Archive for the ‘motorcycle events’ Category

Ride Your Motorcycle To Work On Monday

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

Drivers are cruising along thinking, “My gosh, there are a lot of motorcycles on the road. I better be extra careful I don’t change lanes without seeing one, or turn in front of one!”

Ride to Word Day banner

Monday is a day when you should make it a
point to ride to work.

That’s the kind of thinking we would love all drivers to have going on in their heads, isn’t it? Well what are you–yes, YOU!–to make them think that way?

How about this. Ride your motorcycle to work on Monday, June 19. That’s this coming Monday.

Monday, June 19 is Ride Your Motorcycle to Word Day. The idea of this effort is to inculcate exactly the sort of thinking described above. Flood the streets with bikes and make drivers shake their heads in surprise at how many motorcycles there are out there. Make them aware we are there and hope that they will connect the dots to realize that they need to do that head check rather than just glance in their mirror. That kind of thing.

I could go on about the whole philosophy behind this event but why bother? This is the gist of it. Just ride your bike on Monday.

Biker Quote for Today

Hospital gowns don’t come in black leather. Ride aware.

Not So Much A Swap Show Anymore

Thursday, April 27th, 2017
used motorcycle parts seller

This kind of display may not be found at the Colorado Motorcycle Expo in the future.

For a lot of years the Colorado Motorcycle Show & Swap was a fixture in the Denver area. You could go and look at custom bikes, shop for used parts, and even buy new stuff. Meanwhile, its presence served to keep bigger organizations such as the International Motorcycle Show from setting up here. It was locally owned and run.

New management took over a couple years ago at what turned out to be a really bad time. Renamed the Colorado Motorcycle Expo, at their first event, in 2016, there was a conflict between two motorcycle clubs and a shooting that left one person dead. The last day of the show was canceled. Come 2017 and there was still bad blood hanging over things and the decision was made to nix the event for this year. But it should be back in 2018.

From what I hear, the 2018 event will not be like the events in the past. For one thing, the 1-percenter clubs will very possibly not be there.

The following information all came in a conversation at my ABATE of Colorado District 10 meeting a few days ago.

The question was raised as to whether ABATE should have a booth at next year’s expo. Apparently, the managers of the venue have said there will be no clubs or colors allowed. However, the managers of the expo say colors are OK but no 1-percenter clubs. So they’ll need to get that sorted out.

Regardless, the Colorado Confederation of Clubs (COC) says if these rules are put in place none of their members will attend. ABATE had had a confrontational relationship with the COC for many years but recently there has been a rapprochement. So if the COC is going to boycott, should ABATE support the COC by also not having a booth? Rules against colors are generally something ABATE has consistently opposed as discriminatory. What should we do?

The idea we get is that the managers of the event hope to elevate the expo to more of a new bikes, new gear, industry expo kind of thing along the lines of the annual Home and Garden Show at the Denver Convention Center. Or like the International Motorcycle Shows in other cities. No more old parts. No more booths for 1-percenter clubs. An attempt to appeal to a broader audience. Or to put it differently, not as much ink, not as much black leather and chains, and just generally more family friendly.

Of course that would only work if the general public was alerted that the clubs will no longer be there. And apparently the plan is indeed to advertise widely to that effect. So if the clubs want to boycott that seems to be just fine with the folks running the show.

I know this is fairly rough, and I can’t guarantee the complete accuracy of all of what I’ve presented. But you get the picture. Changes are in the offing. I’ll be watching with interest.

Biker Quote for Today

Here’s to the girls who make the other girls wish they could ride, too.

Alisa And The Sisters Ride

Monday, July 4th, 2016
Sisters' Centennial Motorcycle Ride

Who knew Alisa would go out and create something like this?!

Right at this moment there is big deal motorcycle ride crossing the country. The Sisters’ Centennial Motorcycle Ride is to mark the 100th anniversary of the ride made by two sisters, Augusta and Adeline Van Buren, “the first women to cross the continental United States, each on her own motorcycle.” Serious math tells us this was 1916.

This modern ride started on July 3, in New York, and will end in San Francisco on July 23. And they’ll be coming through Colorado July 15-17. Their stop for two nights will be in Colorado Springs, with a side trip up Pikes Peak on July 15, or July 16 in case of bad weather.

So the reason I find this particularly interesting is that it has been organized by Alisa Clickenger, who I have known for a number of years now. And I’m doing this “Wow” kind of thing I think most people do when someone they know does something you never would have imagined them doing.

I first met Alisa in 2009 when she was a participant in the Adventure for the Cures “Dirty Dozen” ride that preceded the International Women and Motorcycling conference in Keystone. I was doing the full-time motorcycle freelance journalist thing at the time and I was covering the ride and the conference. I had gotten to know some of the women on that ride and most of my attention had focused on them and then I chanced to talk to Alisa. She didn’t try to hide a bit of hurt at being overlooked, considering that–she told me–she had made a point to reach out to me. Which I had let slip by.

So we spoke at length and as it turns out, she is the one person in that group who I have had the most ongoing connection with.

First I did a piece on her as demo ride leader for BMW. She had plenty of interesting stories to tell about that. Then she took off on a ride to the southern tip of South America and I followed her (journalistically) the whole way, largely by Skype, which enabled us to talk from wherever she was for free. And by the way, she didn’t get quite all the way there. But that was a heck of an adventure for a woman riding solo.

Meanwhile, Alisa had journalistic aspirations of her own. She and I have traded job tips over the years, of the sort like “Hey, this magazine is looking for stories that sound right up your alley.”

Well, the last time I sent her a tip she replied that she was much too busy to pursue this now–she had this ride thing she was planning that was taking all her time.

That was pretty surprising–ambitious!–by itself but then I started seeing endorsements and reports and support statements coming from a lot of sources. It wasn’t just happening, it was becoming a big deal.

And now I’m seeing pieces about it on places like CBS and a whole range of newspapers across the country. Wow. I knew her when.

So good for you Alisa. I’m thinking when you and your group go up Pikes Peak on July 15 I want to be up on top to greet you. But it’s going to be a surprise unless you read this blog post.

Biker Quote for Today

Riding motorcycles is like taking drugs . . . Bikes should come with a warning label that reads “Warning: Riding a motorcycle is addictive. It will change your life forever.”

More Upcoming Events of Interest

Thursday, June 9th, 2016
Riding Cinnamon Pass

Riding Cinnamon Pass, one option if you're based in Silverton.

We’re in the thick of the riding and event season and my email has brought me word of several more happenings that you may be interested in.

This coming Sunday, June 12, will be the ABATE Scramble Statewide Poker Run. This is an interesting sort of event, intended to make it easy for people all over the state to be involved without anyone needing to ride clear across the state to participate. (Although it does appear to be primarily the Front Range.)

The way it will work is you’ll go to one of the starting points where you will purchase however many hands you wish to play–$20 per hand–and you’ll be given a list of stops you can go to pick up a chip. You can go to any location and as many locations as you choose. It gets a little murky from there but I believe you then go back to your starting point or various other points and cash in your chips for cards, then play the hand.

Here’s a list of starting places.

Aurora: Scooters Bar & Grill, 13698 E Alameda Ave
Berthoud: Derby Grille , 110 Bunyan Ave. (start and end only)
Colorado Springs: Knuckle Tavern, 2627 Delta Drive
Denver: Bubba Chino’s, 5595 N Federal Ave (start point only)
Denver: McCoy’s, 4855 Federal Blvd (end point only)
Evergreen: Cactus Jacks, 4651 Highway 73
Ft. Morgan: Nick’s Place at The Queen, 112 W Kiowa Ave
Littleton: The Shack, 151 W. Mineral Ave
Pueblo: Tumbleweed Tavern 214 S. McCulloch Blvd

Then a little further in the future is the Rocky Mountain Adventure Riders Silverton Rendezvous, July 27-31. Mark Odette had been telling me about this Moab-based thing last year and this year they’re doing it in Moab again but also in Silverton.

This event’s goal is to raise at least $10,000 for “Colorado Trail Preservation Alliance” (TPA), so they can fight to keep your public trails open. All amounts raised over expenses go to the TPA!! With a sold out event, we will make this goal to $10k to the TPA.

The cost will be $250 per rider or $100 for non-riders and registration will close once there are 100 riders signed up. You’re basically looking at three days of terrific non-pavement riding in the Silverton area. Plus a whole lot of camaraderie. (Am I going to be there? I’d love to but this is exactly when the OFMC is going to be doing its ride this summer.)

Biker Quote for Today

I don’t have a bucket list but my bike it list is pretty long.

Bikes Worth Seeing At Vintage Motorcycle Show

Monday, June 6th, 2016
Vintage Motorcycle Show 2016

Not sure if this is vintage but it was definitely interesting.

I went to the annual Vintage Motorcycle Show today (I’m writing this on Sunday) and it was worth the trip. There were some very interesting rides on display.

It was a good trip, too. While this thing has usually been held at Heritage Square, that venue is going through some changes and the show got moved to Colorado National Speedway up by Dacono. A good bit further to go.

The distance was no big deal, but what hurt was the extreme shortage of shade. Heritage Square has trees and is a pleasant spot. The pit area at the racetrack is pretty much just sun. There were not a lot of people there when I was there, although they were always coming and going. I suspect many people were just like me: arrive and park, spend 20-30 minutes looking at the bikes, head out. I hope they can move back to Heritage Square or some other place more pleasant next year.

So without further ado, let’s look at some photos.

Vintage Motorcycle Show 2016-004

I believe this is called a service cart or service wagon or something of that sort.

Vintage Motorcycle Show 2016-007

This Vincent has some pretty slick body work.

Vintage Motorcycle Show 2016-009

A Harley cafe racer.

Vintage Motorcycle Show 2016-011

Almost a bicycle, but with a motor.

Of course, one thing about going to any motorcycle exhibition is that there inevitably are some interesting bikes in the parking lot as well. Here’s a heck of a rat bike. And notice that as hard core as this guy appears to be, he uses a helmet.

Vintage Motorcycle Show 2016

This is a hard core bike, and it wasn't even in the show.

Biker Quote for Today

Motorcycles: The brand is not important, the fact that you ride is.

A Couple Interesting Upcoming Events

Monday, May 30th, 2016
Vets and Sidecars

A previous Vets and Sidecars ride.

I don’t yet know enough about either of these events to do a full blog post on either, so I’m combining them here with what brief info I do have.

I got a note from an outfit promoting the Moto Gymkhana of Colorado. Here’s a bit about what this is.

Moto Gymkhana is a motorcycle time trial sport in which riders compete to maneuver in the shortest time through a paved course restricted by traffic cones or other obstacles. Moto Gymkhana is open to experienced riders and beginners as well, because riders need little equipment and no special license to participate.

And then this.

Generally riders only use 1st or 2nd gear as moto gymkhana is not all about speed, it is more about you the rider and your skill set. Speeds are low to moderate thus there is a higher probability of falling due to the instability of motorcycles at slow speeds, but injuries and damage to the rider/motorcycle are rare. Because of the tight course layout of gymkhana, smaller lighter motorcycles often have an advantage over larger ones. However some courses may include long, straight sections in addition to tight turns, so various size/styles of motorcycles or scooters are potential contenders.

Moto Gymkhana demands that the rider has technique, ability, knowledge and motorcycle experience. You the rider must be comfortable on your machine to show your skills of acceleration, braking, handling and weight transfer, and also how to tune your machine to maximize performance. An analytical mind to assess the course for the most efficient racing lines is essential.

So if that sounds like something you’d like to see or even to do, it will take place on Sunday, June 12.

Then I also got a call from a fellow Alan referred to me, about the 8th Annual VA Sidecar Ride set for Sunday, July 3. According to Marty, “Once we arrive there (at the VA Hospital) we load up veterans from the Nursing Home unit, a short-term rehabilitation unit, and this year we will have a few guys from the PTSD unit. With a Denver PD motor officer escort, we send short lines of bikes and sidecar rigs to City Park and back. . . . In past years we have taken 15 or so veterans for rides and this year promises to have that many or a few more riders. We all have a great time carrying out this event and the VA residents are overjoyed to see us arrive.”

Obviously this is an event for riders with sidecar rigs. Alan has one these days, so I’m sure that’s how he got tuned in to it. I imagine they wouldn’t mind if someone showed up just to cheer them on.

Biker Quote for Today

No matter how bad your day is, your bike will always make you feel better.

Was Swap Show Biker Clash Over The Patch?

Monday, February 1st, 2016
Motorcycle swap meet

Not from this year but you know this scene repeats itself every year.

By now everyone has heard about the confrontation between the Mongols and the Iron Order MC at the motorcycle expo over the weekend. One person died and several were injured. Everything is still sketchy but parts of the story are emerging.

I was planning to go to the expo this year but completely forgot about it. The first reminder I got was the Sunday paper informing me of the shooting and that there would be no Sunday at the show.

It’s very interesting that this was between a one-percenter MC and a cop MC. My first thought was that it might have been over the Iron Order patch, which is the typical three-piece thing with a Colorado rocker. ABATE of Colorado has revised its logo to avoid friction with the clubs but I can easily see a police MC refusing to kowtow to the one-percenters. But that was the Sons of Silence pushing ABATE, not the Mongols. I don’t have a clear take on the whole scene but a quick check shows that the Mongols have the Colorado rocker, too, so do those two battle it out? And would the Mongols have taken on the Iron Order over their rocker? I have no idea; just speculation.

I do have this, though: a report from Jerry Pokorny who was there when this all went down.

After the “doo doo” hit the ventilation system just after noon all the bad biker gang types bailed out of the Expo and well riddance I might add. Actually it had the effect of making the even a lot more pleasant for us 99%ers who are the good guys just wanting to walk around and enjoy the show.

I think the promoters have a problem since the gangs use this as a gathering place and have been showing up in larger numbers the last few years. In the past the gangs would walk around in small groups of two or three and pass other rival gangs with no issues but last couple years they have come in force and pick an area where the stay bunched together just watching the crowd like the expect something to go down at any moment.

Just after I purchased my ticket for entry, a continuous stream of at least 150 Banditos just marched in 3-4 abreast (big nasty looking surly beasts) and entered with out making any effort to pay (like us legit suckers). The poor door attendants were not about to try to stop them and I don’t blame them – it’s a good way to get beat up bad. I suspect the promoters are “looking the other way” since the small contingent of uniformed Denver police on site would have been like the few brave soles who defended our embassy in Benghazi so nobody called the cops to intercept them.

Next year they might have to institute a “no colors allowed” policy and use metal detectors for screening the entrance for weapons but that is not going to help the popularity of the event. And if they have still open today (Sunday) it would probably be the best (safest) time to attend since they will have security on high alert.

Pity the few have to spoil it for the many. I wonder if these kinds of activities could be construed (and prosecuted) as “Acts of Terror”? Just a thought . . .

That part about the Bandidos is interesting. I was there a few years ago and saw that steady stream of Bandidos coming in en masse. I wasn’t at the entrance to see if they were paying and that never crossed my mind. Do expos in other cities deal with these kinds of issues? It all reminds me of why I haven’t been much interested in the show the last few years.

Biker Quote for Today

More evil. Not so much Knievel.

Last Brass Monkey Run Shows Who’s Tough

Thursday, December 31st, 2015
Last Brass Monkey Run 2015

A handful of the 30-40 bikes that showed up at the Grizzly Rose.

Yeah, it’s cold out there today (Thursday) but that’s not going to stop you from riding, is it? Today was the Last Brass Monkey Run, the ABATE event that closes out each year.

There were indeed people who rode their bikes, as you can see in that photo. And actually there were quite a few more than those guys, that was just the most interesting photo I got so that’s the one I used. Altogether I’d guess there were about 30-40 bikes that showed up.

Was mine one of them? No. Our streets are still covered in ice and snow and there was no way I could get out.

“You’re not going to try to ride your bike, are you?”

No, too much ice on the street.

“Well, you wouldn’t ride even if you could would you? It’s too cold out there!”

Yes, I would ride. That’s why I have heated gear.

But until they make heated tires that melt the snow and ice I have to bow to the whims of winter.

So most of the folks at the Grizzly Rose got there in their cars, including me. And presumably because of the cold there was not that large a crowd. I estimated about 150 in the building at the point when I left. Lots of parking available. The last time I went was a warmer day and I rode, as did many hundreds of others. The parking lot was jammed with bikes. Not today.

And while I knew a few folks there, ABATE members, they were all working the event so I got a bowl of chili and a hot dog and sat down by myself to eat. About then a guy with some pretty interesting facial hair came over and asked me if I’d like to be a judge in the chili contest. Sure, why not? He told me after I ate to go around the corner and do so. So I did but when I got there they told me they had already had 10 judges and 10 was all they needed, so OK, no big deal.

I hung around a bit longer but had other things to do, so I left. Other folks were leaving, too, I could see. Maybe next year the weather will be more cooperative.

Biker Quote for Today

Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass, it’s about learning how to ride in the rain.

Distinguished Gentlemen Ride Against Prostate Cancer

Monday, September 21st, 2015
Distinguished Gentlemen's Ride

The Distinguished Gentlemen's Ride will be held this weekend.

There is a lot of awareness and there are a lot of rides to raise money to combat breast cancer, and it’s only appropriate that all men as well as women support these efforts. Nevertheless, for us guys it is seldom as personal as it is for pretty much all women. This weekend there is an event that kind of flops that, raising money for prostate cancer research. Every guy can take this one very personally, and of course the women who love us should take as strongly to it as we do to breast cancer research.

The Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride is a worldwide event to be held on Sunday, September 27. Locally, it will start out at Sloan’s Lake (26th and Tennyson, by the tennis courts) at 10 a.m. The goal is to raise $3 million. As it says on the website, “On Sunday September 27th 2015, more than 24,196 smartly-dressed gentlefolk in 404 cities from 79 countries will straddle the saddles of their café racers, bobbers, scramblers and other marvellous custom motorcycles to raise awareness and help fund the cure for prostate cancer.”

Rather than rephrase what has already been written, I’ll just copy in a bit more information.

The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride was founded in 2012 in Sydney Australia, inspired by a photo of Mad Men’s Don Draper astride a classic bike and wearing his finest suit. It was decided a themed ride would be a great way to combat the often-negative stereotype of men on motorcycles, whilst connecting niche motorcycle communities together. That first ride brought together over 2,500 riders across 64 cities. The success of the event encouraged the founder to consider how it could be used to support a worthy cause. And the rest, as they say, is eloquently attired history.

The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride is a celebration of the art of being dapper and the style of classic custom motorcycles. What does that mean, you ask?

Think: Monocles, jaunty trimmed moustaches, silk vests, crisp shirts and tailored suits.

Ride: Café Racers, Bobbers, Classics, Flat Trackers, Scramblers and quirky, undefinable two-wheeled machines.

Do: Bring your finest manners, neatest beards and a sense of fun and adventure.

Pay: Nothing to ride (entry is free); but please consider helping our charities by getting your friends and family to sponsor your involvement.

LET’S BE STRAIGHT HERE, GENTLEFOLK. AT THE DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN’S RIDE (DGR), WE RIDE FOR A PURPOSE.
Our focus is on gentlemen who have been dealt a tough hand in life. In particular, we raise funds for research into prostate cancer as part of our mission to support men’s health.

With your support, DGR is aiming to raise $3 Million USD this year to assist in finding a cure for a disease that kills 1300 men a day worldwide.

How are the funds distributed?

DGR has partnered with a number of international prostate cancer foundations in the US, UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

We work closely with each of these not-for-profit foundations to ensure monies raised in each region are directed towards that region’s prostate cancer research projects.

Some guiding principles sit behind all donations from DGR to the prostate cancer foundations and the researchers that are the ultimate beneficiaries.

So there you go. Might be something you’ll want to be part of. For more info, please check the website.

Biker Quote for Today

“Whenever my mood turns foul and I find myself wandering beyond control, I pull out my motorbike and hurl it top speed down these unfit roads for hour after hour.” – T.E. Lawrence

Motorcycle Moments On A Car Trip

Monday, September 14th, 2015
Full Throttle Before The Fire

The Full Throttle before the fire.

Judy and I just got back from an eight-day trip up to North Dakota, to Theodore Roosevelt National Park, and while we were in the car, there were some moments when motorcycles were very much in focus.

The really big one was the day we passed through Sturgis. We didn’t have any other reason to go to Sturgis, it was just on our route as we came from the Badlands. To reach SD 79 to go north we drove out past the Full Throttle. Stunner!!! The entire place was black, charred ash, with some smoke still rising. Uniformed fire investigators were poking around in the ruins. There was absolutely nothing left.

Apparently the fire took just the night before. We were without cellphone coverage and without internet nearly all of this trip. We had no inkling this had happened. We just stumbled upon it. Oh my goodness!

OK, there was nothing else dramatic like that on this trip so the rest is a total change of pace.

So we got to THRO (the National Park Service abbreviation for THeodore ROosevelt National Park) and oh man is this a good park for motorcyclists. And yes, we saw a bunch of them there. The park is in two units, a north unit and a south unit, about 50 miles apart.

The south unit has a loop road about 36 miles long that winds up and down through the North Dakota Badlands where Teddy Roosevelt went to get over his grief at losing his wife and his mother in one day. Unlike the South Dakota Badlands, which are stark and barren with sharp peaks, the North Dakota Badlands are older, more worn down, and have a much shaggier look to them due to the vegetation they have, which those to south lack. So the color of the hills mixes with the color of the vegetation to present a totally different sort of beauty.

The loop road has numerous overlooks and also winds down and through the hills. There are lots of places you want to stop and take a better look. Do.

The north unit has just one road, for a 17-mile out, 17-mile back ride. It also has viewpoints but these are of a much broader perspective, with the horizon more than 100 miles away. This is the kind of stuff motorcyclists love. You just can’t appreciate it nearly as much when you’re in a car.

Back south, to the Black Hills, to Devils Tower (DETO) and Mount Rushmore (MORU) it was not a surprise to see so very many bikes on the roads. It’s nothing like at the rally but apparently a lot of bikers have discovered what we discovered about five years ago, which is that the Black Hills is a much nicer place to ride in September than during the rally. It’s quiet. It’s uncrowded. Prices are a fraction of what they are during the rally.

Plus, there were a lot fewer tourists than when the kids are out of school so at times there may have been as many bikes on the road as cars. Now, during the rally there are 100 or more bikes for every car but where else can you go on a normal day and see as many bikes as cars? And the weather is so much more pleasant.

So, we weren’t riding on this trip but you better believe I was thinking about it. Looking at these big RVs with car towed behind thinking how much nicer it would be to have a bike on behind. And how much better than that it would be to be on the bike, not towing it. This time it was my turn to be envious.

Biker Quote for Today

Race the rain, ride the wind, chase the sunset . . . only a biker understands.