Saturday, June 28, 2003 saw six riders come together for an almost perfect ride. Three newbies were added to our group of seasoned riders. Alan Weis riding a new XR650 from Topeka, and Clark Luster on a DR400 from Lawrence, and Joe Hackney on an XR650 from Horton, were the newbies. Terry Flemming from Topeka on a KTM 400 joined Dennis Gowing and David Hemphill on DR650s to round out the group.

Rain started the day which might have scared off some riders from attending, but if it did they sure missed out on a good ride. We got about 1/4 inch of precipitation which cooled off the day and helped with the dust. Starting in Lawrence we spent the first 35 miles going up Buck Creek road to Oskalossa and back toward Lawrence on Republic Road. It was nice and cool with no dust whatsoever. Once it was determined all riders had similar skill levels we picked up the pace a little. We then headed North toward Atchinson where we had lunch on the banks of the mighty "MO" river. At lunch, Joe asked about the groups ages and occupations, as it turns out much to my suprise we had 293 years total age in our group (6 riders divided into 293 years = 3 ol' pharts, 2 middle aged, and one young buck, being Joe.) I did notice later in the day Joe's hair showed a little gray just from being around us. Clark will get my vote for Newbie of the year for buying me lunch when it turned out I was too absent minded to check my wallet before leaving home, Thanks Clark.

On the return to Lawrence, the heat and dust picked up, but it was lots better than many of our rides. We encountered five water crossings, some deep sand, almost no mud which suprised me, and plenty of good roads with very little traffic to put up with except around Atchinson. Total mileage: 170.

Fun was had by all, which is the way rides are supposed to be! One odd thing about this ride was that all the bikes were good looking, not a single KLR in the group (just a joke).

David Hemphill, Ride Leader

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