This month’s dinner was in a trendy section of downtown Phoenix near Roosevelt Row. The club has been here twice before, the first was an Alien Abduction Tour Meet & Greet and then we’ve had a regular club dinner. Both occurred a few years ago and we were due for a return!
El Vice Presidente’s House, Gilbert, AZ – June 23, 2018
by El Presidente
It all started in 2003. The first time I’ve heard of the AZRATPack was on a shuttle from my hotel in Birmingham, AL to the airport. I was at the 2003 Ducati 999R launch at Barber Motorsports Complex and was talking to Peter Cramer, at the time, owner of Phoenix International Motorsports, who was a customer of mine that bought Fast By Ferracci parts for Ducatis from me. He was telling a group of us about how he had formed a RAT Pack out of his dealership and Triumph’s involvement in these.
We’d just finished filling our 2005 Yamaha FJR1300 in Eureka, Nevada located on Highway 50, known as “The Loneliest Road in America” (a name provided by Life magazine in 1986) when the young girl working the station asked if we’ve seen Mormon crickets. Being from Calgary which is as close to bug free as you can get we replied with a cautionary “uhhh no”. She began regaling us with stories of these enormous smelly, oily, sticky bugs that measure 3 to 4 inches in length, endowed with a long spike on one leg and will be covering the highway as we continue west to Reno. Stories she told that got my attention include a tractor trailer rig that was unable to get up a hill due to the greasy migrating mass and how the locals spray Pam cooking oil on the front of their cars to help with the removal of the bugs. What really got my attention was the mention of “several” motorcycle crashes that occur each year mostly at night when the crickets are almost impossible to see. Then in her southern drawl she casually mentions “sometimes they get so thick the snowplows are sent out to remove them…but I haven’t seen a snowplow today…yet!” I was “half” convinced that she was teasing us”.
The hot months are here and it means that we move our breakfasts out of the valley and into some cooler areas up north. This month, we visited Anita’s Cocina in Wickenburg. This is a perennial favorite spot. We’ve stopped here several times over the years for either a 2nd Sunday Breakfast or a lunch stop on a ride.
As our club grows and evolves, it’s necessary to modify or change our bylaws. These changes are presented to and voted on by the AZRATPack Board of Directors. The following amendments have been added to our bylaws:
I love going up to the Flagstaff in the heat of the summer. We went as a family three years ago for our daughter’s 20th birthday and took the chairlift ride at the Arizona Snowbowl. It was wonderfully cold!!! It’s hard to believe that in July it could be cold in Arizona, but up north, it does! The view from the chairlift was beautiful while being an all around fun time. I wanted to go back and I felt it would be a great to suggest to the club’s board to add it as a summer, “get out of the heat” ride. Last fall, they voted and YES!!! It was going to actually happen! For me this was my ride and I couldn’t wait! I even bought a Groupon for the chairlift a month in advance. I was ready!!
Andreoli Italian Grocer, Scottsdale, AZ – May 31, 2018
by El Presidente
May’s dinner was a short trip for me from work to a spot I frequent every once in a while for lunch. Andreoli’s is one of my go to spots when I want to treat myself and when trying to figure out a good spot for our monthly dinner on the east side of town, it made sense!
Baja California, Mexico is a dream place with beautiful scenery, fun roads and legendary places. This trip to Baja was to explore more places and make the journey to Coco’s Corner. Places in Baja have mystical names: Mikes Sky Ranch, Coco’s Corner, Mama Espinosa’s and many more.
This was my third trip to Baja. Again, traveling with Alan Hirst and Greg Brenneman. This trip was planned for 5 days. The trip would enter Baja at Tecate, travel Mexico 3 to Ensenada, then Mexico 1 south to Bahia de Los Angeles then back tracking to Mexico 5 north to San Felipe and back to the USA through Mexicali then home.
Rock Springs Café, Rock Springs, AZ – May 13, 2018
by El Presidente
Our May 2nd Sunday breakfast usually falls on Mother’s Day which means we take our annual trip up to the Rock Springs Café for a spring breakfast. Today we were blessed with perfect temperatures for the trek up north on I-17 from the various parts of the valley our members come from.