August, 1999

Being a weekend trip up to Duluth, Minnesota for the annual Minnesota Guzzi rally.

I haven't gone to very many of these organized events, preferring to spend my time riding new roads, but this one seemed a good excuse to ride several roads in Minnesota that were new for me.


An odd beginning. My throttle grip actually wore completely out and spun on the handlebar without actually turning the throttle. I had long worn smooth the waffle-pattern OEM rubber grip, but had never heard of anybody actually wearing one out, completely. So, my first stop was at Ron Garcia's (Ronco) shop in Andover to replace the RH grip.

Not a great deal to take pictures of along the way. I shot straight up highway 81.



At the Nebraska-Kansas border.

South Dakota

Stopped for the night at Madison, South Dakota.



I entered Minnesota at Pipestone National Monument, and then took any number of small roads as I angled up towards Duluth. As you can see, I packed very light for the trip with only that small carry-on bag strapped to the rear rack. I would not be camping.


The rally was held at a small lake about 20 miles out of Duluth.  That's Sheldon Aubut standing on the table, explaining what's going on.

There was a nice turnout of Guzzis, and a good sampling of new and old. Many people were camping.

On the left: a new Guzzi Centauro. It uses the same 4-valve motor as my Daytona, but is otherwise a different sort of motorcycle. On the right: not a Guzzi, but a Ural. It's hard to explain the attraction of this Soviet-built copy of an old BMW motorcycle.  Not much power, and incapable of highway speeds. I like them.  It's understandable that Guzzi owners would be attracted to them.


On the left: Frank Wedge's EV11 with an aftermarket fuel tank. This is the tank (or at least one with the same capacity) that the EV should have had in the first place. This one is aluminum, and likely the polished finish would be a big distraction in the sun. On the right: A classic old Guzzi single. Beautiful bike. Notice the handlebar grips for the passenger.


The entire group went on a group ride around Duluth. Quite frankly, this sort of thing only reminds me why I dislike group rides.

At the river: the view of downtown Duluth. That goalpost-like thing in the foreground is some sort of art work. I'm not sure what it is intended to represent. No doubt something along the lines of "a view towards the future with respect of the past."


The highlight of the riding tour was the stop at the Aerostich factory. I have long been a user of their Roadcrafter suit on my longer trips (I also have their Darien suit). I took the opportunity of having my armor pads upgraded to the newer shell-type pads that are used on the newer suits.

Inside the cutting room.

At the shore of Lake Superior. You're not there unless you touch the water. Our guide to Duluth: Sheldon.



On the way back, I stayed on I-35 to Iowa.  This is the rather impressive visitor center.


Randall, Iowa.

Of course, an important section of the Lincoln Highway runs thorough Iowa, so as soon as I hit that route, I left the freeway and did my best to ride the old highway. Some parts were easy, and some parts (below) are not even paved. It's always fun to try to ride the exact route.

I was on the constant lookout for the old markers. Most of them have long since been removed, but here's one that I saw in the front yard along this gravel road. Nice to see it in such fine shape.


I spent the night in Wahoo, Nebraska.


Last stop before Wichita: Pizza Hut.


last edit: 5/27/2008