Sunday, June 19, 2011

Mt. Comfort Air Show Ride (5/14/11) by Steve Rybolt

(Excerpt from June 2011 newsletter...)

The first Mt. Comfort Air Show Ride was a spur-of-the-moment idea as we rode in the vicinity of the show last year. This year was planned, but the weatherman tried to scare everyone away. And we would have stayed dry if we hadn't opted for ice cream on the way home. But we all agreed, the ice cream was worth the getting wet!

We had a couple of delays to start with, but we had time. Dave Crandall brought his granddaughter Brennen along, Then he discovered his bottom bracket was totally shot. So we made a short detour to change bikes and we were on our way. We rode from Falls Park to Greenfield and we ate at Carol's Cornerstone Café on U.S. 40 just two blocks east of St. Rd. 9. On the way to the restaurant Crandall was pushed to keep Brennan entertained, so he was weaving all over the road like a race car driver before the restart. As if keeping up with the group while pulling a trailer isn't enough!

By the time we got to the restaurant, we had accumulated a decent group. Dave Crandall and Brennan; Chuck, Sandy, and Michael Baden (Sandy drove down to pick up Michael); Dave Elliott; Steve and Francie Seybert; Paul Meuthing; and Steve Rybolt. At the restaurant we had put in our orders and the waitress said it would take longer because of the fried chicken. Immediately, we looked at Michael Baden and he pointed at Dave Crandall, and Dave said, "It was her." Brennan, with her big smile, said "I did it." What a hoot!

We rode the trail west and then worked our way to Mohawk and then west to the road on the east side of the airport. We located ourselves on an abandoned farm driveway. We had just gotten settled when a sheriff's deputy pulled in and told us we were illegally on airport property. But since we were on bicycles and we were obviously resting, we could stay until we were rested. Nice guy... thank you! We later realized that they were not allowing any vehicles on the north/south road.

We stayed for about two hours and saw lots of airplanes of all vintages. We saw some amazing maneuvers and of course, we tried to ID the many planes, especially the WW II planes. We saw a very good group of five jets but we didn't know who they were. At first we thought they could be the Blue Angels, but the markings were not right. I found [later] on the internet that they were the Heavy Metal Jet Team -- a first-year aerobatic team out of Lancaster, Penn. We even saw a refueling plan fly over very low. Our location was almost in line with the runway, so the planes flew right over our heads, especially when landing.

Someone suggested that this ride should be a "mandatory" club ride. Well, that might be a bit much, but if you weren't there, you definitely missed one of the best.

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