Motorcycle Clubs and Groups
Stripe

Stripe

Photojournalist/Account Representative - Kansas City, MO

Dave Baxter, a.k.a. Stripe joined our staff in December, 2003, as a photojournalist. If that road name sounds familiar, you may have seen his photos on the pages of such publications as American Iron, V Twin, VQ, In the Wind, and Easyriders. Stripe attends as many rallies, bike shows, and charity runs as he can and is a major contributor of photos and articles to our magazine. His first assignment was our January, 2004, cover photo, where he snapped the awesome photo of a 1958 Harley-Davidson Duo Glide. A rider since the age of 14, he loves to help and encourage new riders. Stripe enjoys meeting new people and looks forward to catching many of our readers in the viewfinder of his digital camera. Contact Stripe at stripe@cycleconnections.com 

For ten years, people who share a passion for their religious faith and the love of motorcycling have gathered on the campus of Calvary Bible College and Theological Seminary on a Saturday early in January for a Christian Biker Workshop sponsored by the Kansas City Chapter of Cycle Disciples M/C .

On September 7, thousands of motorcyclists gathered at Gail’s Harley-Davidson in Grandview-Missouri to honor the memory of the 9-11 victims and to show appreciation for veterans, those currently in military service, and people who work in law enforcement and emergency services. The day began with free biscuits & gravy. There were activities for the children and various displays to see including first responder vehicles, antique military vehicles, police cars and motorcycles, General Tommy Franks Traveling Museum, and dozens of vendor booths.

Witches are said to ride broomsticks. As it turns out, some ride motorcycles. So do ghosts, vampires, knights, naughty nurses, doctors (with questionable credentials), and various other costumed characters. Around Halloween, they all head for Sparks America Campground near tiny Sparks, Oklahoma for a long weekend of partying, playing games, listening to live music, and celebrating the biker lifestyle. Robert and Brenda Butler are host and hostess for these festivities and many other events at Sparks America.

The campground has a large wooded area where the office, shower house, vendors, and much of the tent camping are located. South of the vendor area, there is a large stage next to an open area commonly referred to as the Playground where most of the bike and people games are contested. Nearby is the dirt drag strip where the 100-foot drag races and tire drags take place.

The weather for the 2013 Halloween Bash was not bad considering the time of year. Nights were cold, but the temperature during the days was moderate, and the sun was out at least part of the time. There were enough games on the schedule to keep everyone entertained until late each afternoon. Friday’s lineup included slow ride practice (solo and two-up), plank ride, keg roll, keg toss (men’s and women’s), straw-in-the-bottle, drunk driving (to see how much beer or water a rider can drink while riding a short distance marked by two kegs), buff the woody, sex positions (clothed on an air mattress), potato race (substitute tennis balls for spuds), butt darts, dizzy race, 100-foot drags, and tire drags. After dark, partiers enjoyed hanging out around two bonfires while listening to live music. Some were already in costume while others chose to defer dressing up until Saturday.

Saturday morning’s bike show, as always, was put on by a group of volunteers who raise funds to fight Marfan’s Syndrome. There were lots of cool rides, and the judges did not have an easy task deciding who would take home the awards. Immediately following the bike show, games resumed with the schedule including slow ride (single and double), newlywed game, weenie bite, cherry bite, tittie licking, Twinkie eating, blind ride, tampon race, pickle licking, and quick start (while blindfolded, find your bike and get it started). There were prizes for best tattoos in several classes and longest beard.

When the games were done, chain-saw art by Woody was auctioned as a charity fund-raiser. Next was the selection of the very first Miss Sparks America who will be featured in Sparks event advertising and will travel to other rallies to help promote Sparks America. The field of competitors had been narrowed down to five based on how contestants answered several questions. In turn, without being able to hear the other contestants’ answers, each was asked what it would mean to her if she were chosen to be Miss Sparks America. After hearing their answers, audience chose the winner by their applause. Any of the five would have been a fine choice, but the winner was Biker Red, a pretty lady who has attended numerous Sparks rallies, rides her own bike, and always competes in the games. Congrats, Red!

Next was the much-anticipated drawing for a new motorcycle, a 2014 Yamaha Bolt with a special Sparks America custom paint job by Passionworks Body Shop. Everyone who had purchased a ticket to attend the party was entered, and attendance at the drawing was mandatory to win. Red’s first duty as Miss Sparks America was to draw tickets from a large drum. Tickets were drawn until there were 25 finalists on stage. All of their tickets were placed in a box, and Red reached in to pull one out. That ticket belonged to Jessi Allegre who was absolutely thrilled to be the winner. Not currently a motorcycle rider, she expressed her desire to start learning right away.

The evening activities included more live music and a costume contest with cash prizes for best men’s, best women’s, best couple or group, and most original costume. Each category filled the stage with costumed characters. Captain Spaulding (from the Rob Zombie movies), a dead doll, and a cave-couple were the winners from the first three groups. As the competitors for most original took the stage, one was dressed in ordinary clothing and carried a laptop computer. He would appear to type on the keyboard and then stomp his foot in disgust. He explained that he was a “government employee on furlough trying to enroll in Obamacare.” The audience roared its approval, and the prize was won.

Whenever an event takes place at Sparks America, it is certain that great fun is in store. The main motorcycle-oriented events are the Halloween Bash and, in June, Oklahoma Bike Week. It’s about a 700-mile round trip from my home in Kansas City. I’ve been attending Sparks events for years and have always considered it well worth the trip.

The 9th Annual Christian Biker Workshop was presented by the Kansas City Chapter of Cycle Disciples M/C on Saturday, January 5. For the first time, the event was held in the Conference Center on the newly-expanded campus of Calvary Bible College and Theological Seminary. The recently remodeled building was a significant upgrade from the old Education Building across the street that had been the venue for previous workshops. The room was modern and spacious with several large circular tables around which the 42 participants sat as they viewed various workshop presentations.

Following the opening prayer, Teddy Bitner, a.k.a. Colonel, began the program with a welcome and announcements. Event marketing was the topic addressed by the first presenter, Bethany Bashioum who writes for the Cass County Democrat Missourian and the Kansas City Star. She explained the many advantages of promoting events via social media such as Facebook, and shared useful tips on working with various media outlets such as television, radio, and newspapers for event promotion and coverage. Behany’s presentation included detailed instructions on creating and maintaining a Facebook page.

The next speaker was Ed Schmid, R.N., a member of Cycle Disciples who is currently employed at Children’s Mercy Hospital as a pediatric intensive care nurse and formerly worked as an emergency medical technician. Ed’s stated goal was to “begin equipping those present with knowledge and skills needed to make the scene safe and assist injured riders” in case of a motorcycle accident. Obviously, the subject of motorcycle crash assistance could easily fill a full day or even a weekend, but Ed did a great job covering the basics of securing an accident site to prevent further injury to crash victims and first responders, calling for professional assistance, and assessing the injuries to determine the appropriate first aid techniques to apply.

Next on the agenda was an organizational profile of Bikers Against Child Abuse (B.A.C.A.). Workshop attendees watched a short B.A.C.A. video featuring Chief, the organization’s founder. Local chapter president Thrasher and several chapter members answered questions and handed out informational brochures. The B.A.C.A. mission statement from the handout follows: “Bikers Against Child Abuse (B.A.C.A.) exists with the intent to create a safer environment for abused children. We exist as a body of bikers to empower children to not feel afraid of the world in which they live. We stand ready to lend support to our wounded friends by involving them with an established, united organization. We work in conjunction with local and state officials who are already in place to protect children. We desire to send a clear message to all involved with the abused child that this child is a part of our organization, and that we are prepared to lend our physical and emotional support to them by affiliation, and our physical presence. We stand at the ready to shield these children from further abuse. We do not condone the use of violence or physical force in any manner, however, if circumstances arise such that we are the only obstacle preventing a child from further abuse, we stand ready to be that obstacle.”

After a group discussion of upcoming motorcycle events, Bill McCormack of God’s Wheels M/C spoke to the group about one-on-one sharing of the Gospel with bikers and others. Speaking at the workshop every year, he always stresses the importance of sincere compassion, honesty, and commitment in helping to meet people’s needs, spiritual and otherwise. Bill is an inspiration to all who hear him speak. 

Each year the Cycle Disciples present the Kickstand Award to an individual or group in recognition of significant contributions to the motorcycling community. Previous recipients of this honor include Ralph Wayne Blackmore, Guy Girratano, Kim Suter, Bill McCormack, Ray Worth, Richard and Connie Kephart, and the Patriot Guard Riders. Slacker, 101 the Fox radio personality, was chosen to receive the 2013 award. His radio show promotes Cars 4 Heroes, an organization providing vehicles to military veterans in need of transportation, and supports Bikers with a Mission’s annual ride to raise funds for City Union Mission. He is very involved with the local motorcycle scene and is a worthy Kickstand Award recipient. Normally the award presentation occurs at the workshop event. However, Slacker was not available on that day, so the award was presented a few days later at the radio station. Congrats, Slacker! 

We appreciate everyone who took part in the program and thank the Cycle Disciples for hosting the event. Every year, the Christian Biker Workshop is a worthwhile, informative, and inspirational experience.  

The evening of November 16 was a special one at Blue Springs Harley-Davidson. The occasion was Guys’ Night, and the dealership was full of booths promoting all sorts of merchandise and services of special interest to guys. At the entrance, men were presented with goodie bags containing discount coupons from the dealership and the vendors. Each guy also received a ticket for drawings held throughout the evening for some very nice prizes.



The event’s special guest was baseball great Frank White who played second base for the Kansas City Royals for 18 seasons, won 8 Gold Glove awards, and is a member of the Royals Hall of Fame. Frank’s number 20 is one of three that have been retired by the Royals. Visitors to the Precision Roofing booth had the opportunity to visit with Frank, get his autograph, and pose for photos with one of the best ever to play the game. His story is told in his autobiography, One Man's Dream: My Town, My Team, My Time. A surprise visitor was former Royals slugger Willie Mays Aikens who also has a book telling the remarkable story of his rollercoaster life including baseball success, struggle with drugs, time in prison, and his life since his release in 2008. Its title is Safe at Home.



It wouldn’t have been Guys’ Night without great food served by beautiful ladies. Hooters delivered on both. Other vendors included Baker Image Group (BIG); Club 7 Fitness; Freebirds Restaurant in Summit Fair, Lee’s Summit; Hollywood’s House of Ink; Outlaw Cigars; and Rev Studio Creations. Blue Springs Harley-Davidson has been supporting the Salvation Army of Eastern Jackson County throughout the Christmas season, and a red kettle was set up next to the dealership’s Christmas tree to collect donations for this worthy charity.



Lucky raffle winners received great prizes including a Missouri Mavericks hockey stick and two special Frank White autographed baseball bats. It was a fun evening for all. The dealership can’t be accused of gender bias. Blue Springs Harley-Davidson hosted Ladies’ Night on December 7.

In 2004, Tucker Orton was born 14 weeks early weighing just 19 ounces. His mother, Jennifer, had been diagnosed with severe preeclampsia and possible HELLP syndrome, a life-threatening obstetric condition. Tucker coded immediately after delivery, was revived and rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) where his diagnosis was severe prematurity, respiratory distress, and possible sepsis. His care included surfactant therapy, a treatment developed by March of Dimes-funded research, enabling his undeveloped lungs to function.

Each year a normally quiet Kansas City neighborhood is the setting for a unique motorcycle event that attracts enthusiasts from all around the metro area and far beyond. It’s a combination classic motorcycle show and block party known as Ralph Wayne’s Vintage Backyard Nationals. Twenty years ago, a few of Ralph Wayne Blackmore’s friends got together to show off their motorcycles.

The Bar in Lee’s Summit, Missouri was the location for their second cover bike & cover model search of the year, which took place on Saturday, September 22, 2012.

The annual Heartland Police Motorcycle Challenge took place on Thursday, September 13, through Saturday, September 15 in the Macy’s parking lot at the Independence Center mall in Independence, Missouri. Spectators were welcome, and those who came enjoyed a remarkable demonstration of skilled motorcycle riding by the participating officers.

For me, Tuesday, September 11, 2001 began as an ordinary day. Then I got a call from my friend B.C. who was the first to inform me of the attack at the World Trade Center. Others were also getting calls, and everyone was soon following the news on portable radios. After a while, we were all sent home. By the end of that day, both towers had fallen, the Pentagon had been hit, and United Flight 93 had gone down in Pennsylvania.