Articles

Rides, Rallies and Events Recap

4th Annual Run with the Leaves

October 31, 2004
'Wow--What a party!!' is one quote that perfectly summarizes the 4th Annual Run With the Leaves Ride in Warsaw, Missouri held on Saturday,October 16. The ride, hosted by Carl and Patty Busse and sponsored in part by Cycle Connections Online Motorcycle Magazine, was a poker run through the scenic hills and curves of the Lake of the Ozarks area beginning in Warsaw and culminating in an incredible party at the Old Oarhouse Inn on the lake. A total of 98 riders made the journey and 16 merchants from the Warsaw and Kansas City areas sponsored the ride with 11 of…

Ralph Wayne's Vintage Backyard Nationals

October 31, 2004
This was the first time I’ve been to this event and man was I excited. Having heard so much about Ralph Wayne’s from numerous friends, I knew I was in for something unique and very special. I was supposed to go to Fayetteville and cover the Bikes, Blues and BBQ Bike rally but after my visit to Ralph Wayne’s I was glad I stayed in town. This “Free” event takes place in Ralph Wayne Blackmore’s backyard and has grown into an event that is recognized nationwide. I met people from as far away as California and Florida that came for…

F.O.G. Cycles Two-Day Street Party

October 31, 2004
If you haven’t been to F.O.G. Cycles or the Knuckleheads Saloon, you must be living in a cave or under a rock. This unique bike shop and saloon is by far one of the best in the Kansas City area. It reminds me of a cross between the Broken Spoke and the Full Throttle Saloons in Sturgis. What’s really cool is that you don’t have to ride to Sturgis to experience it. This two-day event is just one of many held at F.O.G. throughout the year. The first one was in 1997 and they are planning for at least six…

Freedom of Road Riders (FORR) Local 14 Bike Show

October 31, 2004
Members and friends of the Freedom of the Road Riders (FORR) Local 14 held their 5th Annual Bike Show on Sunday, September 19 at the VFW Memorial Post 3976 in Sugar Creek, Missouri.On one of the busier Sundays of this motorcycle season, approximately 30 bikes registered in thirteen classes, including a people's choice and a kid's class category.Attention grabbers for the afternoon ranged from Allen Craig's vintage Honda 350 Four to Bob Cox's dressed out Electra Glide Standard. Cox' Electra Glide featured all of the goodies you would hope to find on a touring bike, along with a set of…

The Trails of Moab, Utah

October 31, 2004
It’s fall in Kansas City. The days are getting short, and the nights are getting crisp. It’s the promise of winter and the threat of the period known as “post riding-season stress-disorder” that prompted me to plan the annual pilgrimage to eastern Utah with my son, Jeff. Early October is a good time to visit the desert. The days are warm and calm, the nights cool and clear. In short, it’s a perfect time to play hard, visit with friends, enjoy a campfire after a day of adventure and take in the stars. Remembering past trips prompted me to phone…

American Legion Riders

October 31, 2004
Fifty-one years ago, Congress changed Armistice Day to Veterans Day for all of America. The next year, on October 8, 1954, President Eisenhower signed a proclamation that stated: “On that day, let us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom.” So, for this month in honor of Veterans Day, I think it is appropriate to share with you, a nationally recognized honorable motorcycle riders’ organization, the American Legion Riders (ALR). The ALR are members of the American Legion and are…

Fort Riley Open House and Welcome Home for Troops

October 31, 2004
Privilege is defined as: A special advantage, immunity, permission, right, or benefit granted to or enjoyed by an individual, or class. I must admit that I live a privileged life; one without daily fear for the safety of the ones who matter most to me. Straight up, I am guilty; guilty of not considering all the personal sacrifices necessary to maintain the safety and security we enjoy. Recognition of my oversight swept over me on Saturday, October 2 when I participated in the Fort Riley Open House and Welcome Home troops celebration. The Employee Riders Association (ERA) of the Kansas…

Cody Watters - Student, Motorcyclist, Fund-Raiser

September 30, 2004
Hollywood might like to portray motorcycle riders as the outlaws of the road; gruff, mean, long-haired characters sporting tattoos on their bodies and chains from their pant loops, traveling in clubs, and riding wildly through streets and terrorizing townsfolk. But in real life? Well, a lot of riders might have tattoos. Many of them might have some chains hanging from their waists. More than a few might be pretty gruff and even have long hair. However, Cody Watters of Gardner, Kansas, a soon-to-be 14-year-old eighth-grader at Wheatridge Middle School, does not have any tattoos (none visible to the naked eye,…

Mouse for the House - Hope House Benefit

September 30, 2004
How would you like to have a mouse in your pocket? Having the little critter around to lend a helping hand could be a good thing. Just ask the folks at Hope House. Recently, they learned first hand just how much a mouse can do when the Trouser Mouse Bar & Grill hosted the first annual Mouse for the House Benefit. Just in case you don’t know, Hope House has been giving hope to Kansas City women and their children who are victims of domestic violence and abuse for the past twenty years. The locally based non-profit organization offers emergency…

10th Annual Bikers for Babies® Ride

September 30, 2004
Sunday, September 12 was a phenomenal day from start to finish for the 10th Annual Bikers for Babies Ride at the Kansas Speedway. I once heard someone say, “What can a bunch of bikers do for babies?” The answer is ride like someone’s life depends on it! And to Kansas City bikers, it does! For the third year, the Kansas City Bikers for Babies® Ride ranks #1 among all 80 March of Dimes benefit rides in the country. This year, 6,569 riders raised over $430,000! Puts a lump in my throat just thinking about so many who care so much.…

Johnny Dare's Bike Night

September 30, 2004
My editor and I decided to crash Johnny Dare’s first bike night on Tuesday, September 14, as it was way past time for us to check out this new Westport hot spot. So we packed up the fatty’s with our cameras and notepads and headed out to midtown. I can sum up Johnny Dare’s (JD’s) in one sentence; “This place kicks ass!” Well, it’s a far cry from what I would call a traditional biker bar, after all it is in what I call Rub-port, but this is one ass kickin’ joint that was needed a long time ago. Plasma…

ABATE of Kansas 29th Annual National Labor Day Rally

September 30, 2004
While growing up in my hometown of Wathena, Kansas, at least once or twice a month during the summer, my family, friends and relatives would make the trek to Paradise Point at Lake Perry, Kansas to camp, fish, ski and party. We’d load our Honda 100cc motorcycles in the back of Dad’s old Chevy truck; tie the Jon boat to the top of a homemade truck rack my Dad had built, hook up the camper, and off we’d go. Our caravan normally consisted of a few trucks pulling campers and boats, and there was even an old school bus our…

Thunder in the Sand

September 30, 2004
Between the small southeastern Iowa towns of Conesville and Columbus Junction lies a 22-acre patch of ground owned by the Circle of Pride Motorcycle Club. Every year during the Labor Day weekend, it is the location of an event known as Thunder in the Sand. The entrance to the site is marked by twin gargoyles on pedestals, and those who pass through that portal are free to leave inhibitions behind and party as only bikers can. Tickets are priced at $25 in advance and $30 at the gate, and only adults are admitted. People who are offended by nudity or…

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…