Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Dayton, Ohio and the Harley Owners Group Rally

On June 26th Louise and I loaded our travel bag on the Harley and left our campground in Tennessee for Dayton, Ohio and the H.O.G. rally. We left about 7:30 am for the 305 mile ride to our friend Barbara Harmon's house. This was going to be our home for the length of the rally. Barbara's house was only 2 miles from the headquarters for the rally so we decided to take advantage of her hospitality. The ride started out with cool weather and as we climbed the mountain heading north it got cooler, than pretty dang cold. We stopped at the top and put on a few more layers.  
Coming down the hill to Cincinnati
 We arrived at Barbara's about 6 hours later. The ride was pretty easy with very little traffic along the way. After resting for a little while we were off to Marion's Pizza to meet up with friends Wayne and Denise. I worked with Wayne for 25 years at GM. Marion's is a Dayton area pizza place--one of our favorites. Every time we go to Dayton we have stop for their pizzas. 
Wayne, Denise and Barbara
 On Wednesday we headed to our daughter's house for a grandkid fix. Well, that and to visit with daughter Rachel and her husband Benji. We had a really good dinner and a great visit. 
Daughter Rachel's family
 Thursday was the start of the HOG rally. We got to Best Western Hotel, the headquarters of the rally, about 8:30 am and picked up our preregistration packet. They had a guided ride taking off at 9:15 so we signed up and went to get lined up. Right on time, the lead man called to start our bikes and we were off. The ride took us on round about way to Mason, Ohio and the Powder Keg Harley dealer. Did I say a round about way? We went way west, then south, before heading east. We rode about 80 miles to get to the dealership. If they would have gone down the interstate the ride would have been about 40 miles. All of the guided rides were on the back roads of Ohio. The idea was not to get anywhere in a hurry, but it was to enjoy the ride and the scenery.  

Powder Keg Harley in Mason, Ohio
 I lived in Ohio most of my life and I didn't know there were so many scenic roads around Dayton. 
 Our next stop was the Wright Brothers Hanger where a reproduction of their plane is kept. Another place I had never visited.
 We arrived back at the Best Western after a ride of 135 miles. I am not a big fan of the group rides because  you have ride in formation all the time. This ride was not as tiring as some of the other group rides I have been on. I guess I am getting more relaxed doing these rides and really enjoyed this one.
Just a few of the bikes at the rally
 Thursday night was the opening ceremonies and a catered dinner. The food was good and we stuck around for the opening. They had a band playing after the opening of the rally. We listened for a short time and decided to head back to Barbara's to rest up for the next day. 
 Louise wanted to go for a visit with her Uncle Paul who just turn 95 years young. Friday morning we rode north to Fort Loramie. We had a nice visit, then headed back to the rally. On the way back to the rally, my bike started to miss pretty badly. It had been missing a little when it got really hot on long rides, but this time it was much worst. When we got back to Dayton, I called the local Harley shop and they said bring it right over. I was not sure I was going to make it there for all the missing it was doing. When I got there the service manager had gone to lunch and the wait started. In their defense, there was a rally going on and they were very busy. I waited about 2 hours before they got around to checking my bike. After a test ride and hooking it up to a test machine, I was told I had a burnt valve. NOOOO!!!!!! It seems that whoever put the new exhaust on the bike, done before I bought it, they had failed to tune the bike to the new pipes which caused the problem. I decided to leave the bike with them for repairs. I was told it would take about a week before it was done. This left us without a bike and our rally over. Now how do we get back to Knoxville? When we got back to the house, Barbara and her friend Gene offered to take us back to our rv park. Did I say they our REALLY GOOD friends. Since our rally was over, we left on Saturday to head back. Our friends stayed the night with us then headed back to Ohio. Thank you so much dear friends.
Buckeye Harley where my bike is being fixed
We will return to Ohio for a week visit with family and to pick up the bike on the 19th of July. I sure hope they have it ready by then. We will take the truck up so we can drop a desk off we have for Rachel and to load the bike in for the trip back.
Till next time
Duane and Louise