frontpage350road Weekly Update

Greetings Riders,

Well, anyone else going to be happy with seeing August 2011 in the rear view mirror? As you have probably heard by now, this was a record setting August for heat in more than a dozen ways in the Phoenix area. One glaring record that is about to be broken is the amount of 110-plus-degree days currently at 31. We had the all-time record high for an August at 117 degrees last Friday. When you add up all the numbers, it is way too hot for recreational enjoyment on a motorcycle. If you have to, it can be done, but I don’t think anyone would tell you it is enjoyable. The good news is September is just hours away, and while it doesn’t look like the heat is breaking immediately, we know it is not far off, and psychologically it makes me feel better.


2011 Ride Day 4
Mt. Evans Colorado to Custer, South Dakota

Last week I reported on Day 3 of our recent 2011 Ride covering over 3400 miles in a little over 8 days traveling through 8 states. The highlights for Day 3 were Marble, Independence Pass and Mt. Evans in Colorado. I posted 181 pictures of beautiful Colorado landscape for you to enjoy. Click Here to Read.
This week I will be covering Day 4 of our very interesting and eventful ride through Custer State Park that I am now calling the “Buffalo Encounter”. Those of you that do road trips on motorcycles know that half the excitement of doing a motorcycle road trip are the crazy unpredictable circumstances that you will encounter along the way, the weather, and the unknown view that you will have over every hill and around every corner. Those were definitely elements that would define Day 4 of our ride that I still recall daily almost a month later.
We started the day as I ended the last letter by taking one more try at Mt. Evans to make it to the top. Knowing that we had to lay down some serious miles to make up some time, we took I-70 to I-25 North to Cheyenne for our first stop. Then continued on I-25 to Hwy. 18 to Lusk and then North to Hot Springs, SD totaling 425 miles so far for the day. We were now only 30 miles from our destination and it was only 5:45 pm, so we decided to take the slower scenic route through Wind Cave National Park and on into Custer Park on the way to the town of Custer. This was a great decision as it set in motion what was to be one of the most memorable experiences of our trip.
Remember above where I said that part of the excitement of doing a motorcycle trip is the unknown view that you will have over every hill and around every corner? This couldn’t have been more true. As we rounded this big sweeper type corner I looked ahead and saw a herd of what must have been well over 100 buffalo all around on the grass and literally blocking the road. There were some cars stopped with buffalo around them unable to move. We originally rode on up and stopped until we saw the herd starting to head our way. We then turned around and went back about a quarter of a made another u-turn to watch them and assess the situation. Some other bikes came up behind us and a couple of them were locals that had experienced this before and rode right up to them and stopped.
For us, never having experienced anything like this before, were very intimidated by these huge 2000 pound behemoth’s to say the least. So we decided to stay put and see if the 2 that had forged on were going to survive. By this time there were now about 6 bikes behind us waiting to pass through as well. It wasn’t long until the whole heard was starting to make their way up the road, coming eye to eye with us as they walked by. Sometimes slowly walking by, sometimes spooked and running aimlessly. By this time, it was too late to move, we were in the middle of a herd of wild buffalo with nowhere to go. Now the plan was to just stay still and stay on the bike and let them walk by. One of the guys behind us said if they get too close or aggressive, hold out both hands to make yourself look bigger. Uh huh, so holding out my arms is somehow going to intimidate a 2000 pound buffalo? I think not.
When these big guys started walking right past our bikes, stopping to turn their heads to us with their tongues sticking out and making an ominous growling sound, I will admit to having butterflies the size of bats flying around in my stomach and an adrenaline reading that would have been off the charts. (See the video below) This was one of the scariest but at the same time most invigorating experiences that I have had in a very long time. And they just kept coming in what seemed to be an endless stream. When a big bull started running right for me and suddenly veered away just in time, I will admit to being a candidate for having my “man card” revoked at that particular moment. Some of these guys were HUGE and could have knocked over my bike with the flick of their nose or horns in a second which made it both scary and exhilarating all at the same time. The Road Glide is no match for a buffalo. Here is one staring me down right in front of the bike.
Click Here to see a 1:44 video from right in the middle of the buffalo running by. This will show you what I have been talking about with the sounds that we heard.
After about 30 minutes of watching these huge animals with gigantic furry heads and sharp horns walk by within an arms length from us, we were fairly convinced that it wasn’t steel and fiberglass of a Harley-Davidson they wanted, but instead, more lush grass and a place to bed down for the night was what they were looking for. So we decided to start up the bikes and slowly make our way down the road weaving in and around the buffalo that were still in the road. Thinking we were through with the wild animal encounter for a while, we ran into another herd about a half mile up the road that were clogging the roadway again. This time there was a park ranger that was shooing them off the road with his car. All together, including what were off the road and on the hill sides, there must have been at least 250-300 buffalo in this herd.
If your life ever seems to get too boring, head to Custer Park on a motorcycle and ride through a herd of buffalo. That will get your heart beating and your blood flowing. It did for us. We were so jacked up that we almost forgot the huge rain clouds that were building up to the West. But once we regained our wits about us, we could see that it was going to be a race against time to get to the motel in Custer before this South Dakota storm unloaded on us. We were about 4 miles from our destination at the Days Inn in Custer when we could see that the rain was imminent. I asked Mrs. C. if we should put on the rain gear or make a run for it and take our chances. We rolled the dice and they came up snake eyes. We were about 2 miles away and the rain came down with a vengeance. The raindrops seemed as though they were the size of gallon buckets. It was raining so hard we couldn’t even see the lines on the streets.
Needless to say, by the time we got to the Days Inn, we were so soaked that there was not any more room for water on us, it just ran off in sheets as it hit us. Our shoes were full of water, it was miserable to say the least. We pulled right up to the door so we could run inside and get out of the rain. This is where my comment from above, “crazy unpredictable circumstances that you will encounter along the way” kicks in. As we were standing inside the glass door watching it rain, Mrs. C. noticed that the T-Bag was getting wet and suggested that I go take it off of the bike and bring it in. It wasn’t like I was going to get any MORE wet, so I went out to release the straps and take it off.
Here is where it gets interesting and bizarre. Ever since I got this 2010 Road Glide I haven’t been comfortable with how vertical this bike sets. It makes me nervous almost every time I put it on the side stand even on the most level spot. So I ran outside in the rain, pulled on a strap to take the bag off and the bike starts to fall over. I’m hanging on to the stray with all I have and it is now gaining speed as it is falling. Here is the really bad news. Mrs. C. had parked her bike next to mine, on what turned out to be the wrong side. So my bike fell into her bike knocking her bike over into a small evergreen bush and onto some brick pavers.
It is still raining like crazy and I am standing there with a bungee in my hand looking at our 2 bikes laying on their sides. Hmmm. . . And I thought the rain was the bad part. I could see this being real ugly, real fast. About this time there were 3 younger guys walking into the motel to check in and they saw what had happened. They all chipped in and helped us get the bikes set back up. Amazingly, the damage was very minor. No broken levers, pegs, etc. Just a couple of scratches on Mrs. C's lower shroud. Not a huge deal. Mine suffered no damage at all as the crash bars and Mrs. C's bike seemed to save it.
So we got her bike up and moved it back a little bit to assess the damage. As we were looking at that, the wind had picked up and blew my bike over again!!! With no VROD for a cushion this time, the fairing connected with those same decorative blocks and scratched the fairing a little bit. But that was not a problem for me as I was going to be painting it any way. So we picked it up again and decided to secure it in a different location.  Click Here to see the scene of the crime and judge for yourself.
On the heels of 450 miles, the buffalo experience followed by the bike dominoes, we were really ready for a nice hot spa to get warm and reflect on the day. So we checked in, got out of our wet clothes, went down to the spa and soaked up the relaxing 104 degree water and just simply laughed about the turn of events over the last couple of hours. We wanted to see some wildlife, but we never imagined that we would be cohabitating with them. Watching the bikes fall over was surreal and almost unbelievable. But all we could do was just laugh and be grateful that we were safe, that the bikes suffered no real damage and we were able to ride another day.
Next week I will take you from Custer through the park and on to Sturgis, Deadwood Spearfish and Devils Tower. Since we have a long weekend coming up, I have included all of those photos in this gallery for today. There are really some good photos in this gallery. I hope you enjoy.
Click Here for 215 photos. (Click Slideshow in upper right to view full screen for best viewing.) 
Click Here for Map.


Fall Bike Night Schedule:

I am really excited to announce the new Fall Bike Night Schedules for Westgate and Riverview. We will be doing 10 weeks for the Fall season at both locations. There will be Live Music, Vendors and Theme nights with varying displays. Westgate Bike Night: Starts Thursday, September 15th!

We are going to expand the frequency for the Fall season at Westgate as there will be 10 nights this year. Due to the Coyotes schedule and not being able to overlap on their games because they use events plaza, we will be doing 5 Thursday nights in a row starting on Thursday, September 15th through Thursday, October 13th. Then we will switch to Wednesday nights for the next 5 from Wednesday, October 19th through Wednesday, November 16th. Event Time 6-9 PM. This year we will be doing theme nights that will incorporate classic cars, music and Extreme Machines. The first one on September 15th will be 50’s Night featuring 1950’s vintage cars as well as 50’s Live Music featuring the band “56”. The next 2 will be 60’s and 70’s with classic cars reflecting the era. We will then move on to “Extreme Machines” bringing in for display the most exotic motorsports we can find for you to see. I am really looking forward to programming this season. There will be something new to see each week. Click Here for Schedule and details. Pass this on to your riding pals. If you would be interested in being a vendor contact me at . Mesa Riverview Bike Night: Starts Friday, September 16th!

We will be doing 10 consecutive weeks at Mesa Riverview starting on Friday, September 16th and ending on November 18th. The first night will be 50’s Theme night featuring 50’s Vintage cars on display and 50’s Live Music with the band “56”. Event time 6-9 PM. I will also be programming theme nights at Riverview with Live Bands, Vendors and static displays including the best of Monster Trucks, Power Boats, Sand Rails, etc. for you to view. The Photo Gallery will also be back with some new photos from the archives and from our trip this year. For those of you on the East side, we are looking to bring you even more fun this season. Look forward to seeing you there. If you would be interested in being a vendor contact me at . Click Here for Details.


Mid Week Updates will be made on the Facebook. New Easy to remember Facebook address. Go to Facebook. Over 3300 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!


Tidbits and Updates:


Michael Jakscht Trial Update: We can all breath a sigh of relief at least for a while. There will be a re-trial for Michael Jakscht, the man who ran over and killed 4 bikers on Carefree Hwy last March. No release or bail reduction for him!!! He will stay where he belongs until the trial. The legal system has been redeemed for the moment. Hopefully the new jury will be as astute as this judge. Thanks to all who were responsible for keeping this guy where he belongs.


My Yellow Road Glide update:

Look what is back in the garage and running! My 2005 Road Glide that the motor came apart in at the start of our trip is back on the road thanks to Nick Trask at Trask Performance. He flushed out the motor, put new cams and cam plate in and tuned it up. 90 HP/91 TQ. I am back on the road and will have a bike to ride in the 911 rides on September 10th and 11th. Thanks Nick!


The project bike is coming along very nice. The neck has been cut and welded back together by PYO Bagger Nation. The Custom 23” wheel made by SMT Machining in Glendale has been completed and is ready to be installed. It is a beautiful wheel. The fab on the fairing is done and is AWESOME! I have always liked the Mako Shark corvette’s from the early 70’s. So I came up with a theme for this bike and it is going to be called the “Mako Glide”. Not ready to show the fairing yet, but you will be amazed. Hope to have the bike back from Paul Yaffe tomorrow with the 23” wheel on and rolling. Then will take out to Jim to finish fab on the inner fairing. I will be using the PYO 6 gallon stretched tank as well. Click Here for recent photos of the build. The first version of the paint has been done by C.R. Designs with Silver Leaf that looks really good.


Heading to Durango? Don’t miss this great road!

Here is a reminder for all of you heading to Durango this weekend. I would highly encourage you to include Hwy. 13 into your route. We found it on our ride last month and it is one of the best in the state that no one knows about. Just take 191 North to Chin Lee, then over to Hwy. 12 to Lukachukai and Hwy. 13. It is best ridden from South to North. See my report on it here:



This Week

Saturday, September 3rd.

Chester's Harley-Davidson Party on the Patio. Live Bands every Saturday at the Party on the Patio from 11-2pm. We have a lot going on at Chester’s Harley-Davidson. Click Here to see who is performing each week. This Saturday we rock with Hollywood and Vine band. Our Charity for this week is Casting for Recovery. Come out and have some fun as we. Food, Fun and a good time. 11-2pm this Saturday. Start Labor Day weekend with the Party on the Patio. Sign up for RIP's B.A.D. ride and Let The Good Times Roll. Free food, music all while helping our chosen charity each week. Each Saturday 11-2pm. 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.

September 24th: #1 against #2. Diamondbacks take on The Giants. Take me out to the ball game. Tickets are going fast. Stop in Chester's H-D today. Tickets are only $15.00 and $5.00 of each ticket goes to Boys and Girls club of the East Valley. Sturgis style parking, reserved seat. Lets play ball.

Save the Date: Are you ready to party for our Rocktoberfest Oct. 8th. We have Paul Rodgers/Bad Company. Tickets are on sale at Chester's H-D. Let the good times roll.


Next Week


There is a big date coming up in September which I have been getting a lot of inquiries about. The 10th Anniversary of the 911 attack on the Twin Towers in New York and the Pentagon is this year and there are 2 large events that will be taking place that weekend that you might want to attend.


September 10th is the 911 Honor Ride and Patriot Day Celebration. Ride begins at Sanderson Ford with registration opening at 8am and KSU at 11am. This will be led by Mike Broomhead of KFYI and the Patriot Guard Riders. There will be a stop at Buddy Stubbs Anthem before ending at the big Patriot Day Celebration at Paseo Highlands Park located at 3435 W. Pinnacle Peak Rd. in Phoenix. This event time is 2pm – 9pm and will feature Joe Nichols as well as many other local bands and activities. Master of Ceremonies will be local talk show host Mike Broomhead of 550 KFYI radio. There will be aerial displays, parachute teams and lots of local political dignitaries. The cost is $9.11 to attend. Should be a good time. Click Here for more information.

2 PM  Gates Open

Daily Activities: Aerial Shows, Military Displays, Regimental Grog




Sunday, September 11th is the 10th Anniversary W. Steven Martin 911 Patriot Ride. Many of you remember the 1st W. Steven Patriot Ride in 2001. There was a phenomenal turnout to support our country then and I believe there will be again. Check in is from 8am – 10am with start time of 10:30am at Ashley Furniture HomeStore Pavilion (formerly Cricket Pavilion) located at I-10 and 83rd Ave. in Phoenix. Follow the signs to the East parking lot. $20 per bike. This ride will end at Mesa Riverview where the streets will be blocked off for motorcycle only parking with LIVE MUSIC. The streets will be lined with Boy Scouts holding each of the States flags. Proceeds benefit Arizona Police and Fire support programs. Donation includes 10th Anniversary 9/11/11 bracelet while supplies last. Click Here for Details.



Upcoming Events


Saturday, October 22nd

“Arizona On the Move” City of Peoria Centennial Celebration. SAVE THE DATE! This is one event that you will want to attend. Presented by SRP, this event includes a free community breakfast sponsored by Peoria Firefighters Charities, a 5K run (7:30 am start), family bike ride, Motorcycle Run to Prescott, kids arts and crafts, the Copper Chopper, horse and buggy rides, entertainment and much more! After the event, enjoy "Mogollon" in concert at Arrowhead Harley Davidson from 4 pm–7 pm.



Mid Week Updates will be made on the Facebook. New Easy to remember Facebook address. Go to Facebook. Over 3300 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!

This is a fascinating and gripping video from an F-15 pilot about his ejection and survival. Very Good. Click Here to View.

See if you can figure out what this commercial is about before the very end. Very creative. Click Here to View.

Video of the Week: This is a funny dog trying to get a statue of a man to throw a stick. Click Here to View. Click on the Video of the Week graphic on the page.


If you would like to sign up for the Weekly Update Click Here.

Until Next Week,
Blessings and Safe Riding To All,

Barry Caraway
"The Road Is Yours - Take The Ride"

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