Articles

Rides, Rallies and Events Recap

12th Annual March of Dimes Bikers for Babies® RIDE – A Volunteer’s Perspective

September 30, 2006
Over the past four years, the Kansas City Bikers for Babies® RIDE has been the single biggest March of Dimes charity motorcycle ride in the country! In 2005, over $439,000 was raised. The early numbers for 2006 should keep Kansas City as the leader with contributions totaling over $455,000 and still counting! What is it that makes the residents of our fair city the top national contributors? Many factors can be attributed, but at the top of the list is Johnny Dare’s compassionate plea to those within his listening market. The host of the top-ranked morning radio program for Kansas…

Celebrating a Century of Flat Track Racing at Stockton, Kansas

September 30, 2006
In late June or early July, I got a phone call from my sister Darla who lives in Stockton, Kansas, our hometown. She had learned that there would be an event at the 2006 Rooks County Free Fair that she knew would be of special interest to me, a celebration of the 100th year of motorcycle racing at the fair. On Sunday, August 12, there would be a riders’ reunion and a free hamburger feed for everyone. I immediately began making plans to extend my return trip from Sturgis for a few days in order to attend the reunion and…

Heartland Police Motorcycle Challenge

September 30, 2006
September 16 started off as a pretty casual Saturday. I had plans to do a little housework and run a few errands in the morning. Then I would head for a park on a hilltop overlooking Kansas City's downtown airport to watch the U.S. Navy Blue Angels fly. At about 9 a.m. my phone rang, the first indication that my plans for the day were about to change. Editor Mike Schweder had been listening to the radio and had heard about a police motorcycle competition that was to begin at 10:30 a.m. at the Independence Center, a large shopping center…

ABATE of Kansas 31st Annual National Labor Day Rally Field Events and Bike Show

September 30, 2006
During the Lake Perry Rally, Saturday afternoon’s focus was on the field events. A large crowd sat on lawn chairs, motorcycles, quads, or the ground to enjoy an afternoon of spirited competition.The first event was the tire toss. It’s like a ring toss with passengers tossing bicycle tires from moving motorcycles with the object of scoring as many “ringers” as possible with orange traffic safety cones serving as the targets. One girl concentrated so much on ringing the last cone that she ended up on her fanny in the grass. Fortunately, it was a soft landing.The next game involved each…

Mario's 3rd Annual BBQ and Italian Bike Show

September 30, 2006
Saturday, September 9, was a perfect day for a ride. The early morning rain had dissipated, leaving only low clouds, cool temperatures, and the smell of early fall in the air. The fact that we had a great destination to ride to made the prospect of rolling out our bikes even more exciting. Around 2:30 p.m., we fired up our engines and headed out to Mario’s 3rd Annual BBQ and Italian Bike Show at the Wyandotte County Lake Park in Kansas City, Kansas. When we arrived at the park, a crowd had already gathered, and there were at least three…

Platte City End of the Trail Rally

September 30, 2006
There’s an old saying, “The sun shines on every dog’s butt occasionally,” and this year the lucky dog was the 4th Annual Platte City End of the Trail Rally. Kansas City’s famous, if not accurate weather forecasters, did everything in their power to keep folks away with their predictions of the 60-70 percent chance of showers for the whole rally weekend. Fortunately for the rally and its vendors and attendees, in spite of some showers on Saturday, the weather cooperated, and the rally was held with reasonably good attendance. The event was held on Friday and Saturday, September 8-9, right…

ABATE of Kansas 31st Annual National Labor Day Rally

September 30, 2006
The ABATE of Kansas Annual National Labor Day Rally at Paradise Point, Lake Perry, Kansas just keeps getting bigger and better every year. In my opinion, this year was one of the best! Why, you may ask? I think it boils down to three main components. 1) Friends - Every year I meet more and more people and make lots of new friends, who you can always count on to be there year after year. It’s sort of like a family reunion except without crazy Aunt Marge and her lumpy potato salad. Many of the people we party with at…

Blues, Bikes & BBQ - Birmingham, Alabama

September 30, 2006
What better combination than riding your bike to go listen to some blues music and eating BBQ?Well, maybe adding the opportunity to raise a little money for a worthy cause. On a beautiful Saturday morning September 2, Leigh and I hopped on the bike and headed for Lightning Strikes in Trussville where the ride going to the Blues Fest in Birmingham was gathering. They registered from noon until 2 p.m. for the “Rev-It-Up 06” ride to benefit the Alabama Foundation for Oncology to raise money for “Camp Newhope,” a camp for kids who have a family member with a cancer…

Blunder in the Rockies - Mancos, Colorado

September 30, 2006
The sound of a motorcycle rally normally emanates from the exhaust pipes of the bikes or the rock bands on the concert stage. Not so for this year’s cancelled Rally in the Rockies. Most of the noise has come from the Montezuma County Commissioners and the rally organizers. The Rally in the Rockies, scheduled for Labor Day weekend in Mancos, Colorado was cancelled on August 31, 2006, after the Colorado Court of Appeals denied an emergency motion for a stay of the temporary injunction stopping the rally. The 13-year-old rally, started in Ignacio, Colorado, operated as the “Ironhorse Rally” for…

5th Annual 9-11 Tribute Ride - Gail's Harley Davidson

September 30, 2006
On Saturday, September 9, bikers gathered at Gail’s Harley-Davidson in Grandview, Missouri, for the 5th Annual 9-11 Tribute Ride. We rode to honor the heroes who died that day as well as to show support for those who put themselves in harm’s way every day to preserve our safety and our way of life—law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency services personnel, and those serving in the military.Prior to the ride, there was a rally at Gail’s. Those who attended were treated to two cooking shows by nationally recognized chef Biker Billy, author of cookbooks Biker Billy’s Hog Wild on a Harley,…

St. Joe Harley-Davidson WLW Wrestle Mania Party

September 30, 2006
St. Joe Harley-Davidson surely does know how to throw a party! Wow! On Saturday, July 22, the McCreary family threw a WLW Wrestle Mania Party at their dealership to show appreciation for their customers. The party featured several attractions including an appearance by Handsome Harley Race, the King of the Ring, who was there with several other members of the World League Wrestling, who performed for the crowd. Harley Race, now retired, was the big attraction for several wrestling fans. I for one remember watching him many a night on Big 2 Wrestling. There were a couple of really cute…

A Fall Ride to Hot Springs, Arkansas

September 30, 2006
With the official start of autumn just days away and the temperatures changing from unbearably hot to hot apple cider crisp, the leaves soon will be turning brilliant colors. The nation’s rich forests soon will be alive with leaves dancing across the countryside in shades of red, yellow, orange, and a mixture of all three. And as the leaves begin to change their colors, many folks make plans to spend a few days in parts of the country where the colors are most spectacular—New England, Virginia, maybe in Colorado where the magnificent yellow leaves of the aspen trees leap out…

Motorcycles Visit Camp Quality

August 31, 2006
For as long as I can remember, one of the annual rides of the Greater Kansas City Chapter of Harley Owners Group has been a visit to Camp Quality in early August. The camp, located at Lake Doniphan east of Excelsior Springs, Missouri, is a week-long camp for kids who currently have or have recovered from cancer. The group always takes doo rags to give to the campers and on some visits donated Harley T-shirts have been presented as well. The kids have opportunity to sit on the bikes and have photos taken. This year’s ride was on Tuesday, August…

Reece Good Benefit Auction & BBQ

August 31, 2006
Custom bike builders from California to Sturgis to Daytona and to New York know the name of Reece Good. They also know his bikes. They’ve competed against him, and sometimes have lost to him. Good, 36, from Gardner, Kansas, a small but up-and-coming suburb of Kansas City, builds custom choppers with best of 'em. That’s where his Ultra Craft Customs (UCC) business is located and where he built his orange shovelhead that has competed in two Sturgis bike shows, taking first place in the Broken Spoke Saloon competition. He also earned first place in the American Iron Magazine bike show.…

3rd Annual Kodiak Run - Kansas City

August 31, 2006
One hundred participants with 70 riders joined together for a 100+ mile ride through the Kansas countryside on a very hot Saturday. The purpose—to raise money and awareness for the crippling birth defect spina bifida. When I arrived at Jason’s Deli on Metcalf, both Brian Stevens and Thad Schneider, co-sponsors of the ride, immediately welcomed me. The Candy Man Rock and Roll Oldies Show were set up playing tunes and making announcements as the riders registered. There were some fine automobiles for your looking pleasure also participating. Demonstrations were also available from Dry Wash. There was a photographer that takes…

Harley-Davidson Employee Riders Association Ride to Camp Courage

August 31, 2006
Tator is a good guy! Tate Plachecki is an electrical engineer at the Harley-Davidson Assembly Plant of Kansas City and a member of the Employee Rider’s Association (ERA). Three years ago, he initiated a partnership between the ERA and a group whose focus is to assist developmentally challenged adults. This group hosts their annual “Camp Courage,” a four-day summer camp for older teens (18+) and adults with developmental disabilities. The ERA’s partnership with this event is directly the result of Tate presenting it to the group and to plant management, both of which welcomed their involvement. In the three years…

14th Annual Little Sturgis Rally - Sturgis, Kentucky

August 31, 2006
The 14th Annual Little Sturgis Rally and Races for Charity was held in Sturgis, Kentucky, at the Union County Fairgrounds, from July 13 through 16. This was my first time to attend the Little Sturgis Rally. Since this was a mid-month event, I managed to convince Cycle Connections Editor-in-Chief Mike Schweder to ride along. We were joined by our good friend and frequent riding buddy John 'J.O.' Osowski.We decided to take a scenic back roads route to Sturgis, and Mike was elected to lead the way, since he had the benefit of previous rides in that general direction. According to…

14th Annual Little Sturgis Rally - Field Event Winners

August 31, 2006
There were two afternoons of field events during the Little Sturgis Rally. They were held in a large air-conditioned rodeo arena resulting in large numbers of competitors and spectators both Friday and Saturday. The individuals and couples pictured here distinguished themselves by placing in or winning events. The events were very entertaining to watch and helped make up for the cancellation of the dirt drags due to mud in the wake of Friday's storms. Doc, Kermit and crew did a good job of keeping the competition fair and well-organized. Those who did the announcing helped keep the audience involved and…

Sturgis 2006 - Sturgis Goes Postal

August 31, 2006
In case you haven’t heard, four new motorcycle stamps are now available from the Postal Service. The motorcycles pictured on the stamps are a 1918 Cleveland, a 1940 Indian four, a 1965 Harley-Davidson Electra-Glide, and a 1970’s Harley hardtail chopper. You may be thinking that’s nice and wondering what it has to do with Sturgis. Well, Sturgis, South Dakota, was selected, logically, as the place to hold the inaugural ceremony for the new commemorative stamps. I learned of the ceremony when I stopped by the Sturgis Media Center on Monday to pick up my media packet. The event was held…

Sturgis 2006 - Jackpine Gypsies Short Track and Hill Climb

August 31, 2006
For those who enjoy watching motorcycle competition in various forms, Sturgis Rally Week offers a wide variety from bike rodeos to drag racing. This year, I found time to check out the short track races on Wednesday evening and the hill climb on Friday. Both events were hosted by the Jackpine Gypsies at their club grounds on the southwest edge of Sturgis. From a historical standpoint, it’s important to remember that motorcycle racing was the nucleus around which the Sturgis Rally grew. There was plenty of action on the Jackpine Gypsies schedule this year with hill climbs on Monday, Wednesday,…