Mr. Happy crashed the party. Big time, and he was a big hit. Not familiar with Mr. Happy? Prepare to enrich your life:
Mr. Happy loves attention. How can you resist his charm?
He loves to travel; by motorbike of course!
He is a big RTE (ride to eat) kind of guy. So watch your food! He rode all the way from Rhode Island to partake of the STAR banquet. And partake he did, jumping from table setting to table setting, satisfying his voracious appetite. Hey! It’s hard work piloting that VFR 1200 for such a little guy.
Sitting politely at the banquet table waiting to be served
All bets are off! Salad, soup, bread & beer! Yum!
Mr. Happy is a product of Aerostitch Riders Warehouse, purveyors of everything motorcycle for the LD, touring, and commuting motorcyclist.
The banquet hall was packed with MSTA motorcyclists, all hungry from a days riding, and awaiting the introduction of this years guest speaker.
Our table: L-R Mark & Quint (from Ohio), Roo
Duane, from Pennsylvania, also at our table. Is that not a super cool handlebar moustache?
Food! Very tasty too!
Finally, dinner having been served and eaten, it was time for the introduction of this years guest speaker. He is an avid motorcyclist and a renowned comedian. He has, I believe, two television shows, and has been on numerous late night talk shows, especially with Jay Leno.
For us motorcyclists, he is particularly well known for his appearance in the exceptional motorcycling DVD, Why We Ride. I apologize in advance for the lousy photos, my camera having decided it didn’t want to snap indoor photos very well.
In Why We Ride, while footage was being shown of Moto GP riders dragging both knees and elbows on the track, Alonzo Bodden is best remembered for his quip, as only he can say it (paraphrase), “If I’m dragging an elbow on the track, it’s part of the crash!” He had us in tears for about twenty minutes. Very funny man. We were lucky to get him to attend STAR!
If you haven’t seen Why We Ride, do purchase it for your moto video library. It is excellent. If you are a non-motorcyclist reading this blog, do watch this video. It will give you fresh insight into why we ride motorcycles and may inspire you to do the same.
Every year at STAR, a brand new motorcycle is raffled off. This year, some lucky MSTA member is going to walk away with a brand new, 2016 BMW F800GT! It wasn’t me or Roo, boo hoo.
2016 BMW F800GT
2016 STAR is now history. This morning, everyone says goodbye until the next event, pack up the bikes, and head out in numerous directions. Today is our final day spent on the RT, which is due back at MotoVermont in Burlington by the end of the day. We take the opportunity to travel 140 miles of the Scenic 100 Byway, Stratton Mountain to Burlington, taking in all the natural beauty along the way, and once again, traveling back in time. Jon and Mr. Happy leave with us, then wave goodbye as we turn north on VT 100 and Jon heads east to Rhode Island. Hopefully it won’t be another five years until we meet again.
Our stop on this day is the town of Rochester. Another quintessential Vermont town, we would arrive in time for a bite to eat. Of course, we parked the RT by the Town Green.
Rochester, Vermont Town Green gazebo…..
and American Civil War memorial
I have quite a wingspan, and my arms only encircle half this tree! Just how old is it, I wonder?
Rochester Town Green
Roo relaxing on the Town Green
Lunch beckons, so off we go in search of coffee and food. I ate here in town on my way south from Burlington at a great coffee house and cafe, so I suggested to Roo we eat here.
Good food and coffee, but as we walked along, we spotted another cafe that looked inviting. Something different, why not?
What a great place! Books, coffee and sandwiches, as well as baked goods! The ambience was wonderful, again, very laid back & hippie-ish. Just what you would expect in Vermont.
As we ate and drank, a familiar sound came closer and closer, right up to where we were sitting:
This beautiful old Triumph Thunderbird added to the magic of this place.
The owner was just as intriguing. Probably in his early 40’s, long hair, old, beat, well worn brown leather moto jacket, white scarf, goggles. He fit the bike perfectly. That Vermont magic working again.
Time for the final leg of our journey. Burlington beckons. Within two hours, we were back at MotoVermont handing over the keys to the RT. Roo’s sister was waiting for us to bring us back to her place. Later that evening, the three of us had a night out on the town in super-cool downtown Burlington, then back to her place for our last night in Vermont. In the AM, it’s back in the aluminum tube for the journey home to South Carolina and the beagles.
It was a wonderful trip. As our club tag line states; “Great Bikes, Great Roads, Great People!” Vermont gave us all three in spades!