Sunday's Muenster Ride
by Chris Parry
8/7/2011

At Mike Mediterraneo’s behest, we decided to make a Muenster run early Sunday morning “to beat the heat” – usual logistics applied….. meet at the gas station on 407 at I35W at 7am. In the end, five riders made it; Mike on his Duc S4RS, Wayne on his FJR, Bruce on his Versys (nicely sorted by its previous owner Berwyn) and Dennis and myself on our respective Tigers.

The only change to the usual game plan was that, given Ryan and Jerrett were contesting CMRA at Eagles Canyon, an Executive Decision was made to skip breakfast at Muenster and therefore make sure that we made it there on the return journey in time to see them run in the Clubman class. Maybe something was in the air because Dennis, as our ride Captain, set off briskly down 407 to Justin. Actually it was more like something was on the ground because Dennis was on fresh Bridgestones and whilst straightline speeds were merely respectable, his cornering speeds were off the dial! Faint heart ne’er won fair lady so I was determined to at least keep up and so developed one of the most satisfying Muenster runs I have had the pleasure of joining.

After the nice sequence of curves into Justin which by the way are looking irritatingly worn on the apices (plural of apex, no kidding, look it up if you don’t believe me); we did the long grind up into Krum on FM156. Left in Krum and onto lovely smooth tarmac (okay, okay, asphalt – are you happy now?) and we dialed it open. There’s a very nice right hand long sweeper, so long it actually is a 90 degree bend – and we signaled our intentions by owning it, and then left onto Fm455. Immediately, there’s a deceptively simple left and right – get it right and it’s a joy – get it wrong and the helmet fills with cursewords. Needless to say, Dennis looked super smooth and I could only admire as I apexed in all the wrong places. After that though, I settled down and totally enjoyed the ride.

Get it whilst it’s hot! Chaps, for once TXDOT got it right – the quality of the road is GREAT and make the most of it before the heavy traffic and the weather shreds it. Forestburg and Saint Jo came through very quickly and then we turned onto the Muenster loop. This is where it gets a bit pear-shaped – some tight-arsed git has (yet again) mandated the “spray tar and drop gravel” method for road repair and it lasts all the way to FM373. The gravel was literally lying in drifts and did nothing to smooth out what is a very bumpy stretch. One wants to pull the po-faced twit by the ear over to Fm455 and say “this is a road that won’t kill people, especially bikers”.

We rolled into Muenster so early that we realized that we could indeed partake of breakfast before Eagle’s Canyon and so we repaired to the Muenster Center for bacon, egg, biscuits and gravy and lots of it.

Swiftly on our way, we headed south and within 30 minutes, found ourselves at Eagle’s Canyon where the heat was just starting to bake everything medium rare. Jerrett had had a major disaster in that his bike had stuffed a rod through the crankcase (see pic) but undeterred, he planned to contest on the Ninja 250 that he usually campaigns in endurance racing – the unassailable logic being that some points were better than no points!

Ryan wasn’t happy with the oil pressure and ticking noise from his usual nbr 275 machine and so he decided to race on Pepe – a bike with a long history where BigD and RPM are concerned. Pepe has a shedload of horsepower by ‘79 pushrod standards, but has less ground clearance and doesn’t handle quite as nicely (as evidenced by the neatly chamfered TT pipes under the motor). The race was run as a dual class – both Clubman and Super-Motard – with both Ryan and Jerrett in the Clubman of course.

The lead up to race four was only slightly marred by the realization that Pepe had remained unfuelled since practice, and so the pits were enlivened by Ryan in full race leathers galloping up to the race gas vendor and throwing down a credit card for five gallons of C12. By the way, this is why these guys need our help - that can of gas cost $70! FYI, we covered it, and I mention that here not because we want to boast, but simply to highlight why aficionados of motorcycles and racing need to sponsor guys like Ryan and Jerrett. They are doing it for the love of it, not for financial reward, and if you want to see it continue and to be associated with it, then you have to ante up. OK, rant and lecture over and kudos to Everyone who has thrown money into the pot for racing – Ryan and Jerrett thank you for it.

Ryan, within lap and a half, had pulled out a commanding lead over not only his Clubman competitors but also the Super-Motardists (really, it’s getting to the stage where we almost expect him to do this kind of thing). To this neophyte, the speed and lean angle that Ryan carries into a corner is nothing less than startling, and it’s great fun to watch. Two laps from the end, Ryan slowed up considerably and we couldn’t figure out why! But he still managed to maintain enough pace to bring home the class win.

Walking back to the pits, theories and knowledgeable statements were swapped on brake fade, underslung do-fooszits and gas-flowed port and lemons. Little known to us, the reality was much more dramatic than that!

As Ryan freewheeled back into pit row, it became blindingly obvious what the problem was - nothing less than his lefthand clip-on had slipped out of the mount on the fork, literally leaving him with one bar to steer and control - with two laps to go. Ryan is undefeated in CMRA this season and he was damned if a minor issue like no handlebar was going to break that winning streak. Stories and legends are made of this stuff….

Jerrett had pulled off a highly creditable third on a bike, whilst modern, was one-third the capacity of the Clubman limit of 750cc. His race was a true contest with a Super-motard where Jerrett got the inside – but only after a well placed elbow made the hint. He got an early Xmas present when the 2nd placer in the Clubman class was DQ’d for forgetting to mount his transponder! So they, and BigD, pulled off a double whammy – One/Two in the Clubman Class. Way to go Guys – and five rounds to go.

And so rounded out a truly satisfying Muenster run – no one got hurt, everyone had a good time and it was only a hundred-five…….


Doug is trying to pass Jerrett Martin when he crashes at the last turn of the race.


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