Rides, Rallies and Events Recap

Rides, Rallies and Events Recap

Swamp Thang’s 8th Annual Spooks & Skoots Rally - Fairmount, Georgia

December 31, 2005
Fairmount, Georgia, October 27-30. This cool Saturday morning I made a run to Swamp Thang's 8th Annual Spook and Scoots This always takes place on Halloween or the weekend before Halloween. This is one of the last old time rallies that still takes place in the state. This rally is located about halfway between Atlanta and Chattanooga, Tennessee. I remembered to take Highway 53 west from Fairmount for about four miles to Mauldin Road. This is a three-mile long curvy road with no houses on either side. I was thinking this was how some of those scary movies started. Finally,…

Patriot Guard Riders

December 31, 2005
Perception is a strange thing. I have always been amazed at how two individuals can look at the same thing and both see something entirely different. The Patriot Guard Riders group is a fine example. This group was brought to my attention through various posts on the motorcycle forums I visit at www.delphiforums.com. Discussions and recruitment efforts were everywhere, so I had to take a look at the group’s website for myself. Before visiting their website I had assumed, with the help of some of the posts I had read, their primary purpose was to ensure the “flakes” of the…

Mickey Finn Band

December 31, 2005
What the hell am I doing on the Plaza? Kansas City’s version of Rodeo Drive needs me about as much as I need it. Well, that’s the price you pay to be a high-paid photojournalist. Stephanie and I recently stood outside of Tom Fooleries on 47th Street waiting for our good friend Paul Greenlease and his band, The Mickey Finn Band, who were playing their weekly gig at this local bar and grill. We had waited until the last minute to interview Paul, Nate Dean, and Mike Patrum, so the Plaza location was our only chance to get some one-on-one…

Carl & Patty’s 5th Annual Run With the Leaves

November 30, 2005
There is no place prettier to ride than the Missouri Ozarks in the fall. The summer has officially ended and as the fall colors begin to make their appearance, it is time to get ready once again for Carl & Patty’s 5th Annual Run with the Leaves. If you are a loyal reader you will remember my report from last year’s ride. This event, started by Carl Busse and Patty Hart, benefits the TLC Work Center of Benton County and the American Bikers Relief Fund—both very worthy causes. One hell of a good time and hospitality unrivaled in any of…

Teddy Bear Run to Children’s Hospital - Birmingham, Alabama

November 30, 2005
This year’s Teddy Bear Run to the Children’s Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama was by far the largest, most successful to date. We all gathered at Riders Harley-Davidson in Trussville, Alabama where the parking lot was abuzz with over 500 motorcycles. There were several tables set up in the front of the parking lot for the masses that had come to register for the ride. Every year Riders has several large bins of stuffed animals set up in the store for months for people to purchase, with the proceeds going to the Children’s Hospital, as well as the animals getting packed…

Chris & Luana Mitten's Bags for Breakfast Ride – Tampa, Florida

November 30, 2005
Towards the beginning of every November for the last six years the Forest Hills area of Tampa hears a Sunday morning rumble that isn't a Florida thunderstorm. It's a number of different folks on motorcycles heading to Chris and Luana Mitten's house for a breakfast with a purpose. The Mitten's began hosting this event on their own for the purpose of raising cash and providing a backpack for children who are in the foster care program and often get shuffled around from place to place. A number of years ago Luana relayed to me at the breakfast that many of…

17th Annual Toys for Tots Ride - Shawnee, Kansas

November 30, 2005
On Sunday, November 6, over 800 riders gathered at Central Harley-Davidson in Shawnee, Kansas, to participate in the 17th Annual Toys for Tots ride. The noon football game at Arrowhead Stadium between the Chiefs and their arch rivals, the Oakland Raiders, may have kept the attendance from being even greater. Those who participated in the event received a commemorative pin and were treated to some great-tasting chili at the end of the ride. The ride fee was $10 per person in addition to a new toy donated to Toys for Tots.Central’s parking lot was filled with bikes loaded down with…

Santa stops in at Gail's Harley-Davidson

November 30, 2005
Now that Thanksgiving is past, Santa Claus will be making frequent pre-Christmas appearances at various locations. On Saturday, November 26, he dropped in at Gail’s Harley-Davidson in Grandview, Missouri. Santa’s sleigh, hitched between two red Harleys, was parked in Gail’s showroom, and the jolly old man spent several hours greeting children and posing for photographs shot by Wayne Thompson. Also appearing at Gail’s that day were the Dickens Carolers and magician Keith Leff. Radio stations 99.7 KY and 98.9 The Rock broadcast live from Gail’s from 10:00 to noon and from 1:00-3:00, respectively. Proceeds from the event were donated to…

AHRMA at Barber Motorsports Park – Birmingham, Alabama

November 30, 2005
Barber Motorsports Park hosted their final event of the season the weekend before Halloween with the AHRMA. The American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association is a member-owned, non-profit organization, and they were back at Barber’s to close out their 2005 racing season. The weekend featured a variety of vintage motorcycles competing in various classes. There was also a field of parts as well as several vintage bikes for sale at the swap meet that went on all weekend. We missed Friday but were there for Saturday’s and Sunday’s races. When we got there Saturday we came up on the vintage bike…

Gail's Harley-Davidson Fall Fashion Show and 1st Birthday Party

November 30, 2005
The latest fashions from Harley-Davidson’s extensive apparel line were modeled during the evening of Thursday, November 3rd, at Gail’s Harley-Davidson in Grandview, Missouri. The fashion show doubled as a birthday party celebrating the first year of the business at its present location. Prior to the show, guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres from Taylor Made Catering and had the opportunity to sample wines from Bruce Cohn’s Olive Hill Estate Vineyards. Bruce, long-time manager of the Doobie Brothers, was present to pour and to talk about his marvelous wines. Joining Bruce was Slacker from 99.7KY served as narrator for the show. Gail is…

Sparks America Halloween Biker Bash

November 30, 2005
If you were Tony Ward, and you were planning the perfect biker Halloween party, what would you include? How about 3,000 bikers, around 70 vendors, constant entertainment featuring great music and numerous bike and people games, a radical costume contest, a bike show, and even a mystery? Tony threw in all of those elements and more when the Sparks America Campground near Sparks, Oklahoma, opened its gates for its annual three-day Halloween biker bash beginning on October 21. Admission was $30 for the weekend and $60 for RV spots, and no one under 21 was allowed in. This party is…

Sparks America Halloween Biker Bash - Awards Photos

November 30, 2005
These are photos of award winners at the Sparks America Halloween Biker Bash on Friday and Saturday. Unfortunately, I was unable to stay for Sunday's events.Photos by Stripe

“Harleyween” Southern Style at Heart of Dixie Harley-Davidson

November 30, 2005
The inmates were running the asylum Halloween weekend at the Heart of Dixie Harley-Davidson in Pelham, Alabama. Since we were headed out amongst the weird and unusual, I decided to be Stevie Nicks and Leigh was a just an ole biker dude. We arrived at Heart of Dixie around 7 p.m. It was quite chilly out so we drove like most everyone else did. It was going to be a little hard to put leathers on over the dress and heels. This was a way freaky bunch that we came to party with. And we loved it! From the time…

Suuueee…Calling All HOGs to Riders Harley-Davidson

November 30, 2005
All of the Hogs were called in to play at Riders Harley-Davidson in Trussville, Alabama on Saturday, October 22. Although the weather was a little cool that morning, it didn’t stop people from coming out to enjoy the day, and by the afternoon, it had warmed up quite nicely, which made it a little better for standing outside listening to the band “The Breaking Point” where Pat “Sticks” Wise was allowed to sit in and play drums on one song. I was impressed—she really held her own with the guys and sounded pretty damn good. You go girl! Inside, Tim…

A Fall Ride to Nashville, Tennessee

November 30, 2005
The old advertising theme and now cliché, “it’s not the destination; it’s the journey” fit. It fit like a well worn leather riding glove. A spontaneously planned ride had delivered our group of seven from Kansas City to Nashville and back over three and a half days. We encountered beautiful weather, incredible scenery, fine eating and a most unique crossing of the Mississippi. We covered nearly 1,400 miles of rain-free highways that wove through Illinois, Tennessee, Kentucky and Missouri. Prior to departure, my expectation of the best part of this trip was the destination; after all, this was the Music…

The Veteran Rider

November 30, 2005
Veterans enjoy the camaraderie of other veterans because who better would understand their experiences, their feelings, and their lives. There is absolutely no question that a tour in the military changes life forever. I have personally been out of the Marine Corps for better than 30 years, but I still carry with me the pride, the Marine-specific lingo, and I am certain that I always will. I’ve got a set of dress blues hanging in my closet, for crying out loud! Almost every veteran can attest to the same life-changing experience. That’s why we need the Veteran-specific groups out there.…

Lest They Be Forgotten – Memorial Ceremony

November 30, 2005
Three days before Veterans Day, in the small town of Atchison Kansas, friends, families and soldiers, both past and present, met for one purpose. That was to honor two fallen soldiers, who one year ago that day upheld the highest Army Values: Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage. A memorial ceremony was held on November 8, 2005, one year after SFC Clint Wisdom and SGT Don Clary were killed on the airport road in Baghdad. At the ceremony two bronze field crosses bearing the names of each soldier were dedicated in their honor so they will…

2nd Annual Back Roads Bash - Blue Springs Harley-Davidson

October 31, 2005
Saturday, Sept 24, was an eventful day. The 2nd Annual Back Roads Bash was advertised as “an event so huge we couldn’t hold it at just one place.” It was indeed huge, with about 2,000 participants including over 500 motorcyclists who rode the route from Blue Springs Harley-Davidson in Blue Springs, Missouri, to Whiskey Tango in Grain Valley. Donations from the event amounting to about $17,500 went to the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The major sponsors for the event included Blue Springs Harley, Whiskey Tango, 106.5 WDAF Radio, Zarda Barbecue, and Black Hat Productions. The fun began at 10:00 AM at…

5th Annual Thunder Beach Autumn Rally

October 31, 2005
The end of September means it’s time for the 5th Annual Thunder Beach Autumn Rally in Panama City Beach, Florida. Jeff and Sherry from Bessie’s Cycle Barn in Irondale, Alabama, had planned their usual ride to the beach from Bessie’s. There were probably around 30 bikes making the ride with them. Leigh and Jerry had talked about riding with them, but they were leaving a little earlier than the boys were wanting to go, so they rode alone, and Harley Jane and I followed in the truck. We chose to stay at the Howard Johnson hotel at the Boardwalk on…

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