Dennis Gage (left) and Sam Gage, somewhere on the way to
Evans Mill in Smithville, Tennessee, May 12, 2009.
As regular readers know from our earlier posts, Dennis Gage, host of SPEED TV’s award-winning Trippin’ on Two Wheels, hit the road Tuesday, May 12, heading from the Gage home in Indiana to St. Augustine, Florida, for the 10th Annual Riding Into History classic motorcycle show. Riding with Gage are his son, Sam, and Motorcycle Classics regular contributor Neale Bayly. Their 1,000-mile trip, with the boys riding a cool trio of classic bikes, will air on SPEED TV as the sixth episode of Trippin’ on Two Wheels. Dennis and Sam are riding a 1969 BMW R69S and 1972 R75/5, respectively, and Neale is on a 1968 Moto Guzzi V7. Read on for Neale’s first report from the road for Trippin’ on Two Wheels, “E’Ville to St. A.”
“Just a quick heads up. We made the first 260 miles from “E-Ville” to the beautiful Inn at Evans Mill in Smithville, TN. We rode out of the sunbathed farmlands of Indiana, all the bikes rattling, rolling along on a song. We have Trip Master D’s [Dennis Gage] ’99 Family shag wagon hauling our gear, Adam at the wheel and Benoir running the camera.
Dennis Gage on the road, doing … something we probably
don’t want to know to his BMW.
“What a day. Perfect weather, just a little chill to keep all the old air-headed girls running fine. No, not the groupies following us in the convertible; the bikes. We blitzed passed Owensboro, KY., at a rockin 60 miles per hour. Pretty exciting considering the average oil tanker in the Bay of Biscay can pull up quicker than one of these things with drum brakes. The bikes are running fabulously, they are comfortable and we are having a BLAST. We took lunch at the quintessential American diner. “The Panther’s Den” in Portland, TN. The waitresses were fabulous, teeth were an option and after an incredible home cooked meal we waddled off to the bikes. We had a quick moment of excitement when D-man nearly ran over Benoir when his trusty-rusty slipped into gear prematurely. Off to the next adventure… We found “CycleMos” next. A neat motorcycle museum in Red Boling Springs somewhere in a tranquil valley off the grid. Of course he recognized Dennis, opened the museum and gave us a tour. We left an hour later with a couple of new best friends. To replace the ladies at the Panther….well maybe not. The weather continued to be fantabulous (new word from the Big Nose) and we rolled on along the sweetest piece of two lane created. We passed colorful trees in wide shady valleys where life seems to have stood still. At 45mph the bikes were so happy you could feel it and even a bit of I-40 couldn’t knock the smile off our faces. Dennis is actually chilled out this trip. Gone are the manic hand gestures, tearing around waving, yelling in his radio and jumping up and down. R60 therapy, baby. Forget your tranquilizers, ADD meds and alcohol, get an R60. If it can calm Dennis down, think what it could do for you.
“Me, I can’t believe I’m riding 60 mph and loving it. No wheelies, manic high-speed blasts, knee-downs or law-breaking behavior. Just savoring each delicious gear change, each long flowing curve in the road and the hypnotic cadence of the two 40-year-old pistons thumping up and down beneath me. Different sounds mean different things and learning the old girls’ different noises and how to work her bits and pieces to keep her singing is half the fun.
“The Inn at Evins Mill is awesome… sleeping to the sound of rushing water at the old Grist Mill, a breakfast to die for and a good sleep in our individual cabins with their wrap-around porches jutting out into the overhanging trees. Aaaahhh. Can you feel us breathing out?
“More tomorrow, if you are good little boys and girls.”
Neale, Sam and Trip master D.