European Rider’s Rally 2012

A couple dozen of our Members gathered for an uncharacteristically warm and sunny weekend at the European Rider’s Rally in Burkesville, KY this past weekend.

We each took our own roads there. Many traveled in small groups according to their schedules and desires for backroads or interstates. I met up with Club member Dennis Shelley and his friend Gary Clark at our pre-arranged spot in Shelbyville.

A short hop on I-74 for a short over to Greensburg was (thankfully) the only interstate we’d see the entire weekend!

Dennis took us down some interesting backroads that I’d never experienced before. Look for Old Michigan Road on a map. Paralleling 421 from the north end of the Jefferson Proving Grounds to just south of Napoleon, it’s straight as an arrow, nice surface and very scenic.

Old Michigan Road

Old Michigan Road

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We crossed the Ohio river at Madison where they’re working on replacing the old steel bridge. The plan is to construct the new bridge, lift it in place on temporary piers beside the old bridge and then slide it over. That would be interesting to watch.

Crossing the Madison Bridge

Crossing the Madison Bridge

Shortly after crossing the bridge, pangs of hunger struck. So we stopped into a wonderful little roadside diner in a small town in Bedford, Kentucky to satisfy gastronomic needs and uphold the Club’s Motto (Ride to Eat–Eat to Ride)

Little Town & Country -- Bedford, KY

We had a great breakfast served by this wonderfully energetic and funny lady.

She was the higlight of our morning

A short distance down the road we encountered a number of cute little bikes congregated in a church parking lot. They are vintage Cushman scooters. What a contrast next to our bike!

Cushman Scooters Rally

We then shuddered to the realization the scooters were pulling out onto the 2 lane road the same direction we were headed. What resulted was a mile-long traffic backup after a couple of them couldn’t make it up a steep hill and the group had to negotiate a left turn (only 3 could slowly put through on one change of the light). Fortunately, they had another stop a short distance away and we continued our journey towards Burkesville.

Arriving relatively early rewarded us with access to a nice shady spot to set up camp.

Shady spot to camp

Along with Dennis, Gary, Rich Nathan and one of his friends, we set out on Saturday for a day chocked full of twisty, curvy backroad riding. One of the roads would rival some of the most challenging technical stretches I’ve encountered in the Appalachian region {Look for KY-92 near Steams, KY}. Well wrung out from that stretch, we arrived safely at the Cumberland Falls. This shady oasis made for a very interesting and refreshing break.

Cumberland Falls

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Later on back at camp, satiated by our steak dinners, we enjoyed some lovely animated discussions around the campfire–sharing interesting stories from the day and from days past.

Around the campfire

Camaraderie around the campfire

The following morning dawned clear and bright. We packed up our camp and loaded gear onto the bikes while the sun’s rays slowly burned away the remaining morning fog. Dennis, Gary and I set out on another journey to find an enjoyable backroad route homeward. Leaving Burkesville and heading south rewarded us an opportunity to ferry across the Cumberland River at Turkey Neck Bend.

Crossing the Cumberland via ferry at Turkey's Neck Bend

A good time was shared by all.