2012 Moto Guzzi National Rally

Buena Vista, Virginia

There are several reasons for attending the 2012 Moto Guzzi National Owners Club Rally, even though I do not own a coveted Italian-made Moto Guzzi. I was looking for a place to travel to, to visit with and make new friends, and to check out Moto Guzzis. Mostly, I was looking for a few stories to tell, and I found a few in my travels.

Typically, I choose a route that is non-Interstate, but admit that some slabbing is often required, as was this adventure. I won’t go into all the turn-by-turn route details, but will comment on one section.

West Virginia is a motorcycling paradise, and my planned route included US 60 from Charleston, WV, to the east side of the state where the highway connects with I-64 into Virginia. When I was calculating my time and speed, I thought I might be able to average 45 on that curvy, mountainous section of US 60. Wrong. 30-35 mph is probably more like it. By the time I exited the mountains into flatter countryside, my shoulders were aching from the back and forth motion of riding the twisties. It was like a roller coaster.


The rally site was a city park which allows camping. Lots of space for tents and a few RVs. Rally organizers say 316 people attended the event. After checking in, I picked a spot along the creek and set up the tent. Afterwards, I went looking for some of the guys from the SW Ohio Club. Later, I learned they would not be there until the next day.

It was hot. Temperatures were in the 90s and only a forecast of cooler nights made it bearable.

Motorcycle rallies are great for making new friends and finding old ones. As I was looking for my Ohio friends, I met a man from Peoria, Illinois. His name was Paul. I am from from across the river in Pekin, Illinois, we had some common ground. Turns out his riding buddy, also in attendance was one of my classmates, graduating in the Class of 1968, Pekin Community High School. I barely remember Steve Bruce because he only attended PCHS his senior year, but 44 years after graduating, we’re both at the same rally. Want more coincidence? He now lives in Cincinnati. What a small world!


The food was catered, and it was pretty good. I didn’t see or hear anyone complaining about lack of food. That’s always a good thing for a bunch of hungry motorcyclists.

Of course, there were plenty of Moto Guzzi motorcycles. It seemed that just about every model was represented—new and old and a few with character.


The first night actually turned out to be a pleasant experience for tenting. It cooled off sufficiently. The next day, Friday, started out as a furnace. When a park maintenance worker told me that it was already in the 90s, at 10 a.m., and headed to over 100. I decided to move on. I just can’t take the heat. I’d rather be creating my own breeze. I packed the tent. Loaded the bike, and departed Buena Vista on the Blue Ridge parkway, headed for Washington D.C.


There are two more stories to tell from Buena Vista. Stay tuned.


I am an Indie Traveler

I love to travel. My favorite books are travel essays. It’s easier to learn about places and people through travel. Travel brings insight and understanding.

It was an easy decision for me when I learned about the Indie Traveler Manifesto. I decided to sign the manifesto and to support the idea of travel.


Granted, travel is different for everyone. Some travel for recreation. some to visit families. Some to see art or experience history or culture. Whether you are traveling in only your state, or region, the United States of America or the Americas, or the world, you can turn your travels into meaningful travel.

Are you an Indie Traveler?

See you on the highway.


I am missing you again

Sojourn Poetry

You backed out the drive, turned the wheels,
put it in drive and started out the neighborhood.

I gave a “missing you already” wave,
and you gave one back.

Our business and travels have kept us apart,
but our hearts and spirits are one.

For soul mates such as us, there is no parting,
only a missing piece.


Another near misadventure averted

Sojourn Poetry

On the western plains of Kansas
the signs of gas ahead are fewer and farther between.

The flashing fuel sign on the dashboard gives pause
as it flashes from low to extremely low.

Second doubts settle in about passing that last exit
while the weather creates another distraction.

The ominous, nearly black clouds to the right produce intense winds
requiring an extreme lean on the motorcycle to keep it straight.

The edge of the storm is just ahead
if only I can get past it.

Signs of civilization appear on the horizon.
It begins to rain as I exit the highway.

Under the cover of the gas station canopy, I refuel,
put on my rain gear and proceed down the Interstate.

Another near misadventure averted.