What’s Been “H”appening August 4th-6th, 2006

by Chris Irwin, AGWA-Illinois Chapter H


As everyone knows, we ride to find the perfect road . . . on the perfect day.  It is still elusive, even after a great weekend at the Moto Guzzi rally in Lake Joy Campground, nr. Mineral Point, Wisconsin.


        The roads began fine as we left the Chicago area as quickly as we could, opting for I39 instead of slow Route 20.  Once out of the area we skipped back across to Route 20 for the scenic ride for a number of miles before turning and heading north.  Everything was on track for a perfect ride.  Route 11 however, the bridge was out and there was the longest detour I have ever taken.  After a total of 150 miles of what should have been our total distance, we decided to go onto faster roads.  After another couple of miles, Mac called tot urn right onto a local road again.  It was like a farm road, although paved, it was covered in a thick hard baked terracotta mud.  Due to the heat it had turned dusty causing the bikes to turn al kinds of dirty shades.  We passed another group of Guzzi riders, obviously also heading to the rally.  They followed us for a while and then at some point they must have turned off as we lost them.  We finally made it to the site a little after 6:00 pm, some whole hour later than expected.  On site, cool beer and soda were flowing to cool us after the long hard ride.  We had already stopped for dinner back aways, so we didn’t need the food that was prepared.  The Guzzi riders we had passed earlier were already on site.  I guess they hadn’t stopped for dinner!


        Now you should know, Guzzi riders are a completely different breed to Goldwing riders.  In general, the bikes aren’t pretty, but functional.  The whole plan is to RIDE, anywhere, everywhere, many riders riders covering huge distances at a time and on a regular basis.  They are more “Oldstyle” bikers.  Many have long white hair and long white beads.  Generally, they ride solo, enjoy a beer ( or three) and spend most of their day riding.  They are friendly, welcoming and generally, able to maintain their own machines.  Many ofthem still have their first Guzzi, ( either a their only bike or a collection of them).  No wonder you don’t see many for sale.


        This Guzzi rally was a success as always although short on numbers compared to last year.  They played motorcycle movies in the evenings by the pavilion tents.  Expensive you think?  With all the food and beer and soda provided for the weekend it is only $35 per head.  You can’t beat that!  By the way, you don’t have to own a Guzzi to go, but it helps.  Sadly, we had a great deal of rain Saturday night, Sunday morning and everyone was hanging around the campsite ion Sunday morning waiting for the weather to change in order to get on the road.  We had to wait as Mac had left his waterproof gear on the Goldwing, in the garage, at home!  The rain cleared before lunch and we all finally got on the road.  We made it back without getting wet and we were sure pleased about that.

        We had a great time, sad you missed it.  Maybe you will want to try it sometime.

Safe riding. 

Till next time.