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4th Annual Run with the Leaves

Written by  October 31, 2004

'Wow--What a party!!' is one quote that perfectly summarizes the 4th Annual Run With the Leaves Ride in Warsaw, Missouri held on Saturday,October 16. The ride, hosted by Carl and Patty Busse and sponsored in part by Cycle Connections Online Motorcycle Magazine, was a poker run through the scenic hills and curves of the Lake of the Ozarks area beginning in Warsaw and culminating in an incredible party at the Old Oarhouse Inn on the lake. A total of 98 riders made the journey and 16 merchants from the Warsaw and Kansas City areas sponsored the ride with 11 of those businesses providing poker run stops. The proceeds of the ride totaled nearly $1800, which was donated to TLC of Benton County, a work center program for developmentally disabled and handicapped citizens.

When we asked Patty how the ride got started, she said, 'We started out with six or seven bikes. Just a few good friends and family out for a ride to see if the leaves had turned. We rode out to Osceola Cheese Factory, Scott's General Store and back into Warsaw. It was Heritage Days, so we drank a little and shopped a lot. We went back to the lake house after the ride for chili and spirits to warm us up. Like they say... the rest is history!' Since then, it has grown to become a wonderful charitable endeavor with the help of the biker community as well as the Warsaw community. TLC of Benton County was chosen to be the recipient of the ride proceeds after Carl and Patty met Cliff and Shirley Fitzpatrick from the Corner Gardens in Warsaw, one of the ride sponsors, during their involvement with judging a BBQ contest some time ago. When asked if they would consider sponsoring the ride, Cliff and Shirley agreed, and they asked if a charity had been chosen. At that point, one had not yet been selected, so the Fitzpatricks explained that TLC had a huge need for help, and since they have a mentally handicapped daughter, TLC is close to their hearts. This is the first year the ride was sponsored in part by Cycle Connections, and as the newest members of the Cycle Connection team, we were happy to have the opportunity to be a part of this ride and to contribute to its cause.

Since the end of the riding season is nearing and we knew that this event would probably be the last organized ride that we attend this year, we decided to make a leisurely three-day weekend out of it and make the trip from Kansas City to Warsaw on Friday. Our intentions were to get an early start Friday morning, but when we awoke to a heavy frost, we decided to head down later in the afternoon. It was somewhat of a challenge to hoist our legs over the seat wearing multiple layers of clothes, and even with long underwear and leather gear, the ride was a bit brisk (OK, it was downright arctic). We arrived late Friday afternoon and checked in at the Bunkhouse Lodge outside of Lincoln, Missouri, which is a great local motel with a western motif. After having a quick dinner Friday evening, we met up with our editor and some new friends and headed over to the Old Oarhouse Inn, where the ride was scheduled to end on Saturday. What a perfect fall evening for a ride on the scooter. The Old Oarhouse Inn is located on the edge of the Lake of the Ozarks in a wooded area with a gorgeous view. The evening was chilly (cold) and a woodstove had been lit. We spent the evening relaxing with a few drinks and got to know new friends who would be participating with us on the ride the following day. Just before leaving at 10 p.m., we were given a preview of things to come as well as the spirit of the people when the large cannon outside the bar was fired. Somehow, we knew this was going to be a truly enjoyable weekend.

Saturday morning, just like the day before, dawned with temperatures under 40 degrees. We all agreed after riding the three miles into Lincoln to eat breakfast at Papa Joe’s Restaurant, that ears don't hurt anymore once they become numb. Papa Joe's is a family style diner with incredibly generous portions, and after some good food and a few cups of coffee, we were ready to ride!

The signup for the ride was held at the old Wal-Mart location near the north junction of Highways 7 and 65. Riders rolled in from not only the Warsaw area and Kansas City areas but from several locations throughout the state. We were all on the road by 11 a.m. The route took us approximately 100 miles through beautiful wooded hills and rolling acres of farmland. The route also provided enough corners and hills to keep you alert so as not to miss the two required stops for card drawing. We were allowed seven cards to complete our poker hand and there were 11 merchants designated as stop points where cards could be drawn. We were in a group of three bikes for most of the ride, and true to form, thanks to a cage driver’s bad judgment, we had our mandatory close call. The sight of tire smoke from the back tire of a scooter you are following at highway speeds never means good news. Big pieces of raisin pie to John for keeping his fine looking Heritage “shiny side up” and to Larry for not running into us when I dropped speed in a BIG hurry.

Two high points in my book were the Osceola Cheese Factory (gotta love those beef sticks) and Scott’s General Store. Scott’s had an amazing selection of Native American gifts, clothing and jewelry, as well as the always popular “coon tails” seen adorning many ladies’ rear fenders at most any biker function. The ride was scheduled to coincide with Warsaw's Heritage Days, and when we returned to town, the streets were busy not only with bikers, but also with shoppers and visitors enjoying the shops located in downtown Warsaw. We spent a relaxing afternoon visiting as many of our sponsors as time would allow. It was a welcome sight to find most stops had our favorite cold beverages available. Gasoline Alley was packed, not only with riders and tourists, but also by those checking out Smokey McGill’s Anaconda Limo Trike. Mack’s Big Boy’s Toys appealed to the little boy in many big boys. With biker shirts, Nascar gear, and even mini choppers available, how can a guy go wrong? Shopping in this store made me realize that I just don’t make enough money.

After a gorgeous day of riding and getting to know new friends, bikers and the lake community alike, we were ready to party at the Old Oarhouse Inn. The Oarhouse, as we mentioned, is located on the shore of the Lake of the Ozarks and offers a marina, motel, RV service, restaurant and bar. It is an awesome place. The ceiling and the walls of the bar are covered with--you guessed it--oars. There are names of patrons written on each one. It is a full service bar and restaurant and their breakfast is highly recommended. When we arrived, the place was packed with folks enjoying the sounds provided by Spinners Mobile Music with our buddy and partner in crime Wayne Thompson at the controls. The menu for the party consisted of roasted hog, and the residents of the community joined together and provided homemade covered side dishes. It was a feast!

After dinner was served, the winners of the poker run were announced. Mike Roades was the winner of the high hand for $100 and Lynne Heide was the winner of the low hand for $50. To further benefit the TLC of Benton County, an auction was held for two autographed KC Chiefs hats, one with the signature of Tony Gonzalez; the other Dante Hall’s. The auction winners were Bette McGill (a tight end admirer) and Leslie Bolton. (As a side note, we sat at a table with Smokey and Bette McGill, and “I gotta be honest with ya” okay, I watched OCC once or twice, they are some of the nicest, most down to earth people we have had the pleasure to meet.) Rusty Beck of MotorcycleCloseouts.com was kind enough to donate a leather jacket valued at $550, and the lucky raffle winner was Doug “Hitman” Oswald. Doug’s ticket was purchased by his girlfriend, Karen Weber, from Katie Lappin at Tuckers Tavern in Kansas City, Kansas. Doug is a tattoo artist at Alternative Creations in Overland Park, Kansas. His work can be viewed at www.kcskinart.com. Other prizes donated by ride sponsors were drawn and awarded throughout the evening. The Curly Jo Harper Project Band, a blues band from Kansas City, took the stage and got the partiers off their feet and on to the dance floor around 7 p.m. and played late into the evening, long after we called it a night.

As the drinks flowed freely, so did the party spirit. Patty, one of our hosts, entertained everyone by breaking out her arsenal of marshmallow guns. For those of you who are unaware, a marshmallow gun is a PVC pipe weapon designed to propel a mini marshmallow by the use of compressed air (you BLOW in it). I got a really good shot of Joy demonstrating proper technique. In a very short amount of time, many gals were armed and were seen firing upon selected targets, mainly Patty.

No biker bash is complete without someone, somewhere baring some skin, and this party was no exception. According to our sources, Carl and a few friends stood upon a row of tables, bent over, and, shall we say, demonstrated an early moonrise. Also, in keeping with biker chick tradition, some of the ladies were doing their best to earn some beads.

Carl and Patty view this gathering not only as a way to have a great time riding, partying, meeting friends and enjoying the fall season, but also to give back to the community, both to Warsaw and Kansas City. Patty would like to personally thank the businesses and sponsors who not only gave money but also offered to help in any way they could. “In my book, they rank right up there with the generous hearts of the bikers and support vehicles that rode that day,” commented Patty. We would like to echo Patty’s sentiments and also add a big thanks to Carl and Patty for putting this together and for allowing what started as a small gathering of friends three years ago to become a large charitable event that benefits a worthy cause. We have been to rallies and poker runs all over this country and I would put the hospitality and friendliness of Warsaw and the surrounding area up against anyone. We will add this run to our list of must-make events for next year. Hope to see you there. Damn, what a party. Hell Yeah!

Story by Loney and
Stephanie Wilcoxson

Photos by Wayne Thompson, Mike Schweder, Stripe, Loney and
Stephanie Wilcoxson .