Writer's Ramblings

Writer's Ramblings

Andy Barber - 911 Dispatcher and Painter

October 31, 2004
For a person who deals with stressful situations nearly every day as a 911 dispatcher for the Lenexa Police Department, there’s one thing Andy Barber of Gardner, cannot handle: a certain kind of deadline. “I can deal with the calls that come in,” he said recently. “Accidents, fires, stabbings, all that stuff, but if I’m painting a motorcycle tank for someone, and I know he’s expecting in on a certain day, that kind of stress can wake me up in the middle of the night.” Barber, who has lived in Gardner since 1990 with his wife Lois and their twin…

Kansas City Harley-Davidson Assembly Plant Open House

August 31, 2004
If you’re a motorcycle enthusiast, no matter what you ride, you likely have some appreciation for those who manufacture these wonderful machines. Should you live in the Kansas City area, you may not realize what a fabulous opportunity you have to see up close, a state-of-the-art motorcycle assembly process. On Friday, September 10 and Saturday, September 11, you’ll have that opportunity as the Kansas City Harley-Davidson Assembly Plant holds their annual Open House.Each year, the Motor Company rolls out the red carpet for their big welcome party. The plant, located near Platte City, Missouri is one of two final assembly…

Billy Lane - The Chopper Kingpin Visits KC

July 31, 2004
Rumor has it that Dave Mann was the first biker to own a chopper in Kansas City. On Saturday, July 17, a benefit was held in Dave’s honor to raise money to help him with growing medical expenses associated with his illness. The highlight of the David Mann Benefit was Dave’s induction into the National Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame in Anamosa, Iowa. Russ Niccum has been good friends with Dave for many years; both being from the Kansas City area. Since he and Dave are long time friends, officials at the National Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame…

Miller High Life Chopper Giveaway

July 30, 2004
Promotion Dates and LocationsAug 4, 2004 The Peanut Downtown 7pm – 9pm Aug 4, 2004 The Peanut 50th & Main9pm – 11pmAug 5, 2004 Tizer’s Westport 7pm – 9pmAug 5, 2004 Beaumont Club Westport9pm – 11pmAug 6, 2004 Johnny Dare’s Westport 7pm - ??Aug 11, 2004 Hurricanes Westport 7pm – 9pmAug 11, 2004 America’s Pub Westport9pm – 11pmAug 12, 2004 Harpo’s Westport 7pm – 9pmAug 12, 2004 Kelly’s Westport9pm – 11pmAug 13, 2004 Tanner’s Downtown 7pm – 9pmAug 13, 2004 The Quaff Downtown9pm – 11pmAug 18, 2004 Volleyball Beach Martin City 7pm – 9pm Aug 18, 2004 RC’s Martin City9pm…

Voni Glaves – 700,000 Miles and Just Getting Started

June 30, 2004
When Voni Glaves from Lawrence, Kansas rides one of her five red BMW motorcycles, she does so with a little bit of fear. That might sound strange coming from a woman who last May became the first woman BMW motorcycle rider to eclipse the 700,000-mile mark. This is a woman who is included in the Woman and Motorcycling exhibit at the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum in Pickerington, Ohio and has been the first place finisher in the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America (MOA) Mileage Contest five times, including riding 73,660 miles in the six-month contest in 1999 to set…

Drag Racing Legends of Kansas City

June 30, 2004
Now that summer is on our doorstep, and our wettest spring on record is behind us, we can now have fun in the area of motorcycle drag racing. Most people really don't know what classes or events there are in this sport. I have always been a fan due to the technical side of my life. I have been blessed to know two very important friends in this business. We featured Larry James of James Racing in the May Tech Tips article and in the May Readers and Their Rides section. Now I am happy to introduce Darwin Barnett of…

The Anaconda

May 31, 2004
Steve “Smokey” McGill is a man who is long on imagination. I first met Smokey in February of this year at the 44th Annual CARQUEST Autoparts World of Wheels Show where his creation, the Anaconda, made its debut. The Anaconda is a 10-passenger Harley-powered trike, and it was one of the most popular entries in the show. Since then, the Anaconda has been seen at various places around Kansas City including the Easyriders® Bike Show Tour, Lakeside Speedway, bike night at Paddy O’Quigley’s, and various charity events. I was pleased to have the opportunity to visit with Smokey about his…

Left as a Man, Came Back as a Biker

May 1, 2004
Editor’s Note: The 25th Annual Land of Oz Rally sponsored by the Kansas City chapter of the BMW Motorcycle Club of America, is scheduled for June 2-4. It’s always the first weekend in June, and always at LaCygne Lake in LaCygne, Kan., which is about 50 miles south of Kansas City on U.S. 69. The following column was written last year, and is about the author’s first trip to the rally. In fact, it was his first motorcycle rally ever.)I think I'm officially a 'biker' guy, now. It happened the last weekend of May at LaCygne Lake where more than…

Elders Ride - A H.O.G. Chapter Tradition

April 30, 2004
The Easter Bunny has a group of helpers in Kansas City. They wear leather and ride Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Through the kindness of members of the American Heartland Kansas City H.O.G. Chapter, Easter arrived early at two area nursing homes on Sunday, March 28. Members of the chapter delivered Easter goodies to residents of the Regency Care Center in Independence, Missouri, and the Royal Terrace Care Center in Olathe, KS. The tradition started in 1996 when former chapter director Dennis Scarff suggested a ride to the Royal Terrace where his mother Lois had been a resident since 1992. The event was…

Far From Frigid - Frigid Bitch Ride

March 31, 2004
What a round-up it was for the Women in the Wind - Khrome Cowgirls of Kansas City first group ride of 2004. Most bike groups have a Polar Bear ride in the winter, usually on New Year’s Day. Not wanting to be like everyone else, the Women in the Wind decided to do a Frigid Bitch Ride on January 4. Due to severe ice on that day, it was cancelled and rescheduled for Sunday, February 22. Our infamous weather forecasters called for intermittent showers, cool and cloudy. I leathered up, threw in my rain gear and headed to Drafter’s to…

First Love – A Man and His Machine

January 31, 2004
The time was early spring, 1990. My bike was a 1974 Honda 550 that I rode around town and took on occasional short trips. For a while I had been thinking that it was about time for something bigger. My pal, Bob, had been working on me to consider a Harley, but I was skeptical. Weren’t Harleys for rough, tattooed misfits who knew how to fix a bike when it broke down? However, I read in a newspaper article that Harley had gotten the reliability issue under control and that the new Harley riders included bankers, doctors, ministers, and even…

Santa Still Makes House Calls

November 30, 2003

Ride the Temperature

October 31, 2003
A couple of weeks ago, while sitting in the McDonalds parking lot in Warsaw, Missouri waiting for everyone to show up for the 3rd Annual Run with the Leaves ride, fellow Southern Cruisers member, Dan Lutter, told me he had proven a theory of his that if you “ride the temperature” you can stay cool, even on the hottest summer day. After raising a suspicious eyebrow and hiking up my pant legs just a bit in anticipation of some serious BS, I asked Dan to please elaborate. According to Dan's theory, if you ride the same speed as the temperature,…

Do Motorcycle Riders Make Better Drivers?

September 8, 2003
Being a rider myself; I may be a little biased, however, I truly believe that on average, experienced motorcycle riders make better drivers than your average Joe Cage Driver. The reason I feel this way is because when you ride a motorcycle, your senses must be much higher, and you must be much more alert and aware of your surroundings than when you're driving a car. When you ride, it's critical that defensive riding techniques become second nature, and can easily mean the difference between life and death. Therefore, all good riders quickly learn that when riding a motorcycle, you…
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