Annual Event Takes Riders Through Iowa’s Lesser-Known Byways

Wed December 23, 2009 - Midwest Edition
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RMS’ Larry Smith gives final instructions before riders rumbled out of the Days Inn parking lot in Ottumwa to begin the Adventure Tour.
RMS’ Larry Smith gives final instructions before riders rumbled out of the Days Inn parking lot in Ottumwa to begin the Adventure Tour.
RMS’ Larry Smith gives final instructions before riders rumbled out of the Days Inn parking lot in Ottumwa to begin the Adventure Tour. Jared and Pam Chambers of Chambers Limited show off their bike. Norris Asphalt President Brady Meldrem and his wife, Julie, hosted the kickoff event at their home in Ottumwa. It also was a celebration of Julie’s birthday. This group rode from western Iowa to arrive in Ottumwa for the event. (L-R): Dan Ronfield and Kevin Heck of Soil Solutions joined Mike Jerke of Quad County Corn Processors and RMS Territory Manager Bill Frueh. John and Becky Pemble, of Pemble Digging & Drainage, arrive for the kickoff party. Kevin Welch and Lori Trappe prepare for the start. Darin Fratzke (L) of Shine Bros. and Kevin Kopsas of TJN Enterprises talk during the kickoff event. Jim and Jodie Jensen of J. Petticord pose before the ride for a photo with their bike. Jeff Petticord and Lisa Koeneman display their motorcycles before the Adventure Tour. (L-R): RMS COO David Johnson, Sales Manager — Southern Operations Larry Smith, Toby Shine of Shine Bros and Komatsu’s John Arapidis enjoy the first rest stop near Lake Red Rock. Ryan Michaelsen (L) and Joe Hewitt of R.M. Construction are ready for the ride. Two gas stops were part of the ride and were sponsored by RMS and several of the manufacturers it represents.

Winding through the back roads of Iowa, bikers put more than 270 mi. on their odometers during the seventh annual Road Machinery & Supplies (RMS) Adventure Tour on Aug. 13. This year’s route went from Ottumwa to Emmetsburg.

More than 70 riders made the annual trip, which began at 8 a.m. from the parking lot of the Days Inn in Ottumwa and ended at the Wild Rose Casino & Resort about eight hours later. The route included several curvy and hilly roads that took bikers through scenic countryside and quiet, rural towns.

“Central Iowa offers some great roads that many people do not even know exist,” said event organizer Larry Smith, RMS sales manager for Iowa and Illinois. “I believe it was great fun for riders and passengers alike. I know it was for me.”

Riders also had fun before and after the ride. A kickoff event at the home of Norris Asphalt President Brady Meldrem and his wife, Julie, also honored Julie’s 50th birthday. The event was held on the 12th and featured a live band and catered dinner. Following the ride the next day, attendees enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in a Wild Rose banquet room.

Along the route, bikers had two rest stops — one near Lake Red Rock at Pella and one at Dolliver State Park near Otho — and had lunch at Ledges State Park close to Boone. Two gas stops were part of the ride as well.

“Our customers gave us almost two days of their time and we’re very grateful to each and every one of them,” said Smith. “The relationships forged on the ride are some of the best we could hope for. Everyone rode safely, and the ride was beautiful.”

RMS and Komatsu America sponsored the ride, while gas stops were sponsored by the Astec Companies, KPI/JCI and RMS.

(This story originally appeared in the October issue of “Road Signs” and is reprinted with permission from RMS and Construction Publications Inc.)