The adventure began with a phone call from Terry Otton of Ramspur Winery. With his call came an invitation to be Master of Ceremonies for the September 26th Ramspur Winery Calistoga Half Mile National presented by Triumph Motorcycles Grand National flat track event. I immediately said yes. For the last 6 racing seasons I have ridden from the East Coast to the West Coast and back to attend the season ending flat track championship race. Saying yes meant that for the 7th year it would be a coast to coast ride from Daytona Beach to California. The wine country is an American treasure worthy of a visit and should be a bucket list visit for anyone. In conversation with Kris Schoonover of the Harley-Davidson Motor Company I mentioned that we were in the planning stages for our annual ride to California. Schoony was excited about that and informed me that he would be sending a 2015 CVO Road Glide Ultra from the factory to Rossmeyers Harley-Davidson in Ormond Beach for us to ride to Cali and to keep until the 75th Daytona Bike Week in March 2016! Colette and I were planning to depart Daytona Beach on Thursday Sept 17th and Schoony said the HD would arrive at Rossmeyers on Tuesday Sept 15th. That would give me one day to wire the bike with pigtail hook ups for the HD Gerbing full sleeve heated jacket liners, adjust the controls and take the bike on a shake down before loading it up and heading out. The bike arrived a day early and the staff at Rossmeyers gave the bike a quick once over and a nice clean up. We were set. Colette and i went to the dealership on Monday to take a look at the bike. I was shocked at the beauty of the motorcycle. It was dressed in Sapphire Blue and Vivid Black paint and equipped with every possible touring amenity including satellite radio/satellite navigation, heated seats and grips, electronic tap up/tap down cruise control, rider/passenger intercom, the 110 cubic inch v twin powerplant combined with a six speed gearbox and more.
Adam is the service manager for Rossmeyers Harley-Davidson in Ormond Beach, Florida
The dealerships service department checked and adjusted everything on the CVO Road Glide Ultra and completely detailed the motorcycle. Their level of customer care is outstanding. The dealership is immaculately clean and every person we encountered were enthusiastic about their product and our ride to Cali. They did not sell us this motorcycle and did not stand to benefit financially from their investment in the process. It was goodwill from start to finish.
Colette and I were very excited to make the short 20 minute drive out on Monday to view the bike at Rossmeyers HD. This was becoming very real and we scheduled to pick up the motorcycle the following day on Tuesday. To say the least we were in the final stages of planning the ride to California that would begin in just two days on Thursday the 17th. Then the phone call came that we had feared would come…due to the tremendously devastating fire in the Northern California wine country just a few miles North of Calistoga had forced the postponement of the race. We were now exploring Plan B. As scheduled we returned Tuesday morning to take delivery of the CVO. Shelly Rossmeyer was there to greet us when we arrived. I’m fairly certain she was almost as excited as we were about the bike and the ride.
Shelly Rossmeyer is a hands on dealer principal who is involved in every aspect of the customer experience at her dealership. She is a rider who loves motorcycles and motorcycling. We were very excited she took some time out of her super busy day for a photo and a visit.
Plan B would now be to continue with our departure on Thursday morning with our ultimate destination being my original hometown of Owensboro, Kentucky. Van Singley is one of my closest friends and perhaps has more technical motorcycling expertise than anyone I know. He was an Area Service Director for Ducati NA for a number of years prior to his retirement a few years ago. His knowledge is not limited to Ducati. His knowledge of BMW’s, Harley-Davidson and all British brands is overwhelming. Van invited us to ride to his original hometown of Selma, Alabama for an overnight visit with his parents at their home. That would be our first night of our Kentucky trip that was already beginning to take shape.
Van Singley and his sweet BMW R100RT Last Edition airhead.