SALEM – Salem Police Chief Jeff Dudley lifted a forkful of apple pie as he declared, “Where can you come and try all that good pie?”
The mouthwatering smell of apples and cinnamon wafted through the Community Room of the Salem Civic Center where eight apple pies waited to be tasted and judged. It was one of the opening activities of the Goldwing Road Riders Association Rally at the Salem Civic Center over the Oct. 5 weekend.
Dudley, Virginia State Police Motorcycle Division Capt. Richard Denny and Salem Fire & EMS Deputy Chief John Prillaman carefully tasted each, writing their comments and scoring the pies made by Goldwing riders.
The score sheets included such fine points as appearance, presentation and taste, “Did you want more?” and other scoring categories, pie contest coordinator Kathy Skinner of Tidewater said. She is editor of the Virginia District newsletter for the Goldwings.
“We take our judging seriously,” said Prillaman. “I’ve never met a bad pie,” added Denny.
Entries included a single crust pie, a Dutch-style pie with raisins, a red-hot candy pie and another with a crumb topping.
Ultimately, they selected Pie No. 4, which was one of two entries by Betty Black of Cave Spring. “It’s a classic rustic apple pie with cinnamon,” explained Black, “and the favorite of my husband, Barry.”
“It takes seven cups of sliced apples, and I put lemon on the apples, along with nutmeg and cinnamon.” “They’re Ida Red apples and some not-very ripe Golden Delicious.”
Her own favorite pie was her other entry, which had cinnamon candy red hots for color and flavor.
Black confessed her pies didn’t come in on the back of a bike, like most of the others. “I brought them in one of the prize baskets in the car from Cave Spring,” she said.
Contestant Liz Wheeler of Suffolk carried her pie, an apple and pear combination, on the red 2009 Goldwing, one of two she and husband, Jim, ride. “I was kinda worried about how it was going to look, being carried,” she said. The pie was fine.
Her sons, James, 25, and Jacob, 15, encouraged her to enter the pie contest this year, she said.
The real business of the convention was motorcycles, motorcycle accessories, trip planning and just about everything to do with riding. There were about 400 bikes expected over the weekend, said Dernnis Weston of Virginia Beach, the Goldwings’ district director. “Salem is a great place to ride motorcycles. We love to come out here,” he said.
Ed Johnson of Bristol, Va., a retired Virginia State Police 1st. Sergeant who is now International Director of Membership Enhancement travels all over. “We’ve traveled everywhere. This is our 11th rally for the year,” he said.
In the parking lot in front of the civic center, Boyd and Dianne Hixon of Dayton, Tenn., showed off their model 1800, which is a shiny black cherry color.
They have been riding together for 15 years, the couple said.