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Rides, Rallies and Events Recap

Midway Bar & Grill – A True Biker Bar

July 31, 2004
When you’re halfway between here and there, you’re midway; and hopefully at the Midway Bar and Grill in Lake Lotawana. This is a true biker bar. Yes, I know we have it listed here under “Bike Nights,” but this is really just a good old fashioned biker bar where you can always find some bikes out front, no matter what day it is. And that’s the way owners Chris and Jerry Bowlin like it. A biker couple who owns a bar, complete with Harley parts hanging from the ceiling. Life just doesn’t get any better for this old road dog!…

Russo’s Pizza & Pub – Serving Great Pizza Since 1984

July 31, 2004
Frank Russo’s pizza is by far the best pizza I’ve found anywhere in town. Frank says he and his wife, Barbara, got into the pizza business 20 years ago when they found this area deficient in good pizza pie. As my co-worker Candice would say, “It rocks!” But I must give credit where credit is due. My friends, Cathy and Tina had been raving about Russo’s pizza to me for a long time. Being the stubborn biker I am, I was reluctant and uncooperative, but they finally pinned me down (yeah, I hated that part), pried the beer from my…

Blackhawk Motorcycle Ride ‘N Shine and Bike Show

July 31, 2004
Travel south from Olathe, Kansas, through the rolling hills of Johnson County on Highway 169, or north from Miami County seat, Paola, and when you come to where the counties meet, don’t blink, or you’ll speed past the exit ramp for the growing little farm community of Spring Hill.It’s small, but historic downtown, is more than a mile east of the highway in Johnson County. Compared to other communities in bustling Johnson County, Spring Hill is a sleepy farm community, struggling to keep from being swallowed up by the expansion of Olathe from the north and the expected Paola growth…

XL-List Kansas City Run

July 31, 2004
The power of the Internet continues to amaze me. It brings stories like this and others to thousands and more. It likely has consumed much of your time, changed how you ask questions, how you stay in touch with family or friends, and how you buy and sell. It’s creating subtle culture changes even as you’re reading. In this case, the XL-List, located at www.sportster.org, is an Internet based discussion forum dedicated to Harley-Davidson Sportster enthusiasts. It provides bikers from around the world a forum to discuss the specifics of absolutely any aspect of maintaining, modifying, riding or racing Harley-Davidson…

Happy-Go-Lucky Hill Climb – Since 1958

July 31, 2004
Along with several members of the American Heartland-Kansas City H.O.G. Chapter, I rode to Holt, Missouri, the evening of Saturday, July 10, to attend the Happy-Go-Lucky Hill Climb. I had not been to a hill climb other than at Sturgis for several years. It was about a 50-mile ride from Gail’s Harley-Davidson in Belton. We arrived early, so I decided to roam around and interview some of the people involved with the event. First, I talked to the man in charge, Charlie Dawson, and Rob Elam who assists him with registration and serves as announcer during the hill climb. CC:…

David Mann Benefit

July 31, 2004
David Mann is a Kansas City treasure and a motorcycling legend. He has given us so much over the past 30 plus years through his incomparable art; it was due time we gave something back. On Saturday, July 17, a benefit event was held to raise money for Dave, whose health has declined dramatically over the past several months. A full day’s entertainment was on tap with music provided by several local bands, as well as ZZ Top and KISS tribute bands. Brian Howe, former Bad Company lead singer, also put on a good show. There was a bike show…

Soul Brothers 2nd Annual Drag Race at KCIR

July 31, 2004
July 3rd and 4th brought the best drag racers in the Kansas City area and beyond to KCIR for the Soul Brothers 2nd Annual Drag Race. The qualifying was supposed to start at 10 a.m., however, due to the morning rain things didn’t get under way until around 12:30 p.m. I arrived early enough to watch the teams do last minute tuning and computer diagnostics on their bikes. The weather was cloudy and the humidity was around 82 percent. If you have been exposed to this kind of elements before, you know this is not the ideal race conditions for…

1st Annual Bikers Ball – Pre-Sturgis Party

July 31, 2004
On July 10th, Clear Channel promoter Chris Fritz and local radio station 99.7 KY, with help from the Harley-Davidson Employee Riders Association (HD-ERA), put together the 1st Annual Bikers Ball at the Verizon Amphitheater in Bonner Springs, Kansas. The event was billed as a pre-Sturgis party, and they sure picked one “hell” of a day for the event, as temperatures soared well into the nineties and the heat index was at least one hundred plus. With shade being at a premium, it was hard to stay cool, but where there are bikini contests, cool bikes and Rock-n-Roll, you’re sure to…

Sparks America Bike Run

July 31, 2004
The Sparks America event is advertised as “One Bad Ass Bike Run.” Tony Ward, the man who makes this party happen, prefers to call it a bike run rather than a rally, saying that “rallies are for pussies.” Whatever you call it, it’s one hell of a lot of fun! The Sparks America Campground is located just south of Sparks, Oklahoma; a town with just over 100 residents, about 60 miles northeast of Oklahoma City. I made the 350-mile ride from Lee’s Summit, Missouri, on Thursday, June 24. I had been looking forward to this weekend ever since meeting Tony…

Dale & Tami Amsden – From Ohio to Kansas via California

July 31, 2004
Meeting people is a natural occurrence of riding, and something I’ve truly enjoyed. In my experiences, I’ve met many good people. On occasion, I’ve had the opportunity to meet, who I consider exceptional people. At the XL-List Rally, during the last weekend of June near Leavenworth, Kansas, I ran into Dale and Tami Amsden. Before the weekend was over, I found their story worth sharing. Dale and Tami are avid Sportster riders from Springfield, Ohio. After deciding to participate in the June rally, they mapped a route through the southwest into California, and then to Kansas City. Over a 13…

Calendar Models Cheer Up Patients, Families at Walter Reed

July 31, 2004
Sometimes it seems that many of our good deeds we do for our returning veterans go unnoticed. This is not to say that we do these kind acts for notoriety, but it would be nice to be recognized, especially by fellow veteran riders. I came across a great article which includes a wounded veteran, motorcycle riding angels and the “biker friendly” Apehangers Bar and Grill in Bel Alton, Maryland. Dawn Glencer and the “U.S. Angels” 2005 calendar models rode their motorcycles to the Fisher House on the Walter Reed Army Medical Center campus to visit troops who were wounded in…

Army DS3 Provides Advocacy for Severely Disabled Soldiers and Their Families

July 31, 2004
We as a nation, have thousands of injured soldiers from past wars and now those fresh from the Iraq and Afghanistan fight. They all return from the war zone, to a military hospital with serious and complicated medical needs. Many times, these soldiers rarely understand their entitlements when they pass through the “medically discharge system.” These heroes and warriors are usually still dealing with various levels of medical pain to ask the right questions, nor understand what is said to them. The Iraqi War has brought this home hard, so this spring, the U.S. Army brought about a new program…

U.S. Army Transportation Corps Soldiers Serving in Iraq

July 31, 2004
First, I would like to send a Hoooahhh to my good friend, Greg, and his Transportation soldiers in Iraq! These soldiers are doing a tough job and are rarely recognized! I wish I could share with you their Iraqi stories and achievements, but for their safety and mission success, I cannot. Keep the faith my fellow warriors, as we veteran riders and citizens support you and thank you for honorably serving our nation! Also, a Happy Birthday to all in the Transportation Corps! Yes, your born on date goes back to July 31, 1942. The historical background of the Transportation…

Newhouse - Breaking the Cycle

June 30, 2004
Did you know that half of all women are beaten by their significant other at least once in their lives? Did you know that every nine seconds a woman is battered in the United States? That’s 400 women per hour, 9600 women a day. The Kansas City, Missouri Police Department reports an average of 21.6 percent domestic violence arrests a day. The severity of injury is increasing, possibly due to the increase of violence in society as a whole.That’s why there’s Newhouse. One of six shelters located throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area, a woman can stay up to ten…

Tool Shed Lounge – A Great Saturday Night Hangout

June 30, 2004
The Tool Shed Lounge has been a local hangout since 1969. Ray Perrin, the current owner, has been serving up great food and drinks since 1985. Ray owns three, count 'em three Harleys; boy Ray, if we all were so lucky. Although being a busy owner, Ray doesn’t get too many chances to ride, but I think his biggest problem would be which bike to take. Hmm, let me see; the Shovelhead, Dresser or Road King. A dilemma I know we all wish we had. Bike nights may be new to the Tool Shed, but it has had a biker…

Rolling Thunder – An American Tradition

June 30, 2004
Rolling Thunder, an event that draws America’s motorcycle-riding military veterans to Washington, D.C. during Memorial Day weekend, has been taking place the past 17 years. It began, and continues today, as a way to keep the names of POW’s and MIA’s and their plight in front of the President and Congress. I’m an Army veteran, having served in Vietnam from 1970 to 1971, and since I started riding again, participating in Rolling Thunder is one of my ultimate goals. “Rolling what?” my wife Terri asked the first time I talked about it. “You mean you want to ride across the…

19th Annual All Harley Drags at KCIR

June 30, 2004
On Sunday, June 13, American v-twins took over Kansas City International Raceway (KCIR) for Central Harley-Davidson’s 19th Annual All Harley Drags. About 3,000 race fans were on hand to witness the action on the track. Unfortunately, for several hours the strip was occupied only by the track maintenance crew working diligently to get the surface dry enough to permit racing. Like most other race tracks in the area, KCIR has been plagued by excess moisture this season. While waiting for the event to begin, spectators took advantage of the opportunity to visit the booths of various bike shops and other…

KC Creations - Ride For Special Children - V

June 30, 2004
Charity rides to benefit children with special needs always tug at our heartstrings. On Saturday, June 12th at KC Creations was no exception for the 5th annual ride to benefit First Downs for Down Syndrome. Hundreds turned out for the 103-mile dice run despite threats of afternoon storms. I met up with Cheryl Suter, owner of KC Creations and sponsor of the event. She introduced me to Jimmy Jack Clayton, Program Director for the Down Syndrome Guild of Greater Kansas City.He said, “The event gets bigger every year. We had 60 bikes the first year, 200 last year and we…

Hawg Wyld Cycles - People’s Choice Bike Show & Bike Wash

June 30, 2004
A people’s choice vote is a great way to hold a bike show and this was no exception. Complete with a 50/50 raffle, 20 percent off everything in the store and numerous bike specials. After turning in your scoring card, you were handed a blue raffle ticket towards even more giveaways from H.G. Wyld, which I found out is the name of the hog in their logo. Prizes and giveaways included cash, t-shirts, doo-rags, posters and a lot of fun from some very gracious people. Groom Appliances was on hand with their new line of Phoenix barbeques cooking up an…

Wings & Wheels - Angel Flight Motorcycle Ride

June 30, 2004
On Sunday, June 6, around 200 riders on 145 motorcycles participated in the Second Annual Wings & Wheels motorcycle ride, a fund-raiser for Angel Flight Central. The mission of this organization is to arrange transportation on behalf of people in need for the purpose of access to medical care or for reasons of compassion or community service. The event raised almost $6,400. Christel Gollnick, Angel Flight’s Executive Director said, “This event is not only a celebration of the lives we are lengthening every day by helping people in need access life saving medical care, but it is a fun way…