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Rides, Rallies and Events Recap

Freedom Rally

September 30, 2004
Every year, I celebrate the Independence Day holiday weekend at the Freedom Rally near Algona, Iowa. This year marked the 20th anniversary of the rally that began in Humboldt and was held there through 2001. When it became apparent that the rally would outgrow the Humboldt location, ABATE of Iowa purchased land near Algona where the rally has taken place since 2002. The event is restricted to adults only and includes a full schedule of entertainment. Shortly after arriving, I tracked down Jim “Viper”Benford, Assistant State Coordinator for ABATE of Iowa. We chatted as he patrolled the park in a…

The Biggest Little Rally in Texas

September 30, 2004
Is Sturgis too big? Are local rallies too small? Well, I have a deal for you that strikes a happy medium. Rather than go to Sturgis again this year, my wife and I rode to what has been billed as “the biggest little rally in Texas” to meet some friends and experience the Texas version of a bike rally. The Republic Of Texas Rally, held in Austin during the first weekend in June over a Thursday-Sunday period, provides small rally charm with all the things that make big rallies popular. Located at the Travis County Expo Center, approximately 15 minutes…

Sedalia Races

September 30, 2004
Racing fans arrived at the Missouri State Fairgrounds in Sedalia on Saturday, August 28, expecting to see round 12 of the AMA Progressive Insurance Flat Track Championship Series. However, a mid-afternoon cloudburst had turned the half-mile oval into a swamp forcing a one-day postponement of the event. Promotor, Rick Yeager stated that with more than an inch of rain Saturday afternoon on an already wet track, there was no way to prepare the surface in time to avoid postponement. He explained that track preparation for motorcycles is different than for auto races. Rolling out the track leaves the surface too…

Third Annual 9/11 Memorial Ride

September 30, 2004
Today, as I prepared myself and my bike for the Third Annual 9/11 Memorial ride, many thoughts and emotions churned through my head. I began this morning by slowly applying a coat of wax on the Road King, hoping the sun would reflect against the metal flake paint, shining upward. I viewed each sparkle as a representative of all those we lost that day, on September 11, 2001. Altogether, there were 3,025 dead: the World Trade Center, 2,801; the Pentagon, 184; and in Pennsylvania 40; being the bloodiest day in American history since the Civil War. Next, I brought out…

Kansas City Harley-Davidson Assembly Plant Open House

September 30, 2004
Remember Mr. Rogers singing, “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood …Would you be mine? Could you be mine? Won't you be my neighbor?” It certainly was a beautiful couple of days Friday and Saturday, September 10th and 11th for this year’s Open House at the Harley-Davidson Final Assembly plant in Platte County, Missouri. For the Kansas City neighborhood who coaxed the motor company nearly ten years ago to place their plant here, this party was a wonderful success; the sun shined brightly, people showed up in droves, the plant opened wide its doors and current and future customers roared…

Platte City End of the Trail Rally and Street Dance

September 30, 2004
In conjunction with the Kansas City Harley-Davidson Assembly Plant Open House, Platte City, for the second year in a row, kicked off the End of the Trail Rally and Street Dance in downtown Platte City Friday evening, September 10. In 2003, when the city of Weston decided, at the last minute, that they did not want to host the 2003 Harley Owners Group rally, Platte City stepped up, and with only 56 days to plan and organize the event, they successfully welcomed a crowd estimated at over 5,000 into their town for the first End of the Trail rally. With…

Bill's Bash No. 5

September 30, 2004
Twice a year, once in the spring and then again in the fall, Bill Brown of Lenexa, Kansas is in heaven -- motorcycle heaven -- so-to-speak! Brown, the motorcycle maintenance instructor at Johnson County Community College, has been riding motorcycles most of his life. His dad rode motorcycles. His brothers ride motorcycles. His wife Joyce rides a motorcycle. Bill's children and grandchildren ride motorcycles. To say, motorcycling is in his blood would be a gross understatement. Some might argue he has motorcycle oil flowing through his veins rather than blood. “I've been riding as long as I can remember,” Bill…

Hawg Wyld Cycles Birthday Bash

September 30, 2004
Once again, Hawg Wyld has had bad luck when it came to picking a good day for their events. At last year’s Birthday Bash it rained, at the Bike Show in June it was cold and overcast, and then their Bikini Bike Wash in August was rained out. This Birthday Bash was almost rained out, but the sun finally prevailed. For once, the weather predictions were accurate. Amazingly, it’s never stopped Tom from throwing a great party for his customers, old and new alike. And just like all the previous parties, it didn’t stop his loyal customers from coming in…

Apparitions in Eureka Springs, Arkansas

September 30, 2004
When it comes to road trips, nobody wants a shock; unless, of course that’s the reason for your trip. If you want to get into the “spirit” of Halloween this fall, plan a ride down to Eureka Springs, Arkansas where ghostly encounters are just part of the experience. Located just 45 minutes southwest of Branson, Missouri, this is one of the most scenic fall rides you will ever take. We’ve ridden to Eureka Springs several times, and each trip is a special treat. I never get tired of riding the beautiful twisty roads in and around Eureka Springs, and when…

Haunted Atchison, Kansas

September 30, 2004
I grew up in a small town about 45 minutes northeast of Atchison, so my riding buddies and I used to make several trips there to party at The Warf, The Hilltop, and other long forgotten bars. Although we had some scary late night rides home, I had no idea Atchison was such a haunted town. I knew it was an old town, dating back to the 1800's, and I knew it was the birthplace of Amelia Earhart, but until I saw “Haunted Atchison” featured on the Travel Channel, I had no idea it was also famous for its “spirited”…

New Jersey's Annual Rolling Thunder Ride

September 30, 2004
I usually write an article or two for this section of the magazine, however, this month a story was submitted to me and since it was top notch, I decided to share it. The writer is Scott Ferguson from Gannett, New Jersey. He covered a very special ride for the Rolling Thunder New Jersey Chapter 2, as they rode to the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial in Holmdel. The following is Scott’s take on the people and activities throughout that special day. In his younger days, Lance Evans' father used to read him 'Tommy,' Rudyard Kipling's poem about the lives…

Mouse for the House - Hope House Benefit

August 31, 2004
On Sunday, September 19th, Trouser Mouse Bar & Grill in Blue Springs, Missouri is hosting a blues festival to raise money for their first annual 'Mouse for the House' Hope House Benefit. For those of you who might not be familiar with Hope House, it is a locally based non-profit organization with two locations in Independence and Lee's Summit, Missouri that provide support for women and their children who are victims of domestic violence and abuse. Services include emergency shelter, legal assistance, counseling, childcare and a 24-hour crisis hotline (816-461-HOPE). They have helped countless women in eastern Jackson County for…

One Block East Bar & Grill (formally Bike-Nites)

August 31, 2004
Some of you may recall a club in Kansas City called One Block West. Well, Mike Mills, the new owner of Bike-Nites Restaurant and Bar, wanted to recreate a similar place from his youth. Mike and Promotions/Event Manager, Jimmie Evans are putting all their heart, soul and energy into this major facelift, and from what I seen and from the description that’s been painted for me, it sure shows.I also want to point out that the name hasn’t yet officially changed (we got the inside scoop, kids), so when you show up on your scoot, don’t be surprised if the…

Sturgis 2004 Bikes

August 31, 2004
Sturgis 2004 Rally Photos! Check for new rally photos daily - We'll be adding them as fast as we can!

Sturgis 2004 Babes

August 31, 2004
Sturgis 2004 Rally Photos! Check for new rally photos daily - We'll be adding them as fast as we can!

Sturgis 2004 Bikers

August 31, 2004
Sturgis 2004 Rally Photos! Check for new rally photos daily - We'll be adding them as fast as we can!

The Anaconda Visits Sturgis

August 31, 2004
For a motorcycle to attract attention among the thousands of bikes and trikes at the Sturgis Rally, it has to be something really unusual and special. The Anaconda, Smokey McGill’s 10-passenger Harley powered limo trike, got lots of attention! Everywhere the Anaconda went, crowds gathered. Smokey made the trip from Kansas City along with his partner, Ron Wright of Wright Brothers Bikes. I spent some time with them throughout the week and observed that everyone wanted to take a look at the Anaconda and get a photo. Smokey was so busy every time I saw him that I decided to…

Bag Lady Tuesday at the Flying V Cambria Inn

August 31, 2004
This year was the coldest Sturgis rally I have ever experienced, so I chickened out on camping and stayed in a nice heated room in Spearfish. It was the first year I hadn’t camped, but since I’d dragged all my camera gear, laptop, and other gear with me, I was glad for the change. The weather was less than hospitable, so it worked out fine. I have camped or stayed at the Flying V on every one of my other trips to Sturgis for the past seven years. My riding buddies from California introduced me to this place just as…

Chris & Kristin Williams – A Sturgis Wedding

August 31, 2004
Being a photo journalist and a biker, I get out to a lot of events and hang out in a lot of bars. A month or so ago I was doing my thing, taking photos of half naked women and bikes at one of my favorite watering holes in Lake Lotawana, Missouri when this Big Dog Mastiff pulled up with a custom paint job by Hawg Wyld. The animated couple on the bike caught my lens immediately, so I started taking pictures and struck up a conversation. While Chris went to grab a beer, Kristin began explaining the significance of…

Dorothy - A Grand Lady of Sturgis

August 31, 2004
When I departed from the campground at the end of the 2003 Sturgis Rally, I had already decided I wanted to try something different in 2004. It wasn’t that there was anything wrong with the campground. It was just that I had stayed there for several years, and I felt it was time for a change. As late as two weeks prior to this year’s rally, I still didn’t have a plan. Then I got a call from my friend Michael who invited me to make the trip with him. His intention was to leave on Saturday morning and ride…