By Norm Kern
The first Motorcycle Sport Touring Association (MSTA) FlyBy Week rally at Marietta, Ohio was a big success. Helped by perfect weather all week (except part of Tuesday), every day offered great riding on the twisty backroads of Southeastern Ohio and Northern West Virginia.
At the end of a riding day, MSTA members want to get a shower, change clothes and enjoy dinner at a nice restaurant, but that doesn’t include putting their gear back on riding their bikes into town. To solve this problem, we offered “dinner tours,” going to a different downtown restaurant each evening. On Monday-Wednesday evening we knew attendance would be light and were able to find enough four wheeled vehicles to carpool attendees to and from downtown on those nights.
Most attendees arrived on Thursday, and we were ready with quick registration check-in and a trolley bus to take the large crowd into town for the evening’s dinner tour. Thursday was also the day we set up the “outdoor lounge” behind the hotel to give attendees a place to relax, gather and enjoy a cookout on Friday night.
Thursday was also a fun riding day as Thunder Roads’ own Derek TRO Smith brought his Yamaha FJR and came to do his first sport touring event and ride with me. We also had Charles Averell, a TRO reader who came to the event on his Harley bagger to see what FlyBy Week was all about. The three of us rode a West Virginia route that took us back across the Ohio river on the Sistersville ferry and returned to Marietta on OH Route 26. How did they do?
We started out slow, but by the end of the 200-mile route, both Derek and Charles had improved their average speed by almost 15 MPH and were comfortable and having a great time. Charles said, “These are the kinds of roads I want to ride. I’ll be back next year with some friends!”
Although Charles had to go home, Derek stayed and went on the dinner tour before leaving for other commitments Friday morning. Here’s Derek with one of our volunteer members Jennie Kimes.
Friday evening was the brat burn at the “outdoor lounge” behind the hotel. There was plenty of good food and conversation.
Saturday was another big riding day and everyone finished the week without any crashes or performance awards. The weather stayed dry and cool, topping off a perfect week. We even had enough volunteers to share the work load, so everyone got to enjoy the rally. Event volunteers Rob Bowling and Allan Skinner taking a lunch break on a ride.
Mark your calendar for next year’s FlyBy Week-
MONDAY, AUGUST 19—SUNDAY, AUGUST 25.
Here is what some of the attendees had to say about FlyBy Week:
Andray Hubble, Guntersville, AL: “I want to thank Norm Kern and all of the folks who volunteered at FlyBy Week 2018. I had a great time and look forward to next year! It was fun catching up with friends I have not seen in awhile and getting out on the fun roads in southern Ohio and West Virginia. Great weather, event planning, routes, and good seeing so many friends. Ride safe!”
Michael Molnar with Rich Prindle and two others: “Awesome ride today with great MSTA friends! FlyBy Week 2018 was a blast. Thanks to Norm Kern and the many others that helped keep this traditional ride alive!”
Dan Steinberg, Mike Suchara, Rick Barnes, Ron Rieger and Joel Sherzer make a stop at the Big Muskie Bucket, Miners’ Memorial Park near McConnelsville, OH. Dan says, “The FlyBy Week event this past weekend was awesome. My posse from Illinois had a blast and it was fun riding many new roads. Thank you for organizing and putting everything together!”
Cliff, Cook, Kingsport, TN: “Great stuff. Fun time by all. Thanks to Norm and many more volunteers.”
Derek TRO Smith talks about FlyBy Week with MSTA Chicago, IL member Dan Steinberg. https://www.facebook.com/thunderroadsohio/videos/2113182492342599/
New MSTA member Matthew LaComb posted this great video of a ride from MSTA FlyBy Week. The video is from the Bridge ride route to New River Bridge. The first part shows the ride down to the river below the bridge, then takes you back to FBW headquarters at Marietta, OH. Great stuff. Thank you Matthew!
Had an absolute blast riding around the last two days!!
Posted by Matthew LaComb on Sunday, August 26, 2018
FlyBy Week attendees John and Ann-Prevost Cirner, Oxford, MI, shared a video clip from the sweepers of WV. John says, “It was great to see so many friendly faces at FlyBy Week. Thanks for the warm welcome! Here is a little clip from our custom route. If you are short on time skip to the 5:00 mark to start sweeper happiness! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utVKb7L4wbs&feature=youtu.be
Connect with local Ohio MSTA riders at these monthly breakfasts:
Southwest Ohio Breakfast, 9AM October 20
Village Family Restaurant
144 S. Main St.
Waynesville, OH 45068
Central Ohio Breakfast, 8AM, November 4
6515 S High St
Lockbourne, OH 43137