Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Guest Post by Rocky T - UB Memorial Run

In mid August of 2004 my brother in-law Bruce Rouse died. His health had been bad since 1980. I married his sister in 1981. Now Bruce had been a typical young veteran and living the single life had purchased some fast toys. One being a 69 Chevy SS and the other a 1978 Kawasaki KZ1000Z1R. The Z1R is a sport bike and not a lot were made for that year. Well Bruce put 10,000 miles on the Z1R before his health put him in the hospital and then away from his toys. His toys where then put away and stored.At the time of Bruce's death I had been fighting my own health demons,both physical and mental. 1996 I was discharged from the Army after having served 15 years and 9days. I am a Desert Storm Veteran. I suffer from the Gulf War Illness. I have also suffered from the mental and gut wrenching that goes with being chronically ill. The feeling that you are disappointment and have let your friends and family down. By the time Bruce died I was a shell of what ever I had been and had lost all confidence in myself and second guessed everything.

After the viewing and then the cremation of Bruce. We as a family,went on a road trip from Idaho to Nebraska with his cremains. We buried him close to the old family farm in a little cemetery just outside of Crawford Nebraska. When we got home and I had begun to to help my mother in-law with Bruce's things I asked to have his bike and was pleased to get a yes.

The KZ100-Z1-R was stock and had been in storage for over 20 years!

That fall and winter I carefully restored the Z1R, dismantling that bike and putting it back together. As I restored the bike I realized how I was fighting my demons and moving on. There were days I just read up on what I needed to do to the bike while my body hated me and I was unable to work on it physically. Some days it was a struggle to work on the bike because mentally I thought I was just going to fuck it up.

By March the bike was out of my little shop and was running!! Plans and dreams had been brewing in my head and talked about with my sons as I restored the bike and then slowly got serious. My oldest son (15 years old at the time) and i made plans and registered for the Idaho motorcycle safety class or STARR as it's called. The first weekend of May we took the class. Having a cold,being cold medsthat had me flying and not at all sober, and my nerves, ate me up. The last day my son completed the course, I did not.

June we were back, signed up for another STARR course and ready to ride. We had been riding up and down our country road and getting more confidence.

I fought with my confidence and I was winning. We passed the course,my son for the second time.One of the ideas we talked about over the winter was a run to Nebraska to give our Respects, and say thanks to Bruce. One idea was to make it to theSturgis rally also. Plans soon took shape and we planned our route and what days to go.After passing the STARR course and getting my motorcycle endorsement I started putting on some miles. What seems so minimal and even lame now, seemed monumental. That left lane turn on a busy intersection.Those miles on country roads that I had to make several stops because my body and mind ached. Riding in the wind and varied weather.

We found a bike for my son, a 1984 Kawasaki 440 LTD. Got it cheap and spent two weeks fixing and tuning it up. When it was ready, so was my son. We spent the next few weeks getting some miles under us a a few adventures as well. Some heavy weather rough roads and getting experience riding made for some memorable good times.

We finalized our UB Memorial Run (UB = Uncle Bruce ) plans and packed up.We were excited as hell and a bit nervous as we headed out on a new adventure.Confidences grew with each mile as did the excitement of riding to Nebraska and then to “The Rally” in Sturgis. My son had just turned 16 in July and was taking a road trip across states with me. I was one proud Father!

The UB Memorial Runs are first and foremost a memorial run and secondly a quick ride up to Sturgis.Traditionally we ride to Sturgis the Sunday before the “official”start of the rally on Monday.We see the bikes and riders and sites and head back to Nebraska. When My boys are Older we can do a longer stay in Sturgis we hope.For now we ride to Chadron Nebraska as the base camp and stay at the Economy 9 motel. It’s where we stayed for the burial.Then we ride to Crawford Nebraska to pour a beer on Bruce’s grave and say thanks, a moment of silence before leaving and then a few twists of the throttle to wake the dead as we head out…

The Z1R only made the trip that first year as it gets babied in thegarage for now and I have gone to a cruiser. I have come along way in fighting demons and gaining confidences in me, my mind, and in my abilities. I have averaged 22,000 miles a year since 2005. Physically I find I can ride longer on a bike then in a cage. I have looked a few demons in the eye, stared em down and I’m winning.Riding is my physical and mental therapy.The cliché is not a cliché for me,, Ride to Live, Live to Ride.

I head out for the 5th UB Memorial Run this Fri. the 31st of July.Solo this time. The oldest Son is now in Iraq. He made 3 UB Runs with me. The second son made the UB Run with me last year but his interests are not into bikes and riding so he won’t be with me this year.The youngest will be riding with me next year. He helped me the most on the Z1R and so I gave it to him so it will be rode by him next year for the 6th UB Run.

The 2nd and 3rd Run we made it home in one day. The 4th Run to Nebraska in one day then the ride home in one day.By the route we travel that’s almost 900 miles one way. Challenge met! It’s worth being messed up for a few days to weeks

If ya see a long bearded rider on a red and black Vulcan Nomad running a headlight modulator give me a wave.

Monday, July 27, 2009

NW Iowa Field Tour Ride and Party

The Freedom of Independence Ride
A ride like no other

Do you farm?
Do you ride?

Get on board for a new kind of field tour this summer.

We're looking for farmers who want to take part in fun new way to view seed test plots. Not only will you see the latest Latham seed technology in action, you'll be part of a ride you won't forget.

We'll ride through NW Iowa during the day, and finish in Arnolds Park that evening with a hog roast and a high-energy band guaranteed to rock your socks off.

August 29, 2009 Leaving from Arnolds Park, Okoboji, Iowa


Our ride will begin and end in Arnolds Park, Okoboji, Iowa. Stops will include Estherville, Cylinder, West Bend and Ruthven. We'll even take time to admire The Grotto and cast into Lost Island Lake. We'll end up back at Arnold's Park, where riders will feast on roast hog and all the fixins. After everyone is stuffed, we'll rock out to the best of the 70s and 80s with The Magnificent Board of Directors.

Departure time: Noon

How to Register

Registration is free. Go to Latham Hi-Tech Seeds web site where a registration page is posted. We look forward to having any farmers who ride join our road trip.

The Magnificent Board of Directors: A Band for the Ages

Get ready for a post-ride party at Arnolds Park featuring one of the most acclaimed bands in the Midwest. The band was inducted into the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, and has been playing to loyal crowds since the 1970s. The nine-piece band features a killer horn section, and is guaranteed to provide a great entertainment experience. From Lynyrd Skynyrd to Chicago to The Rolling Stones to The Blues Brothers, the Board knows how to run its business.

Get on the Freedom of Independence Ride Fan Page
This is where you'll find some fun farm biking videos, background on the sites we'll tour, and other stuff about seeds, the ride and assorted goodies.

Get a killer tee. Free to all riders. Register by Aug. 1

All riders will get great food and a chance to see a dynamite band, PLUS they'll also get a collector's edition Latham Freedom Ride shirt. Each registered driver and one rider who REGISTER BY AUGUST 1 will receive a complimentary t-shirt; additional t-shirts may be purchased for $10 each.

They're black. They're cool. They're Independent.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Different Kind of Biker

Each year the Des Moines Register sponsors RAGBRAI or the Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa. Some of you may remember that last year the route went through my sister's town of Dyersville. The ride runs from Sunday - Saturday and the riders ride from 50 - 100 miles each day depending on what their overnight town is that day. Once the riders get into town, eat and relax, there is usually a big party with lots of beer and great music. It's a bicycle riders version of Sturgis. One cool thing is each rider dips the tire of their bicycle into the Missouri River on the first day and on the last day of the ride they dip their tire into the Mississippi River when they finish.

Sunday, Dan and I decided to ride down to Red Oak, which was the first overnight stop on the riders' first day. It was a really nice ride and I can't recall ever visiting Red Oak. It was a very nice town and a good place to stop on the first night. People from all over the United States and the World ride in this event each year. The past couple years the ride even had a visit from Lance Armstrong. He didn't make it this year because he has been competing in the Tour De France but he did tell the bicyclist through a press release to drink lots of beers and eat lots of pie. The churches always have amazing pies at each stop. Can't beat homemade pie!

We were watching the riders come in and there was this girl that was telling everyone as they entered town about the good eats and the water balloons her school was selling to raise money for prom. I believe the school was in Clarinda. I would be honestly shocked if this girl doesn't run for office someday. She had no fear. I wish I would have had a tape recorder so I could have taped her yelling through her bullhorn. She would be standing there and all of a sudden she would say...Hey you with the yellow need to go down the block and right at the corner and get a brisket sandwich, chips and water for 5 dollars. She shouted at the Red Oak Police Officer...Hey officer, after your shift you better get down there and buy that brisket sandwich. And the funniest was...hey you all need to stop at our booth down the block and right at the corner to purchase 12 water balloons for 3 dollars because it's 80 degrees out and you all look really hot. Dan and I were rolling. In the picture I got of her she was taking a little break but she was still shouting out what she had to sell.

I turned around at one point and there was this amazing bicycle right behind me. I asked the kid that built it if I could take pictures of it and told him I'd post them on my blog. This bike was pretty damn cool. I bet he had some bucks in it. You can't tell from the photos but when you changed angles the paint on it would change colors of purple. It reminded me of a bicycle Jesse James might build and had a theme similar to Jesse's Pay Up Suckers saying and logo.

That girl yelling into her bullhorn sold us on the brisket sandwiches so we went down and ate some lunch. We watched a few more hundred riders come into Red Oak and then we got back on the road and headed back toward Des Moines. As we were riding along Dan stops at this stop sign and says, I'm going back that way because I saw a cool picture opportunity. So we did a U-Turn and went back to this cool country road in South East Iowa.

If you live in Central Iowa or ever come and ride here stay away from East 44 to the West of Dallas Center. AWFUL ROAD for motorcycle riders. Geesh Dallas County...FIX IT! That was the only negative part of the entire trip. Dan and I had a great day and when we got home we'd riden about 300 miles. I'd say our asses are ready to make the trip to Sturgis! :)

Happy Riding...

Harley Davidson and Country Stars Get Together for Lifting Lives Charity

Earlier this spring Harley-Davidson’s very own Willie G. presented at the ACM Awards on April 5th and participated in the Chairman's Ride. This ride raised money for Lifting Lives Charity. Laura at Harley Davidson sent me a link to the video of the event.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Steve McQueen - Motorcycle Nation Podcast

Yes folks, Steve McQueen is alive and living in Indiana! I’d say it’s very cool to have the same name as an actor who had the same passion for motorcycles as you do. I met Steve McQueen on Twitter. He has followed my Blog for sometime and introduced me to his Motorcycle Nation Podcast site. I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did. It’s such a honor to me when people agree to share their lives with me and all of the IHG followers out there.

Please give me a brief bio about yourself.
I am a 43 year old Dad and Grandpa born and raised in Indiana. I served this awesome country in the United States Marine Corps and support our troops all the way. I have been married to my wife Angie for 13 years and we have 4 kids, girls 18, 7, 6 and a 16 year old boy. I am also a Grandpa to a 15 month old girl who calls me Paps. My family shares a passion for motorcycles and I spend a great deal of time within the industry. As the old saying goes, I eat, sleep, and breathe motorcycles. I teach, run a motorcycle safety site for ABATE of Indiana, serve as a state motorcycle license examiner for Indiana, spend time lobbying in Indiana and Washington, DC for motorcyclists' rights for ABATE, and served on the board of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation.

When were you first introduced to the motorcycle lifestyle?
I was introduced to motorcycles at about the age of 8. I had a cousin that worked for the brick mason that lived across the street from the house I grew up in. He had an old Yamaha that he would ride to our house and park on our back porch and ride to work with the boss. I used to climb up on that bike and dream of rolling down the road. Some of my best rides may have been while daydreaming on that bike. In my early teens the same cousin introduced me to Harley Davidson’s and the love affair began.

What was your first motorcycle?
My first actual motorcycle was a 1984 Honda Shadow that my first wife's father gave to me. It was a nice motorcycle and ran very well. I had some good rides in the North Carolina Mountains and on the coast. I lived around the Raleigh Durham area for many years and was close enough to either one to have the best of both worlds.

How many different motorcycles have you had over the years?
I have had six motorcycles. The Shadow, '72 HD FX, an old Ironhead Sporty, and the three bikes currently in my garage. Technically two of them are not "mine" and they are a 1982 Kawasaki LTD 550 that my son rides and a 2006 883 Sportster that I bought Ang for Christmas in 2007. My current ride is a 1999 Softail Custom.

What are you riding now?
My style of riding is changing and I want to move on to a bagger. I have had my eye on a Road Glide for a long time but I may have to go for a slightly cheaper ride and get an Electra Glide Standard and add items as I can. Regardless of funds, my next bike will be one that can carry me for hours without wearing me out.

Could you tell me about the Motorcycle Nation Podcast site and what people can find there?
The Motorcycle Nation Podcast site was a way for me to add two passions that I have. The motorcycle side of course and my wannabe geek side. I started this in December and it is a combo Blog and podcast. I have a feed for iTunes or you can listen right at the Blog site. Whether through voice or text, my goal is to bring information about the motorcycling community to motorcyclists that may not hear it any other way. I have done podcasts on tech tips, electric motorcycles, and other topics. I hope to cover the motorcycle insurance industry and safety in some upcoming episodes. Yep, I am going to open the whole helmet law can of worms!

What has the Podcast experience been like?
The podcast experience has been rough so far. I have been having issues with audio for awhile and it bugs me that I have not done justice to some of the interesting people that have been on the show. I am working through those things now so I hope that any future podcasts will be up to par. If any of my listeners are reading this I want to thank them for sticking with me.

How many Podcasts have you done and do you have a favorite?
So far there are eleven episodes. I think that my favorite was episode 9 where I interviewed Paul Holdsworth from IronWorks Magazine. What an interesting person. His stories were so great that I almost asked one or two questions and he just went crazy from there. It was awesome. I would also have to say that episodes 7 and 8 with Paul Nielsen from Motoworld Media were a blast as well.

Do you have any big projects in the works for the future?
Like I mentioned earlier, I am going to head in a controversial direction here in the near future. Insurance, helmet laws, and safety in general are very passionate subjects in our motorcycling community. I am going to open up that can of worms again.

What is your favorite rally or do you have more then one favorite?
Since I have not been lucky enough to attend Sturgis yet, I will pick Daytona on the national level and ABATE of Indiana's own "The Boogie" on a regional level. Sturgis is on my list of rides I want to do. I can't wait to get there.

Where is the best place in the country to ride?
That is a hard question. I have not had the opportunity to ride out West yet although I dream of the day. But, I think that I would have to say that I really don't care where I ride. As long as I wake up each day to enjoy my family and two wheels it is a good day for me.

What are your other passions beyond motorcycles?
Besides bikes it has to be my kids and my geek side. Podcasting and blogging bring me enjoyment. My kids are involved in sports and I spend alot of time with that. My seven year old just made a traveling softball team so I spend time trying to help her practice at home. The youngest one is my little princess and she likes to hang out with Daddy which is really cool. There is just nothing better than that and one of those things that I better enjoy now because the time is coming when old Dad won't be cool enough for either one of them.

Do you have any mentors or people that you look up to?
I have mentors in each of the areas that I am involved in. On the podcasting side, I count Cliff Ravenscraft (the Podcast Answer Man at and Ken Ray (host of Biker Radio Magazine) as those who I counsel with to move my show ahead. On the motorcycle safety and rights side I would have to say that I look up to quite a few people but the biggest influences are probably Rod Taylor and Jay Jackson. Rod is an attorney in Indiana but is the ABATE attorney for Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio and works with the Motorcycle Riders Foundation. Jay Jackson, Executive Director of ABATE of Indiana and a long time board member of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation, is nationally respected as one of the most knowledgeable voices in the US on motorcycle safety. Jay will be inducted into the Sturgis Hall of Fame in August for his tireless work for motorcyclists.

You teach a motorcycle safety course, correct? What is that like? Is it rewarding?
I teach for the ABATE of Indiana Motorcycle Safety Program. It is really a blast to help introduce new riders to our sport and also teach "old dogs new tricks." I do have to say that the most rewarding classes I have taught to date are the deaf classes. Interpreters shadow the instructors on the range and hang out in the classroom. They are great riders and their disability makes them stronger riders. The main objective of safe riding is see and be seen. Their eyes are their ears so it actually makes them better.

Do you feel that the motorcycle safety course should be required to obtain a motorcycle license?
I like the idea of mandatory safety courses but the problem lies in the resources. The states that allow private entities to conduct rider training are in a better position to pull this off than state run programs. When the state provides the funding, there is usually not enough money earmarked to run the program. Our current economy just magnifies that problem as programs face the possibility of budget cuts all over the nation you also run into problems such as a shortage of instructors and suitable areas to conduct training.

What are your thoughts on helmet laws?
You have hit a subject that I plan on covering on the podcast in the near future. I will probably get slammed for this but I am going to stick my neck out there. I stand firmly on top of the fence on this one. As a motorcycle safety instructor and a sane person, I will tell you that wearing a helmet is the smartest choice. If you don't believe that you are a fool. You definitely have a better chance of living through your head hitting the ground if you are wearing a helmet than if you are not. But, let me jump to the other side of the fence. I served this country so that we could all be free. The government already mandates so many areas of our lives because they think they are saving us from ourselves. Most of them are not qualified to make decisions for anyone. Wearing a helmet should be your choice. I believe, and this is the stance ABATE's all over the nation take on the subject as well, is if we educate our riders on how to ride safer and how to avoid the accident in the first place, we will save lives. The government's stance? The helmet law is one item that falls under the government's idea of saving lives that they call "Safer Crashing". I think I have made my point. Anyone who disagrees can shoot me an email at I can use some of those on the upcoming podcast.

What are your thoughts on loud pipes? Do you really think they save lives?
You like controversy don't you? I have straight pipes and the sound is music. The problem is that I have been run into oncoming traffic despite being next to a car with all four windows down. So, it definitely depends on the driver of the other vehicle and the distractions they are allowing to keep them from concentrating on the road.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to ride a motorcycle?
Take a safety course BEFORE buying a bike. Motorcycling may not be for you or you may not have the coordination to operate one. Other than that, you never stop learning because every ride brings a new challenge you have never faced. When your mind tells you have mastered motorcycling put a for sale sign on it because you are about to die.

What is the wildest thing that has happened to you out on the road?
The wildest thing also happens to be the worst thing and that was hitting a deer in the fall of '04.

What is the most important lesson you've learned out on the road?
To never think that you know it all. I must admit that the time that I hit the deer I was feeling pretty cocky. I was a motorcycle safety instructor and there was not a situation that you could put me in that I could not get out of. Thank God that he let me live through my stupidity.

How does riding enrich your life?
Riding a motorcycle has opened so many doors for me. It is a community. I have met so many friends over the years that I would not have otherwise. We all need to put down our HD is best, or BMW snobbiness, or etc and become one. That is why I named the podcast and the Blog The Motorcycle Nation. I could care less what you ride. What do you bring to the community? We are going to have to all stick together to insure that this sport remains for our children and grandchildren. Brand loyalty is ok, but there can not be separation.

If you could change anything about yourself what would it be?
That is a tough question. Maybe be in the shape I was when I left the Marine Corps. Be a better Dad. Be a better husband. All things I can fix so now I have alot of work to do. Thanks for pointing out my shortfalls, Steph! (hey Steve...anytime! lol)

Do you have a favorite ride or rides that you attend every year? Why is it orare they your favorite/s?
I find little time for rides due to teaching. I enjoy the Miracle Ride for Riley Hospital because it raises funds for the local children's hospital. My daughter and granddaughter both spent time in Riley and they are miracle workers.

What are your thoughts of women moving to the front? It’s difficult for some of us to take advice from a guy but do you have any?
I think it is awesome that the women want to get off the back seat and ride. Forty to sixty percent of every class I teach now is made up of women and I have seen some great lady riders come through. I have also seen some that should not be riding and I tell them so. But, the bigger this community gets the better. Advice? Take the class, practice, and learn why the men have loved riding a bike. The view from the front seat has to be so much better than from the back. Choose the bike that fits you and makes you comfortable and welcome to the community!

What do you think makes a "Biker"?
"Biker" is an attitude. Most often times it is associated with how many miles you ride or if you ride to this rally or that. I believe that I could show you some true "Bikers" that only ride 2,000 to 3,000 miles a year. I can also show you some that ride 30,000 miles a year that could not wipe the rear end of a true biker. A "Biker", in my opinion, is someone who believes in the community, one who is willing to stick his neck out for those in need, who promotes motorcycling to the fullest and will go to great lengths to insure that future generations get to enjoy the feeling of being in the wind. This attitude shows a bond with those who are in the "brotherhood and sisterhood", a willingness to educate those who don't understand it, and a nasty side for those who try to attack it.

Are there any motorcycle publications that you would recommend?
I have two favorites. One is IronWorks Magazine. They have great stories and the people who work there are passionate about motorcycling and it shows. The second is Motorcycle Consumer News. The thing that I enjoy about this magazine is the fact that they do not sell advertising but are funded through subscriptions. Why is that important? Read one of their motorcycle or gear reviews and you will understand. If you are not taking any advertising dollars you are not afraid to give your honest opinion on the gear or motorcycle that you are reviewing. A truly refreshing approach.

Does anyone else in your family ride?
I have many cousins that ride and of course my stepson and wife.

What is your favorite swear word?
I try not to use any because I don't want my girls to pick any of them up. They will hear them enough outside of the home and hopefully they will follow my example.

What music are you currently listening to?
I listen to alot of Nickelback. As a general rule you would find me listening to country, southern rock, or any 70's and 80's rock. About the only thing that I don't enjoy is rap.

What are you currently reading?
I just finished reading 'American Borders' by motojournalist Carla King. The book is about a ride around the borders of the US on a Ural sidecar motorcycle. It was a good book that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Thanks again Steve for doing this interview. Please makes sure that you check out the Motorcycle Nation Podcast site @ .

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Adopt a POW/MIA

Name: John Dewey Killen III
Rank/Branch: E3/USMC
Unit: A Company, 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Division
Date of Birth: 23 August 1948
Home City of Record: Des Moines IA
Date of Loss: 30 June 1967
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 161349N 1074301E (YC896956)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Other Personnel In Incident: John House; Michael Judd; Merlin Allen; Glyn
Runnels (all still missing)

SYNOPSIS: Capt. John A. House was the pilot of an CH46A helicopter carrying
personnel assigned to Company A, 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine
Division near the city of Phu Bai, South Vietnam on June 30, 1967.

Among the passengers onboard the aircraft were members of Company A, LCpl.
Merlin R. Allen, LCpl. John D. Killen, and Cpl. Glyn L. Runnels. Also
onboard was the company's hospital corpsman, Petty Officer Third Class
Michael B. Judd.

The aircraft was hit by small arms fire, exploded and crashed. Although some
of the personnel aboard survived, House, Allen, Judd, and Killen were never
found, nor were remains recovered that could be identified as theirs. The
four men were listed as killed in action, body not recovered.

Nearly 2500 Americans did not return from Southeast Asia at the end of the
war. Some, like the pilot and passengers of the CH46, are probably dead and
will never come home. Since the end of the war, however, thousands of
refugee reports have been received that indicate hundreds of Americans are
still alive, held captive.

It is a matter of pride in the Marine Corps that one's comrades are never
left on the field of battle to fall into the hands of the enemy. One can
imagine that these men, had they survived, would willingly go one more
mission for the return of those who still await rescue. Although some of the
personnel aboard survived, House was never found, nor were remains recovered
that could be identified as his. He was listed as killed in action, body not

If you are interested in adopting a POW/MIA go to this site:

Thursday, July 09, 2009

24 Days to Sturgis and I'm feeling kinda Blue...

I'm really bumming out because KT Did, Ms. M, and D-Day aren't going to be able to make Sturgis this year. Mimi and Joker...are you still in? Anyone else going? Granted...I'm still excited as hell to be going but I was truly looking forward to meeting the peeps that said they were going. It really stinks how life throws wrenches into stuff and messes plans up. Oh well...I know I'll meet you all someday come hell or highwater. Somehow...someway...the entire blogging crew needs to get together one of these days.

I'll be thinking this on my trip....

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Let's Rent an Electra Glide

Friday morning Dan says to me...Let's rent an Electra Glide for the weekend. We have those free rentals. Let's see if those bad boys are all that everyone says they are cracked up to be. By Noon on Friday we had a pretty 2009 HD Electra Glide sitting in our driveway.

Dan had to go to work so there was no riding on Friday. Saturday night we rode the EG around in the rain. It was cold so we took it home and got the cage to drive up to watch fireworks. Sunday we were up early and on the road with our pretty rental. I was digging what I will call the Princess seat and I was digging the passenger boards even more. I've used pegs for the past 5 yrs so I felt like I was in heaven.

We rode to the Largest Lake in Iowa, Lake Red Rock. We went to the Cordova Park Observation Tower. Holy Crap it's a haul to the top but I made it! The Tower is made out of the base of an old water tower. Usually you have to pay a quarter to go to the top but we lucked out and the gate was open and free to the public that day. Like a 50 cents would have broke us but sometimes it's nice to get something free.

We took some great pictures while we were at the top of the tower. Corn, Corn, Corn, Corn, what's that??? A HUGE LAKE!!!!

Dan was taking the beautiful view in while I was taking a picture of two baggers and a sporty.(oh and a guy in an orange t-shirt)

We got back on the road and stopped in Pella where they have this huge Tulip Festival every spring. People come from all over the world to attend this festival.

On the way back to Johnston we stopped in Pleasant Hill to get gas and there was this cool Hot Rod in the lot. I'm guessing they had been at the Good Guys Car Show that was happening that weekend.

We had a great weekend! Glad we rented the Electra Glide and tested it out. Dan missed his Street Glide and so did I. I love the Zippy Pickle...she's a sweet ride and she's even sweeter now because momma got some passenger boards! FINALLY!

Happy Riding! IHG

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The J & P Cycle Open House and Much More!

Last weekend was the 30th Annual Open House at J & P Cycles in Anamosa, IA. I wasn't sure what to expect since this was my first open house I'd attended there. Friday morning Dan and I rolled out of Des Moines at about 11:30. Even though the heat index was in the upper 90's it wasn't too bad when you were moving down the road at 80 mph. Traffic was pretty tight on Interstate 80 heading east and we had two near misses, once with a Toyota car and once with a big ol' semi. Dan is one awesome pilot of our ZP...he held his own as we rumbled along the shoulder trying to get Mr. Toyota's attention so he wouldn't kill us. After we got by that I was crossing myself and saying Hail Marys like they were going outta style. Geesh...dumb ass didn't even look. We backed off from the semi when I noticed his turn signal go on as we were just beginning to go around him. I gave him a friendly little wave when he finally got back over and we were able to get past. We stopped in Williamsburg to regroup and I suggested that we head on off on Highway 151 through the Amana Colonies. It was a much better trip after that because there wasn't a lot of traffic.

We stopped off at J & P Cycles on our way to my sister and her families place in Dyersville. There wasn't much going on there besides people setting up for the big weekend. It was estimated that there were going to be about 20,000 people in attendance. WOW! I took a few photos of things I thought were cool.

We got to Margo, Tim, and Sydney's place about 45 minutes later and hung out with them for the evening. My niece is 15 months old now and cute as a bug. I should have taken a pix of her so you could see but I know you'll take my word for it. I'm not bias at all! HA!

Saturday we were up and headed out to the J & P Open House. Glad we got there early because it ended up being very hot and there were sooooo many people. It was great though. John and Jill Parham really appreciate their customers. There was free food, free soda, and free water. They were even walking around greeting their guests. It was a real family affair and surprisingly there was no alcohol that I could see. I met the guys from Throttler Magazine and they were super pix. WOW! lol I met Rick Fairless and Michele Smith. I told Michele how much I missed her on American Thunder. She told me that she could have stayed on but not as the host. I can see why she left. She really did make that show. And I do have to say...that biker chick is a Hottie. She was dressed so freaking awesome! It was funny watching men get their picture taken with her. It reminded me of my experience with Billy Lane and not being able to talk. I just had to laugh. Michele has a website which I'm sure the guys will all like. I told her about my blog and she wrote down the addy. Don't know if she'll look at it but I'll believe she has already! lol

Rick Fairless was as cool as he always is. I got his autograph a few years back at the Easyrider Bike Show in Kansas City. I told Rick about my blog and he told me to send him a link to it. Cool! Rick is having a huge bike show and parts expo in Dallas at the Dallas Market Center on April 10 - 11, 2010. If you are interested in attending the event visit or call 952-746-7786. The Strokers Dallas website is I took a photo of my favorite Fairless creation. It's the Janis Janis Joplin. Peace Baby!

We went inside of J & P a few times to cool off and on one venture into the store I was greeted by the Motorcycle Monster. The look on my face is priceless...I'm being jabbed in the head by one of his spikes and he's also telling Dan that I'm pretty cute and then tells me to ditch Dan and hook up with him later. Too funny!

I've made a slide show of the other photos that Dan and I took of our adventures at J & P Cycles. We watched a stunt show where the guy was doing stunts on a sportster. Amazing. There are a couple pictures of Jason Britton the stunt rider in the slideshow too. The Daytona Harley Davidson Drill team was there and did some incredible drills on their big old baggers. WOW! Visit if you would like to learn more about them. And the rest of the photos are bikes, bikes and more bikes.

We headed back to Dyersville for lunch and then loaded up The Ketels' family Suburban and headed over to Lake Delhi to stay at Tim's parent's cabin. It was lots of fun. Drank a lot of margaritas and I finally got to sit by a bonfire! I was soooooooo excited. I got a pix of my sister and Dan both enjoying beers.

Sunday morning came quick and we headed back to Dyersville and packed ZP for the trip home. We decided to take Highway 20 back and stopped in Cedar Falls to see my folks at a car show they were attending. There just happened to be some motorcycles there to be judged too so I got some more motorcycle photos for you to enjoy. LOL!

What a great weekend we had! J & P put on a great Thank You for their customers, I got to see my family, and I got to ride almost 400 miles on ZP! Who could ask for more? :)

Happy Riding! xo