Volume 1                         DECEMBER 2004                        Issue 7

Newsletter Archives


2004 in Review

Now seems like a good time to review our club’s activities for the past year as we look forward to the New Year. 

  • Membership is up
  • Pick-up rides nearly outnumbered scheduled rides.
  • Turnouts for rides were up
  • Our involvement in charitable activities were up
  • Our non-riding events were well attended

New Members

Although we won’t know for sure what our membership will be for 2005 as renewals aren’t all in yet, we did have an increase in membership for 2004. The question is, “is that good or bad”?

Our answer is up is good as it affords us all new riders with fresh perspectives about riding, maintenance, products and solutions.

So, welcome all new members and in particular the newest:

Dusty Samouse
Richard Conway
Paul & Jeanine Bailey
Wes Matson

Club membership currently stands at 42.

Pick Up Rides

One of the fun reasons to belong to the Montana Retreads is the opportunity to go riding at the drop of a hat with other like minded riders in this great riding state. Although there is an official club ride schedule, it is always okay to “ping” the membership by either e-mail or phone to see if anyone wants to ride at times other than the published schedule. Over the last 6 months we’ve had many rides that were spur of the moment. Many of them resulted in a ride up Lolo Pass to the Lochsa Lodge for breakfast or early lunch.  Some rides ventured further to places like Coolidge Ghost town, Lowell and Salmon, Idaho.

As always, every rider has a different view of what constitutes a good ride. Some like to go fast and others like to go at a slower pace and enjoy the scenery. All purposes are acceptable and should be talked about with the group before proceeding. As was discussed just recently at a club breakfast, even on pick up rides, a ride captain should be appointed so that personal changes in schedule, gas stops, or mishaps can all be handled by one person and no one gets left behind or disappears from view without an explanation.  This is not a requirement, but a suggestion for future rides. The last thing we want to have happen is someone getting lost or having a “fall down” and no one going back to look for them.


Safety Tip

"Most motorcycle fatalities are the result of head injuries, and a helmet is the main defense. A good helmet protects form a variety of head traumas such as abrasion, concussion, and fracture.

Your helmet also protects you from the elements. It will keep your head warm and dry, reduce wind noise, and protect you from flying debris and insects. If you have a face shield (and you should) it protects your eyes from wind, bugs, and debris, and if tinted, can double as a sunlight filter.

Your helmet, being the highest point on you and your motorcycle, can significantly improve your visibility, if you choose white or bright colors.

Helmet Types

Full Face…Full face helmets offer the most protection in any kind of accident, and are always your best choice.
Three Quarter
…a ¾ helmet is moderate protection. It protects your head from top, side and rear impacts, but will not protect you if you land fully on your face. 50% of head injuries involve the face.
Shorty…although they are legal, we don’t recommend them as safety gear because of the minimal protection they provide.

Recommendations:  We recommend you always [purchase a new helmet. Helmets are designed to protect you through only one collision and you won’t know the history of a used helmet. 

We recommend a full-face helmet, and fiberglass outer shell construction. We also recommend you have a full face visor with your helmet, whatever the style.

Your helmet must fit properly. A proper fit is snug enough to avoid coming off in a fall but not so tight as to be painful…

Finally, we recommend some color other than black to enhance your visibility.

You will be spending a lot of time in your helmet. Buy the best, most comfortable one you can afford.”

 (This article is reprinted with author’s permission)

(Editor’s Note: We apologize for the length of this article, but felt it was worth sharing, especially for new members and riders.

Maintenance Tip

In the last issue we talked about putting fresh oil in your bike before storing it for the winter. We should also have mentioned that tires tend to lose about 10 lbs of pressure when the weather drops below freezing. So, it’s a good idea to check the tire pressure regularly during storage (even if your bike is stored inside) to ensure that the casings don’t collapse and get damaged due to under inflation.

Fun Quiz

 (answers hidden somewhere in the newsletter):

  1. How many times did we (any of us, official or not) end up at Lochsa Lodge?
  2. Who fell down on the way to Coolidge Ghost town?
  3. How many Retreads bikes actually rode the prescribed route to West Yellowstone on the Hope Ride?
  4. What is the name of the new winter café for breakfast meetings?
  5. What was the one new rule the Retreads put in for the coming year?
  6. Who owns the most bikes (running or not)?
  7. How many gas pumps are there at Lowell, ID?
  8. What’s the speed limit at the top of Lolo Pass?
  9. How many rules are there for the Montana Retreads?
  10. On the Big Fork Ride, how many actually got wet?

Editor’s Box

This little newsletter is put out whenever we have a chance and put together for the benefit of  members.

For 2005, we will be publishing every other month beginning in February.

All contributions are welcomed, especially digital pictures of rides and member activities.

See us on the web at www.montana-retreads.org or write me at “dhmcc@aol.com”



 It isn’t often that we get to acknowledge the selflessness of others and when we get a chance, we do it up right. We wanted to especially acknowledge our newest member, Wes Matson, who for many years now has participated in the Ride for Hope each July.

Last year (2003) Wes was the second highest money raiser in all of Montana. This past year, 2004, he again raised over $10,000 for the kids who benefit from the Montana Make a Wish program. There are others who have also long participated in the Hope Ride, but Wes’ personal contribution warrants our special attention.

2004 Christmas Party

Nearly 20 people (we’re not counting their dogs) appeared for the annual Christmas party held this year at Dave & Sue McCormack’s house. Pot luck dishes were aplenty and much of it went home with the providers.

Vicki and JT doing a little gabbing with Bill

The highlight of the party was the announcement that the Montana Retreads had raised some $325 dollars which then was converted to warm clothing for needy families in the Bitterroot Valley J.T. Meenach and Vicki Ludecke did all the shopping and Vicki and Carol Varien did the wrapping. As it turns out, it was such a successful program and we hope to expand it next Holiday season.

Joe Rice trying to make sense of the poker portion
of the Ralph Harris Memorial Ride to Gibbonsville.

Salmon Idaho Pick up ride.

Seeley Lake Pick Up Ride

Shoup, ID Official Ride
Wes Matson & Ed Irwin discuss chrome.

2005 Ride Schedule

The official ride schedule for the 2005 Riding season is posted on the web page… www.montana-retreads.org


Pictures of the Year

Philipsburg…a pickup ride with the BMW club

The summer picnic at Fort Fizzle

Poker run stop for another losing card!


Lochsa Lodge, one of the few times it was too warm to ride.

Biggest crowd ever. Gibbonsville ride.

The food was so good we stopped there twice in the same day.

Shoup, ID Pick up ride,


New Rule for 2005

All official rides will have a ride captain to make sure everyone is accounted for. The ride captain should be picked at the start of the ride.


Year in Review

*2004 was a great year for the Montana Retreads. We took in 13 new members, lost only a few, added a fully functioning web site “www.montana-retreads.org”, and had a ride nearly every weekend and sometimes weekdays, during the riding season.

*We had no accidents or major mechanical failures…a testament either to the care we club members give our bikes or the improvement in quality control by manufacturers. We had only 2 speeding tickets that we know of.

*Our rides are so popular that we have had folks drive their cars to stopping points when their bikes weren’t road worthy.

*We’ve had more involvement in charitable giving then ever before.

*We’ve chosen the Frontier Café as our new winter breakfasts meeting place.

*Our membership now covers from Sula to Polson.

* I can’t believe it but this is the 7th edition of what I thought was a fun little idea for a newsletter back in the fall of 2003.


Fun Quiz Answers

A.       No way to know…but they know us at the lodge now and we get served really fast.

B.       She’d rather not say.

C.      2, the rest took shortcuts or drove a car.

D.      The Frontier Café on Hwy 93 at the Stevi Wye.

E.       Ride Captain now required.

F.    We think it’s Monte

G.   One (with two hoses)

H.      70 mph in MT, 55 mph in ID.

I.         3 - Helmet, over 25, & ride captain.

J.       No one (but we all wore our rain suits for the entire ride).



See More Event Pictures at www.montana-retreads.org

Quote of the Day
Aging isn’t for sissies.