Well, are we having fun yet? This is
that time of year in the Valley where we look to the Southeast every evening
to see what kind of storm is headed our way. The new word we have
learned in Phoenix this year is "Haboob". Not sure what that means exactly, but
if someone tells you one is coming, you can be sure there is a lot of dust and
wind with it. Those used to be called dust storms when I moved here, but we
probably spent a lot of tax dollars for someone to come up with the name
"Haboob". I'm guessing the Dust lobby found the term offensive and we had to
change it. So does that mean if we have more than one Haboob we will have
"Haboobies"? For those of you out of the area that hasn't seen this, here is a
pretty good fast frame video of someone driving into the Haboob on July 5th.
Here is a nice shot from the air of it. Click
One thing for sure, 2010 and
2011 have certainly turned out to be a weird time for weather phenomenon's
throughout the world. Not only have we had extreme weather issues,
but we also recently had a record forest fire in one of the most beautiful
parts of our state that was called the Wallow Fire. The Greer, Alpine and
Hannagan Meadow area is a favorite all to visit, but it is particular
favorite to motorcycle riders for a variety of reasons. It is a beautiful
area to ride in and also gives us a destination that takes us to over
8000 feet in elevation to get us out of the heat of the valley. Not only that,
Hwy. 191 from Springerville to Morenci happens to be a National Scenic Byway
that you could easily ride a couple of times a year and never tire of it. See my
report on the Coronado Trail from May or from
After just doing this ride on
Memorial Day weekend and enjoying a night at Hannagan Meadow Lodge,
it was very sad to hear that the fire was consuming the very same
area that we had just ridden and thoroughly enjoyed. I have had questions about
my knowledge of how bad this affected the ride on the Coronado Trail, Hwy. 191,
that I couldn't answer from a first hand account, so we decided to take a quick
flight up there last Sunday to see the damage, photograph it from the air
to report back to you to show how much burned along Hwy. 191 that would affect
the 40 mile ride from Springerville to Hannagan Meadow.
The first place that we came upon
that we saw burned area was Greer.
The good news is that not all of Greer burned, the bad news is
that the view of the beautiful green forest to the East from Greer Lodge is not
the same. That mountain got burned pretty bad as well as the area to the South.
The North and West side was not affected that I could see. I know there were
some homes on the East side that were burned that we could see from the air
where the fire came down to the meadow area and quit. The interesting part is
that there still is a row of green trees that you would see from the ground
around most of the area. But Greer survived fairly well considering what could
have happened and looks to still be a destination. I have about 10 photos of the
Greer area for you to view in the gallery. This photo has a good view of
the Greer Lodge that burned a few months ago.
Continuing Southeast toward Nutrioso
and Alpine in the open range it was burned pretty
bad. The weird thing about this fire is that it didn't
necessarily burn all of an area. It was kind of a mosaic fire that would burn an
area, skip over a half mile or so and burn another area. So there is a lot
of green areas mixed in with the burned area. I've never seen anything
quite like this. Nutrioso seemed to be spared from what I could see. As we
moved closer to Alpine following Hwy. 191 I was curious to see if one of
our favorite places to stay in the area, the Tal-Wi-Wi Lodge, had survived.
I'm happy to say that it was totally unscathed as I saw it from the air. Looks as it did the
last time I was there.
We then followed 191 from Alpine
South toward Hannagan Meadow Lodge to see just how close it got to the old
lodge. While there is a whole lot of land scorched
to the West of 191, the East side of the road survived fairly well. As you
would make the 24 mile ride from Alpine to Hannagan, it looks like there would
only be about 2-3 miles you would go through which would have burned the
trees down to the road.
As you probably already know,
Hannagan Meadow Lodge survived completely unscathed. But I'll bet
they were thinking that those buildings were not going to survive this
fire. The firefighters did a fantastic job in saving this property. Click Here to see how close it got. Looks like about a quarter of a mile was all that
stood between them and the raging inferno that would have certainly taken the
lodge with it. We then flew on out to Blue Vista to see where the fire
started and flew over the top of the most damage that the Wallow Fire consumed
on our way back to Springerville where we landed for a few minutes before
returning back to Phoenix.
It goes without saying that this area
just suffered the worst forest fire in Arizona history that burned over 530,000
acres and several homes. But from a pure riding perspective just
going South on 191 from Springerville past Hannagan Meadow and on to Morenci,
except for a couple of spots, the road area amazingly escaped most of the
burn. While you would surely see burned areas from the road in the distance from
time to time, the area next to the road survived extremely
So it appears to me, if you are
looking for an excuse to get out of the heat and head to higher (8000 feet)
cooler country, I wouldn't be hesitant at all, due to the fire,
to ride the Coronado Trail. I think it will still be a beautiful ride and
I'm sure the businesses in the area would be happy to see you. I have posted 53
photos for you to view. The best way to view the photos is to go to the gallery
page and click "Slideshow" button in the upper right and view these Full Screen.
If you would like to really drill in on a photo, click on the thumbnail of the
photo, hold your mouse over the photo on the right and choose a larger size.
Tidbits and Updates:
After putting 72,000 miles on the yellow
Road Glide, which I thoroughly love, I finally decided it was time to
trade up to the new Harley touring frame. A really good deal
on a 2010 Road Glide with 9800
miles from my neighbor came available so I decided to take the plunge and
start a project bike. My plan is to do 4" stretched bags, rear
fender, side fillers, stretched tank, front fender, 21" front wheel/18"
rear, air ride, possible 103 stage 4 kit or cams to the 96, lots of chrome, and
of course a yellow paint scheme. My number one concern is rideability, so
most of what will be done is cosmetic without interrupting the stability of the
bike. I am currently looking at all of the bags and fenders available to
see which ones I want to add to the bike. There are a LOT of choices. So far I
am just confused, so it looks like this is going to take a bit longer than I
thought, but am excited to see the finished bike. I will be keeping my current
Road Glide to continue to ride until this one is done.
Since I am an admitted "Chromosexual", the
chroming has already started on the bike with a chrome inner
primary, front forks and various other chrome pieces on the engine area. Here is
the picture of the left side of the
motor so far. The shifter linkage is still to be changed. If you have any ideas
for the bike or the motor upgrade, let me know. I would think there would be a
way to wake up this 96, but there are so many cam recommendations that I
can't seem to decide. If you know of a torque build for the 96 motor, let me
know. I will be showing progress as it happens on the Cyclerides.com
Facebook. Check it from time to time to see.
Thursday, July 21st
Harley-Davidson Woman's Garage Party. Do you know a woman who says, "I would
love to ride a motorcycle, but..."? She can learn more about
motorcycling at our women-only Garage Party. This is a FREE event that offers
fun, beginner information for women with limited or even no background with
motorcycles. Join us for one night of fun workshops and festive activities
during this event geared toward women who dream of riding, but just aren't sure
how to get started on their motorcycle journey. We will have raffle prizes, food
and more! You must RSVP for this event. There is limited space, so gather your
girlfriends and get signed up today! Event time is 6:00-8:30pm. Arrowhead
Harley is located at 16130 N. Arrowhead Fountain Ctr. Dr. in Peoria,
AZ 623-247-5542 to RSVP or email email@example.com
Saturday, July 23rd
Harley-Davidson Party on the Patio
. Live Bands every Saturday at the Party
on the Patio from 11-2pm. This week’s Party on the Patio is going
to the Dogs. You won’t want to miss this event Helping Orphaned Hounds with
donations and adoptions. Come out and have some fun during Yappy Hour 11-2pm and
listen to 415 Edward. They will be here rocking the house with you and our 4
legged friends. Dog Days of Summer at Chester’s Harley-Davidson July 20, Let the
Good Times Roll. Food, Fun and much more and it’s FREE. Chester's
Harley-Davidson is located at 922 S. Country Club Dr. in Mesa, AZ.
Broke For Sturgis 2011. Hosted by ABATE of
Arizona as our primary fund-raising event. Too Broke, an Old School Biker
Party has become "a blast for everyone that has attended. You can rest assured that the money raised goes to a great cause,
fighting for your motorcycling freedoms. Everyone who attends is made to feel
like family, even first timers. The 2011 event will be an ADULT ONLY party, attendees must
be at least 18 years old to enter. Proof of age will be required, with or
without an accompanying adult/guardian. You must be at least 21 years old to
drink alcohol on premise. Just like the last
seven Too Broke celebrations, we'll be under the stars and beneath the pines in
the cool North country of Arizona. What better way to beat the heat of the
Valley in July. Too Broke for Sturgis is held at the Mormon Lake Lodge
Campground and Arena. The area offers shade, camping with hot showers available,
first-class biker entertainment, an assortment of vendors and awesome scenery.
The Saturday Poker Run
will take you on a tour of that awesome scenery! And don't forget about the Miss
Too Broke Contest, Tattoo Contest, Poker Walk, Bike Games, Wet Tee-Shirt
Contest. Featuring the Charlie Brechtel Band. Too Broke is just an all-around
great biker party. $30 for weekend pass, $20 for Saturday pass. Click
Here to sign up and for details.
Saturday, July 30th
Buddy Stubbs Hogs
and Dogs. Ride over to Buddy Stubbs Arizona Harley-Davidson on Saturday,
July 30th, where there will be an indoor summer SALE on some of
your favorite H-D products! Save up to 75% on select boots, helmets, women’s
jeans and leather jackets! Drop by and enjoy these great deals along with live
music, FREE food and drinks, a bikini bike wash and tours of Buddy’s museum!
Summer is heating up so be sure to stop in from 11 a.m. till 2 p.m. and take
advantage of these hot deals before they’re gone! For more information regarding
this event go to www.buddystubbshd.com or call (602) 971-3400.
Buddy Stubbs Arizona Harley-Davidson is located at 13850 N. Cave Creek Road in
Saturday, July 30th
Harley-Davidson Party on the Patio. This week we have a very special event
and charity with The patriot Guard. Come into Chester’s and get
your $10.00 ticket for “Soldier Down-Kickstands Up” as we ride from Chester’s at
9am to Pollack Tempe Cinemas for this incredible documentary. Then we are back
to Chester’s for our Party on the Patio with 74th Street Band. Proceeds from
each ticket helps Jared Allen Homes for Wounded Warriors thru Captain Katie
Charity Fundation. This is Truly a Saturday not to miss. Food, Fun and much more
and it’s FREE. Chester's Harley-Davidson is located at 922 S. Country Club Dr.
in Mesa, AZ. 480-894-0404.
Saturday, July 30th
Patriot Guard Riders
Documentary Movie "Soldier Down, Kickstands Up". The new documentary,
Patriot Guard Riders, will be screened in Tempe at the Pollack Tempe Cinemas,
located at 1825 E. Elliot Rd. in Tempe on Saturday, July 30 at 10:00am. (View Trailer). Patriot Guard Riders traces a motorcycle group that formed to protect
people attending military funerals from the Westboro Baptist Church, a hate
group who claims that American war casualties are divine retribution for the
country's tolerance of homosexuality. Now over 200,000 strong, bereaved
families nationwide invite the group to escort fallen soldiers from the airport
to the burial grounds where they stand in flag lines even when the protesters
don't show up. Chester's Harley Davidson is sponsoring the event.
Tickets can be pre-purchased through Chester's and there will be a ride Saturday
morning leaving Chester's at 9:00am and arriving prior to the start of the
film. Tickets will also be sold at the door. Part of the proceeds
will go to a local Veteran's charity. Then we are back to Chester’s for our
Party on the Patio with 74th Street Band.
Mid Week Updates will be made on the
Cyclerides.com Facebook. New
Easy to remember Facebook address. Go to Cyclerides.com Facebook. Over 3200 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!
Video of the Week: Ouch! They sure used an expensive car for this
commercial. 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 All,
"The Road Is Yours - Take The
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