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Tuesday Edition

2012 Super X Motorcycle Rally

Excelsior-Henderson will never Die

Photos and text by Jumper with historic logos courtesy of the Bob T. collection

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Editor’s Note: Gary Houk has a mission in life, to keep the Excelsior-Henderson brand alive by growing the EHRC (Excelsior-Henderson Riders Club). If you would like to be apart of this clan with a mission, or own an E-H, don’t hesitate to drop Gary a note.

As in X Rallies in the past, I was a last-minute ready to go Xer. Snamrock canceled (yes, his nickname was Shamrock until he misspelled it, and he’s never lived it down), I would ride out alone from Marshall, Virginia and meet Jonny (the Swede) in Indy. Phil called me Sunday night and was a GO! I cruised out of town Monday morning in the rain and met him up on I-68 where I put my X on his trailer. He's a good traveling partner, we needed to catch up on club business, and so we booked west towards Indy for a meet up with Jonny. I had not seen Phil for a year, so I figured that I could get caught up with him, party some and hear about his family while making good time. (20 hours driving straight vs. 25 hours stopping every 200 miles for fuel on the X). I've trucked, trailered and ridden this ride for 13 years.

You got to remember that we have been doing the Super X Rally in Minnesota since 2000 and the numbers had been dwindling. (same ol’ same ol’, in a rut). I got voted in as Membership Director this year. This was an unusual thing as the Xers up in Minnesota had doubts about someone on the East Coast being able to do the job, since I'm not attending monthly meetings and facing the leadership medicine.

There are also hard feelings amongst some Xers that the club is more for the Minnesota Folks than for everyone. I'm trying to prove that everyone that is a Member has a say. Anyway, I've helped drive the Membership numbers back up above 100 (109 as of now for 2012) and the attendance at the X Rally hit 55! For 2013, I've set a personal goal of at least 125 new and renewing members. We will host the X Rally in 2013 in Le Sueur, Minnesota again.

We hit Indy early, about 5:30 p.m. so we grabbed a bite off of the intended exit, whole waiting for Jonny. My phone rang as we finished up, and Jonny was already at the Shell station waiting for us. We met up, exchanged greetings and hit the road heading west. Jonny rode a 2012 Victory Hard Ball and had already ventured from Minnesota to Georgia to meet up and ride with Tony D. He left Highlands, N.C. that morning. We rode west and rolled into Albert Lea about 3:30 in the morning on Tuesday. Johnny dropped the Vic. off for an oil change and warranty work. His X was already up in Le Sueur waiting for him.

An hour later we rolled into Le Sueur. Dale and Cindy slept quietly in the Downtown Motel until we arrived. They took our late-night sleep interruption with a smile and laugh, gave us our room keys and off to ZZZland we went. Mid morning we were up and at 'em and hungry. A catnap out of the way we grabbed a bite. Jonny and I had gone up to Johns shop where Jo Ann, John’s Mom gave us a ride out to where Jonny’s X was stored. It fired right up, and we peeled back to Le Sueur.

One Shot had arrived as well and soon Dale Jones came rolling in on his Can-Am. Snamrock, Jonny, Dale, Jackie, and I loaded up and headed to Belle Plaine to grab lunch at Emma Krumbees, good food and great company. A smooth ride back and we hung out and chatted about the past year.

Waz rolled in and we greeted him. I mentioned about running up to Tommy Marron's place to look at some X stuff he had. The Xers there decided to do the Car/Bike show over in Henderson while Waz and I headed north towards Jordan. I left Waz at his Brother’s house and headed up to Tommy's. I pulled into Tommy’s house where he had Deerslayer out in the driveway, charging up the battery. Tommy looked good, as he had a bout with cancer earlier in the year. We chatted, downed a few beers and caught up on life. I left a few hours later and headed back to Le Sueur where I had missed the car show and the chicken wing bonanza at the 300 Club downstairs. Back to the room and ZZZ...
The present Xers told me of tales of Tuesday’s fun. We headed down to get a bite of Breakfast. Dave McQuity and his lovely girlfriend, Julie joined us and we packed a full table! Back at the motel, we kinda hung out and enjoyed the sunshine. Chris West rolled in from Kansas City.

The plan was to ride over to Faribault and meet up with the Xers out of the cities and blast on down to Albert Lea to kick off the X-Rally. We did just that blasting to Faribault and arriving at 2ish. We waited for the rest to show and the group out of the cities came rumbling on in. Kenny, Mike, Brad, Jim were present and accounted for. Waz was about 15 minutes behind but soon rolled in. We chatted a bit more and then loaded up for the ride South on I-35. Another beautiful hot day in Minnesota!

Soon we arrived at Northstar Powersports where Brian and crew provided us with a keg of beer and munchies. Many more Xers have shown up as well. Chuck Barsness greeted us. We ran into Xers out of Wisconsin, Brian, Todd, Rod and Cindy (Rod had shoulder surgery and had to drive the “Hamlit” van). Gary out of Michigan, Jim, John and Todd out of Illinois / Indiana arrived. More Xers slowly pull in. The X-Rally began!

Brian had a couple of Victory demo bikes available to ride. Victory has a few new models out. The Judge looked promising. I met Mike out of California and world famous Bruce Whitefoot from Nebraska. I’ve known Bruce for many years, just never met him face to face! Great guy. Mike flew in to Nebraska and bought his second Super X from Bruce and was getting to know the rest of us. Keith Kuhl from Georgia smiled. One Shot told Brad about her adventures in Colorado. The Keg started to show signs of running out and the party moved over to the Motel. Brian made a deal set up with the local Restaurant for $20.00, all the burgers, beer and munchies you can eat. Well, they may have lost some $$$ on that deal as the Xers were a hungry bunch. Virgil rolled in from Sioux City with his fleet of Xs in tow. Meanwhile, I was still wore out and headed up to the room to crash out. I missed the run to the Titty bar and the late night shenanigans that has been known to happen in Albert Lea. ZZZZ…

Thursday morning about 6-7 a.m., I awaken and 3S (3S= Shit,Shower, Shave!)
Snamrock slept as I rustled around and got ready for the day. I made a pot of hotel provided weak coffee. Snamrock, Jonny, Chris and I wander over to Perkins for a breakfast that would do any Xer proud. We packed up and head to the Dealership where Brian made arrangements for Coffee and munchies. Xers were rolling in. Some moved a bit slow, as the activities the night before extended late into the wee hours. I grabbed a Vic. Judge for a test ride. Fast, it was a firm ride and handled comfortably. My phone vibrated in my pocket, Mike Locklear out of Ohio. He had a loose cable on the road and had an overnighter in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Fresh and tightened cable, he was charging hard to make the 10 a.m. kickstands up in Albert Lea.

Paul Michaels was the morning road Captain and soon everyone loaded up to ride to the Lunch stop and on to Le Sueur. As we rolled out of town my phone rang. I pulled over and it was Mike. He was already on I-35 looking for the dealership. Back at the Dealership I found Jim, John and Tony. John had rubbed his rear brake line through and did not want to ride in a group with only a front brake. Fine, I said, we’ll wait for Mike and I’ll lead a small group. I grabbed the Interstate and shot up to U.S.14 west to 13 to 60 and into Elysian where the group stopped for lunch. This year we went to Wilderness instead of Tuckers. A tasty change of pace and the BBQ bar was a treat. Back with the group, we gobble down some grub and out the door we peeled! The group meandered through the roads of Minnesota and we rolled into Le Sueur in fine style. The group settled in at the Downtown Motel. Randy and Val set up the registration trailer and I went over to lend a hand. I have to hand it to Randy and Val; they are always pleasant and willing to help out the club wherever needed. Since Rod and Cindy had the Van, They went to the Beer store and snatched ice, pop, and beer.

The afternoon activities included a ride up to Belle Plaine where John Stier’s Dad had a collection of Autos, a 1917 Excelsior, and various toys. Did I say toys? I mean a gigantic warehouse packed with various types of tractors, combines, autos, dolls and just about every type and brand out there.

Johns Dad explained the different types of farm equipment on the display tables. These were working models that Salesmen would carry and show to Farmers throughout the USA. You could spend days just wandering about. After a while, I headed back to Le Sueur where Grant and his Gal, Teri were getting the dinner meal together. More Xers showed up while we were out. Dennis, Brett, Boyd rolled in from North and South Dakota. John Jones and his Gal, Kay was there. John has been busy with his shop fixing Xs and his duties as Chapter President. Dennis and LuAnn, Doug and a few more were having a cold one and chatting up each other. Grant was appointed “Grill Master” and he cooked up some lemon pepper and spicy chicken breasts. That along with some great rice dishes and the group was well fed. Yum! After the meal, folks got comfortable. Mingling around I catch up with Xers I hadn’t seen since last year.

A club meeting was called at 7:00 and John started it off welcoming everybody, followed by a brief rundown of how the club was doing and finances. I was next up with a membership update. I pounded my chest about 108 new and renewing members. The numbers were up and I thanked every new member. The floor opened to comments. Cindy liked Tuckers for the lunch stop. Another suggested nametags for next year. Another Member suggests “business cards” members could pass out to other Xers and interested parties with a link to the EHRC website. All good ideas and the club will act upon them in the coming months.

Jonny bought up the idea of having the 15th Super X Rally(2014) in Maggie Valley, N.C. This suggestion would involve a lot of planning on the clubs part. It is doable and with enough of a heads up, could be a fun time, especially with Wheels Through Time Museum in town! I’ve been to Maggie Valley a few times and the riding down there is spectacular. You have the Tail of the Dragon with its 318 curves in 11 miles will have you scraping floorboards and hugging the curves, Then we have the Cherohala Skyway, a real calm ride about a mile high in the mountains, . Then we have the Wheels through time Museum right in Maggie Valley, . For a side trip, over the mountain to Cherokee with its Casino, Indian history etc.

We, as a club could have the basic set up like we have in Le Sueur, I’ve stayed here before and the Innkeepers are very easy to deal with. Many of the members were open to this idea, and it will be discussed in the coming months. If you are a member of the EHRC, please feel free to voice your thoughts and concerns. Naturally, the Xers on the East Coast would need to step up and plan this event. I’m willing to head up this effort. The meeting concluded and was adjourned. Folks split up to chat and have a few drinks. It was late for me, and I was bushed after all the chest pounding. I wandered off to ZZZ…

Friday morning and the Poker Run started about 9:30ish (Super-X Time) Kenny Bretz has planned another superb ride of about 100+ miles. Ken and Mike lead the group, and I worked sweeping at the rear. We headed out with about 50 Xers all ready to try their luck with the cards. The first stop was in Waterville, Minnesota, at the Corner Bar. Cards were drawn. I chat with Chris a bit and catch up with him and his life. He just retired a few weeks ago and was excited about what was next. Boyd Z. discussed the oil boom up in Minot, North Dakota. I chatted with Brian Franson as well. He planned building another dozen-or-so Solo Sissy Bar brackets, and I told him to put me down for one. We loaded up and headed out of town. On the way out, Gary from Michigan broke down on the side of the road. He had blown a fuse for his fuel pump.

Jim R. and I stop and lend assistance. The group continued on. We get his fuse changed and I lead the three of us onward. Good thing Jim R. had a map with him. I manage to guide us to the next stop for lunch at the Boat House Grill and Bar in Waseca. We arrived about 10 minutes before the rest of the group and we heard them off in the distance as they rumble in.

The group arrives in and Doug Bruns faced a check engine light on. Seems his Stator crapped out. We ate lunch and came up with a plan. John Jones called his Dad, Dale, and he snatched the service truck and headed towards Waseca to get Doug.

With lunch behind us we peeled to the next stop, riding past many lakes, we ended up at Madison Lake. My hand is crap and it’s not looking like I’m gonna win. We have Phil and Mavis Ward awaiting us. They have had a busy year with one of their Daughters being married off. Congrats Phil and Mavis!

Off to the next stop: the Dam Store in Mankato. All the Xs lined up and the cameras were snapping away. Inside the store, I grabbed a water and an Ice Cream. A few of the Xers taste-tested the world famous pies. We loaded up and off to the Mankato Brewery for the final card draw. We arrive after we dodged a storm.

Beer samples were poured and I have to admit that I was leaning towards the dark brew. Quite tasty! The Brew master gave us a tour explaining the master brew process. Ken instructed a few Xers to pull their clean bikes into the Brewery for pictures. We drew cards. My hand still sucked. Looks like Snamrock was the big winner! Congrats Phil!

Next and final stop is Paul Michaels’ house in St.Peter. We get split up on the road and the group arrives in bits and pieces. I called Tommy earlier and told him to meet us down in St.Peter. He stopped by Le Sueur and grabbed Tony and rode down. Paul prepared a terrific spread of great food and a tub full of pop for a hungry bunch of Xers. We nosh and talk Xs and the Poker Run. I’m still bummed about my hand.

Keith’s X developed a head gasket leak and was sounding like a steam engine. Lucky for him he had trailered out of Hotlanta with his kids so he had a way back to Georgia. He rolled up to Arlington, Minnesota, to the family farm, but first a stop in Le Sueur for a drink. With that out of the way I told him I’d catch up with him in Belle Plaine on Saturday for the parade. I head back to the Motel. Back there, Folks are milling around having a few beers and pops. It’s casual. I’m tired, distraught about the cards I drew, and hit the sack.ZZZ

Saturday morning held a few options. One group rode out to the Casino out west. Me, I’m headed directly to Belle Plaine to do the world famous Bar-B-Q Days and stay clear of any gambling. This is a yearly event that B.P. puts on with a parade, rides, and great food. I gathered a bunch of Xers who were hanging around, and we take a relaxed ride up through Henderson along the river. This is a favorite ride of many Xers and it’s a gorgeous clear day. We came into Belle Plaine and parked across from Andy’s. It’s hot and the parade started in 30 minutes. So, I slipped into Johann’s to cool off and have a drink.

Most of us settle in and cool off. Bruce and Chris brave the heat in the shade. I wander out and find that there is a better parking spot right on the parade route. So I pull 1409 front row and grab Snamrocks 824 and park it beside mine. The other Xers do the same and we have a fair amount of Xs looking proud.

Soon the parade starts and for the next hour we are bombarded with candy and freebies! Towards the end of the parade a dentist comes by and gives out toothbrushes. Smart move since the quantity of candy tossed would rot steel. We hoot and holler at all the floats and give the “wave” to all the Girls in convertibles.
As the parade winds up, I get the idea that we Xers should join in and as the last float goes by, we load up and follow the route to the fairgrounds. We are waving and a bunch of Xs sure looked sharp.

Mike wanted to roll to the factory for a photo op, too. W ran into Fire Departments having a water battle. The object was to force a barrel across the other team’s line with their powerful water hoses. Needless to say, on a hot sunny day this was the perfect way to keep cool!

We ran to Cambria and take a few pictures, a lot of memories there. Mid afternoon and we head back to Le Sueur. I jammed to my room to chill out. A little later I snuck out and the Casino crowd returned. Teri and Grant secured Rod and Cindy and made the food run.

The grill was out and soon fired up and Grant and John out of Indiana barbecued up a bunch of steaks. Teri got corn, beans, and strawberry short cake for desert. Grant grilled up a mess o steaks that taste out of this world! Them Minnesota Folks know how to cook! All are fed, fat and happy. Scott arrived on a Jenny that belongs to a friend up in the cities. It’s for sale. We decide to head up to Belle Plaine and meet up with Dan Hanlon one of the E-H recent founders. Off we go up U.S.169 at a good pace.

Scotty is riding tight Mike and Mike are right behind and we look like we know what we are doing. We arrive at the fairgrounds and soon Dan shows up. It’s hot so we adjourn to Andy’s for a cool drink. Andy’s is loud so we go next door to Huck’s. A bit quieter and we can carry a conversation. Tommy and Kate show up to join the fun. As this night rolls on, I decide I needed to head back to the Motel and sleep—too much emotion for one day, with the parade, the fire fighters, the factory, and meeting with Dan. I grab a beer and chat a bit before I ZZZ..

Sunday morning and I’m 3S and packing. Phil is up and we load up the bikes. My phone rings and its One Shot broke down on I-35 before Albert Lea. I tell her we’ll grab her on our way and drop her at Brian’s dealership. She called back later, problem solved. Cool. Phil and I said our good byes to Dale and Cindy and the rest of the other Xers. In the car we go at 11:00 a.m. East coast time and we rolled into my driveway at 8:00 a.m. Monday morning. Another great X-Rally!

Thanks to all that made this a fun X-Rally! I look forward to next year and hope we can have even more Xers show up for the fun!
--Jumper, aka Gary Houk
If you need to call me, 703-675-5046 (C)

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Reader Comments

Hi Jumper,

Cool article. You are a valued member of the club. Thanks for keeping the dream alive.


St. Peter, MN
Saturday, March 23, 2013

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