Writer's Ramblings
Staff

Staff

Hello Divas. I know a lot of you are busy making plans for spring bike trips and rallies, while some of you are enjoying the winter months of catching up on motorcycle reading, adding accessories to your bike, or chomping’ at the bit to get out and ride. Here in Kansas City we experienced a couple 60 degree days in January! Wow, did I see a ton of bikes out on those days, and then the next day, it was 13 degrees! Back into hibernation for a few more months I guess.

This month I want to introduce you to a unique group of ladies called The Road Divas Motorcycle Association (Real Divas Ride) out of Baltimore, Maryland. Frankie Tomlinson is the President and I had the opportunity to visit with her and their Senior Vice President, Janett “Smooth” Tillery about their club.

First and foremost, this is one classy group of ladies who give new meaning to “looking good while riding.” When they set out to ride they are dressed to the nines, white leather vests, black leather pants, jeans or chaps, clean polished boots, and their jewelry is all silver or silver tone to match the chrome on their bikes. The only exception to wearing silver is a gold wedding band or religious piece of jewelry.

Frankie had a passion for riding and joined a women’s motorcycle group and rode with them for about five years. She felt there was something missing with this group, and what she noticed was they weren’t like her. They didn’t take pride in their appearance. She tried to encourage change, but experienced a lot of resistance, so she wrote all her ideas down on what kind of group she would like to have. That list stayed under her car seat and she sat on it for three years. Even the name given by her two young children, “Road Diva” stayed on the piece of paper with her dream club ideas. She wanted to get rid of the stereotype of “biker chic,” and the drugs, and alcohol that was associated with it. Frankie wanted her riders to wear nail polish, lipstick, and makeup, and dress in a manner that made the group stand out. She knew how she wanted to look; she loves clothes and she loves to ride. She had never lowered her standards in appearance and wouldn’t start now.

Starting with 5 members, and 50 to date, her Diva’s most definitely stand out. Frankie said she has never been able to make it through an entire bike show because of everyone stopping them, wanting to take pictures and ask questions about the Road Divas. They are known across the United Stated for the classy way they look. I personally like their way of thinking. When I started riding my son said, “Mom how are you going to go from wearing Chanel and DKNY suits to Harley jeans and leather?” Ha! Really easy….it didn’t take me long to change from my business attire to motorcycle clothes, it just meant a whole new wardrobe! And you know how I love to shop! I spend as much time getting ready to ride as I do getting ready for work.

Now you might be thinking, “Is this a group of high society, high fluting, prissy ladies who don’t know much about riding because they spend too much time primping”? Wrong! I’ve been told they can ride the pants off any man…..so they are not all glitz!

They put as much time into riding skills and safety as they do looking nice. As a new member, you are given one year to get your license and a motorcycle. From there, they give the members private riding lessons (both Frankie and Smooth are certified instructors) and take them one step at a time, they don’t just throw them in the pack. Smooth thinks it really cuts down on the fear factor for beginner riders. Not only do they receive continuing education on motorcycles, but information on how to accessorize your bike from new pipes to handlebars. Frankie lends her expertise as a former runway model for fifteen years to all the members, offering help picking the right clothes that will flatter versus exploit your body. She discourages women who wear a size 10 but try to squeeze into a size 6, or who wear low-rider jeans with their thong strap showing, or riding as a passenger in shorts and stilettos. That is the image she wants to see changed in order for more people to have respect for women riders. Of course, that is an individual’s choice, it may not be the right choice, but what they wear is their choice. The Road Diva’s have Fashion Police who hand out violations. The members have to cough up $5.00 if they receive two violations. The most common citation is issued for wearing faded jeans. If you want to be a Road Diva you have to take your appearance as serious as you do your riding.

Frankie has passed on a lot of her Diva Tips from things she learned from her mother. Like, “Frankie if you smoke, I better never see you with a cigarette in your hand in public. If you drink alcohol, I better never see you with a bottle of beer to your mouth in public.” She passes that along to her members; she never wants to see them in a picture with a cigarette or beer in their hand. They believe in respect for each other. You stand alone and you stand on your own. The group does not tolerate gossip. If you can’t say what you want to say in front of the person, you don’t say it at all.

Smooth met Frankie at a country western clothing store where she was looking for boots.
She was admiring Frankie’s purse and Frankie asked her about her tattoos and if she was a rider. Conversation continued, and soon, she started riding with Frankie’s group (and by the way, Frankie never did tell me where she bought her purse). Smooth told me their philosophy is, “It’s more than the ride, it’s how you present yourself. Give people more choices and they make better decision.” When they are giving private riding lessons, they encourage the guys in their classes to, “clean up the beard, and style your hair, wear pants and shirts that match. Ditch the jeans you have worn for three weeks!” These are men who complain about not having a girlfriend or their wife has lost interest in them. They say, take a look at yourself and improve your appearance; you will soon see the change in the way people look at you.





Smooth also told me, “The Road Diva group is trying to make the motorcycle industry and its communities more aware of women riders and the effect it has. I need not explain how it feels (riding a motorcycle) to any of the Cycle Connections staff, but some of the outcomes from riding a motorcycle are awesome. Frankie and I have taught over half of our members how to ride and they have discovered their own empowerment. The ladies no longer settle for mundane jobs, abusive relationships, nor tolerate someone taking advantage of them. They have the feeling of opening their eyes for the first time, looking at everything life has to offer them. Man has known about this empowerment for a long time. Society gives them that feeling from the time they are born. When Frankie and I give motivational speeches we remind men to share this feeling with their loved ones, and give her the opportunity to ride beside you, not necessarily, behind you. I had one guy tell me, he never looked at it from that perspective and the next day he went out and bought his wife a motorcycle, thanking me for enlightening him.”

The Road Divas’ have chapters in Eastern Shores, Delaware, D.C., Virginia, Arizona, and Wisconsin. Frankie has formed two new divisions to her organization; The Road Diva Rockets are a group of members who ride sport bikes, they do wear white leather vests also. And the Diva’s of Distinction, a social club for non-riding women who like to be around other women riders and who like to attend, network, and socialize at parties and dances. They wear black leather with white fringe vests.

Frankie said every year she starts the New Year with a “word” for her group. For 2008 she chose two words: Unity and Respect. Road Divas is a safe haven where the members can come together, relax, take a “sigh of relief,” and be there for each other. The more they are together, the more bond there is between the members. “Having many cancer survivors in the group makes one more appreciative of living and living life well,” said Smooth.

And all of our Cycle Connection Divas know when we are riding we are living life well!
Check out their website at www.realdivasride.com. The Road Divas attend five or six rallies a year so be on the lookout for this group that is bringing a “breath of fresh air” to riding. Good luck girls and keep on “stylin’.

Have a happy Valentines Day!

Save the Date; June 14, 2008- 2nd Annual RUFF RIDE Dice Run to benefit the Northland Animal Welfare Society (NAWS) www.pcnaws.com.

Goldie Arnold:
Goldie Arnold

“Never rider faster than you angel can fly”

The Heart of America Motorcycle Enthusiasts Club was founded in the late 1980’s by a small group of riders as a way to promote the sport of motorcycling and enjoy the fellowship of those who love to ride. Membership has grown to 175 individuals and 10 dealerships. Most of the members live in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Members pay $15 dues annually and must sign a membership/waiver form. According to club President Jim Van Eman, the only membership requirement is, “enthusiasm for motorbikes.” The group takes pride in its diversity. Members ride a wide variety of motorcycle makes, both modern and vintage.

In 1992, HoAME hosted its first weekend motorcycle rally and show at Clinton Lake near Lawrence, Kansas. The rally became the club’s major annual event. Other annual events include a dealer tour, Hunter Memorial Ride, and an annual meeting and party. Members also gather frequently to ride for a meal or to some destination of mutual interest. The club provides volunteer corner workers during road races at approximately eight Midwest racetracks including Heartland Park Topeka. HoAME is involved most actively with the Championship Cup Series, Great Plains and Midwest Divisions. Robert Putnam is the club’s Corner Worker Captain and is certified by the A.M.A. as a Corner Marshal. Roughly 15 club members are involved in this activity, and I can tell you from experience that it is a real thrill to be so close to the racing action. Alert corner workers are absolutely critical to the safety of the competitors. A few of the club members actually race their motorcycles, particularly at vintage racing events.

Meetings are held on the second Wednesday of each month at the Lucky Brewgrille, 5401 Johnson Drive, Mission, Kansas. Many of the members arrive prior to the 7:30 meeting time to have dinner or to chat. The downstairs meeting room provides plenty of room for members and guests. After the approval of the previous month’s minutes, the program is informal and includes discussion of past and upcoming events as well as reports on who bought a new motorcycle (treated as a birth announcement), who participated in a race, who had a crash, and who went on a particularly interesting trip.

HoAME’s monthly newsletter includes a wealth of information about past and upcoming events as well as interesting articles by various members covering a wide variety of subjects. Their website is also a great way to learn about the club and keep up with its activities.

Having been very impressed by the recent Vintage Motorcycle Show , I decided to attend the June monthly meeting. It was obvious the members have a great time whenever they get together. If you love motorcycling and seek to join a group of fun-loving people who share your passion for the sport, you should head for HoAME.

Story and photos by Stripe

I don’t know if you’re aware of it, but Kansas City has a wonderful organization that does some great things for motorcyclists and their families called the American Biker Relief Fund (ABRF). The ABRF provides assistance to riders and their families during times of financial and emotional stress. The organization was founded in 2004 and is staffed totally by volunteers who want to help riders lead productive lives in time of need. Their motto is, “No matter what you ride, no matter who you are, we are here to help.”

Bikers helping bikers is the concept. During the year they sponsor many events and promote their cause at numerous bike shows and rallies. They have already helped many families through some rough times and will keep striving to do more. They are even in the process of trying to open an ABRF-sponsored thrift store to distribute clothing and household items to bikers in need. Goods will also be for sale to the general public to raise funds for the cause.

At this time of the year the ABRF sponsors an annual Christmas Drive held at Gail’s Harley-Davidson in Grandview each Saturday through December 23, and accept items for donation as well as cash to be distributed to area families for Christmas. Not only can you take your donations to Gail’s, but you can also take your kids to sit on Santa’s lap or listen to a story read by Mrs. Santa. Pictures can also be taken, with the proceeds going to the ABRF.

On December 2, my Khrome Cowgirl sisters and I dressed up as elves and went to Gail’s with our donations. Our club does an annual Elf Ride to donate to area kids and families; this year we decided to join up with the ABRF to donate toys, cash and gift cards. After depositing our donations, we all climbed into the sleigh to have our picture taken with the awesome KC Santa.

If you are a motorcyclist needing help, or you know of anyone needing help, please contact the people of this wonderful organization. They will strive to do what they can. You can contact them at 1-800-930-7571 or go to their web site at www.tabrf.org

By Toto - Khrome Cowgirls WebMistress/Newsletter Editor/Photographer

The Kansas Bikers Emergency Fund (KBEF) is a non-profit organization of bikers helping bikers. The objective of the organization is to get immediate cash in the hands of a downed biker. The cash can be used for insurance deductible, medical expenses or funeral expenses.

The KBEF started July 9, 2005, after Chuck Tapp’s wife Syd died in a motorcycle accident. The organization is modeled after a program that started in Colorado. According to Rich Riggs there two kinds of bikers; those that have gone down and those that will go down.

Saturday, July 15, 2006 was a very hot day and still about sixty bikes showed up at Cooney’s in Olathe to support the 2nd Annual Syd’s Run sponsored by the KBEF. Each leg of the run stopped at a tavern that is a corporate sponsor of the KBEF. The stops included The Brickyard in Olathe, Tracy’s in Edgerton, Beer Thirty in De Soto, Grumpy’s in Olathe ending up at the Jobsite in Olathe with free food and live music. It was a great little ride with each leg of the run short enough that neither you nor your bike overheated between watering holes. There were cards to be drawn, raffles and plenty to drink at each stop.

The KBEF currently has approximately 30 cooperate sponsors and 40 members. The officers are Chuck Tapp President, Russ Wilkerson Vice-President, Andy Musto Secretary, Rich Riggs Sergeant at Arms and Jeff Lewis Treasure. The KBEF’s web address is www.ksbikersemergencyfund.com and an application for membership can be applied for online.

By Gene Wineland

Every year Cycle Connections asks our readers to participate in a survey to vote for their favorite bike motorcycle club or organization and Star Riders Group Chapter 227 was voted best motorcycle organization for 2004 and 2005 in the Kansas City area. So with that thought in mind, I had the privilege of attending a meeting, riding with the Star Riders to Lexington, Missouri for lunch, and talking with some of the members as well as president Bob Jeffress.

CC: How long have you been involved with Star Riders Chapter 227, Bob?
Bob: I caught up with them in June 2003 right after I bought my 2000 Yamaha Royal Star Venture.

CC: Was this your first bike?
Bob: No it wasn't my first bike. I had one as a kid. It’s been my first bike in a long time though.

CC: When were you elected president of Star Riders Chapter 227?
Bob: January of 2006 the members elected me president. Prior to that I was vice-president, SSgt of arms and our Star Vet rep.

CC: You kind of worked your way up through the ranks, so to speak.
Bob: Yeah you might say the hard way. But it has been fun.

CC: How old is the chapter?
Bob: Four years come this June. Paul Waters started the chapter in June 2002 with the help of and co-founder Steve Okenfuss owner of Reno’s Yamaha Aprilia, so we are four years old now.
CC: Is your chapter a part of an international organization?
Bob: Yes, we’re a part of International Star, which is out of Tucson, Arizona and has memberships in Canada, Australia and other places. Nationally and internationally we have a large presence.

CC: How many members do you have in your local chapter 227?
Bob: Well as of April we have 114 active members in our chapter.

CC: How does someone go about becoming involved with your group?
Bob: To join Chapter 227, check us out and then sign up. It is $48 a year for membership with loads of benefits for you and your family. Then visit your local chapter. Of course if there is not one in your area you can always contact Star International and start a chapter with their help.
CC: How often do you meet and where do you meet?
Bob: We meet once a month usually at Reno’s the second Saturday of every month. Reno’s is our main sponsor and they roll out the red carpet for us. But there are times we meet some other places.

CC: Do you have any fees or dues for join your local club?
Bob: No not at this time. Some chapters do charge a membership fee. But I hope we never do.

CC: Do you have group rides after your meetings?
Bob: Almost after every meeting we ride somewhere. Of course weather permitting and if participation is good. We have had rides with as few as two bikes going out because of the weather or as many as 30 or 40 bikes on a group ride after a meeting.

CC: I have heard something about a Kansas City StarBQ. Can you tell us more about that? Time date places and events?
Bob: Yes. Kansas City StarBQ is a regional event and the national organization is broken down into different regions. We are holding the Great Plains region this year. It is a multiple chapter event. We are hosting it here in Kansas City, and the event will be in Excelsior Springs, Missouri this year at the Elms Hotel. We have 153 rooms. Everyone will ride in on a Friday night. We will have a meet and greet ice cream social and get everyone registered and settled in and hopefully a good night’s sleep for the upcoming events. We start off Saturday morning with a poker run then that afternoon a bike rodeo, bike games and a lot of fun. That evening we will host a sit-down BBQ with a DJ with loads of great music and fun. Getting multiple chapters together, looking at each other’s bikes and getting to know bikers from different places. A get together and treating each other as friends and family once again.
CC: So I take it bikers and Star Riders come in from different states to the Kansas City StarBQ?
Bob: Oh yes, they come from all over. We have Star Riders from all over the United States who come together for fun, food and to visit old acquaintances or make new ones. We have a chapter in St Louis, Kearney, Nebraska, and Wichita, Kansas—all over! We have them from all over ride in for Kansas City StarBQ. They ride as far away as 1,000 miles or more. Or they come up from Kansas City or outlying areas of Kansas City. It’s just a great time for all.

CC: Do you guys meet and ride with other chapters?
Bob: Yes, that’s correct.

CC: Do you also participate in local events?
Bob: Yes, we post local events on our web site whether we are hosting the event or not. We want our members to have fun get out and ride whenever they can. Just have fun on their motorcycles.
CC: I understand that Chapter 227 supports several local charity events, is that correct?
Bob: Yes we do. We put them on our web calendar of events. Our charity this year is 'Camp Quality' of Kansas City which is south of Excelsior Springs, Missouri. It lets kids with cancer be kids again. This year we are meeting these kids and spending some time with them and letting them look at the bikes. We want to support and encourage them and just let them enjoy their day and be kids again.
CC: I have heard your chapter also adopts families for Christmas and you guys play Santa?
Bob: Yes, the last several years we have adopted a family for Christmas and last year we even got to meet the family and brought a Christmas tree into their home, set it up and placed presents under the tree and then watched them open the presents up. That was a blast to see their faces of appreciation and smiles.

CC: Now that’s playing Santa Claus in a little different way.
Bob: Yes, it was, but so rewarding to help others. That’s why I like this chapter.

CC: What kind of message does your chapter want to send out to the community?
Bob: That bikers are good people, we ride and share the road safely. It’s a fun family thing for families and to get together and do. Our organization not only welcomes the Star line but all makes and models of bikes. Harley-Davidsion, Honda, Kawasaki—all models. We are all out there to ride and have good time and be safe. Check us out and then stop by and say hi. Everyone is welcome.

CC: Thanks Bob, and good luck to you and Star Riders Chapter 227.

Article & photos by Phil Peeler

The Widows Sons Masonic Motorcycle Association is an internationally based association of Master Masons who have joined together to share the sport of motorcycling and to introduce Freemasonry to the public and the motorcyclist community.

I recently had the opportunity to talk with Cecil Searcy, President of the Missouri chapter of Widows Sons Masonic Motorcycle Association to find out more about their unique organization.

CC: So, the Widows Sons is an international organization?
Cecil: Yes, we have chapters in the United States, Canada and Great Britain.

CC: When was the Widows Sons established?
Cecil: The Widows Sons was established in 2000 in Chicago, Illinois. The purpose of the group was to give Master Masons who ride a group they can call their own. Our primary function is to come to the relief of the widows of Master Masons.

CC: When was the local chapter established?
Cecil: We started forming the Missouri Chapter in July of 2005 and received our charter in February of 2006.

CC: How many local chapter members do you have?
Cecil: We currently have 20 members, with a chapter in St. Joseph and a new chapter forming in Kansas City.

CC: How does someone go about joining your club?
Cecil: First, you must be a Master Mason in good standing to be a voting member of the Widows Sons. There are also associate memberships, and apprentice memberships for guys who are interested in becoming a Freemason.

CC: Are there club dues or fees?
Cecil: Dues are only $20 per year plus the cost of patches.

CC: How often and where do you meet?
Cecil: We meet on the second Sunday of each month at Uncle D’s Restaurant in St. Joseph, Missouri. Meetings are at 1 p.m. and we ride at 2 p.m.

CC: So you have group rides?
Cecil: Yes. Stated rides leave after our monthly meetings, but we also have impromptu rides throughout the season. Our next big group ride is a trip to Branson, Missouri for a weekend of riding, and our 2nd Annual Poker Run
is Saturday, June 17 at Evil Twin Cycles in St. Joseph, which is our fundraising event for the year.

CC: Does the Widows Sons participate in local charity events?
Cecil: Yes. We try to support anything we have time for. I know this year we plan to ride in a group for the 4th Annual Ride for Ryan on Saturday, June 3 and the Kansas City Bikers for Babies® RIDE on Sunday, September 10. We also do a lot of work for the Missouri Masonic Child Identification Program. These events provide parents with fingerprints and data for their children in case they are ever missing, and it’s all free of charge.

CC: Do you meet or ride with any of the other chapters?
Cecil: Yes. The St. Joseph and Kansas City chapters ride together and we plan on meeting with our Arkansas brethren when we are in Branson.

CC: Do you welcome all brands of motorcycles?
Cecil: Absolutely!

CC: What message does your club send out to the community?
Cecil: We want to provide a visible impression of what masonry is today and we are fun loving men who enjoy serving our community.

CC: Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers about your club?
Cecil: If you are interested in joining please visit our website at www.widowssons.com/mo or e-mail me directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information or to find a chapter near you. Above all, we are Freemasons and work to always represent masonry in a good light. For more information about Freemasons in Missouri check out www.momason.org.
CC: Cecil, thank you for taking the time to tell us about your organization and I look forward to participating in your poker run on Saturday, June 17.
Interview by Mike Schweder

As I waited for Big Pete, chairman of the Northern Chapter of the Illinois Confederation of Clubs (ILCOC), I began to formulate in my mind a few of the questions I was going to ask concerning the confederation. I was waiting to meet Pete at Grandaddy’s Subs, a good place for a sandwich, and biker friendly. It’s located on Taylor Street near the west side of Chitown.

It wasn’t but a few minutes and Pete came in the shop and we got down with our sandwiches for a time of eating and talking. Before we get to the interview, let’s look at some of the history and facts about the confederation. The founder is a lawyer named Richard Lester; he envisioned a group of bikers uniting on a common front to do battle with the legislators regarding some of the laws being passed concerning bike clubs and bikers in general. The Confederation of Clubs is an integral part of a group of organizations founded by Richard Lester. To check out the different entities under this legal umbrella for bikers go to his web site at www.aimncom.com. The confederation chapters is fairly widespread across the United States and even in Europe. The unit as a whole is not unified as well as it could be, but it has a great start and can only get better as time goes on. Each chapter is pretty much what they themselves make it. Many are strong in their local areas and do good works on a local basis.

Here in Northern Illinois the chapter began in 1999 and has grown to 18 clubs. Big Pete is the founding chairman and has been the only chairman this chapter has had. Much of that is due to the passion he has for this endeavor and the effort he has put into making it what it is today. After talking with Pete I can see and understand he believes in the need for the ILCOC. As Pete explains about the confederation, he said more than once, “This is a win-win situation for us (clubs and bikers).”

The confederation meets monthly at the Moose Lodge in Berwyn, near Harlem and Ogden Avenues. Any and all clubs are welcome; this confederation is about unity, as has been said already, so it only matters that you are a biker. Also, I was informed there is no club business discussed at the ILCOC meetings. They don’t mix each respective club’s business with ILCOC business. The only individual club business is the announcement of any upcoming parties or benefits being sponsored by a confederation club. If you go to the events page on the ILCOC web site, you will find a list of parties, benefits, and a bunch of good times. These parties are well attended by most of the clubs that are members of the ILCOC. Often the parties are put on by a club to help support various good causes. Some of the causes are Iraq War Vets Fundraiser, widows of fallen bikers, or a downed biker in need of financial help. Some are just for the sake of a good time or celebrating a holiday; whatever they’re for, they are all good causes to party.

As Pete began to talk about the confederation, it was evident he believed in it completely. The local lawyer who attends meetings and gives legal advice is Michael Mandelman. He also helps keep the clubs abreast of any new laws that are coming up for a vote or to be introduced to the state legislators. ABATE is the watchdog arm of the local biker clubs that tries to keep bogus laws from getting passed. ILCOC is the watchdog of laws that have been passed already; they try to get the bogus laws already on the books overturned. These two organizations are not affiliated with each other but do work with a common goal in mind.

Some of the laws they have been fighting are discrimination laws such as not being able to wear “colors” in a bar, trying to get the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act overturned, or the Patriot Act. The definition of “coalition” is the union or joining together of separate entities in a combined mass for the purpose of united action—a good idea if a group is to continue to exist as a free and functioning enterprise. As Pete explained, 'Should it matter if that enterprise is a sports club, a group of doctors, or a motorcycle club?' Freedom to form a club is not a luxury in America but a right given by the Constitution. A club is defined as an organization devoted to a common cause or purpose.

Yearly the chapters meet for the National Coalition of Motorcyclist or NCOM. The last few years they have met in cities such as Milwaukee, Orlando, Nashville, and New Orleans, and this year it will be held in Louisville.

So I guess if one were to summarize the goal or purpose of this confederation, it would have to entail fighting for justice, freedoms, and the right to be free to live life within the laws of our land as they see fit. Furthermore the confederation strives to unify and rally any and all likeminded organizations, clubs, and associations that are common to motorcycling to join them in this endeavor. The old saying, “There is strength in numbers” emphatically comes into play in this instance and with this group’s purpose.

As Pete and I talked, it was evident from Pete’s words that he likens the motorcycle rider, and especially club riders, to the last freedom fighters for the cause of the free way of life that has become all but extinct to many in our modern-day world. The biker has become the iconic emblem of all that embraces being free and living life on one’s own terms. It harkens back to the various groups of old that were larger than life in their own day, those such as the cowboy, the pirate, or the crusaders.

Let me list the names of some of the people who put in the time and effort to keep the confederation moving ahead. Following is a list of the officers:

Chairman: Big Pete
Vice-Chairman: Gypsie
Treasurer: Gabby
Secretary: Papa Joe
Liaison: Mountain
Alternate 1: Manson
Alternate 2: Big Don

The list of clubs that belong to the ILCOC is as follows:
A.R.M.
Black Pistons MC
Brothers MC
Brothers Rising MC
Crossroads MC
Death Marauders
Fugarwe Tribe
Holy Ghost Riders MC
Legacy
Low Lyfz MC
Loyal Order MC
New Attitudes MC
Night Cruisers MC
Outlaws MC
Rebel Knights MC
Sojourners MC
Tunnel Rats MC
Wicked Saints


The ILCOC is probably going to be the future of riding if the lawmakers continue to attack the motorcycle lifestyle. It will take a unified, relentless effort by bikers, in other words an organized coalition, to keep things from going the way of the dinosaur. The effort will have to be fought on the legal front if it’s to be at all successful. If you or your club is interested in the ILCOC, check out their web site at www.ilcoc.com.

Story and photos by Dave Ramsey.

The national Freedom Cruisers Riding Club got its start in California in 1999. Motorcyclists in the Auburn, Forest Hill, and Sacramento vicinity had been getting together for group rides organized by Jeff (Big Dog) Davey. The idea of bonding as a riding club was suggested by Ray (Ryder) Snyder, a former member of the Sacramento Cruiser Riding Club. The concept was to promote riding freedom in every form--freedom from major commitments, freedom from initiation fees, freedom from dues, and freedom from club politics. Many members of the newly formed club were veterans, and a patriotic spirit was very much in evidence when the new club patch was unveiled. Ray became the first State Director, and Jeff was the first Chapter President.

As membership grew, it became impossible to keep everyone in contact by telephone. A website was set up to provide information to members. A side effect was that club information became available to motorcyclists over a vast area. E-mail inquiries started pouring in from all over the United States, and the state club changed to a national organization. In 2001, Mr. Clay (Bones) Lowe accepted the position of National Director and took over responsibility for the club website. The current National Director is Tony (Diceman) Sesso. With nearly 800 members in 18 states and Canada, the club continues to promote motorcycling, family values, unity, travel and camping, and member camaraderie.

I recently had the opportunity to meet the Missouri State Director of Freedom Cruisers, Mike (Doc) DePeralta and Chapter 38 President Mark (Thud) Rideout, along with several other club members at the 210 Grill in Kansas City, Missouri. In spite of very cold temperatures, many of the members arrived on motorcycles. We talked about the Kansas City area Freedom Cruisers:
CC: When was the local chapter established?
Mark: Mike started the local chapter in December, 2004.
Mike: I know there are other bike clubs in the area, but for some reason when I read about the Freedom Cruisers, I thought I would like to start a chapter here. I had been out of riding for a number of years and had not done much group riding until I got involved with this club. It has worked out well. We have a bunch of good people, some with lots of riding experience and some new riders. We welcome all. In January of this year, I became Missouri State Director and Mark took over as Chapter President.


CC: How many chapter members do you have?

Mark: We currently have twenty-eight on our roster. Typically a dozen or more show up for meetings or rides.


CC: Like the national club, there are no local dues or initiation fees?

Mark: That’s right. We’re just here to ride and have fun.

CC: How do you communicate with your membership?

Mark: We have a local website. We communicate by e-mail or phone, and our website has a forum page.


CC: How often do you meet?

Mark: We try to get together at least twice a month to ride and another time for a dinner meeting. Most of our rides involve eating.

CC: Who plans your group rides?

Mark: It’s up to anybody. We’re always open to suggestions. We like to involve all of the members in planning.


CC: Do you have a standard starting point for your rides?

Mike: We recently started meeting here at the 210 Grill. It’s a good centralized location.


CC: Judging from the variety of bikes in the parking lot, I take it that all brands of motorcycles are welcome.

Mark: It doesn’t matter what you ride. We welcome everyone. You don’t have to be a member to ride with us.


CC: Do you participate in local charity events?

Mark: Yes. Last year we attended five charity rides as a group. I think we’ll add a couple more this year.


CC: Do you get together with the closest chapters in St. James and in Lawrence, Kansas?

Mike: Those chapters were both established on January 14 of this year. They are brand new chapters, and we plan to get out and meet their members within the next couple of months. We want to welcome them and help them get established.


CC: What would you like for people to know about Freedom Cruisers?

Mark: We promote safe riding and family participation. All of our events are family-oriented, and the kids are welcome to come along. We do camping trips and things like that. Last year we had a weekend campout at Wallace State Park. This year we are planning a trip to Big Lake north of St. Joe. We are open to helping novice motorcyclists develop their riding skills.


CC: How does someone join your club?

Mike: There is a membership application on the national website. There are also links to all of the local websites. If there is no local chapter near them, they can start a new chapter or can become a member at large.


CC: Guys, thanks for inviting me to your meeting and for making me feel welcome.



For anyone who is looking for a group to ride with, the Freedom Cruisers Riding Club is worth a look. There is a great deal of information available on the national and local websites. This could be the club you’ve been looking for.


Story and Photos by Stripe

I recently received an e-mail from the president of this new motorcycle group and wanted to let all our readers know about them.

Missy “Dakota” Brady started the group because she couldn’t find a motorcycle club in the Houston area that was fighting for women and children. This cause hits very close to home for Dakota. Being a rape survivor she knew what it was like to feel like you can’t go on living! She began riding in 1997 as a passenger and now rides her own bike! Congrats to you!
Dakota was not too sure on how to go about setting up a new club, so she reached out to other club presidents and leaders and acquired valuable information that was very helpful in the initial setup. After doing all the necessary groundwork, Southern & Spicy was formed and their mission, according to their website, is: “to stick together, learn from one another, help each other, and the community and ”RIDE LIKE THERE'S NO TOMORROW!”
Presently they have five members and growing; they are in the process of signing new members and volunteering in new places in the community. There are no initiation fees, but members are expected to pay annual dues, buy their club patch and attend monthly meetings. They are recruiting new members by word of mouth, meeting others in motorcycle training courses and through long-time friendships.

They are in the process of organizing their first fundraiser and all of the proceeds will go to a charity of their choice. I bet we can guess who will benefit from that!

Here in Kansas City we have several centers for women who have been abused, such as Safe Haven, Rose Brooks Center, Synergy House and others, and I have attended countless benefits to raise money for their cause. They are always in need of monetary gifts, clothing for women and children, makeup, personal hygiene items and toys. Many times women pick up the children and leave the abusive environment and don’t have time to pack or take anything with them. Check with your local shelter for a “wish list” if you can help in any way.

If you have questions or want to contact Dakota, her e-mail address is: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Also make sure to check out the Southern and Spicy web site at: www.southernandspicy.com

Story by: Goldie Arnold

Photos submitted by: Missy Brady

During a visit to Gail’s Harley-Davidson in Grandview, Missouri, some time ago I had the pleasure of meeting Chris Sylva who works at Gail's and is also the Director of the local chapter of Buell Riders Adventure Group (B.R.A.G.). Chris invited me to attend the December, 2005, chapter meeting and meet some of the members. Due to unexpected circumstances the meeting was postponed to the Thursday immediately preceding Christmas, resulting in attendance being somewhat less than normal. The members in attendance made me feel very welcome, and some great chili was served. A couple of new Buell motorcycles were on display in the meeting room, and one was the versatile and popular new Ulysses. Conversation during the meeting focused on plans for the upcoming year. Subsequently, I had the opportunity to ask Chris a few questions about the organization.

CC: When was your B.R.A.G. chapter formed?
Chris: The Chapter was founded in January, 2005. Gail's Harley-Davidson & Buell became the sole Buell dealer in the Kansas City region the same year.

CC: What is the official name of the chapter?
Chris: The name is Gail's American Heartland B.R.A.G. Club.


CC: Who are the current primary officers?
Chris: I am the Director, and Sam Minnich is the Secretary/Treasurer.

CC: When and where does your club meet?
Chris: The meeting time for the club is 7 p.m. the third Thursday of each month unless a conflicting schedule causes the need for a change. The meetings are held at Gail's Harley-Davidson & Buell in the H.O.G./B.R.A.G. Room, usually followed by a ride to one of several local bike night events. Paddy O'Quigley's and Fuel are two favorites.

CC: What are the requirements for membership?
Chris: A national B.R.A.G. membership is required, a $45 cost. Additional dues are $15 to join the local dealer-sponsored club. Benefits range from discounts on insurance and shipping to roadside assistance and more.

CC: What support is provided by Gail's?
Chris: The dealership provides support in many ways including a location for the meetings and dealer-supported B.R.A.G. specific events. For example, we had the Buell demo fleet here in the Spring of 2005 at Gail's expense, along with give-away products provided by the dealership at each meeting and membership in Gail's customer loyalty program for discounts at the dealership.

CC: How many local members are there?
Chris: We currently have 42. Anyone who buys a new Buell automatically gets a one-year membership to the local club.

CC: How do H.O.G. and B.R.A.G. relate?
Chris: On a national level, the relationship between the two is that they are both Harley-Davidson sponsored clubs with similar benefits. Their appeal is often to different segments of the motorcycling community. On the local level, we see that they are very similar. We have H.O.G. members who own Buells and Buell members who have owned many Harley-Davidson motorcycles. The two clubs welcome each other's members on rides, along with riders of other makes on designated open rides.

CC: In what events does your club participate?
Chris: Future events we plan to take part in are Gail's 9-11 Ride, the Bikers for Babies charity event, and the Buell Homecoming national ride. The B.R.A.G. club is a diverse group spanning models from the mid-1990's to current 2006 models. Performance is a common thread, and several of the club's members have pursured that to spectacular ends. The bottom line is that we love our motorcycles and motorcycling in general, and we are here to have fun, whether it is riding, talking about our bikes, or wrenching on them.

CC: Thanks for the information, Chris, and for the invitation to your meeting and chili feed. Much appreciated!

For any of you Buell riders out there in the Kansas City area, I would encourage you to attend a B.R.A.G. meeting at Gail's. It's a great opportunity to make new friends who share your passion for motorcycling in general and specifically for Buell bikes.

Story and Photos by Stripe