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The Over The Hill Gang

The Over The Hill Gang
Let's ride! Riders are Jerry Cole, Billy Niverson, John Nave, Jack McClain, Larry Davis, Larry Burk, Merle Combs, Charles Thomas, Art Adrianson, Larry Miller.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Spencerville Ride

We rode to Spencerville, Ohio, today for lunch.

From Wikipedia:

"Spencerville was built on the new Miami and Erie Canal ca. 1840. The canal made the area quite prosperous through the 1850s, when railroads began supplanting the slower canal system."

We rode along the canal for a while and then rode over to Mendon, Ohio to "Jim's Harley Davidson" to see the museum Jim has at his dealership.  We rode through Wapakoneta, Ohio  (hard to get the complete name on the water tower) to get to Jim's place:

Wapakoneta, Ohio is the boyhood home of Neal Armstrong.  There's a museum there honoring Neal but we did not go there as I didn't know about it until I got home.  Here's a link to the museum:

Neil Armstrong Museum


Jim's Harley Davidson museum is really nice and he has an extensive collection of Harley Davidson memorabilia.  We visited Jim's place once before and the pictures are here:

Medon, Ohio HD 

After Mendon, we rode down to The Pullman Restaurant at Celina, Ohio, for pie and ice cream, and then rode on home.

220 miles and near ninety degrees.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Culver Military Academy

We rode up to Culver Military Academy today.  We (twelve of us) stopped at the restaurant across from Grissom Reserve Air Force Base, near Peru,  for a quick breakfast and a cup of coffee before starting our ride up north:

We rode through areas that had standing water from all the rain they received up north of us.  A couple places the water ran over the road surface causing us to slow down to a crawl.  This has been one of the wettest months of May in Indiana history.

After arriving in Culver, we rode around Lake Maxinkuckee that sets beside Culver, Indiana.  Culver is the home of The Culver Military Academy.

A link to Culver Military Academy: Click here to go to Culver Website

Lake "Max":

Some of the buildings at Culver Military Academy:

Culver Academy is known for it's soccer, rowing, and equestrian teams.

They had a lot of standing water at the Academy soccer fields--the tents are a nice touch.

After a "riding tour" of The Academy, we stopped  at The Dairy Queen for ice cream, and then rode home.

I rode 187 miles today.  Beautiful weather.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Our Ride To Moscow

Moscow, Indiana, that is.  In June 3, 2008 a tornado tore through Moscow, Indiana and caused terrible destruction and the lost of one life.  The lady killed by the tornado was 66 year old Diane Hester.  Also destroyed was the Moscow Covered Bridge.  The bridge was built in 1886 and was 346 feet long.  It spanned the Big Flatrock river.  Here's what it looked like before it was tossed into the river by the F3-F5 tornado:

And here's links to some more information about the bridge and tornado:

Larry Burk mentioned to me that we ought to ride down there and see the work being done to restore the covered bridge.  I love seeing old covered bridges, so I set up a ride down to Moscow.

Seven set off on the ride, but soon one of us had to go home.  I'll not say why, but duty called.  Six of us carried on.  The weather forecast was for 68 degrees, later in the day, but as we rode south the temperature started dropping and eventually got down to 49 degrees.  As some of us had summer clothes on, it got down right chilly.  We stopped on the south side of Anderson at a McDonald's to warm up with a cup of hot coffee.  Continuing on south, after the break, we made it all the way to Rushville before stopping again at McDonald's.  That's about our ride time, one hour before stopping.  Then on down to the Moscow Covered bridge.  At the bridge, we met Mr. Arthur Gatewood Jr. who is a professional photographer from Fortville, Indiana.  He was there taking pictures of the bridge and shared with us information about the bridge and what happened during the tornado.  Here's a picture of the new span that's in place:

And a picture of the second, longer, span still on the ground:

Here's the Flatrock river:

Here's a movie I took of the bridge (click on thumbnail to play movie):


After looking at the work in progress we headed back east to eat lunch at The Dutch Mill Buffet near Milroy, Indiana.  Here we are enjoying the buffet:

Here's a link to a pdf of the restaurant (you'll need Adobe Acrobat to view it-get that here):

All in all, a nice ride.  182 miles and chilly.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Well, I always thought that most places I've been in my life was "hicksville", but yesterday really was!

Nine of us took off for parts unknown, yesterday morning, from our new meeting place at Gabriel's Pancake House in Marion, Indiana.  I led the ride as our usual leader, Merle, was "under the weather".  I had no idea where we were going except north.  First stop was McDonald's at North Manchester for coffee.  Then we headed north for "The Lakes".  I had some idea about touring Lake Wawasee or Lake Tippecanoe but when I got up to U.S. 6,  I decided to go east.  No reason, just "wandering.  That's what I like to do on my motorcycle, wander.  We stopped at Kendalville for lunch and then continued east to St. Rd. 49 in Ohio.  We turned south on St. Rd. 49 and traveled south through Ohio.  My "goal in life" is to lead us to roads we have never traveled.  I'd say yesterday, I completed my goal.  We were all over the Ohio country side on back roads.  That's how we came to be in The Village of Hicksville, Ohio.

I must say, The Village of Hicksville was one of the prettiest towns I've ever been in.  It has a great downtown with many blocks of small stores.  The entire town is as clean and neat as you could want.  I don't know why some small towns are so nice while others are rundown and dirty.  Hicksville has a new elementary school (being a retired teacher I always notice the schools) that is really magnificent looking.  All brick and very big.

After we left Hicksville we went south down to Payne, Ohio.  I rode past the Wildcat Creek Popcorn Farm before I knew it or I would have pulled in and bought some popcorn.  They sell the greatest popcorn in the world---white chocolate covered almond popcorn!  You have to taste it to know how good popcorn can be!  Here's their website:

Anyway, we wound our way down country roads until we picked up U.S. 224 and then headed west to Decatur, where we stopped for gas.  It was a fast run (the sky looked like rain and we did get sprinkled on) back to Bluffton and home.  I didn't realize it at the time but we made a round-robin trip around Fort Wayne.

227 miles in total and I was tired.  Very nice ride and a good day.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Not A Nice Day For Riding..

It was raining when I was ready to leave the house for the Outpost, so I went by car.  Eight of us showed up.  We were waited on by our wait-persons,


And Cori:

It was decided, by mutual consent, that we would move the meeting place for the rides to Gabriels Pancake House on the Marion By-Pass (where Ugalde's restaurant used to be, by the Mall) and move the times to 9:00 AM for both Wednesday and Saturday rides.  If the weather is bad we can meet and go into Gabriels Pancake House to eat.  I think, if the weather is bad, I'll just skip breakfast at home and eat breakfast when I get to the meeting.  We will have to iron out the details as we see what happens at the first meetings.  Any suggestions are welcome in the comments.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Trip To Southside Harley Davidson

We rode down to Harley Southside today.  Eight of us rode down to Rachel's Hi Way Restaurant on the south side of Alexandria for lunch.  Nice place and pretty good food.  Not as good as The Outpost, but O.K.  We went past Anderson on IN. 9 by-pass.  What an awful by-pass.  The traffic is bad and there are stoplights every block, it seems.  We ran into a lot of road construction down around the south side of Indy.  It seems like road construction starts earlier each year.  We had three riders drop off as we got farther down south.  Five of us visited Southside HD:

There were a few extra customer bikes (plus ours) shown here at Southside HD.

Here's the four guys riding with me:

Jerry Cole, John Nave, Billy Niverson, and Merle Combs at the front of the store:

Of course, while there, I HAD to buy a new T-shirt:

Front, and here's the back:

I don't really need any more T-shirts but the art work was so beautiful I HAD to buy it.  My wife says it's a little "racy" but when you're my age a little racy is O.K. :)  It's like a dog chasing a car;  if I caught it I wouldn't know what to do with it! :)

We went to a McDonald's (of course) right beside Southside HD for hot fudge sundaes and then took off for home.

We came back home on I-465 around Indy.  As John says after we got off I-465, "That was fun!".  I think he was being sarcastic, but maybe not.  I finally saw the light bar on top of the Indiana State Police car that was  following me as I was going to pass a semi-truck and I pulled back in.  He didn't seem to mind everyone going 70 MPH in a 55 MPH zone.  If you don't go 70 MPH the other cars will run over you!  You sure are "exposed" sitting on a motorcycle going that fast with cars all around you.  I wondered how many "drivers" were texting on their cell phones.  We rode back home on IN 37 and that was a nice ride.  I sure like the two lane rodes better than the Interstate highways.  The Interstate highways are fine when you're out in rural areas, but around cities, they are too much for me on a motorcycle.

163 miles total on the trip.  Beautiful 82 degrees for a high temperature.