

In the past couple months I had been hearing that a lot of folks would be heading to Augusta so we figured, why not? Google was showing that it was only a couple hundred miles away. NBD! So Dad and I got started texting back and forth with Joey Lawson (our LD neighbor) to see if he and his family were planning on going and if he would be interested in riding down together. We really had to twist his arm… In addition, I had run into one of our neighbors, Chris Kiger, who has taken an interest in long distance riding. While walking Zeus I mentioned the RTE in passing, he seemed interested and asked to join. Ah hell, the more the merrier!

Our Neighbor, Chris Kiger, joined us on this RTE.

So 5am on Saturday morning, Mom, Dad, Chris and myself met up with Joey, his parents Jim and Ann as well as Joey’s friend Wes, who had just purchased a new Gold Wing. Pulling out of the BP station the rain was rather light, just enough to cover the shields but not enough to really run down them and the roads were empty till we got towards Charlotte. That Saturday there was a large gathering at the Lowes Motor Speedway honoring Vietnam veterans. Even in the rain we were meeting hundreds of bikes going the other direction.

We stopped just south of Charlotte for a quick breakfast at McDonalds and as we were sitting down the bottom fell out of the sky. Fortunately the heavy down pour decided to let up after a few minutes which we took advantage of and continued to head south.

Joey's parents Wing. Those lights are something else...

Joey's ST/vampire killer.

As the sun began to rise we started seeing more bikes headed north to the speedway. I later heard from a co-worker that they had bikes lined up on the apron of the track from turn three all the way across the dog leg on the front stretch. Despite the off and on rain showers they had a really good turnout.

As we made our way south we continued to move through the bands of rain. These heavy bands of rain would usually be followed by glints of sunshine. During one such break we decided to take a short break for fuel and grab a quick Waffle House tag. Once we headed out, the rain decided to pick up again. It looked like it was going to be like this for the entire ride.

It was a little bit of a wet ride...

It was starting to clear up when we got close.

Once we made it to Georgia and on the belt line of Augusta, the rain lifted and the sun shine broke through. We made a quick tag again just off the highway before we pulled into Sconyer’s BBQ. We arrived just shy of 11am and to our surprise we were one of the first ones there. Joey had warned us that in the past the parking lot was full prior to 11am. It wasn’t the case this year; however we weren’t there long before the crowd did decide to show up.

The crowd is starting to form.

Kevin's ST

As more riders showed up, we made our rounds shaking hands, talking about the ride down and meeting other members. Greg and Pat were attendance and making custom ear plugs out of the tour pack on their Gold Wing. The crowd seemed to hang around them more than anywhere else till the fat guys started making their way to the restaurant. Being new to the MTF one might miss this cue, however, a veteran knows that when the big guys head to the door there is food on the table.

The restaurant was very well decorated and the wait staff was extremely friendly. The food looked rather odd but man was it good! I devoured a rack of ribs and plate of hash on my own though the hash didn’t look that appetizing. Once I finished, Greg asked if I was interested in getting some plugs made and motioned me out side to get the process started. The process felt rather odd as he stuffed a small piece of foam in my ears followed by a quick push of this putty stuff. While he was doing this he mentioned that I had rather small ears and could probably use just one batch of putty to make my set! He said I had small ears; that was a first! Once the stuff was formed I had to let it set up, so I walked around the crowd that had made its way out of the restaurant. While Dad was getting a set of his own made I pulled the radar up on my phone to see what all the other riders were talking about. Just south of Augusta there was a large band of rain moving through that was going to cause some issues for the guys heading to Florida.

Once the plugs were cured, I handed Pat a 20 for their work and we set out on our way home. Seeing as how we wouldn’t be back that way anytime soon we decided to hit as many WH’s as we could oh the way home. Jim and Ann headed on home to catch the game while the rest of us went from store to store. We managed to pick up 10 or 11 by heading back around Augusta before heading north.

That's not very nice, Mom.

Wes on his new wing. First ride with him, hope he joins us again soon.

Joey cruisin on by.

Chris enjoying an apple on the ride home.

The trip up was rather un-eventful aside from a slight detour outside of Rock Hill, SC due to a wreck on 77. Once in NC I broke off from the group and headed to Huntersville to spend the night with Travis and Rachel again since I was down that way.

It was good trip and was the first time riding with Joey and his family, not sure of the overall mileage since I took that detour and then went riding again on Sunday. Chris seemed to really enjoy himself around the LD crowd. Last I heard he was planning on attempting a SS1000 fairly soon. Looking forward to more rides with the Lawson as well as Chris and Wes.

For more photos of the RTE, please go to my fathers photobucket. Link below.

I called it a mini tank, but apparently I was wrong.

I don't know what it does specifically, but what ever it does, I bet it does it well.

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