Safe Riding


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 

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.

If you are a rider who traveled from anywhere east to Paradise Point at Perry Lake to attend the 37th Annual A.B.A.T.E. of Kansas Labor Day Rally, chances are you had to endure some rain. The remnants of Hurricane Isaac had arrived in the Midwest producing a broad band of wet weather.

This is where I get to share some of the experiences of the 72nd Annual Sturgis Rally and Races that were outstanding to me. The following chronological summary, along with the accompanying photos, represents my “show and tell” on the 2012 event.

The 2012 Freedom Rally was scheduled for July 5, 6, and 7 due to the mid-week Independence Day holiday. As I rode north, it was apparent that those who were heading for the rally had better be prepared for hot weather. I passed a time-and-temperature sign that indicated a sizzling 102 degrees. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I had missed the 2010 and 2011 events at Algona. Knowing that the Iowa A.B.A.T.E. organization constantly strives to make improvements at the rally grounds, I was expecting to see some changes. Sure enough, some significant enhancements had been made at Freedom Park during my two-hear hiatus.

July 28 was the date for the inaugural Spirit Ride to raise funds for the National World War I Museum at Kansas City’s Liberty Memorial. The event began with a rally at Gail’s Harley-Davidson in Grandview where registration opened at 11:00 a.m. The registration fee was $40 and included a goodie bag, participation in the escorted ride to Liberty Memorial, admission to the museum, picnic dinner, and concert admission. While waiting for the ride to begin, participants visited vendor booths at Gail’s and listened to the music of the Jeremy Nichols Band.

The Kansas City area was in the grip of a major heat wave, but the soaring temperature did not deter more than 120 generous motorcycle enthusiasts from showing up on Saturday, June 30, at Blue Springs Harley-Davidson to participate in their annual breast cancer fund-raiser.

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