Rides, Rallies and Events Recap

2014 Heartland Police Motorcycle Challenge - Grandview, Missouri

Written by  October 17, 2014

On September 19 and 20, Gail’s Harley-Davidson hosted the Heartland Police Motorcycle Challenge for 2014. Twenty-six riders from 12 different law enforcement agencies registered for the event. The maze of cones marking the course was set up in the parking lot directly behind the dealership rather than using the lower lot which would have been farther from restrooms and less convenient for spectators. Having less available space than past locations, the course was more compact and therefore more challenging for the competitors. Practice was conducted on Friday, and the competition took place on Saturday.

The course included numerous tight circles and figure-eights, slalom sections, an “intersection,” and a few straight runs to incorporate acceleration and breaking into the challenge. A large time clock allowed spectators to gauge the progress of the riders, but the official time was kept on a stopwatch that started as the rider entered the course from a standing or rolling start and ended when the rider put a foot down after stopping in the box that marked the end of the run. Penalty time was added for each cone that had to be reset and for a foot down. Leaving the course resulted in no time for that pass. The starting sequence was based on a random selection. For each rider, the quickest time of two attempts was counted. Bikes were separated into two classes depending on whether they were equipped with fairings or windshields. After wearing less formal attire for practice, the officers looked very sharp in full dress uniforms during Saturday’s competition. A pair of drones captured some very interesting video of the event as seen from above. There were widely varying levels of experience among the officers, total time in service ranging from 5 to 32 years and time in motorcycle service from less than a year to 23 years. There were more spills than usual and fewer clean runs due to the difficulty of the layout, but spectators were still amazed at the riding skill exhibited by all of the contestants. Volunteers from the American Heartland H.O.G. Chapter were stationed at various places around the course to serve as judges.

The top three riders in each class qualified for the Top Gun competition. Their task was to go through the course in the opposite direction without practice rides. Their only preparation was to walk through the reverse course as a group. At the conclusion of the Top Gun competition, there was a slow ride challenge with the objective being to ride through an S-shaped layout as slowly as possible without touching a foot to the ground or knocking over a cone. Riders chose their partners for the final competition that required them to circle three posts with their bikes connected using a 24-inch tether with a magnetic link in the middle. If the link separated, the team was disqualified.

The Challenge gave officers the opportunity to hone their riding skills, enhancing their safety on the job and have some fun in the process. It was also a great opportunity for spectators to watch police motorcycles and their riders pushed to the limits of their capability.

Thanks go to the many participating sponsors including Gail’s Harley-Davidson, L3 Mobile Vision, Watch Guard, Topsy’s Popcorn, Harley-Davidson Police Corporate Division, Butler Music, Big Iron Catering, City of Grandview Parks & Recreation and Heartland Police Motorcycle Association. Watch Guard provided a very nice raffle prize, a body cam won be Sergeant Rod Schaeffer of the Lee’s Summit Police Department. The Top Gun prize was a $100 gift card provided by L3 Mobile Vision. Thanks also to the H.O.G. volunteers.

The event staff consisted of the following: Officer Ben Griffin – Lee’s Summit Police Department, Katie Griffin – Meridian Tax and Accounting, Corporal Dan Haskins – Joplin Police Department, and Sergeant Steve McVay – Independence Police Department. Much behind-the-scenes work must be done before and after an event like this, and all of the staff worked many hours on their own time to make it happen. Katie is deserving of special recognition for her efforts. Officer Griffin stated, “We have already met with Gail and her staff to start the planning stages for next year’s challenge which we are planning to make even bigger and better!” We will be looking forward to it.

Results of the competition follow:

Top Gun:
1st-Jay Doleschal (2:21.3)
2nd-Chris James (2:53.2)
3rd-Clark Collings (3:03.2)
4th-Tyler White (0:0.0)
4th-Jason Cundiff (0:0.0)
4th-Steve Salfrank (0:0.0)

Windshield Class:
1st – Tyler White (1:56.7)
2nd – Jason Cundiff (1:58.5)
3rd – Clark Collings (2:01.8)

Fairing Class:
1st - Steve Salfrank (1:43.8)
2nd - Chris James (1:45.7)
3rd - JayDoeschal (1:48.6)

Slow Ride:
Jesse Lowe (0:19.0)
Steve Salfrank (0:18.7)Ga
ry Bledsoe (0:16.5)

Barrel Race Partner Ride:
1st - Ed Wisdom & Steve Salfrank (0:32.8)
2nd - Jason Klepac & Bret Cortright (0:38.8)

Participating Agencies:
Independence P.D., Lenexa P.D., Topeka P.D., K.C.K. P.D., K.C.MO. P.D., Grandview P.D., Joplin P.D., Missouri Highway Patrol, and Jackson County.


Special thanks to Photos by Design (Robin Czerwonka) for lead photograph.



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 stripe@cycleconnections.com