Kawasaki Concours Forum

Riding => Rides and Stories => Topic started by: connie_rider on February 24, 2012, 03:21:45 pm

Title: Over the Pond XI (2012) Nominee's (Campaign)
Post by: connie_rider on February 24, 2012, 03:21:45 pm
We recently received the List of Nominee's for this years Over the Pond from Hans, (the OtP Great Leader).
So it's time for you to vote for your favorite Candidate.

Here are the 5 Worthy Candidates.

Mike Aldea from Hawthorne, NJ
Darrell Anderson from Stevenson, WA
Chris Baum from Lincoln, NE
Harry Martin from Casper, WY
Brian Snowberg from Mahtomedi, MN 

This discussion is intended to give us a central spot for the Nominee's to introduce themselves, tell you what they have done for COG, why they should be selected, brag on themselves, bad mouth each other, (bad Mouth ME), and MOST IMPORTANTLY,,,, beg for votes...

Let the Campaign begin!!!!

Ride safe, Ted

PS: There is a very similar discussion on the COG Online Forum.
      We have it in both Forum's as people from the COGdom are on both.
       I suggest that the Candidates post on BOTH Forums so that more Voters can be reached!   
Title: Re: Over the Pond XI (2012) Nominee's
Post by: connie_rider on February 24, 2012, 03:26:01 pm
Hi all,

Well, since the namelist of the candidates came out today on the list -
here are the short rules in the voting.

Here are the five OTP traveler candidates (in alphabetical order):

Mike Aldea from Hawthorne, NJ
Darrell Anderson from Stevenson, WA
Chris Baum from Lincoln, NE
Harry Martin from Casper, WY
Brian Snowberg from Mahtomedi, MN 
How to vote:

1. All COGgers and GCEers can make one vote only. Memberspouses can also
make one vote.
That will be very difficult when You consider the candidates;-)
2. Non COGger and non GCEers can vote - if You first make a pledge ;-) to be
a member of COG!
3. Voting started today February 23rd and will end March 23rd.
4. Votes are e-mailed to me only - contact me off list

Support notes accepted during the poll!

Hans in Sweden
OTP instigator
Title: Re: Over the Pond XI (2012) Nominee's (Campaign)
Post by: Harry on February 24, 2012, 10:13:49 pm
I'll start off to get things rolling. If you don't know who I am, don't vote for me until you have read my complete BIO. The OTP XI candidates deserve your best assessment to determine who will best represent the US in such a wonderful motorcycle adventure to visit the UK.

First off, I have to say I'm speechless. I really haven't figured out what to say except *THANKS*...to whoever nominated me.

Harry's BIO PART I

It was a muggy hot summer day in 1954 when I was born in Huntington, West Virginia,  in a motorcycle sidecar while my dad was running from the cops. He was transporting moonshine and it was the only way to support our family of 25 kids. Mom was screaming to slow down, but dad paid no mind as the bullets were whizzing past our heads. Mom's water broke from all the deep cratered potholes and soon after, I squeezed out. First my right arm, then my left leg, man it was a tough labor...
I grew up playing barefoot in the dirty dusty streets of town, dodging cars cause it was too dangerous to play in the yard from all the pit bulls dad raised. Sometimes we had to compete with the dogs for our meals. When there was nothing to eat, we'd take turns gnawing on each others leather shoes for nourishment as it was better than the straw flavored broth mom tried to pass off on us as dinner. We got our iron supplements by stepping on rusty nails which protruded from our bedroom floor. Grade school was boring and I passed the time away by drawing pictures of Fireball XL-5 on the edges of my school papers.

Eventually, I grew up and left home to join the US Navy. I was single, and eager to sail around the world. Man, did I ever have a lot to learn. I lived on three different ships doing time for my country. The crews looked like characters from a pirate ship. Everyone had beards, eye patch, and parrots on shoulders. It was great. Compared to home, we ate like kings. Instant cottage cheese, powdered milk, moldy bread, and synthetic protein that passed as meat. Our paychecks were small fortunes to be squandered on booze and other unmentionable activities. I fondly remember evolving from a "Wog" into a "Shellback" after kissing King Neptune's belly painted with some kind of red lube (probably used to keep the ship's propeller shafts from seizing up) while crossing the equator. Swimming through last night's dinner topped off the initiation rights of passage that only salty sailors have ever braved.
We visited Hong Kong, Australia, Korea, Philippines, and everything in between. We braved high seas, the doldrums, mermaids, and all sorts of sea creatures with bulging eyes. It was called the WESTPAC and I'm proud to say I was there to see spectacular sunsets that would make you cry. After six years at sea, I traded in my cracker jacks for a life at university to earn a Bachelor's degree.

Coming soon, Harry's BIO PART II
Title: Re: Over the Pond XI (2012) Nominee's (Campaign)
Post by: connie_rider on February 26, 2012, 06:55:08 am
From the OtP Boss. (Hans)

Below You will find some short info about the candidates - that I have copied from the dreaded questionaire - that all nominees have to fill in - so I can DECIDE who is eligible.

The candidates are free to supply You with more interresting and needed info so You all know
how to cast Your vote - and I think they will;-))

Please check the new thread on this forum!

Please send in your votes NOW - the poll will be closed March 23rd!!
Please note - if You made a nomination I will not considered that as a
vote - please vote as well!!!!!

All five meet with the basic requirements as:
11. Nominee must taste an EU Delicacy...
(NOTE: We will use the annual served delicasy - evil grin) 
12. Nominee must be willing to sleep in a loud, disturbing, environment.
(for instance, near other COG/GCEers snoring) 
NOTE: Volunteer needed to share room with "Winner".
Requirments; "Must snore loudly" and/or "shower seldom".
(We want nothing but the best for our Traveler)..
Hans in Sweden
OTP Instigator

Mike Aldea from Hawthorne, NJ   ;D
Current COC/GCE Number: 528
Current Bike: 1995 Concours
Years with COG/GCE: since 1990

Offices/Positions held in COG/GCE: 
  Northeast Area Director 1992-1997
  NE Area Newsletter Editor 1992-1998
  Concourier Editor - one issue
  Insurance Communications Officer 2011-12

Events Put on for COG/GCE:
  1997 National COG-Motion Along the Ocean
  1994 Freeze Your Buns which became the annual NE Spring Fling
  Various Day Rides most recently: Springtime at Kundlas

COG/GCE projects:
  1994-98 Arranged free admission to International Motorcycle Show for members willing to work at the Kawasaki Booth.
  Registrar 1996 COG National, Ride the Rockies.
  Check-in Team Lead 2011 Green Mountain National Rally.

Other COG/GCE work: 
  T-shirt sales at 1994 COG Eureka Springs National Rally

OTP project/participation:
  Supporter 2007 - 2012
  Host 2007 & 2009
  Route Planner 2011
Darrell Anderson from Stevenson, WA   ;D
Current COC/GCE Number: 3562
Current Bike: Kawasaki ZX-14, Kawasaki C10, Ducati ST4S
Years with COG/GCE: 14

Offices/Positions held in COG/GCE:
Four years North West Area Director
Current Membership Director since 2008

Events Put on for COG/GCE:
2005 National The Cascade Connection
Countless area rides

COG/GCE projects:
Managing all aspects of the COG membership.
Documenting all membership processes and procedures.
Repairing the entire membership piece post Carl Metler.
Building a solid and accurate membership data base.
Issued 4028 membership cards.

Other COG/GCE work:

OTP project/participation:
Supported getting Marc to the 2005 National.
Chris Baum from Lincoln, NE   ;D
COG Number: 3088
Bike: 1986 Kawasaki Concours
Years in COG:      14 years and counting
Events Put on for COG:    2006 National Rally in Hill City, SD  (Rally Director)

                                          2003 Kawasaki Plant tour in Lincoln, NE
                                          2006 Kawasaki Plant tour in Lincoln, NE
                                          2011  OTP Nebraska BBQ
                                          2011  OTP Kawasaki Plant tour
                                          2011  OTP Nebraska Minor League Baseball

COG Projects:    Currently planning a COG rally in Nebraska
Other COG work:   National Rally Volunteer  (2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008)
                                National Rally Participant (1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010)
                                Hosted Several COG members at our home over the years as they criss-cross the US.
                                Hosted:  David Jones (Australia) on his Coast-to-Coast Ride 2009

OTP participation:   2007 Lodging Host  (Patrick)
                                 2009 Lodging Host  (Wolfram)
                                 2011 Lodging Host  (Gie and Bernd)
                                 2011 OTP donor bike
                                 2004-11 Contributed to the OTP Traveler Donation Fund
Harry Martin from Casper, WY    ;D
Current COC/GCE Number:  4090

Current Bike: 1986 Concours

Years with COG/GCE:   12 Years

 Offices/Positions held in COG/GCE:  UNOFFICIAL COG Cartoonist

 Events Put on for COG/GCE:  None

 COG/GCE projects:  COG Logos, t-shirt design, Concourier Road Rash cartoon strip, Flog-O-matic.

 Other COG/GCE work:  Trouble maker

 OTP project/participation:  OTP Master "Chief" Slave

Brian Snowberg from Mahtomedi, MN    ;D
Current COC/GCE Number: #6497
Current Bike: 1986 Concours
Years with COG/GCE: since 2004  (8 years)

Events Put on for COG/GCE: I was a rally master for the COG 2010 national rally in Tomah, Wisconsin. I have hosted a small annual rally called Copper Harbor Rendezvous (in Michigan) for three years running,  I have hosted a few tech sessions at my house for COG members.

COG/GCE projects: Not sure if this applies, but I developed something called Heat Shields for the original Concours and have donated them as door prizes at national and regional rallies. Wrote and contributed a technical story to the Concourier regarding proper petcock rebuilding.

Other COG/GCE work: Frequent participant at COG national and regional rallies. I think I have been to almost every national since joining COG.
Title: Re: Over the Pond XI (2012) Nominee's (Campaign)
Post by: COG-528 on February 28, 2012, 02:20:46 pm

Harry has done a wonderful and humorous job of starting off the candidates biographies.  I hope we will be hearing from the other Candidates shortly.  I will be submitting a number of long winded postings to cover my bio and look forward to part two from Harry.

Mike's Bio Part 1

My interest in motorcycles began in the 1950s when my older brother owned a series of Harley-Davidsons.  I thought that riding a motorcycle must be the coolest thing.  My brother never offered to take me for a ride.  Probably because my Mother would have had a conniption!  Fast forward to 1966 and I had already learned to recognize the difference in sound between an approaching Harley and Triumph when they were still a block away.  One of my fellow prep school students had a Triumph Bonneville which he brought up to school our last weekend before graduation.  I was impressed with the sound and power of his Bonneville and especially when I saw my first wheelie.  I knew I wanted to ride a motorcycle.  That summer I finally got my chance. 

In those days you could go to the local Honda or Yamaha dealer and rent a 50cc or 80cc motor by the hour.  The only thing you needed was a drivers license . . .  or a friend who would lend you theirs.  With the necessary document in hand I went down to the Green Lane, PA Honda store and rented for an hour a red 90cc CA200 for my first ride.
The shop owner gave me a quick explanation about the brakes, clutch and throttle and thankfully walked back into the shop.  After a few attempts I managed to get the Honda in motion and rode out of the store lot.  I was on the road taking my first motorcycle ride.  It was thrilling to feel the wind in my hair and all that power at my beck and call.   
I felt like Steve McQueen in the Great Escape.
I didn't even hesitate to take that Honda off road just like Steve.  Well as I'm happily motoring across this field, shifting without the clutch . . . because I kept forgetting to use it, :-[  I realize their is a two foot widedrainage ditch directly in my path. :-\   Turning the motor is much harder than turning all the bicycles I've ever ridden so I doubt that I can make a u-turn before getting to the ditch. What am I going to do?  Well I guess I'll just have to jump this ditch the same way Steve jumped that fence in the Great Escape.
  After all how hard could it be?  It is not like I'm trying to jump a fence that sticks up in my way.  So I open up the throttle and head straight across that ditch.  Can you see where I'm heading with this?(http://forum.cog-online.org/Smileys/FantasticSmileys/motorcyclenoises.gif) 

Well of course the front wheel immediately dropped in the ditch and I went sailing over the handlebars . . . just like Steve McQueen.
  Well the motor and I both survived just a little the worse for wear and happily the shop owner did not notice the front fender being bent out of alignment when I returned the Honda. (http://forum.cog-online.org/Smileys/FantasticSmileys/rolleyes.gif)  Just to be safe I never went back to that shop. 

My next rental ride was for three hours on a Honda Super Cub C50. 
  After my first adventure I decided to stay strictly on the road with this one.  Unfortunately this was my last ride on a motorcycle that summer because when I got home I found out New Jersey dealers did not have rental programs. ???

Okay it is now the summer of 1967 and I'm ready to buy my first motor vehicle.  Local Yamaha dealer & racer, Al Golden, took me for a ride, weaving around cars going up Main Street in Fort Lee.  (http://forum.cog-online.org/Smileys/FantasticSmileys/undecided.gif)
(http://thumb6.webshots.net/t/86/86/9/52/17/2855952170102652906vSaOAl_th.jpg) (http://rides.webshots.com/photo/2855952170102652906vSaOAl)
He scared me to death but it just made me want that Yamaha Twin Jet 100 we rode even more. 
(No, not this one, a pretty new one)

The problem was my practical side said I could not ride the Yamaha all year round in NJ and I could not afford to buy a car in the fall if I bought the motorcycle now.  What to do, what to do?  Buy a new motorcycle now or a used car I could drive through the Winter.  It was a tough decision but I finally ended up getting . . .

a 1959 Volvo PV544.


Not exactly the type of car to attract girls even in 1967 but it was a lot easier getting girls to go out with me during the Winter in the Volvo then it would have been if I bought the Yamaha. (http://forum.cog-online.org/Smileys/FantasticSmileys/smiley.gif)

End Part 1
Title: Re: Over the Pond XI (2012) Nominee's (Campaign)
Post by: COG-528 on February 28, 2012, 02:30:05 pm

Mike's Bio Part 2

It is now 1973 and I'm deployed to NAS Bermuda with VP-44.
(http://www.vp44goldenpelicans.com/images/p3.gif) (http://www.vp44goldenpelicans.com/Gift_Shop_Pelican_Patch_small.jpg)
My plans were that I was just going to stay on the base during my deployment and save my money so I could buy a sports car when we rotated back stateside.  So unlike a lot of guys in my squadron I made no attempt to buy up one of the used Mopeds that the outgoing squadrons usually sold to the incoming.  It took me about three weeks to realize if I stayed on the base for the next five months I would be a nut job by the time we rotated home.  Unfortunately having waited three weeks all the cheap Mopeds had been bought up.  So unless I got lucky I was going to be limited to taking the bus or walking if I wanted to get off the base. 

Well for once in my life I got lucky.  One of my squadron mates was assigned TDY to the base Avionics Intermediate Maintenance facility and found out one of the base personnel had a 1969 Kawasaki B1 125 that he was trying to sell for a shipmate who had been unable to sell it before being transferred stateside.
I went to look at the 125 with another squadron mate who road stateside.  The bike didn't look too bad.  It started up after a bit of work and had a flat rear tire.  We tried pumping up the rear tire and it held air.  The price was $100.  Twice what Mopeds had been selling when I chose not to buy.

The problem with a Motorcycle in Bermuda for Navy personnel was you had to obtain a local Motorcycle License and register & insure to be able to ride it.  And you needed someone with a licensed motorcycle to take you in for the road test.  That was a lot of hassle to go through so you could ride a motorcycle for five months.  Which is why most squadron personnel bought Mopeds which did not require a license and insurance.   So if I wanted to buy this Motorcycle I had to find a way to get a license.

Now there were a few lifers in the squadron who knew they were going to deploy to Bermuda every few years and had even had shore duty there.  So they had Bermuda Motorcycle Licenses and had brought small motorcycles with them on deployment instead of getting a Moped.  I approached one of the Chiefs who had brought a Yamaha Twin Jet 100 with him to Bermuda.  The very motor I had wanted to buy six years before.  He agreed to take me in and let me use his motor for the road test so I bought the 125. 

The day of my road test we rode the 26 miles into Hamilton and I was nervous as hell as a passenger.  Now I'm going to do my road test and the examiners instructions are to ride down the end of the parking lot and make a u-turn and ride back.  Sounds simple right? ;D   

Well I failed the test! (http://forum.cog-online.org/Smileys/FantasticSmileys/undecided.gif)

You see Bermuda is a part of the British Commonwealth so they drive on the left side of the road.  I drove down the right side of the parking lot and made a u-turn to the left which is why I failed. :-[  Thankfully the examiner gave me a second chance to do it correctly and this time I passed the test. :thumbs:  So finally I was a licensed Motorcyclist in Bermuda.

I enjoyed riding that Kawaski B1 125 all over the length (24 mi.) and width (2 1/2 mi.) of Bermuda for the next five months.  When it came time to rotate back stateside I sold it for $125. 
It is the only motorcycle I've ever owned that I made a profit on.(http://forum.cog-online.org/Smileys/FantasticSmileys/13.gif)  Can't ask more than that.

After I got out of the Navy I enjoyed driving my Fiat 124 Spyder that I bought upon my return from Bermuda.

But by 1976 I was starting to miss riding a motorcycle so I looked into buy one.  Originally I was going to buy a Kawasaki KH250 Triple figuring twice the size of what I had in Bermuda would be plenty.  But eventually I was convince I would find that too small after a year or two and would be better off just buying something bigger right away.  So I bought myself a Kawasaki KH400 Triple.


At the time I bought the KH400, motors like the Honda CB750 seemed enormous to me.  I just could not see myself trying to ride something so big.  Every year I would go into the dealerships and look at all the new motors but always they seemed too big when my right size KH400 was plenty fast and big enough for me.  I often rode on Poker Runs with bigger machinery and never had a problem keeping up and passing them when I wanted.  Finally in the Spring of 1982 I walked into a Suzuki dealership and the GS750E didn't look big to me at all.  I was ready to move up.
  So I bought the Suzuki and sold my KH400 because I had no safe place to keep a second motor where I was living.  Actually I did not have a safe place to keep any motor and about 18 months later the Suzuki was stolen.  Since I only had basic liability insurance I was not only out a motorcycle but left with no money to buy a replacement.(http://forum.cog-online.org/Smileys/FantasticSmileys/sad.gif)

Still during those 18 months I matured tremendously as a motorcyclist.  I started riding regularly with two local AMA clubs.  My rides went from a couple of hours occasionally on the KH400 to 300+ mile days every weekend plus night rides during the week.  I started to ride right through the Winter and finally thanks to the encouragement of some of the guys in Ramapo MC (http://www.ramapomc.org/Welcome.html) I got up the nerve to go on my first tour to Florida to visit my Mother in Orlando and my friend in Tampa/St Pete for Thanksgiving.  All I had for luggage was a duffle bad tied across the rear seat and a small day pack on the rear luggage rack.  I didn't even have a Tankbag when I left on the trip.  I bought an Eclipse Tankbag (http://www.eclipseluggage.com/luggage/201.html) mail order and had it shipped to my Mothers for use on the return trip. 

The temperatures were in the 40s (F) when I was preparing to leave on that first tour.  I was having a terrible time trying to fit all my extra Winter riding layers into my luggage since it would be too warm to wear it all now and as I went South I'd have to switch to lighter gear.  So there had to be room in my luggage for all the cold weather gear I was going to start taking off as the weather got warmer.  My girlfriend at the time convinced me I was over packing if what I was wearing to start with was going to keep me warm enough now.  So I left the extra layers behind. 

The trip down was a night ride down I-95 till I got to Daytona.  About 3 AM I checked into a motel in North Carolina just before reaching the South Carolina stateline.  The cold weather gear I was wearing had kept me completely comfortable.  When I got up the next morning the temperatures were considerably warmer so I packed away the cold weather gear and rode in a lighter weight jacket.  When I got to Daytona I called my Mother for directions to her place since this was a surprise visit and I had not ever been to her new condo in Winter Park before.  The ride to Winter Park did not take long and I did not have any problem finding her unit in her condo complex.  When she opened the door her mouth opened to greet me but seeing me holding my helmet what came out was, I can't believe you rode that dangerous contraption down here!  She never did say Hello to me the whole time I was there. :rotflmao:

Stay tuned for Part 3, the trip home, and more motorcycles
Title: Re: Over the Pond XI (2012) Nominee's (Campaign)
Post by: COG-528 on March 06, 2012, 09:05:13 pm

Mike's Bio Part 3

Okay boys & girls.  You may remember we left off Part 2 when I had arrived in Winter Park, Florida on my first motorcycle tour.  My stay in Florida was uneventful and on Friday after Thanksgiving I started heading home.  Now outside of visiting family and friends in Florida one of the goals of my first tour was to visit the sites in the Southern States needed to be a finisher in the 1982 Ramapo M.C. Passport Tour of  the 13 Original Colonies
The 13 Original Colonies

There are sixteen states that comprise the area of the 13 Original Colonies.  Each state contains three Passport Site and to be a Passport Tour Finisher you have to visit at least one site in ten states and take a photo of your motorcycle at the site.  I had visited the Florence Air and Missle Museum (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florence_Air_%26_Missile_Museum) (now closed) in South Carolina on my way down to Florida.
I'll try to add the actual photos I took at a later date

So my goal was to visit the sites in the states of Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey before the end of my trip. 

Once I got North of Jacksonville, FL I got off the Interstate and started following US-1 & 301 the old North South route into Georgia.  It was like I had ridden back in time with the old, mostly closed, motels along the route that hardly anyone used any more.  I wish now I had thought to take some photos of those relics of a time gone by.  I'm sure 30 years later those building are probably all gone now. 

My first destination was the Okefenokee Swamp (http://www.wildlifesouth.com/Locations/Georgia/Okefenokee.html) South of Waycross, GA.  I arrived there and took the necessary photo at 2:25 PM. 

Continuing on local highways I headed for my next destination.  The Reed Gold Mine (http://) in Midland, NC,  East of Charlotte.  Reed Gold Mine is the site of the first documented gold find in the United States in 1799.  North Carolina was the leading producer of gold in the USA until 1848.  It was the middle of the night, 12:50 AM, when I finally found a sign for the mine and took my photo.  About one hour later I found a motel in Albemarle, NC and put my first day heading home to an end. 

The next day it was on to Appomattox Court House (http://www.nps.gov/apco/index.htm) and the site of General Robert E. Lee's surrender to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant (http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/appomatx.htm) to end the Civil War.  I got my photo at 2:15 PM that Saturday.

Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and Gen. Robert E. Lee

Now it was on to West Virginia and Harpers Ferry National Historic Park (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harpers_Ferry_National_Historical_Park).  The temperature really started to drop around sunset and I needed to put on all my cold weather clothing.  It was well after dark (6:50 PM) when I arrived and took my photo.  I was surprised to notice that I wasn't keeping that warm in my cold weather gear and if you remember from Part 2 of my story I had been convinced to leave extra warm clothing home by my girl friend.  This was also before electric vest had become a common piece of gear for touring riders. 

Next stop was Antietam National Battlefield (http://www.nps.gov/ancm/index.htm) in Sharpsburg, MD. The scene of the bloodiest day of fighting in American History.
The Sunken Road aka The Bloody Lane

Using my Suzuki's headlamp I was able to illuminate the Battlefield sign to take my picture at 7:40 PM.  Now I was really starting to feel cold and could not understand why since I had all my cold weather gear on which had kept me completely comfortable on the ride down just seven days before.  I stopped for fuel shortly after taking my Antietam photo. 

The station attendant said, You must be really cold! 

, I replied, and I don't understand why.  What is the temperature?

Oh you don't want to know
he said in a way that indicated I was better off not knowing.

No, I want to know.  What is the temperature?

Well after going back and forth a few more times he finally told me.  It was 31 degrees (F) out and I was dressed for the temperatures in the 40s (F) that it had been when I left NJ seven days before. :-\  Now I knew why I was cold and I still had a long way to go.  So I was off to New Castle, DE to take a photo of the Old Court House (http://travel.nytimes.com/travel/guides/north-america/united-states/delaware/new-castle/29616/old-new-castle-court-house/attraction-detail.html).  Then it was on the Delaware Memorial Bridge where a sign advised me tha the temperature was now 27 degrees (F).  What I would have given for that heavy, extra sweater, I was talked out of packing now.  Well I was learning my first lesson about touring: Don't listen to someone who doesn't ride when it comes to deciding what clothing to bring on a tour! 

I still had one more stop on my itinerary to make before making my dash for home.  A convert ferry boat at the Salem Nuclear Power Plant called The Second Sun Energy Information Center.  It was 1:48 AM when I got that photo and could finally head for home.  But I was s-s-o-o-o cold at this point that I had to stop at every rest area on the NJ Turnpike to try and warm up.(http://forum.cog-online.org/Smileys/FantasticSmileys/truce.gif)  Of course at this time of night the rest area restaurants were closed.  I finally arrive home at 5 AM and the temperature display on the bank a block from my apartment read 21 degrees (F).  My tour was over and I was never going to forget the lesson learned.  Now even in the summer I carry an electric vest and extra gloves in my saddle bag just in case.

The next Sunday after I got back, I rode up to Hartford, CT to get a photo of the Mark Twain House (http://www.marktwainhouse.org/) and then further North to the Hancock Shaker Village (http://www.hancockshakervillage.org/) in Massachusetts to get the last two Passport Sites I needed to be a Passport Tour Finisher.   Btw, I rode through that entire Winter and earned my first  AMA District II Polarbear (http://www.polarbeargrandtour.com/) Patch. 

The next summer I did a lot of riding and managed to do another tour down South picking up Passport Tour sites.  In the fall of 1983 my '82 Suzuki GS750E was stolen >:( and I wasn't able to afford to buy a replacement until the Spring of 1985.  :'(  Then I got a used 1981 Suzuki GS750E. 

By 1986 I had decided I was tired of having to worry about chain maintenance while I rode in the Winter and every night after riding a 400 mile day while touring.  It was time to get a motor with shaft drive.  So I bought a 1980 Suzuki GS1000G. 
I lived to sports tour so I added a set of Krauser saddle bags to go along with the Plexi-Fairing Windshield.   Now I had a properly equipped motor to run up serious mileage.  I average 20k + miles a year with that Suzuki until May of 1990 when I finally bought a 1987 Concours.  That is when I became a COGger enjoying sports touring at its finest. (http://forum.cog-online.org/Smileys/FantasticSmileys/72.gif)  I rode 33,000 miles that year. (http://forum.cog-online.org/Smileys/FantasticSmileys/motorcyclenoises.gif)

June 1990, Lake Superior Iron Butt Tour - 1200 miles in 36 hours

Coming next My COG History. ;)

Title: Re: Over the Pond XI (2012) Nominee's (Campaign)
Post by: Harry on March 07, 2012, 10:20:55 am
I guess I'm next in line...

According to my HP42S calculator, there are 15 days (plus or minus a day) remaining to vote for your favourite (me) OTP nominee.


My dog ate PARTS II thru VI, but here is the final installment of my BIO.

This last part pertains to what I have done for COG.

I've been a COG member for about 10 years. Most of my contibutions can fit in a thimble. I really have nothing to brag about. I'm more of a trouble maker,   :o  as Ted can vouch for,  all I have really done is make a lot of noise. I have been lurking in the COG forums and LIST for as long as I can recall. As for rallys, I think I have attended two or three. One COG National. Any noteworthy contributions would be donating my time to provide an occasional t-shirt design for a COG event. I've never sponsored or hosted an event. That's it, in a nutshell. Pretty boring.

As for OTP, if you want to call that an official COG event, the thimble runneth-over. I have done nearly every t-shirt design since being asked, or volunteering (I can't remember, what, 8 or 9 years?) for the OTP Boss man and Master flogger. I have helped escort OTP winners to my house for an overnight stay, escort travellers, etc, etc, etc, and even troubleshooted a problem or two on the Bossman's bike to make sure he finished his ride in California. (The Bossman sneeked in   to see if Ted and Me was doing our OTP jobs).

I really don't deserve to do OTP compared to the many many volunteers who have actually put together an event, donated sweat or even a little blood to make COG what it is.

If nothing else, the only other tidbit I can brag about is the fact I have been a regualar contributor to the Concurier, supplying several years worth of cartoon strips (Road Rash) to a great magazine.

As for me, personal and up close, I'm a short fat balding (pretty scary really) little old man, average rider who loves to ride his 1986 C10 all over the damn place. I can turn a wrench, change the rubber tires with crescent wrenches, screwdrivers,  and Murphy's Soap Oil, not a feared of mercury stix, and can change the O-ring in the thermostat without dropping the carbs. I've only dropped my Connie three times and had to change the clutch lever once.  That's it. That's all there is. Now I can get on to picking on the other worthless OTP nominees.

Please remember to vote. Thanks for reading this. You can now go back to what you were doing. Move along now.   :chugbeer:

Put the beer down and vote for someone!
Title: Re: Over the Pond XI (2012) Nominee's (Campaign)
Post by: Harry on March 07, 2012, 10:37:23 am
One other thing I need to mention....look at my sig...it has all the details on where to send your votes and donations to.
The flog-o-matic is another tool with the donation details.

...and another thing...this shows what a low life slug that I am...I lurk in all these COG forums without saying a whole lot cause I'm a thieving desperate little cartoonist looking for ideas for my nest Road Rash Cartoon. I need ideas on how to make my characters crash and burn. The sick and twisted mental case (me :loco: ) would love to go on the OTP so I can get more cheap cartoon ideas.  If I make it to OTP, I'll be doing a full page cartoon strip and have the Concourier editor publish it so you can see how I drove our buddies in the UK insane with all my snoring and grotesque eating habits  :pukeface: of strange delicacies.

So...if you haven't voted yet, you now have something to stew over.  :stirpot:
Title: Re: Over the Pond XI (2012) Nominee's (Campaign)
Post by: Chris Baum on March 08, 2012, 07:45:36 am
COG-GTR Nation,

First of all, I am honored to have been nominated for the second time.  Here is a little information about myself for the 2012 "OTP" voters.

My signature line says, "A Nebraskan Looking for Twisty Roads"  If you have ever ridden your motorcycle through Nebraska, you know the only curvy roads we have are the clover leaf on/off ramps on Interstate 80.  I am kind of tired of riding them for the past 18 years on my 1986 Concours to practice my twisty riding skills.  I really needed to check out some new areas to ride!!  Europe???   I understand they have twisty roads in Europe and I would like to check them out sometime in the future.

My family and I have hosted several "OTP" travelers over the years.  I hope we have given our "OTP" travelers/friends a taste of what is like to be a Nebraska family, along with a little bit of our Nebraska culture. In return our lives have also been enriched by the new friends we made that live "over the pond".

I have sponsored or volunteered  for several events for COG in the past 10 years.   I have been able to attend and volunteered at many of the National Rallies.  I am 1 of approximately 18 riders who participated in all three legs of the 2000 National Rally, so I am use to riding long distances.

The one thing we all share is the love of riding our motorcycles, telling stories and making new friends as travel on our motorcycles around the USA and Europe!

Name:            Chris Baum   
COG Number:        COG #3088
Bike:                        1986 Kawasaki Concours  (The only motorcycle I have ever owned!)
Years in COG:      14 years and counting

Events Put on for COG:    2006 National Rally in Hill City, SD (Rally Director)
                                          2003 Kawasaki Plant tour in Lincoln, NE
                                          2006 Kawasaki Plant tour in Lincoln, NE
                                          2011  OTP Nebraska BBQ
                                          2011  OTP Kawasaki Plant tour
                                          2011  OTP Nebraska Minor League Baseball

COG Projects:    Currently planning a COG rally in Nebraska similar to the “Two Bit Rally” hosted by Randy Bishop in Colorado.

Other COG work:   National Rally Volunteer  (2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008)
                                National Rally Participant (1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010)         
                                Hosted Several COG members at our home over the years as they criss-cross the US.
                                Hosted:  David “Davo” Jones (Australia) on his Coast-to-Coast Ride 2009

OTP participation:   2007 Lodging Host  (Patrick)
                                 2009 Lodging Host  (Wolfram)
                                 2011 Lodging Host  (Gie and Bernd)                               
                                 2011 OTP donor bike
                                 2004-11 Contributed to the “OTP” Traveler Donation Fund
Title: Re: Over the Pond XI (2012) Nominee's (Campaign)
Post by: connie_rider on March 08, 2012, 05:33:40 pm
Now there is some info yfor you guys ta use (that ain't voted yet)!!!

Good info on all, (even Harry)

But CHris sorta stretched the truth.

I was in his area and i did find a few curves..... Wuz about 30 miles between each one, but there wuz a few......

Ride safe, Ted

Title: Re: Over the Pond XI (2012) Nominee's (Campaign)
Post by: COG-528 on March 08, 2012, 05:35:14 pm

Well now that we have finally gotten some bios from the other nominees I can stop writing stuff that nobody is interested in to keep this thread active. :-[  I can finally get to my COG history which is easy for me to post since I wrote it the previous time I was nominated and saved a copy because I'm a packrat. :D

My COG History

Back in ancient time before Al Gore developed the Internet there was a group of riders of a new model Kawasaki.  One of them Rob Stevens said why don’t we start a club… a Concours Owners Group… and put an ad in the back of some motorcycle magazines.  The other riders of this new model Kawasaki saw the ad and came together… and it was(http://forum.cog-online.org/Smileys/FantasticSmileys/s_good.gif) 

Initially the club was run out of a shoe box that Rob kept in his closet.  Communication was limited to a newsletter that Rob put out when he had the time… and it was good. 

As riders continued to respond to the ad, the club continued to grow but the spread out membership and the slow nature of pre-internet communications made it apparent that there was a need for more local contacts.  So the club was organized around six geographic regions each with an Area Director… and it was good. :thumbs: 

The new members wanted to know more about how to take care of their motorcycles to make them more perfect.  An engineering guru came out of Long Island, :hail: a Rich Reed, who led the members to technical enlightenment…(http://bestsmileys.com/thinking/8.gif) and it was good. :thumbs:

Rob’s newsletter was replaced by a quarterly magazine, a Concourier,(http://bestsmileys.com/reading/4.gif) with a real editor and it spread Rich Reed’s words of technical enlightenment across the country… and it was good… when it would actually managed to reach the members. :banghead:

The Area Directors realized the club needed more organization than Rob and his shoe box if it was going to grow out of infancy into toddlerhood.  They elected a Rob Ramlow as executive director and he brought some organization to chaos.  Rob Ramlow begat George Fitch who brought incorporation, an AMA charter and a constitution… and it was all good.(http://bestsmileys.com/clapping/2.gif) 

More members joined and older members made room for newer members to volunteer to help the club move beyond toddlerhood.  One older member was Jan Winter, NE Area Director.  He decided in 1992 that after a number of years as NE AD he was ready to step down and asked for volunteer candidates to replace him.  Out of New Jersey stepped one candidate… me!(http://forum.cog-online.org/Smileys/FantasticSmileys/shocked.gif)  I belonged to a local AMA club (https://fbcdn-profile-a.akamaihd.net/hprofile-ak-snc4/373227_132238860187883_891952747_q.jpg) (http://www.ramapomc.org/) that had been striving to enhance the sport of motorcycling since 1938.  I had been involved with organized motorcycling on a local level for ten years. 
I was the only person dum… :loco: ...eh I mean enthusiastic (http://bestsmileys.com/cheering/6.gif) enough to step forward so Jan Winter appointed me as his successor.

In May 1990 I had finally bought an ’87 Concours and I joined COG.  I was assigned number 528.  I had been test riding the Concours for two years at Americade and finally decided I was ready to step up from my 1980 Suzuki GS1000G with Krauser bags and a handlebar mounted Plexi-fairing windshield.  I had been touring up and down the east coast for seven years and decided I was ready for a sport touring motor with a real fairing.  As luck would have it I was let go from my job as a Toyota salesman a month later.  I was burned out and wanted another way to earn riding money so I made plans to go to computer school so I could change careers.  But first I was going to take the summer off and do all the riding(http://forum.cog-online.org/Smileys/FantasticSmileys/motorcyclenoises.gif) I hadn’t been able to do when I had to work Saturdays and only got one week vacation a year.  Little did I know that it was going to be another 18 months before I had a full time job again. 

I had always wanted to see the Grand Tetons
and started planning a trip out west.  As a warm up I rode out to Wisconsin and did the Lake Superior Iron Butt, 1200 miles in 36 hours with no highways.  While in Wisconsin I also got to attend the EAA Fly-in (http://www.airventure.org/).  As an ex-Navy P-3 Airedale it was quite a treat.

COG had announced the Concoursvention in Colorado Springs for September.  So I planned my trip west to coincide plus I’d take in the Americade West in Rocky Mt National Park a few days before and the Rider Rally in Taos, NM a week later.  I had already attended the Rider Rally in Kentucky that year and met my first COG member.  The details of the trip are too long to relate, but I did get to ride everyplace I wanted to . . . despite dropping my Connie :'( on the eighth day of my trip while on the way into Colorado Springs.  This was pre-CDA #s. 

I spent the first night of the Concoursvention at Emergi-Care :-\ and almost the entire rest of the rally at the local Kawasaki shop getting an estimate and some replacement parts (saddle bag, foot peg, and brake lever) so I could continue my trip.  I did spend another 20 days on the road touring the Rockies from NM to the Canadian border at Glacier National Park.  I taped the fairing back together with duct tape and rode it like that for the next year as anyone who was at the NE Area Rally the following summer can attest.  That NE Area rally is when I first met Jan Winters

When I took over as NE AD in 1992, Jan left me with AADs for New England and Virginia whom I’d never met; a NE Area rally in Pennsylvania to be hosted by Tom Britton whom I’d never met and a Fall Foliage Tour to be hosted by George Fitch who I hadn’t met.  I had no idea who the 275 members in the NE were or how to reach them.  As I started to feel my way along I realized we needed a more timely way to disseminate information to area members than the Concourier.  I was going to have to produce a newsletter. 

I contacted the membership director who said he could mail me a membership list and labels for the NE Area members broken down by state.  When I started inquiring about how I was going to pay for printing and postage I was told to let the treasurer know how much I needed and they would give me an advance…as long as I didn’t want too much.  There was no such thing as an Area Budget.  I was expected to find cheap ways to get things done like printing the newsletter on the copier at work after hours.  So using a DOS based PC with an early version of Word Perfect I started typing.  As time went by I got a windows based PC at work and created the newsletter there after hours.  Eventually I bought a PC just so I could do the newsletter at home.  In an effort to cut costs I developed post cards to send out ride announcements instead of having to pay for a full newsletter. 

As time went by I developed a feel for how much money I could run the Area on but was still frustrated by the lack of an official budget.  I fronted all the money for area expenses and worried about getting reimbursed afterwards.  I made contacts at all the local Kawasaki dealers and eventually with the local Kawasaki dealer rep.  I worked the Kawasaki booth for three days each year at the NY edition of the Cycle World International Motorcycle Shows to generate interest in the Concours and COG.  I attended every east coast COG event I could get to but did miss the ’92 Snow rally in Asheville, NC.  I found myself in charge of T-shirt sales at the ‘94 COG National in Eureka Springs AR. because George Fitch had them put in my room because he was camping.  George eventually decided to step down as Executive Director and I was approached about running for that post.  But I felt being AD and a member of the Executive Board was more the enough work for me. 

Tom Adams was elected as the new Executive Director and we finally had a face to face Executive Board meeting and established official budgets for each area as well as handling other necessary club business.  The cost of that meeting was a big hit on COG’s finances that was felt for years but I think what was accomplished at that weekend meeting in Atlanta made it worth the financial pain.

I continued to recruit members and AADs in the NE.  I started the spring Freeze Your Buns weekend which eventually became the Spring Fling.  I was the registrar for the ’96 COG National, Ride The Rockies despite being unable to attend.  I conceived and recruited the necessary help for the NE Area to host the ’97 COG National, COG-motion Along The Ocean.  And I finally started to burn out.  We were due to have an Area election that winter and by that fall I was thinking may be I should step down.  I decided to keep myself on the ballot so the Area members would have a choice but my heart wasn’t in it like it had been in the past and Guy Young won the election.  I continued to do the Area newsletter for another year and when we had another turnover in Concourier Editor I volunteer to give it a try.  Unfortunately I quickly found that position was more than I could handle. 

Thanks to the Internet, COG was moving into its adolescence and after December 2000 I was finding my career as a computer programmer ending.  I was living on my savings and trying to figure out how to keep my high tech career alive.  Vicki decided that I need a mental health trip and sent me off to Run With The Wolf in September of 2001.  I had a great time and got completely rejuvenated.  I even won a plaque for the lowest COG number in attendance. 

Then the morning I got home the World Trade Center fell and with it went my chances of resurrecting my career.  For the next six years I became a motorcycle owner instead of a motorcyclist.  I was working  6-7 days a week and had no money or time to ride nor chance to do anything involving COG.  I didn’t even have the time to participate on the COG list for a number of years. 

Happily things started turning around in 2007.  I still worked two jobs but found the time to get back on the list, host the 2007 OTP traveler, Patrick De Maqueville and attend the COG National, COG in Canaan.  In December I attended an AMA Risk Management workshop so I could act as referee at future COG rallies.  In July 2008 I made it to the COG NE Area Summer Rally in Stowe, VT where I shared referee duties with AAD Terry Faherty.  During the Winter of 2009 I hosted a number of Meet & Greets and was looking forward to attending the COG National, Shiftin’ and Grinnin’ in Fontana Dam, NC. 

Unfortunately, in March, Vicki department at work was eliminated and she became unemployed.  That killed the National for me but I decided I could afford to do the COG NE Spring Fling at Natural Bridge, VA in May.  It was a great rally for me until 7:15 PM on Saturday night.   That is when I hit a deer while returning to the rally headquarters after a great day riding the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Thanks to good gear (Aerostich Roadcrafter two piece suit) and some luck I wasn’t hurt badily but my ’95 Concours was unrideable.  I managed to hire a van the next day and drove home with my motor in the back.  The trip home took three times longer than it had riding down to the rally! 
Six hours before hitting the deer

Insurance totaled out my motor so I had to hurry up and try to locate another ride.  I was due to host the 2009 OTP traveler in a few weeks and part of the plan was for me to ride down to Baltimore to meet the traveler and escort him to New Jersey.  Once again luck was on my side.  I managed to locate another ’95 Concours that had less miles and was in better shape than the one I crashed.  The seller agreed to let me have it for the amount of my insurance settlement so I was able to keep my appointment with Wolfram Tege.  I hosted Wolfram for two days showing him New York City.  We then returned the Concours 14 he had been riding to Kawasaki and I got him to the airport in time to catch his flight home.  The rest of 2009 my riding was limited due to no money and the need to get as many hours at my second job as possible to make up for Vicki’s lost salary.

Since 2010 I have been a regular attendee at the Meet & Greets that are hosted by NE AAD Cap’n Bob Barbanti in Newburgh, NY.  I also attended the Vermont Summer Bash Northeast Regional Rally in August.  In September I helped Cap’n Bob plan a ride to eat at Kundlas BBQ in Pennsylvania.

In 2011 I answered Executive Director Ken Ford’s request for a volunteer to takeover the position of Insurance Communications Officer from Guy Young.  When OtP Chief Slave Laborer, Ted Adcock, had family issues that prevented him from devoting time to OtP planning, I stepped in to help coordinate the hosts and planned the route for the Traveler & his Nanny to follow from Colorado to the COG National in Vermont. In conjunction with Cap’n Bob I planned and led a Ride to Eat to Kundlas BBQ once again.  I also acted as Check-in Team Lead for the Green Mountain National Rally in Vermont.

Vicki is still unemployed so money is very tight but I’m hoping more time will free up this year so I can volunteer more in COG and may be attend some rallies.  I'm looking forward to supporting the OtP XI Traveler this year.  If you should chose to make me the Traveler I will be very appreciative of all the support provided by others.

As I’ve always said,
COG is only as good as we all make it.  Let's make it great!
Title: Re: Over the Pond XI (2012) Nominee's (Campaign)
Post by: connie_rider on March 12, 2012, 04:34:09 pm

Did i mention that it is time to VOTE!!! Time is quickly running out!

I have another suggestion,,, If you don't have a favorite candidate to vote for.....
Write my Name in... I know I ain't a Nominee, but I would love to have more votes that the actual Nominee's.
Would drive Hans crazy!!   <evil/sneaky grin>    ;D ;D

Ride safe, Ted
Title: Re: Over the Pond XI (2012) Nominee's (Campaign)
Post by: COG-528 on March 15, 2012, 11:35:57 am

Just thought the voters might enjoy some images of what life will be like for the Traveler this year.





It will be very important for the Traveler to pace himself so he can fully enjoy his trip.


The OtP Traveler enjoys only the finest machinery while on tour. 
The Nanny on the other hand may be a bit jealous with their less than optimal ride.

Title: Re: Over the Pond XI (2012) Nominee's (Campaign)
Post by: COG-528 on March 15, 2012, 11:46:31 am

I'm sure all the voters are having a tough time deciding on whom to vote for in this election.  Time is getting short to cast your vote once you make a decision.

I tried to use Harry's Spin-A-Vote to help me to decide whom I should vote for.

But the Spin-A-Vote appears to be busted. 
The spinner won't turn. (http://forum.cog-online.org/Smileys/FantasticSmileys/banghead.gif)   What do I do now? (http://bestsmileys.com/thinking/6.gif)

How can I decide whom to vote for without the assistance of the Spin-A-Vote?

I guess I could just do the usual thing and have my wife tell me (http://forum.cog-online.org/Smileys/FantasticSmileys/021.gif) whom to vote for . . . or I could show some independence and make my own decision this time. (http://bestsmileys.com/surprised/4.gif)

I can do that. (http://forum.cog-online.org/Smileys/FantasticSmileys/huh.gif)  Sure I can! I'll vote for . . . (http://bestsmileys.com/thinking/1.gif) . . . I know! (http://bestsmileys.com/thinking/3.gif)

I'll just vote for the first guy on the list of nominees. (http://forum.cog-online.org/Smileys/FantasticSmileys/great.gif) 

    Mike Aldea from Hawthorne, NJ
    Darrell Anderson from Stevenson, WA
    Chris Baum from Lincoln, NE
    Harry Martin from Casper, WY
    Brian Snowberg from Mahtomedi, MN

Yeah, for sure, (http://bestsmileys.com/fingers/1.gif) that will work.  (http://forum.cog-online.org/Smileys/FantasticSmileys/57.gif)

I feel much better (http://forum.cog-online.org/Smileys/FantasticSmileys/dance.gif) now that I've figured out whom should get my vote.  Everyone should use my method to make their life easier. (http://forum.cog-online.org/Smileys/FantasticSmileys/72.gif)
Now how do we go about voting??? (http://forum.cog-online.org/Smileys/FantasticSmileys/confuse.gif)

Title: Re: Over the Pond XI (2012) Nominee's (Campaign)
Post by: connie_rider on March 26, 2012, 07:25:16 am
Hi all,

Another interesting year of  "Over the Pond".

We NOW have a winner......

We NOW have a runner-up....  and

we NOW have three who finshed in 3rd place.....

I must say it was a "very" nice race......

there was a lot of stirrin and nice comments

and a lot of support notes from the five friends.....

as usuall I won´t give any figures from the poll since

I think

all the candidates deserves to be The traveler.

It´s an honour to be nominated!

To get a lot of votes in the poll is also an honour!

The honour is members appreciation of what You have done!

Who are they......

The winner of the OTP XI traveler is.......(wait a minute I have to
recalculate again)....hmmmm,

"Drum Roll"

The winner candidate  to go "Over the Pond" 2012 is Darrell Anderson from
Stevenson, WA !!!!!!!!!

The 1-st runner - up is Brian Snowberg from Mahtomedi, MN 
The 3rd place winners are (in alphabetacal order) Mike Aldea from Hawthorne, NJ; Chris Baum from Lincoln, NE and Harry Martin from Casper, WY!
We in the OTP team congratulate all candidates and are looking forward to
support Darrell Anderson in his planning of the trip to EU......

We have three bikes pledged in different areas in EU and the GCE rally is in
Dolomites mountain range in Italy......

but, if we are to succed we need more PLEDGES!!!!!!

Hans in Sweden

OTP boss