Boscobel II - The Great Midwest River Run 1999
story by Evan "The Bulldog" Breyn, photos by: The Bulldog, Steve "Hawkeye" Moore and Jeff Stutz.
What a weekend! Wrinkles put it best: Boscobel is a beer-drinkin', brat-belchin', cheese-fartin', straightshot-shootin', seat-puckerin'/tide-ridin', dead-possum-kickin', kama-sutrin', Bull-rootin', bullshit-shootin', cattle-wavin', sheep-lovin', french-kissin', harp-lickin', bag-pipin', jap-crappin', vodka-guzzlin', barb-wirin', MUSTANG-SADDLE-TRASHIN' GOOD TIME!
The trip started out for me, as a normal workday on Thursday, but I knew that when 11:00 came around I was out the door to head home, strap on the T-Bag and kiss the wife goodbye for the weekend. I arrived at the McDonalds in Crystal Lake around noon and proceeded to eat lunch with a view of the road awaiting the arrival of my GMRR escort. The crew rolled in and I was surprised to see Wolfman in the lead. Good deal. Rick informed me that he was gonna escort us a few miles than head home. As usual, Rick had his camera in the holster at the ready for a good picture. With the crew assembled, Huge, Rubberman and Slim Shady, English Andy and Lynne, Wolfrider, Fred Z-man, Greg F., Falke B., and my self, we were ready to roll. Huge led our group out and we headed West for our destination. Weather really was nice and hot and I figured that I would be a crispy critter by the time we hit Boscobel, even with SPF45 sun block. The ride was great and with the exception of a wrong turn while trying to enter I90 we made good time. Lunch at a Subway gave us time to catch our breath, but also let a huge rainstorm catch us too. This was one of those "nasty needle sharp make you regret waking up that morning" rainstorms. I spent most of the rain-ride kicking myself for forgetting the face shield for my helmet. The rain continued until we were about 25 miles outside of Boscobel, than we were graced with blue skies for our entrance into town. Three miles from town I noticed my speedometer cable had slipped loose, so with the group turning into a parking lot to get its bearings, I made a quick repair. We headed into the parking lot of the Sands Motel where I made my Boscobel blunder. As I dismounted from HBUBF, between the excitement of being at our location and the numbing wet clothes I was wearing, I forgot to put down the kickstand and lost control of the bike and she came down on top of me. As we went down, Greg F.s boot made contact with my ear and I had the first wound of Boscobel 99. Looking back, I was glad that it was his boot I came down on rather than his hot exhaust pipe, which was on the other side of the boot. Hey Greg, nice pointed cowboy boots. Besides from the ear, there was no damage to the bike and a quick adjustment of the mirrors and we were good as new. Between the cold wet clothes and the shock of my ear being cut up, I could not stop shivering. Ten minutes later and a change of clothes I was ready for beer and in large amounts. The other thing I remember I had forgotten was my running shoes. I figured that I would not get any excerise in, besides from the 12oz curls, I would not need them. Wrong! Wet boots are a bitch to have to put back on. Jeff Saunders was my roommate for the weekend and from the layout of the room, I knew he had already checked in. One thing about Jeff, he is precise. Kind of like the Odd Couple, guess who was Oscar. We walked down to the Fin & Feather and were greeted by about 15 people who we gradually assigned names and nicks to. As the evening went on more and more VROCers wandered in. The stories and the beer flowed freely and than I heard a rumbling of a BUBIF. Next thing I know here is Rouge on his 1500A riding INTO THE BAR. How is he gonna beat that next year?
Ken Bass showed up and the reaction of most of the people present was very funny. Most of us, including me, expected Ken to be a fatherly old Santa Claus Biker type, but here is this guy the same age as me. Of Course, Don "BlckChrome" Soland had his Tobasco at the ready, a gift from English Andy complete with a holster to keep it in. He was making the rounds of the bar adding some to everybodys beer or soda. A few drops give it tang, but more than that and Im looking for a new glass. I made the mistake of letting BC pour some directly into my mouth and was paying for it a few minutes later. Couldnt give BC the satisfaction of seeing me sweat though. The drinking went on until the wee hours of the night and we stumbled back to the motel where 6:00am came too early. Man, I got too drunk!
Friday morning came too early and as D2 was putting out the safety meeting I kept thinking that a few hours of rack time would do me good. We headed through town as one large group, the police giving us free run, a VROC parade with about 50 bikes rumbling to destination unknown. Our route started with a twisty road-seat puckering ride that took us through some of Wisconsins most beautiful countryside that I have seen. I was in Rouges group with Otter keeping the rear of our group together. On our way to Wyalusing State Park, Otter even got the opportunity to keep his nick of "Road-Kill Kicker" active. The group was passing a fresh example of giant raccoon road-kill and in my rear view mirror I saw Otters big foot leave the highway bar and the dead varmint went flying through the air. He must have gotten at least eight feet on that one. At least he left the turtle making its way across the road alone. We stopped at Wyalusing where we took pictures of the view and became the feast of every blood-sucking bug within 5 miles. Back on the bikes and we were looking forward to some lunch. In Galena, Wolfrider, English Andy, Lynne and myself found a restaurant with no line and had a great lunch. For a tourist city, the food is not too expensive and quite tasty. A little walking around town and we found a toy store where I found some toy boats for my son. This was one neat toy store because the toys were the old fashioned types not found at Toy-R-Us. Further down the street we stumbled onto a leather shop where Rubberman and Slim Shady were on a shopping spree. Once again, good pricing on most of the items there. Andy, Lynne and I rode into Galena instead of walking from the parking area where the main group parked, so heading back to meet the group was easy. I gave Wolfrider a ride back and was debating about cracking a sick joke to him, but chose not to. Bet when he woke up that morning, I would have been the last person he would have expected to have between his legs that day. Told you it was sick! We headed out of Galena and stopped in the town of Plattville, where the Chicago Bears train to lose. We stopped at the local chamber of commerce where the staff was surprised to see 50 bikers in their parking lot. They asked us to sign their visitor log and got few group pictures. Once again, VROC spreading good will. On the road again and an hour later we were back in Boscobel for a little rest before our dinner at the Unique Café. Back in Boscobel we headed over to the Unique Café where we were seated in the basement of the restaurant that was maxed out in every Green Bay Packer item ever made with the exception of the cheese-head hat. Good thing, I think if Ken Bass had seen that it would have become his new helmet. Dinner was great, I had the broasted chicken and KB and I wondered what "broasting" was. I just hope the chicken didnt come from the WillieDog frozen chicken company where every chicken is danced with under the full moon before shipment. After dinner, we headed out looking for booze. Nobody told us that alcohol sales end at 9:00pm in that part of Wisconsin, so we were shit out of luck as far as getting some choice booze to enjoy that evening. As luck would have it, there were the stray six-packs of beer floating around and Steve and Kelly from Chicago even had Vodka and tonic water for the high-class drinks. Many stories were exchanged that evening and once again, friendships were started and strengthened. This is what VROC is about.
Saturday was our free day to do what we wanted. I wanted to
see House on the Rock. Being a pack-rat myself, I wanted to see
how much stuff one could collect during a lifetime.
Check out this web page: http://www.houseontherock.com/. Incredible amounts of various stuff, all on display, some of the rooms were mind boggling to say the least. After a whirlwind tour, under 3 hours, Greg F, Wolfrider, Ron Schmidt and myself headed out and decided to see Cave on the Mound too. Now, Im a cave-hound from way back, so I suppose I set myself up for disappointment. I expected the caves to be bigger and with more colors than what we saw, they were bland brown and very small. Even a little claustrophobic at times. Heading back to Boscobel, Greg and Ron wanted to ride more, so Wolfrider and I split off and headed back the fast way. As we made it into town, we noticed that Rick "Wolfman" had arrived on his Vulcan and the group was now complete. We were expecting Wolfman to arrive in his SUV with Patsy, but she could not attend, so he took the bike instead.
Afterward, it was time to eat. A quick run to the booze store with J. Animal Jennings and StrayDog, and we were set for some hard core drinking. Don D. and Julie had set up a Brat-Fry behind the Sands Motel. Don & Julie; thank you, the food was excellent. BlackChrome made sure everybody had hot sauce, prizes were awarded for various feats of VROC skill and we were entertained by the body sculpture of the Rubberman and his magic needle and thread. Ive gotten accustomed to Jeffs joint tricks, so I was having fun watching the reactions of the crowd. I even saw Kelly do a whole body shudder when Jeff did his tonsil floss trick. That one even made me wince. Wrinkles entertained us with his wrist rocket and with a Fig Newton bit, though Im still not sure where that one came from. Stubbie attempted to pull a wheelie with his 1500 Classic (tricked out as hell), but didnt succeed. Thats ok, I saw him do it earlier in the day. Now, Stubbie is a big guy. About the size of a WWF wrestler and just about as crazy too, so if anyone is gonna make a 1500 Classic stand up on one wheel, it would be Stubbie. The beer flowed into the night and the bugs ate us alive, but I would not have traded that night for anything in the world. The night ended too soon though and before I knew it, it was Sunday morning and the weekend was over for me.
Sunday started as any day would waking up in a motel room with a rather large headache. The bags were packed and I looked upon the day with both regret and anticipation. I regretted that the weekend was over and today was the day to go home but was also glad because on a few short hours I would be back home with my wife Pat and my son Ethan. We had our last breakfast at the Unique Café and met up as a group in the parking lot of the Sands Motel where we all said our good-byes and had our morning safety talk. The small group that would break off early included Wolfman, Falke B., Rubberman & Slim, Greg F. and myself. We rode out of town in masse with the early out-group (us) in the rear. About 5 miles down the road we broke off and headed south when the main Boscobel group headed north. As luck would have it, the rain started about ¼ of the way home. What started out as light drizzle soon turned into cold rain and we stopped to put on our rain gear. Once again, I was cussing my not bringing the face shield. Falke seemed to enjoy the stinging rain and chose not to wear his helmet at all. After what seemed like hours we stopped for lunch in Beloit at Taco Bell and had a chance to dry off. Greg F. decided to ride straight on, so now we were four bikes. Rubberman and Slim won the best entertainment contest and their trophy was a pink flamingo, which Slim had sticking out of her T-Bag. It was enjoyable to see the people in the cars looking at "the crazy bikers riding in the rain with the pink flamingo". As we approached Rockford, Wolfman headed on his way toward home and now we were three bikes in the rain. I had not realized how lucky we were in Boscobel where we had sunny skies and very little rain the weekend. It seemed that the Chicagoland area was nailed with nothing but rain the whole weekend. The fields were flooded and in some parts of I90 water was flowing across the road. We hit a backup around Belvidere where there was six inches of water flowing across the toll-road and we had to cross. Ive never had to ride the bike through flooded roads before, so I was somewhat nervous about the whole deal. I followed Rubberman and Falkes example and put my legs up high and proceeded to cross this "river" at about 5 mph and my feet still got soaked. As we approached Maringo, Rubberman led us off the toll-way for a gas stop where I decided I have had enough of the toll-way and would take the last ten miles home via the back roads. As luck would have it, I only had to cross one "lake" and only got nailed by heavy rain the last 2 miles home. I felt sorry for Rubberman, Slim and Falke because they still had about 50 miles to ride. As I pulled into my driveway, soaking wet, I reflected on the weekend and I have to say it was one of the best weekends of my life. Don and Julie, thank you very much.
Evan Breyn ~ The Bulldog