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
- Turnouts for rides were up
- Our involvement in charitable activities
- Our non-riding events were well attended
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
Paul & Jeanine Bailey
Club membership currently stands at 42.
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.
(Editor’s Note: We apologize for
the length of this article, but felt it was worth sharing, especially for new members and
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.
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
face helmets offer the most protection in any kind of accident, and are always your best
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.
they are legal, we don’t recommend them as safety gear because of the minimal protection they
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)
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.
hidden somewhere in the newsletter):
- How many times did we (any of us,
official or not) end up at Lochsa Lodge?
- Who fell down on the way to Coolidge
- How many Retreads bikes actually rode the
prescribed route to West Yellowstone on the Hope Ride?
- What is the name of the new winter café
for breakfast meetings?
- What was the one new rule the Retreads
put in for the coming year?
- Who owns the most bikes (running or not)?
- How many gas pumps are there at Lowell,
- What’s the speed limit at the top of Lolo
- How many rules are there for the Montana
- On the Big Fork Ride, how many actually
This little newsletter is put out whenever we have a chance and put together for the benefit
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 “firstname.lastname@example.org”
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
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
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…
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
*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
* 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
No way to know…but they know us at the
lodge now and we get served really fast.
She’d rather not say.
2, the rest took shortcuts or drove a
The Frontier Café on Hwy 93 at the Stevi
Ride Captain now required.
We think it’s Monte
One (with two hoses)
70 mph in MT, 55 mph in ID.
3 - Helmet, over 25, & ride captain.
No one (but we all wore our rain suits
for the entire ride).
See More Event Pictures at
Quote of the Day
Aging isn’t for sissies.