Gear and Product Reviews
Staff

Staff

One of our founding members began this journey back in early 2004. She joined Women on Wheels (WOW), but the social riding group seemed to lack the camaraderie that she was looking for. Moving on, she and another founding member came across Chics 'N Chaps M/C, an all female club based in Kingsport, Tennessee with an additional chapter in Indiana. They formed a chapter in Kentucky in early 2005, and it seemed from all outward appearances they had found what they had been looking for. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to them, there was turmoil with the Indiana chapter, and one month after beginning this venture, the Indiana chapter resigned from the club. A few months went by and a couple more joined the Kentucky chapter. During this time they noticed how a national officer in Tennessee was inflicting their point of views and beliefs on the rest of the club. By July 2005, the Kentucky chapter decided to part ways and reformed into the Rebel Roses M/C. We now cover three states, Cincinnati, Ohio, Topeka, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri, with prospective chapters in a few more.

The Rebel Roses is an all-female motorcycle club who are very passionate about their bikes and the brotherhood and sisterhood of the biker lifestyle. They aim to inspire women with the courage to break free from the chains of limiting belief patterns and societal conditioning that have traditionally kept women suppressed and unable to see their true beauty and power. It takes a very strong-willed and independent woman to uphold the image of a Rebel Rose. Anyone in the lifestyle knows of the challenges that exist in what some like to call a 'Man's World.' We have members who are well-seasoned in the lifestyle and some that have never been around it until us. We also have some who have ridden all their lives and others who are still quite green. Regardless of their knowledge, we help our sisters to obtain and achieve the necessary skills to be successful,
independent and confident at everything they do.

Our own foundation, Children of the Garden, was created to assist low-income families in Appalachia to help children receive beds, clothes, school fees and other items that are difficult to come by. We like to promote a positive image to the public and widely host charity events to support various causes.

If someone has questions on the commitment or the group itself, they can go to www.rebelrosesmc.com to contact us. Simply put, “We’re the ones you won’t forget.”

Story by Rabbit

Photos by Mike Schweder

Every year at Sturgis, I make it a priority to arrange my schedule to include one or more events put on by the Jackpine Gypsies Motorcycle Club. Anyone who enjoys attending the Sturgis Rally should thank the Gypsies for getting the whole thing started. The club, celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, was founded by Sturgis Indian Motorcycle dealer John Clarence “Pappy” Hoel with seven original members. The club was originally known as the Jackpines because the seven original members enjoyed racing among the 'jackpines' or Ponderosa pines. One day, after they returned from a day of riding, someone told them they looked like a bunch of gypsies, and they decided to change their name to the Jackpine Gypsies.

On August 14, 1938, Pappy and the Jackpine Gypsies organized the first Black Hills Motor Classic. The weekend event featured an AMA sanctioned half-mile dirt track race. Nine riders participated in the first race, and the event drew about 200 spectators. The races became an annual affair, attracting more racers, spectators, and vendors year after year. As the crowds grew, so did the variety of events and entertainment. Amazingly, the Jackpine Gypsies’ small racing event grew into an enormous rally that attracts hundreds of thousands of motorcyclists to the Black Hills annually.

The club is a non-profit organization having over 150 members living across the United States and abroad. Associate memberships are available on line through the club’s website . The Jackpine Gypsies support various area charities including the local food bank, Sturgis High School, Zonta Club of Sturgis, and the Christian Motorcyclists Association

The Gypsies own approximately 40 acres of land along Interstate 90 between Exit 30 and Exit 32. Their property is home to a lighted short track, motocross track, field meet area, hill climb area, clubhouse, office and a state approved concession business. The schedule of events for 2011 was as follows:

Saturday, August 6 – Moto-X Practice
Sunday, August 7 – Moto-X Races

Monday, August 8 – Trophy Hill Climb

Monday, August 8 – Short Track

Tuesday, August 9 – Gypsy Tour

Tuesday, August 9 – Short Track & TT Races

Wednesday, August 10 – Half-Mile Races

Friday, August 12 – Pro Hill Climb

The results of the races are posted on the Jackpine Gypsies website . I enjoyed the races on Sturgis’ ½-mile oval. I arrived at the track just as the riders’ meeting was taking place. Soon the roar of high-performance racing engines echoed through the hills as the riders completed their practice laps. One rider among the first group on the track had the misfortune of sliding into the hay bales and suffering a shoulder injury. Thankfully, there were no other riders injured during the event.

Prior to heat races several Jackpine Gypsies rode a few parade laps showing off a variety of motorcycles from antique to modern. Club President Greg “Grog” Hultman led the way on a vintage racing bike followed by an Indian Chief bearing the club flag. During the opening ceremony, Greg’s father, Neil, who is the oldest active Gypsy at the age of 82, welcomed the spectators to the event and spoke about the club’s history.

The racing was very competitive. Several heats ended with as many as three bikes coming out of the final turn with an excellent chance of being first to the checkered flag. Race fans who came to the event hoping to see some great flat track action were not disappointed.

After the race, I was pleased to have an opportunity to visit with Neil Hultman.

CC: Neil, what year did you join the Jackpine Gypsies?
Neil: It was 1947.

CC: How has the club membership changed over the years?
Neil: It has varied. When I joined the club in 1947, there were ten of us. There were some from Sturgis, some from Deadwood, and some from Lead, and we would vary our meeting locations. When events were held, everyone worked their tails off. Now we probably have over 100 members including the associate memberships, but there are still about the same number of active members as there were when there were ten of us.

CC: What kind of motorcycles have you owned?
Neil: When I joined the club I rode an Indian. When I was in high school, I had about a 10-mile drive both ways, and I had a Model A. Right after World War Two I sold the Model A, and couldn’t get another car. A buddy of mine suggested that we both get motorcycles, and I said, “that sounds like a plan.” I went to Mr. Hoel who was the only motorcycle dealer around here. He didn’t have what I wanted at the time, but said he would get some more bikes in shortly. He sold me a 1947 Indian Chief, seafoam blue. I went over to Korea for two years, and sold it when I came back. I don’t know why I sold it. It was the one bike I should have kept, but I didn’t.

CC: Sturgis events sponsored by the club include some tours as well as the races.
Neil: Yes, this year we just had one. Sometimes we have two. The club got into the tour business at the request of the city. As the rally grew, they wanted to provide more things for people to do, so we had a tour to Mount Rushmore. Later we added a Devil’s Tower tour. This year’s tour went to Devil’s Tower, and we had 25 or 30 bikes.

CC: Your club has events other than during the rally, right?
Neil: We have meetings, rides, and races. People can go to our website and see our newsletters and learn what we do.

CC: Neil, I appreciate your taking the time to visit.

The Jackpine Gypsies continue to provide great entertainment opportunities at the Sturgis Rally every year with their wide variety of events throughout the week. The photos below are from this year’s half-mile plus a few from past years’ hill climbs and short track races.

Article and photos by Stripe

I was invited by my friend Darrell Curfman to attend a recent meeting of a motorcycle organization of which he is a charter member. The meeting, combined with the group’s winter party, was held at Paul and Jack’s in North Kansas City. I enjoyed meeting the organization’s President, Tom Norris, and several of the chapter’s members and guests. During the meeting, Tom conducted a “tour” of the organization’s website which seems very user-friendly and should provide members with plenty of useful information and opportunity to communicate. The following information was obtained from the Liberty Touring and Riding Association website:

The LIBERTY Story
“LIBERTY Touring & Riding Association was founded in 2009 in the Kansas City, Missouri area. It is our founding concept that our organization is here to support our membership, not the other way around. Every LIBERTY
member has a voice.
LIBERTY is a non-political riding organization. We emphasize safe and lawful riding. There is absolutely no alcohol allowed during sanctioned chapter rides. Our official rides do not bounce from bar to bar. Safe group riding is a must. We want to ride with all of our friends for many years to come.
If a fun, friendly and safe motorcycle riding association is what you are looking for, then check our LIBERTY Touring & Riding Association. If there is not a local LIBERTY Chapter in your area, we are more than happy to help you get one started.
The LIBERTY Mission Statement is as follows:
To promote and improve goodwill among motorcyclists and between motorcyclists and the general public; to encourage and promote motorcycle activities in each chapter's area; and to encourage safe and enjoyable motorcycle riding and group activities in a family friendly environment. LIBERTY Touring & Riding Association is open to all motorcycle makes and models.”

Q&A
Question: What is LIBERTY Touring & Riding Association's annual membership fee?
Answer: Currently there are no membership fees to join LIBERTY Touring & Riding.

Question: How do I get information on starting a LIBERTY chapter in my area?
Answer: There is a link on the 'Home Page' to request information on starting a chapter.

Question: Is LIBERTY membership open to anyone regardless of the motorcycle make and model they ride?
Answer: Yes, LIBERTY is open to all motorcycle makes and models.

Question: What is a chapter's charter?
Answer: A charter is a licensing agreement between LIBERTY Touring & Riding Association and its chapters and provides operational guidelines.

Question: Are LIBERTY chapters non-profit or for-profit organizations?
Answer: Individual chapters can operate as either a non-profit or for-profit as they choose.

Question: Does LIBERTY support any particular charities?
Answer: Each chapter is open to choose their own individual charities to support.

Question: Can anyone purchase a LIBERTY back patch?
Answer: No, LIBERTY patches are available to members only.

In addition to the Q&A on the website, I had a few questions for Tom.


CC: Who are your organization’s officers?
Tom: I am President of both the national organization and Chapter 1-Kansas City. Ron Hulland is national Vice President and is President of Chapter 2-Ozarks. Sherree Kingman is Events Coordinator.

CC: When did the organization get its start?
Tom: Liberty Touring had its first meeting on September 19, 2009. Chapter 1 – Kansas City signed their charter. Chapter 2 – Ozarks signed their charter on Saturday, November 14, 2009.

CC: How many members do you have?
Tom: Kansas City currently has 35 members. Ozarks has 34 members.

CC: Do you have sponsoring motorcycle dealerships?
Tom: Our host dealership for Chapter 1 is Liberty Cycle Center. Chapter 2 is hosted by Destination Powersports.

CC: When and where are your meetings held?
Tom: Chapter 1 meets on the third Saturday of each month at Liberty Cycle Center, 321 N. State Route 291, Liberty, Missouri 64068, (816) 781-6880. The meetings begin at a.m. Meetings for Chapter 2 are currently held the second Tuesday of each month at 6 pm at Destination Power Sports, 225 S US Highway 60, Marionville, Missouri 65705, (417) 258-2544.

CC: What logo merchandise is available to your members?
Tom: We have a large LIBERTY logo back patch, small logo patch, and chapter rockers.

CC: What information is available on the LIBERTY Touring website?
Tom: There is general information about the organization and how to get a chapter started. We have a Member’s Area that contains open forums, events calendar and photo galleries.

CC: Are additional chapters in the works?
Tom: I am currently working with a group in Denver, Colorado, who are interested in starting a LIBERTY chapter in their area.

CC: Thanks, Tom. Looks like your organization is off to a great start!

Article by Stripe
Photos provided by LIBERTY Touring and Riding Association.

Photo Information:
Lead Photo: Charter members of LIBERTY Chapter 1 – Kansas City following our charter signing.
Chapter 1 Officers at Charter Signing (Lt to Rt: Harlan Breedlove, Ambassador; Paul Hartke, Sergeant at Arms; Tom Norris, President; Lori Schneegass, Treasurer; Parker Richmond, Secretary; Paul Schneegass, Vice President; Sherree Kingman, Events Coordinator.
Ron and Tom at Chapter 2 Charter Signing- (Lt to Rt: Ron Hulland, President Chapter 2 – Ozarks being congratulated at their charter signing by LIBERTY President Tom Norris)

~Prev Page               

Next Page~

March 31, 2009

Romans Road Riders

Romans Road Riders is a community life group of Indian Creek Community Church . They are a group of motorcycle enthusiasts who love finding an open road and riding! Any licensed rider regardless of the size or make of his or her motorcycle will be welcomed by Romans Road Riders.
The group meets on the first Saturday of each month during the riding season. Rides depart from the church parking lot at 8:30 a.m. sharp. Riders should arrive with fueled motorcycles, helmets, and lunch money no later than 8:15 for pre-ride instructions. Rides include a meal stop and are usually completed by noon. The group also plans an mid-summer overnight ride.
Everyone who rides with Romans Road Riders must sign a liability release form prior to participating in an Indian Creek sponsored ride. Each rider must have a current motorcycle license and all participants must wear helmets.
Rides typically begin and end at Indian Creek Community Church. Some of last year's rides were:
DeSoto/Gardner Loop, 125 miles, 2 hours
Pittsburg/Ft. Scott Loop, 120 miles, 2 hours
Harrisonville/Louisburg Run, 128 miles, 2-1/2 hours
Prison River Run (Leavenworth/Lawrence), 131 miles, 2-1/2 hours
Weston/Leavenworth Loop, 130 miles, 2-1/2 hours
Lake of the Ozarks Overnight, 466 miles, 2-day ride
Topeka Loop, 130 miles, 2-1/2 hours
Lexington Loop, 135 miles, 2-1/2 hours
The church is located at 12480 S. Black Bob Road in Olathe, Kansas. To contact Romans Road Riders, call 913-254-4499 x2015 or e-mail Tom King.
Luke 14:23 - Then the master told his servant, 'Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full.'
Follow the Road: Romans 3:23 - Romans 6:23 - Romans 5:8 - Romans 10:9&10 - I John 4:15
Photos courtesy of Romans Road Riders



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