2014 Black Fly Rolling Rally

2014 Black Fly Rolling Rally Passport

2014 Black Fly Rolling Rally Passport

It’s time … the mystery  unveiled and the route shared.  This is the 18th Annual Black Fly Rally. This year it’s a rolling rally – a different place every night.  Meeting Friday at 8 AM at Dysart’s in Bangor, riding to Quebec.  Fred (Black Fly) has an amazing French dinner planned.  Then riding to Swanton, VT for the night on Saturday and then Cold Brook, NH on Sunday night.  As saving my vacation days for the month of riding in Mexico this fall I decided to ride solo up to Northern VT Saturday and meet the group at Lakeside Campground.

awesome cheeseburger – I was so hungry I took a few bites first and then photographed it

I left the house at 8:30 AM and road up out of Auburn through Hebron, out through Norway into Bethel and then over to Gorham, NH and through Littleton and out onto 93 to St. Johnsbury and then off on 2/15 to W. Danville where I had an awesome cheeseburger at the food truck by the beach.  The burger was about twice the circumference of the bun.  Good fries too.  Then I continued on to Hardwick and Wolcott and on up to St. Albans and then Lakewood Campground just outside Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge.

tent all set up - first one into camp

tent all set up – first one into camp

I pulled into the campground about 3:15 after just a spectacular day of solo riding.  Alone and filled with confidence, putting into practice what I’d learned at track day.  As I was the first one to show up I got the golf cart tour of the campground and choice a spot away from folks but with some nice trees for shade and pitched my tent.

Moo-Moo arrived about 15 minutes after I did

Moo-Moo arrived about 15 minutes after I did

I’d just poured myself an adult beverage when Moo-Moo pulled in. He rode by himself and took a different route.  He got his tent up and we had a nice visit before the next group rolled in.

Three bikes – Hannu, Steve and Scott were next to pull in.  They immediately set up camp and then heading out for some cold beer.

Then Evil Clown (aka Mike H.) and SheRidesABeemer pulled in after riding together. They’d ridden up from NH and met the group in Canada.

Hannu, Evil Clown, Steve and Scott

Hannu, Evil Clown, Steve and Scott

It was a great evening of fun, stories and sharing Hannu’s dinner and my makings for s’mores. Very nice folks next to us in an  RV provided us not only with wood but also delivered it for us.

caveman TV warming up - nice folks next to us gave us and delivered wood for us

caveman TV warming up – nice folks next to us gave us and delivered wood for us

campfire aftermath

campfire aftermath

I like camping with Evil Clown.  He’s very honest.  Told me, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, sit next to me.”  He and I have had some interesting campfire chats.

I learned from Hannu – the Finnish engineer who did his masters thesis on lubrication that I can use Rotella 5W40 synthetic in Margarita and she’ll be very happy and my wallet will like to much more than the Castrol I’ve been using at nearly $15/quart.  She takes a gallon and burn close to quart every 1000 miles.

By the time I got up Rich had his tent all packed up and he cleared out soon after coffee and before most folks were even awake.

Because Evil Clown and I had to be back at work the next day we decided to ride to breakfast and then part of the way home together.  While at breakfast he tagged Margarita.  A few black flies and a sticker.

Evil Clown tagged Margarita

Evil Clown tagged Margarita

GREAT weekend of fun and laughs and some truly great riding.  At least for me.

Dave C. wasn’t so fortunate.  After breakfast the group that was riding together down to Cold Brook, NH witnessed one of them go down and hard.

I am reposting here what he wrote on the ADV Rider forum.

Dave's crash

Dave’s crash






Posted by: PWRCRZR
On: 06-14-2014 06:23 AM

“Lessons we learn
I have learned a lot around here over the years. Amongst all of our story telling, banter and even our bickering I have learned many tips. So I thought I would share on my recent lessons.

Image: http://chartier.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Blackfly-2014/i-qqjW58c/0/XL/IMGP0263-XL.jpg

What looks like a simple little drop was actually a rather painful and expensive one.

I was up on the pegs rolling along a straight stretch of gravel, there were some pretty decent dried ruts but nothing looked to bad. I looked back over my left shoulder and as I did the bike drifted left and I caught the edge of a rut just back from this picture about 3 inches tall maybe, not sure what spun me out as it happened so quick. One minute I was standing there looking back the next my head was slammed to the ground and gravel was coming in my face shield.

Easy to see what happened here I looked back and took my attention off the rutted section..

So here is what I learned..

I was wearing my new AFX FX41 helmet, sorry I forgot pictures, I hit right above the top left corner of the faceshield where the visor connects to the helmet. The helmet didn’t break, barely scuffed but I ended up with quite a lump and bruise on my head. Take this for what you will and I am glad I had a helmet on as it saved me from some horrible gravel rash, but I have lost faith in low end helmets. In my mind a hit like that shouldn’t leave me with a mark on my head, I can’t help but wonder what would have happened at 70mph on pavement.. My insurance company paid full value and I am upgrading to the Arai xd4. I hope I never test it.

I ripped the leg open on my new First Gear TPG pants but they seemed to save my knee from damage, D30 armor works I guess. My insurance also replaced these as a safety item.

When I first jumped up the first thing I noticed was the pain in my left ankle, worried me. Rolled my ankle out left as expected and got caught under 650lb’s of bike. After 5 days I can honestly say it was just twisted and almost pain free now. I had on my Alpinestar Scout boots. Decent dual sport boots paid off. Quite sure if I was wearing my street boots it may have turned out worse.

I also ended up with a sore shoulder for a few days and quite a large bruise on my right thigh..I guess from the bar end.

Wearing any gear helps, good gear may help more..YMMV

The bike..

Alt rider crash bars did their job and saved the radiator from any damage.

My left side Jesse bag on the other hand got ripped off the lower mount, twisted the box up, twisted the mounting frame for the box and worse off twisted my sub frame. Boxes were fully loaded for camping.. Could be pretty easy to argue that soft bags probably would not have twisted the sub frame. But then again the crash bars and Jesse bags probably saved me further leg damage.

I also found that the factory rear luggage rack broke from the crash as well as the windshield support. I think the windshield support was victim of all the stuff on my windshield bracket. The rear luggage rack was probably from getting hit by the Jesse bag when the frame twisted.

On the plus side Progressive insurance really steps up when something like this happens. They were very pleasant and polite to deal with. I keep all my receipts for gear and aftermarket accessories and since I have a rider on my policy to pay for them it paid off. I met the agent at Woodys to look the bike over yesterday. Using my receipts Woodys prepared an estimate to replace all the damaged parts,  Progressive paid full price for every damaged item, even looked up one part and found there was a price increase since last year and gave me that. Oh and they paid for all my shipping on aftermarket accessories.

So long story short, look where you are going not where you have been, wear good gear and keep your receipts…”

Thank you for sharing your crash report with us  Dave.  I am happy to report he’s okay.  I for one am very happy to have not been with the group when he went down.

My ride home was much more pleasant than his.  I pulled into town at 5 PM and promptly treated myself to an ice cream sundae for dinner at the Dairy Joy.

well-deserved dinner

well-deserved dinner

Black Fly stats for me

Black Fly stats for me


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