Sport Touring Corner
By Norm Kern
MSTA Red River Gorge Rally at Mt Sterling, Kentucky, was held the weekend of July 11. Event coordinator Pat Mogavero put together a package of five great routes through the mountains and back roads of Eastern Kentucky. Many of us rode the popular Hillbilly Triangle route on Friday, that included over 260 miles of great technical mountain roads, including the well-known NADA tunnel near Red River Gorge. It’s an old railroad tunnel bored through solid rock, with a one lane roadbed and no internal lighting. Another popular route for Friday was the Four Parks Ride that visited four state parks along its path.
There was quite a collection of interesting bikes at the rally, including several Moto Guzzis, a BMW K1600 cruiser and a new 650 Royal Enfield.
If the photos don’t seem to show much social distancing, understand that it was quite breezy all weekend, reducing risk. Dining at the nearby Cattlemen’s Steakhouse was quite good. They had both indoor spread out seating and outdoor seating. There were additional tables outside where you could sit while waiting for indoor seating. The food was good, but the most interesting thing was the salad bar. How can they have a salad bar in the age of COVID? Simple. They had it completely glassed in. You just walk by, tell the server what you want and they fix your dish to order. Fantastic!
Saturday, Pat led a Group Ride on a route that was a bit easier than some of the others. It was intended for attendees new to MSTA rallies, but some regular members who wanted a day off from doing their own navigating joined in as well. Seventeen riders participated- almost a third of the attendees- and all had a great time.
MSTA FlyBy Week, Marietta, Ohio, August 24-30,
is still a go. Fortunately, Washington county, where Marietta is located, continues to be one of the Ohio counties least affected by COVID. That said, some normal event activities will still be modified or eliminated.
Riding activities for FlyBy Week, especially in the smaller groups typical of the MSTA sport touring style, are unaffected. This will be the best year ever for FlyBy Week routes, with twenty five available.
Riders, can choose from Destination routes which feature parks, landmarks, outstanding places to eat etc. Touring Bike-Friendly routes are designed for big bikes and two-up riding, Easy Navigation routes are tailored for those who don’t want to use a GPS, and Twisty and Technical routes are there for the hard core sport touring riders. There are even short routes of 50-120 miles for people who arrive late in the day or get back early from their main chosen route and want an extra quick loop.
Given the popularity of the group ride at Red River Gorge, we will offer them at FlyBy Week as well. Finally, we have five Adventure routes to choose from in both Ohio and West Virginia.
Social distancing remains a top priority, so we will not be having the traditional Friday burger burn or the Saturday night group buffet. Attendees will be on their own for meals, but there are plenty of dining options including take-out and delivery services.
Our trademark “Outdoor Lounge” will be set up with pop-ups and tables spread out so those who get food delivered will have a comfortable place to eat. As always there will be plenty of lounge chairs for safe and flexible outdoor seating.
We had to cancel the Monday – Thursday “Dinner Tours,” as we will not be able to provide a bus or van to transport groups downtown for dinner. Most of the nice restaurants in town are currently open, and attendees can still arrange their own transportation or make informal group arrangements for whatever they are comfortable with.
To minimize risk, we strongly encourage online registration. If you must register in person at the event, our registration area is quite large and since registration is spread through the whole week, there are never more than a few people there at a time. .
Connect with local Ohio Motorcycle Sport Touring Association riders at these monthly breakfasts:
Southwest Ohio Breakfast, 9AM August 15
Village Family Restaurant
144 S. Main St.
Waynesville, OH 45068
Central Ohio Breakfast, 8AM, September 6
6515 S High St
Lockbourne, OH 43137