Flat land, flat tire…

Posted  Sunday, Aug 24, 2008 , by  Ken Ostermann

Back to riding today after our extra day yesterday in Colorado Springs. Hays, KS is the destination and after a quick breakfast we hit the road. I think I witnessed the fastest consumption of a breakfast ever this morning by the H-D photographer, Victor. One minute. Crazy.

Stayahead We’ve had what I’ll call an unbelievable ride so far. Fun people, great scenery, some heat, some cool, but no rain and overall great weather. Haven’t even touched the rain suit. No bikes issues either. Many (perhaps most) of my peers leading rides from other cities haven’t been so lucky. Rain, cold, and a tropical storm have impacted many rides. Well, it looked like our luck was about to end. The weather forecast for the day didn’t look great.

Rainsuits The clouds were dark, swirling and fast moving when we stopped at our first gas stop. After some debate, we put the rain suits on. My experience has always been that if I don’t put the suit on, the rain comes fast and hard. Clearly I’m not a meteorologist, but I’m guessing with the land as flat as it is around here (really not much to see), the weather systems move quickly.

Calling While I was worrying about the weather, Dan (our ride manager) had the opportunity to sleep part of the way to Hayes. That wasn’t in the plan. His nap was in a tow truck. Dan’s bike developed a flat rear tire 120 miles out from Hayes. Always fun at 75 m.p.h., he safely navigated the bike to the shoulder. While the group waited for a tow truck (courtesy of the H.O.G. roadside assistance program) Rod took a quick nap and Eric read a book. Rod was just about to hydrate some brush on the side of the road when a State Trooper stopped to check in on them. It would have been amusing if he was mid-stream when the Trooper pulled up.

Doerflers When we finally made it to Doerflers’ H-D, the place was hopping. The weather had cleared and we escaped without a single drop of rain. Shannon from the dealership did a great job pulling together a fun event. They had some motorcycle rodeo activities, a great band, good food and lots of people, including many from their H.O.G. chapter. They also helped us out with a new tire for Dan’s bike. Sean, a H-D ride leader who started in Liberal, KS, also met us at the dealership today.

One of the guys in our group tried arranging dinner tonight. He convinced a young lady from the hotel to drive us to the local brew pub (thanks Stacy!). However, we got a tour of Hayes in a hotel shuttle but no dinner. Important note to dinner planners everywhere – check if the restaurant you are going to is still open before heading out with a van full of hungry and thirsty people.

Posted Sun, Aug 24, 2:52 PM by Becky

Welcome!!! Have a great time while you are here and be safe on your journey back. Well see you all again soon! :)

Posted Sun, Aug 24, 2:52 PM by Christian Schauf

Hey Ken - Chris Schauf here, past intern. Im watching you from my MacBook Pro. Ill be in Milwaukee this weekend on my VRSCDX, hope to run into you, but not literally. All the best, and enjoy your ride!

Posted Sun, Aug 24, 2:52 PM by Denise Kersky

Glad Dan (my brother) was able to navigate his bike safely with a flat. It sounds like youve had an awesome ride! Please say hi to Dan and well see you all in Milwaukee TODAY!!!

Posted Sun, Aug 24, 2:52 PM by Dennis Crowell

Hi! My two brothers and I were planning to make the trip for the 105th but things are just not working out.I am from Emporia,Ks and my younger brother is from Topeka,Ks.Reading this blog it looks like you are leaving Hays,Ks tomorrow.It would atleast be cool if we could meet up with you somewhere between Hays and Kansas City for at least a short leg of the trip. If possible could you give me some Idea of what times to look for you between Hays and KC? Either way,Good Luck all the way and back! Dennis and Alan Crowell P.S. I have a 1980 FLT Shovelhead and Alan has a 105th anniversary Heritage classic.

Posted Sun, Aug 24, 2:52 PM by Shannon Dechant

We really enjoyed your visit to our dealership! Next time you are through we would be happy to take you to the brew pub...when its open of course :) Enjoy the rest of the ride!

With 16 years of riding experience, there's nothing that can keep Ken Ostermann (H-D General Manager, Outreach Marketing) from exploring the open road. "It's the perfect escape from the daily routine." One of his most memorable rides was immediately after 9/11. He rode with a group of donated police motorcycles from Milwaukee to NYC. "It was a solemn mission and I was honored to be one of the riders." Nothing brings people together like the roads we share.

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