DVNR Club Ride To Rhinebeck New York

It all started in the cold winter months when Rhinebeck AMCA Meet Chairman Dan Henke contacted DVNR President Pat Daloisio offering free admission to the 2013 National Meet for our club members who showed up on a Norton manufactured before 1978. (AMCA requirements for antique is 35 years old.) Pat introduced the idea of riding to Rhinebeck as a group at the February meeting. To make the plan even more enticing Will Myers, DVNR's northernmost member offered the facilities of his Red Horse Hunt Club which would easily accommodate 20 persons for the three day week end. The Hunt Club is located in the picturesque Catskill mountains near the town of Claryville NY. To top it off Will explained that the club kept a half keg in the beermeister for guests of the club. A huge smile swept across Pat's face while his eyes glowed with anticipation.

The plan was in place. Club members would ride to the Hunt Club on Thursday June 13, have a feast of a meal while consuming volumes of liquid refreshment from the beermeister. Friday morning we would ride as a group to Rhinebeck and display our Nortons while we wandered the fairgrounds and took in all we could see. Then, as the weather has done repeatedly this year it began raining with record accumulations on the week we were to leave. The phone lines were busy as alternate plans were made to avoid the severe downpours. Basically three groups would start out early Friday morning and ride directly to Rhinebeck. Pat and Dave would ride along the Delaware to meet Mike and Des who were staying near Port Jervis eventually meeting up with Will along the way. Bob K, Dan and Tony would leave from Macungie and travel secondary roads to reach US 209. Ken and Bob Trent would ride from central Jersey while Bill Casey trucked his Norton into the camp. Rick Hill was coming but don't try to guess when he might arrive. Would you believe that there were 9 Nortons!

Early Friday afternoon all the parties arrived at the Rhinebeck meet. Vintage bikes and riders were given a pass for free entry and believe it or not we were able to park in the exhibit hall complete with full concrete floor, great lighting and a very solid roof over our heads. There was a grand spectacle of roadworthy Nortons laden down with gear for the week end. Our expenses at this point were 4 gallons of fuel and $ 1.50 for two way passage on the Kingston-Rhinecliff bridge over the Hudson. We had plenty of time to check out the displays and visit the many vendors on the beautifully maintained fairgrounds.

At the end of the day we rode West across the Hudson toward the Catskill mountains to work our way to the Hunt Club in Claryville. Light rain began which added the charm of a pleasant nippy British evening.

The Hunt Club was everything Will explained and more. Beds everywhere, a full kitchen complete with gas/wood burning range/oven. A commercial size gas griddle next to the range. Ice machine, large refrigerator, dishwasher and last but not least a full size beer meister complete with a fresh keg. The dining room had a pull out table that would seat all 14 of us and there were more extensions to expand it further. Still other amenities were three full size sofas, large size flat screen TV with satellite reception, a powerful stereo to play Bob's iPod. Outside the front door was a large covered furnished porch overlooking the valley.

Hunt club members Steve and Kathy Smith, long time friends of Will, had been there in the afternoon tidying up and storing provisions for the weekend. Our chef had fires burning in the kitchen stove and the fireplace in the living room. Bowls of snack food were everywhere. A very pleasant welcome after the cool rainy ride through the mountains.

We weren't there for long when a HUGE black bear came out of the woods to flirt with our friendly female member. Des watched through the window while saying she wanted to go and talk to him. This was the largest black bear that most of us had ever seen. He made himself comfortable under the bird feederabout 100 yards away from the building looking romantically our way while he munched on the bird feed. One at a time we went out to get EVERYTHING off the bikes and bring it inside. Night fell and the bear was there to stay. At one point he decided to run into the woods but came right back. There is no doubt that no human among us could ever out run that bear.

While we were getting settled and munching on a variety of snacks, Bill Casey who took on the duties of head chef had begun preparing massive amounts of food for dinner. Burgers and dogs on the grill, salads, potato salad and plenty more including dessert. With the beermeister nearby it was a great way to end a perfect day.

Saturday AM - once again Bill was in the kitchen cooking bacon, sausage, eggs of any style, toast, buns, muffins and of course juice and plenty of fresh coffee. The day began in grand style and Rick Hill was at the breakfast table before 9 AM. We talked about possible destinations for a day ride but we decided to ride as a group meandering through the Catskill mountains and winding up again at Rhinebeck. The roads were just perfect and the scenery couldn't be beat. I'm sorry for people who travel using super slabs to get from point A to point B. There is so much of this beautiful country they will never get to see and appreciate.

When we arrived at the meet we displayed our Notons in the center of the exhibit field. This time the bikes lacked luster as the evening ride through the rain left grime in its normal locations all over the bikes. Even so, our club's Norton were a sight to behold. No trailer queens among us. We met Bob Norum and Rich Casey who had ridden up alone and were spending time at the meet. Bill Shelton was selling off his merchandise at a table in the exhibition building. The crowd and foot traffic was light and vendors were eager to sell their goodies. A very good turnout for the DVNR.

Ken Kopec and Bill Trent left from the meet to go home on Saturday. The rest of us stopped to eat in a restaurant along the route back to Clearyville. Upon returning to the Hunt Club we had time to chat and tell tales about our rides. Rich had told our group at lunch that he was riding up late Friday night and stopped to get directions at a bar. He was convinced that with the rain and dirt roads it would be foolish to go any further. He was adopted by the bartender being fed and put up at his home for the night. Rich left in the AM to go directly to the Meet. Once we were all comfortable Pat conducted a short business meeting to review the Gathering and plan activities for the remainder of the Summer.

Sunday morning Bill once more cooked a fabulous breakfast. Pack, clean up the best we knew how and off for home. I'm not going to tell the story about Pat and the New York State Police at a Sunday morning safety check. After all, everyone knows that nobody in PA knows how to inspect a Norton. The club activity couldn't have worked out much better. Perhaps next time you will ride along to experience "vintage touring". After all, a well sorted Norton is a very roadworthy machine.

Dan Sellers, DVNR Treasurer

List of photos by Dave Glover, Bob Katz and Bill Casey

1. On Rt 209 to Rhinebeck - Pat, Will, Des and Mike
2. DVNR arrives at Rhinebeck
3. A view of the exhibit hall on Saturday
4. Ready to go Cafe Racer, fine job
5. Want to ride a Henderson on a Canonball run
6. Military bikes always get attention
7. Rhinebeck has cars on display too
8. No neighbors to concern yourself with at the Hunt Club
9. Inside the Red Horse Hunt Club
10. Busy in the huge kitchen
11. Our weekend chef gets the Friday dinner cooking
12. Sit down dinner at the end of a long day
13. Several areas to put some bikes under cover for the night
14. Just outside the picture window - waiting
15. Mike gets the luggage off the bike
16. Pat gets the group touring the Catskills on the way to Rhinebeck
17. Not a single mechanical problem for these Nortons on the display ground
18. DVNR was well represented at Rhineback
19. Evil Knevill memorabilia on display in the exhibit hall
20. Packing to ride home on a beautiful cool clear morning
21. Packing to ride home 2
Ride ‘em. Don’t hide ‘em!

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Last modified: January 16, 2011.