Wow! What a wild weather week we
are having here in the Valley of the Sun as well as most of the
Midwest and Northeast. I think today is the coldest high temperature, 43
degrees according to Weather Bug, I have seen in Phoenix in the 30
years I have lived here. And when you throw in the wind chill, it is
really cold for us thin blooded desert rats. Wind chill in a Phoenix weather
forecast is about as rare as a one piece bathing suit on South Beach, but it has
added to the excitement around here. But, I will take this all day long compared
to what I have seen back East. A day or 2 in the 40's is not half bad compared
to 2 feet of snow and below zero.
Many of you will remember that
horrible day on March 25th, 2010 when the news of a sanitation
truck that ran over 8 motorcycle riders started filtering through the
motorcycle community. Phones started ringing and text messages
lit up all over the valley as riders started checking on their buddies to
see that they were alright. I had just arrived at Westgate to set up for bike
night when the news started trickling in to me. Needless to say, the topic of
the night was that a sanitation truck driver high on meth had rear ended 8
motorcycles stopped at a traffic light on Carefree Highway. The details were
still sketchy, but we knew that four riders died that day with 4 others severely
injured, one critical and hanging on to life.
As we all learned the names of those
that had passed away and mourned them, we were trying to make
some kind of sense out of this horrible senseless tragedy that had shaken a very
tight knit community of motorcycle riders to the core. The talk of the evening
was that these were innocent victims sitting at a stop light and that it could
have happened to any one of us. As we were looking for any hope and
positive news out of this horrific crash, the word that a Phoenix Fire Captain
named Ernie Lizarraga was one of the critically injured and he was clinging to
life. We all hung on every report that we could get on Ernie's condition.
Even though he was in a coma, we were hoping for any news
that he was going to make it, along with the other injured. In
some ways, Ernie became the poster boy for all of us to direct our hope and
prayers to, while trying to find something positive out of this absolutely
A question that I frequently get are
inquiries as to how the injured are doing. Unfortunately, I didn't
have any good answers. But I got a call from my buddy Scott Pasmore of TV 3 last
Friday saying that he was going out to the fire station to do a story on
Lizarraga and I jumped at the chance to
go see him. Even though I didn't know Ernie personally, him being a part of the
motorcycle and Cyclerides family, I was very excited to see and hear
about his recovery.
I'll admit that I was a little
nervous to see Ernie, because I really had no idea what condition he was going
to be in. After suffering a list
of broken bones including 6 vertebras, nose, eye socket, 8 ribs and the Tib/Fib
on the right leg, he also had 2 collapsed lungs. But the most damaging injury
was a brain shear which is a complete separation of the brain from the
skull that caused total memory loss from one day before the accident to 30 days
after. As you might imagine, this causes all sorts of problems which he has been
working through in therapy for the last 8 months. But as we walked up
to the community room of the fire station, Ernie opened the door and greeted
Scott and I by name and thanked us for coming. His wife Lorri and his daughter
Cianna were also there with him.
The simple report is, he is
doing extremely well, especially considering what he has gone through.
He walks with a little limp because of the Tibula Fibula break, and
has some slight speech issues due to the brain injury, but besides that, he is
very sharp with a great sense of humor and has had what appears to be a
miraculous physical recovery. But what is even better than that is his
incredibly positive attitude and outlook on life.
Ernie's family had put together a photo
album of all of the photos from the accident, memorials, etc.
Scott asked him what he thinks when he looks at pictures from the
accident. Ernie said, "It was a mess, it was a big mess. But I
don't dwell on what happened, or who did it, I look forward, you know. You've
got to." It was truly an inspiration for me to hear him say that, as a
lot of people could rightfully have been resentful and angry in his shoes.
But his attitude is so positive that he obviously doesn't want to waste
good energy on what has been done, but wants to save it for what is to
come. What a wonderful outlook on life, we could all aspire to that.
Scott asked him if he wanted to ride
again. His answer was a resounding YES and that he is working daily
in therapy toward the day that he can get on a motorcycle again. He is hoping
that within the next 2 to 3 months that he will be able to do that. He is
working on riding a bicycle right now. His wife Lorri said she thought it would
be impossible to keep him off of a motorcycle.
My visit with Ernie Lizarraga and his
family was definitely an emotional and uplifting experience for me. It was so inspirational to see a guy that has been through so
much, be so driven to overcome his physical setbacks and get back to his
former way of life. He has his sights set directly ahead with goals in mind,
only glancing in the rear view mirror for perspective and not spite. My
brief time with Ernie helped me look at what I consider challenges in my
life not being as tough as I thought they were. Ernie said he couldn't thank everyone enough for all of
their help, and that it REALLY does help to see when so many people
care. By the way, the man driving the truck is still in jail on one million
dollar bail and will stand trial starting the end of March.
I thought it would be great for
everyone to share some time with Ernie and allow him, in his own words, to
personally thank all of you for the support you have given him. So
I asked him if he would like to be my Guest of Honor on the first night of the
Cyclerides.com Westgate Bike Night, Thursday, March 31st. This day falls only 6 days past the one year
anniversary of the accident. He was very excited to do that, so we are going to
kick it off by welcoming Ernie Lizarraga back from rehab as well as honoring all
of the victims from that devastating accident. I don't have details of
the others injured that day, but I have heard that they are all recovering well.
I hope to have them there that night as well. Ernie's personal goal
is to ride his motorcycle again and very possibly into Westgate that
night. We will all be rooting for him on both accounts. Stay tuned for
more details in upcoming newsletters.
Thanks Ernie for brightening my day
and sharpening my focus. You are truly a bright light to all of
those that you touch with your wonderful attitude, great smile, outlook on
life and perseverance. God Bless you, your family and your continued
I shot some video of the interview
that is unedited. I think you will find it really interesting hearing
Ernie and Lorri describe the past few months from the accident. Click Here to View.
Tidbits and Updates:
The question that I get most when I am out and
about is: "When is the Cyclerides.com Westgate Bike Night going to start?" After a meeting with
Westgate management on Tuesday, I now have that answer. Westgate wanted to begin
the bike night as soon as we could in March, but due to Coyote game conflicts
with the arena on Thursday nights, the first night that we could start it is on
March 31st. The good news is that we are going to be able to run 14 consecutive
nights without interruption through June 30th. We are now in the planning stages
for programming for each of these nights and look forward to seeing you again
this season. If you would like to be a sponsor of this event, email me at email@example.com .
The Archives section of
Cyclerides.com is now updated. If you have missed a past
newsletter or need to refer to one, go to Archives in the menu bar at www.cyclerides.com .
Wow! We now have 70
Woman that have submitted their photo to the Cyclerides.com 2011 Women
Who Ride photo gallery. I
decided to kick off 2011 with a new Women Who Ride photo
gallery. If you are a
Woman who rides your own bike, send me a good photo of yourself either
riding the bike or a beauty shot sitting on or standing next to your bike.
Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will add them ASAP. Click Here to see
the Gallery, or you can always see it on the front page of www.cyclerides.com .
Reader's Rides Gallery!
Since a lot of you are
probably starting to get the same itch that I am to ride and have probably taken a
look at some of your trips the last few years. Send me a couple of your best
photos from the locations you have been. Preferably next to a sign, landmark or
landscape that we might recognize. This will be the beginning of the 2011 Reader's Rides Photo
Gallery. Email your photos to email@example.com . Look forward to sharing your rides
with you and others. Click Here for
Friday, February 4th
Chester's Harley-Davidson Motorcycles On
Main. Join Chester’s Harley-Davidson at
Motorcycles on Main in Downtown Mesa on Friday, February 4th! Always on the first Friday of every month, this
outdoor event lets you park and show off your bike STURGIS STYLE with parking on
two blocks. Free auto parking for your car-riding friends, four beer
gardens, four live bands and great restaurants to enjoy. 6-10 PM, and no
cost to enjoy the festivities. Please visit www.chestershd.com for details! Chester's HD is located at 922 S. Country
Club Dr. in Mesa. 480-894-0404.
Friday, February 4th
Arizona Stand Down Motorcycle Ride. Help support Homeless Veterans by joining Arizona’s
Motorcycle Community on the Official
Procession to Arizona Stand Down sponsored by Stand Up and Stand
Proug.org. Meet Veterans, be a part of the opening ceremonies and know that
you stood up for Homeless Veterans. Monies go directly to Arizona Stand
Down as we help those Veterans who need our support and help for their service
to this United States. Ride registration begins at 7:00 a.m., Post 41,
American Legion, 715 S. 2nd, Phoenix, Arizona. $ 15.00 per person with ALL
monies going to the Homeless Veteran Cause. Briefing 7:30 A.M. KSU
8:15 A.M. Ride to Arizona StandDown Friday Morning 8:15 A.M. Feb. 4,
Saturday, February 5th
Red Hot Threads Grand Opening. A lot of you remember Against the Wind Leathers that
was located next to the Billet Bar in Scottsdale. With the closing of the Billet, Jennifer decided on a
new start and has moved the business to Cave Creek and changed the
name to Red Hot Threads. Not only has the name changed, but they have added
several new lines to their already extensive lines including Rockabilly and
Hotrod clothes, Lucky 13, Too Fast Clothing, Living dead souls, Felon, Sailor
Jerry among others. To celebrate the move Jennifer is having a Grand Opening at
the new location in Cave Creek at 6245 E Cave Creek Rd, the Turquoise bldg next
to Frontier Town. 480-945-3458. There will be a car show, bike show, vendors,
pin up girls and Live Music with rockabilly band Rhythm Dragons. Event time
is 11am - 4pm. Stop by and see the new store and
Saturday, February 5th
Rose presents our 11th Annual Chili Run/Cook Off. Proceeds to benefit
the Susan G Komen for the Cure. Think Pink. Live
Music. Beer Gardens. Red Bull Lounge. Meet the lovely ladies
of Miller Lt & Jagermeister. 93.3 will be broadcasting from the event.
Meet Ruby Cheeks. Tons of prizes and giveaways. $10 donation, all
the Chili you can handle. Come out and help us "Save the Ta-Ta's".
Saturday Feb 5th 11am- 2pm. Desert Rose Bar 18300 S. Old US Hwy 80
Arlington Az 85322. Visit us www.desertrosebar.com. Event Coordinator: AJ
Hunter (480) 703-1634 firstname.lastname@example.org
February 1st - April
Looking for a new bike, have a little
extra time on your hands and know a lot of people? Chester's HD is giving you
the opportunity to win a 2011 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Ultra for a little
effort on your part. Giveaway program starts February 1, 2011, and
ends April 30, 2011. Just
bring someone you know into Chester's Harley-Davidson to buy a new bike.
You must accompany buyer to the dealership and
have proof of purchase signed off by the General Manager. Buyer must agree to Chester's Harley-Davidson's terms of
sale and cannot already have a deal pending at Chester's. Validity of
referral is at the sole discretion of the General Manager and could be denied.
The person who brings in the most new bike
sales wins a 2011 Harley-Davidson Road Glide® Ultra. Referrals must be contracted and take delivery of a new
Harley-Davidson motorcycle at Chester's Harley-Davidson by April 30, 2011.
Winner must refer a minimum of three sales to qualify. There will be no
ties. In the event that 2 or more persons bring in the highest amount of
qualifying buyers, the winner will be the person that reaches the minimum of
three sales first. Winner is responsible for all applicable sales tax, license
and doc fees. Click Here for
Saturday, February 12th
Harley-Davidson 5th Annual Chili Cook-Off. Sign Up Your Chili to win prizes
and trophies! Categories are: Best Overall Chili, Hottest Chili, Most Unique
Chili, Best Display, Best Named Chili. We supply the electricity.
You will make the chili at home, and bring it to plug in and serve! OR be a
judge! Spoons for tasting and ballots are only $5 and ALL proceeds benefit the
Arizona Animal Welfare League. Live music by Tin Weasel. 11am-1pm. Spend $100 or
more in MotorClothes and roll the dice to receive a sweet discount during the
event. Call 480-894-0404 to register, or e-mail email@example.com. Chester's HD is located
at 922 S. Country Club Dr. in Mesa, AZ.
Sunday, February 13th
Copper Basin YMCA
Motorcycle Run & Poker Tournament. Registration at 8am. Free Pancake
Breakfast for all registered participants. Ride Leaves Copper
Basin YMCA located at 28300 N. Main St., San Tan Valley at 10am sharp.
Lunch served at 1pm at Copper Basin YMCA. Free Poker Tournament to follow.
Registration: $30..00 per bike. Entry fee entitles you to a pancake breakfast
and lunch for all registered participants. One T-shirt per bike, one entry for
motorcycle run, one entry to free poker tournament and one goodie bag. $25..00
to register for additional spot for lunch and free Poker Tournament. $10.00 for
extra T-shirts. For
general information or to become a sponsor, contact Anita Lopez at allopez@vosymca..org or 480.882.2242. Or visit us
at www..valllleyymca..org/copperbasiin. All
proceeds benefit the Copper Basin YMCA Strong Kids and Families
3rd Annual "Ride
For Love". Presented by the American Legion Riders of Arcadia Post 138.
All proceeds to go to Maverick Calloway. Maverick is 15 years old
and has a condition called Endocarditis and is in need of an operation to
replace his heart valves. Sign in from 9-10am at Evil Twin Custom Cycles located
at 2534 W. Broadway in Mesa. Donation $25.00 single, $30.00 per couple. Fun,
Dancing, Raffles. Stops at American Legion Posts 39, 91, 2 and The Rogue Bar.
End Stop D.A.V. with live music by: Crusin' from 1-5pm.
Flag Run. The Checkered Flag Run is a
weekend in Arizona hosted by the Second
II None Phoenix Motorcycle Club, Phoenix International Raceway and Talking Stick
Resort and Casino. The weekend culminates with an escorted motorcycle run from
Talking Stick Resort and Casino to Phoenix International Raceway to watch NASCAR
Drivers, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson tear up the track in
the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, Sunday, February 27th,
2011. 3 days of activities and fun.
This is quickly becoming a very big event. Here are a few details of what is
going to happen:
For $35.00 this is what you get, all
Friday Feb. 25 - Meet and Greet at Talking
Stick Resort 5-9pm (includes 2 drinks Hosted by 3 Amigo's Tequila)
Feb. 26th - Picnic at Hacienda Harley-Davidson 11-6pm (Food, Fun, Games,
Music and more)
Saturday Feb. 26th - Leather and Lace Ball at
Talking Stick Resort 9p-2a (Miss Checkered Flag Contest)
Sunday Feb 27th
- Police Escort to PIR, Subway Fresh Fit 500 from Talking Stick Resort
When you get to PIR you will have reserved seats, VIP motorcycle
Largest Motorcycle Club present wins $5,000.00, Largest
Female Club present wins $2,500.00, Largest Social Club present wins $1,000.00,
Bike Show like no other judged by Paul Yaffe, Brian Klock and Rick Hatch. Bike
Show winner $3,000.00 and escorts PIR President to winner circle to present
Subway Fresh Fit 500 trophy. All this for only $35.00. For more information or
to buy tickets call Ed LeClere at 602-315-0711. Or go to www.checkeredflagrun.com register your group or buy
Saturday, February 26th
Hogs with Hearts Poker Run. Hacienda HOG Chapter 97 is hosting the Second Annual Hogs
with Hearts Poker Run. This run is in
support of the MDA Children’s Summer Camp at Camp Shadow Pines east of Payson,
Arizona. We’ll be giving away over $5,000 worth of raffle prizes so
don’t miss out on your chance for some great prizes as well as making a
difference in a child's life. The entry fee is $25 for a single rider and $35
two-up. Fee includes a t-shirt for the first 100 registered riders, ride pin,
coffee and breakfast supplied by Dunkin Donuts at the start, lunch and live
music at the end. The ride will start at Hacienda Harley-Davidson.
There will be prizes for high and low hand as well as dozens of raffle prizes
including a Shell Vacation Club week valued at over $2100. Best Hand grand prize
is $250 cash. Ride Registration is from 8am - 10am at Hacienda HD located
at 15600 N. Hayden Rd. in Scottsdale. All Bikes Welcome. Join us for a
great 120 mile ride through beautiful Arizona scenery and make a huge difference
in a child’s life. More information and online registration at www.hog97.com
March 30th - April 3rd.
Week 2011. Arizona Bike Week is a little
over 2 months away. The dates this year are March 30th - April 3rd for Cyclefest at Westworld in Scottsdale. Musical
acts this year include Skid Row, Warrant, Heart and Buckcherry. Pre-Rally Days
start Friday March 25th with the Chester's Harley-Davidson Backstage Biker Bash
featuring Gretchen Wilson and the Herndon Brothers in concert. There are lots of
RV and tent camping options available. Go to www.arizonabikeweek.com for tickets and more information.
Mid Week Updates will be made on the
New Easy to remember Facebook address. Go
to Cyclerides.com Facebook. Over 2800 FANS! Take a look at all the new photos posted on the
wall. If you are not on Facebook, you can still view the
page, but you will not be able
to post. There will be a link there for you to sign up for Facebook if you
are inclined. Click the LIKE button!
Ever wonder how to make a colonoscopy
enjoyable? This comedy clip did. Click Here to View.
This is the best pool shot by a Chick that
I have ever seen. See what you think. Click Here to View.
Video of the Week: Ever wonder how men lose their marbles?
The British brand of humor shows you how. Click Here to View. Click on the Video of the Week graphic on the page.
If you would like to sign up for the
Cyclerides.com Weekly Update Click Here.
Until Next Week,
Blessings and Safe Riding To
"The Road Is Yours - Take The