Well, the rain has stopped and
fortunately so has the pain in my teeth. I know it is small in
comparison to what a lot of people are going through right now, but if you have
ever had a bad toothache, you will know that it can bring a grown man to his
knees pretty quick. But all is good now and I am learning how not to grind my
teeth at night. Thanks for all of the well wishes.
I didn't get to mention it last week,
but a couple of weeks ago I had the chance to stop by the new Tucson Harley-Davidson located in North
Tucson, AZ. If you haven't stopped by here yet I would recommend it
the next time you are riding South. It is a beautiful dealership at
well over 50,000 sq. ft. in size. One aspect that I found particularly
interesting was that they utilized the 2 story volume of size by taking pictures
of landmarks around the Southern part of the State, blowing them up and
putting them on the walls. The hanging motorcycles and the drive-in service
department was particularly interesting. Exit I-10 at the Ina Rd. exit and take
the frontage rd. to the store. Click
Here for some pics.
2009 Road Trip Day
Those of you that are avid
riders know that there are rarely 2 days in a row that are the same when
you are on a cross country motorcycle trip. It seems that from the
moment you get on the bike in the morning, you really have no idea exactly how
the day will go. We have a plan for the day, we have a route, we have
expectations about how we think it should go, but all of that might not match
reality at the end of the day. This is pretty much how Day 6 played out on
our 2009 Road Trip.
We awoke in Whitefish, MT. on Day
eager to head to one of our favorite destinations, Glacier National Park. It was a cool morning and unfortunately even a little overcast. We were
on the road by around 7am to try and beat the tourist rush that we knew would be
heading to the park. We got there around 8am, got our customary sign pics, used
our annual pass for the park and were on our way. We had heard of road
construction through the park, but had no idea how bad it really was. As we made
our way up the "Going To The Sun Road" from the West Glacier entrance, we found
out that there had been massive mud slides that had taken out a lot of the
nearly 100 year old road, and a lot of it was down to one lane, which made for
very slow going. This is where the plans that I mentioned above, started to
We had originally planned on going a
little past Logan Pass at the summit, and then turning around and
going back out the park to head South to Missoula and possibly Lolo Pass into
Idaho. But after seeing that we would be spending a couple of hours sitting and
going 10 mph to get through construction, we decided to make some changes to our
route and exit the park to the East and make our way across Montana to Red Lodge
for the night. It would be a pretty good haul, but we felt we could make it
there by around 7pm.
All was going pretty well. Aside from
having to ride several miles on some new chip seal, we were making decent time.
This part of Montana from East Glacier/St. Mary's, there really
isn't much to see. It is just a whole lot of rolling hills and flat farm land.
But we did get one little surprise as we went through the little town of
Fairfield. We thought we were seeing things, but to our left was a herd of Camel,
yes Camel, grazing in a pasture. Given that was one of the most interesting
things we had seen for the last 200 miles, it deserved a U-Turn for a Kodak
moment. After stretching our legs and trying to figure out why there were 15
camel in the middle of Montana, we were back on the bike to pound out the last
few miles to Great Falls.
Remember when I said above that "you
really have no idea exactly how the day will go"? The following is
what I mean. We had just stopped at a Taco Bell in Great Falls for a quick bite
to eat and check some motel availability in Red Lodge. By the time that
we were done eating it was around 2pm. We got on the bike and
was prepared to knock out the next 254 miles to Red Lodge. I turned on
the switch, pushed the start button and nothing. I mean nothing. No headlight,
no gauges, no nothing. I immediately thought that the battery had fried so I
pushed the bike next door to a tire store that had a quick battery charger.
Nothing! Didn't even make a difference at all.
Hmmm, Red Lodge was now looking
farther away, and Plan #3 for the day was getting much closer. There happened to be a Harley dealer in Great Falls by the name of Big
Sky HD. I called the service dept., told them that I was on a cross country road
trip and thought that I needed a new battery. The guy said no problem, we will
be there in 15 minutes with the trailer to pick you up. Wow! Now that is some
good service. Sure enough, about 15 minutes later a guy showed up, loaded
up the bike and took us to the dealership. Things were going pretty good right?
It's about 3pm now, I will get my new battery installed and be back on the
road in no time and still make Red Lodge. Wrong! My diagnosis was not correct.
In fact, it took the mechanics about 2 hours to figure out what the real
problem was, and then they had to fix it.
After running diagnostics, getting
false readings, putting in a new test computer, etc. They finally
figured out that it was the switch had fried. The good news was that they had
figured out that it was just a switch. The bad news was that they didn't have
one for my bike in stock and that it would take 2 days to get one there. Not
really what I wanted to hear. Red Lodge was by now way out of the picture, and
if I had to stay 2 days in Great Falls, I was going to have to make a straight
shot back to Phoenix because my time would have run out.
Knowing my situation, the owner of
the dealership came to us with a work around that would get me back on the road
that night and enable me to continue the rest of my trip, with
just a minor inconvenience along the way. These guys made me a 3
pronged key made out of electrical wire that allowed me
to hot wire my bike for the next 4 days to get home where I could get the
switch changed out. They even made it so that the alarm system would still work
at night. The hassle of it was that each time I stopped, I had to pull these 3
wires out from the plugs that they had fabricated, and then plug them back in.
The issue was that it was up under the fairing not making it real easy to do.
But that didn't bother me nearly as much as sitting in Great Falls for 2 days
waiting for a new switch. These guys went over the top to help a stranded rider
get back on the road.
By the time the workaround was done it was 7pm.
There was still a couple of hours of daylight left, but we decided
to just stay put in Great Falls and fortunately grabbed one of the last rooms in
town. As I reflect back on this experience, I can't say enough about how Big Sky
HD worked so diligently to get us back on the road. Knowing that we were
traveling, they put us in front of the other bikes with their best electrical
mechanic to figure out the problem. Even the owner
of the dealership was right in there with them trying to figure it out. This
experience really made me feel good seeing first hand the brotherhood of those
who share how important being on the road is to a rider and also the
incredible support of the Harley-Davidson brand. I am still amazed that they
were there to pick me up within 15 minutes to help get me back on the road.
Thanks again to Big
Sky HD for saving our trip. If you are in the area, stop in and get
So as I said in the first paragraph, "we have a
plan for the day, we have a route, we have expectations about how we think
it SHOULD go, but all of that might not match reality at the end of the
day." Those words could not have been more true on this day. None
of what we had planned or expected materialized. But what did happen is that we
still had one wonderful day with a happy ending while experiencing the good of
people and making life long friends in the process.
You might recall that I have said this before,
but it couldn't be more true.
"Being a motorcycle rider, it
almost seems like we have an unfair advantage when it comes to building
memories. Every day we fire up our motorcycles and head out on the open road, we
are filling out another deposit slip for our memory bank of life. And the more
you ride, the more experiences you have to share with
Next week will be Day 7, Great Falls to Jackson,
Highlights This Week
Saturday, January 30th
and enjoy his famous monthly Hogs and Dogs event
from 11am - 3pm.
LIVE Music, FREE Food, FREE Drinks, FREE
Motorcycle Museum Tours with Buddy Stubbs
Looking for a good quick ride destination or
a great place to meet up with your group for a ride?
Grab lunch before you
go! FREE FOOD and LIVE MUSIC every Saturday
from 11am - 2pm.
Bike Nights This Week
The Bike Night At The Billet Bar. The
Billet Bar is the place to be for the Summer nights and weekends. Set on the
patio and watch the action. Voted "BEST
BIKER BAR IN PHOENIX" by New Times.
There is no better place to watch all
the Bikes ride down Scottsdale road than from The Billet Bar
Patio. The Billet is ALWAYS packed with bikes Every Day. Stop by
and take a look at the New Flamed Booths on the Paradise Patio. The new bars front and rear provide
spacious seating, fresh air atmosphere, perfect temperature and courteous staff.
The food is amazing and always the latest in cold libations await. You can sit
at the back bar and watch your favorite TV on any of the seven big inch
televisions. Play pool, listen to the latest music and socialize. The front
patio seats over 75 people and is perfect for people watching on Scottsdale Rd.
The Billet Bar is located on 3752 N. Scottsdale Rd. Check it out this Thursday
night and all weekend long. Info: at 480-941-1876. Click Here for the New
Billet Bar Page with pictures.
McDuffy's is one of the finest West side locations for a bike night at a single restaurant. The 12,500 Sq. Ft. McDuffy's features 2 outdoor
patios, a huge dining room with booths for seating, a very large area with high
tops for you to easily hang out with your friends, an upper level for lounging
or to play pool, a very large bar and 100 TV's to watch your favorite sporting
event. Not only that the dinner menu is very broad and McDuffy's has excellent
food at a very good price. Bike Nights features a $6.99 Menu
that includes Classic Burgers, Charbroiled Chicken Breast Burger, Buffalo Wings,
Chicken Quesadilla, Nachos, Popcorn Chicken, Pizza and 1/2 Drink
Pricing. McDuffy's is located just South of 83rd Ave. and Bell Rd. at
15814 N. 83rd Ave. 623-334-5000. Plenty of Motorcycle
Looking for a good quick ride destination or
a great place to meet up with your group for a ride? Grab lunch before you go! Every Saturday from 11am - 2pm head to
Chester's Harley-Davidson for the "Party On The Patio". Enjoy FREE
BBQ Burgers and Dogs with all the fixins', Live Music this week with Jynx
and an Outdoor Sidewalk Sale. Great Deals to be had on some inventory
reduction! Park under the patio, hang out with other riders, meet new friends
and DEMO a brand new Harley-Davidson. Good times to be had by all. The Party on
the Patio will be happening EVERY Saturday at Chester's Harley-Davidson located
at 922 S. Country Club Dr. in Mesa, AZ. 480-894-0404.
Saturday, January 30th
Buddy Stubbs Hogs
and Dogs. Ride by and Buddy Stubbs Harley-Davidson and enjoy his famous
monthly Hogs and Dogs event from 11am - 3pm. LIVE Music, FREE Food,
FREE Drinks, FREE Motorcycle Museum Tours with Buddy Stubbs, FREE pool
tournament for prizes and FREE Marissa Miller Harley-Davidson
Poster. This event is always a good time and
one that riders look forward to every month. Buddy Stubbs
Harley-Davidson is located at 13850 N. Cave Creek Rd. in Phoenix, AZ.
Saturday, January 30th
9th Annual 3 Ball
Run. MMA-Leather district presents the 9th Annual 3 Ball Run. Come on out for 3 Ball and a whole lot of fun. Show your skill. Trophies
for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and last place. Sign in at Charlie's Place located
at 43rd ave. and Thunderbird in Glendale from 10AM - 1130AM. Door
Prizes, $5 per person. 5 stops with 3 ball played at each stop. Door Prizes.
Info at 602-487-8317, Shorty.
First Friday Night of Every Month!
5th this month.
Main St. in Mesa Sponsored by Chester's Harley-Davidson. Riders have been
asking for something to do on a Friday night for a long time and it is finally
here at least once per month. Ride to downtown Mesa the first
Friday of every month for the Downtown Mesa "Motorcycles On Main St."
Cruise Main St. and enjoy Sturgis Style parking on the inside lanes. Park and
show off your bike. The night will feature 4 Beer Gardens located throughout the
2 blocks and 4 Live Band Stages. Be sure and ride to the first one on Friday,
February 5th to join in on the motorcycle fun in Downtown Mesa from 6pm -
10pm. Downtown Mesa is located Just East of Country Club Dr. on Main
St. Ride in with Chester's HD. Meet at the dealership at 6pm located at 922
S. Country Club Dr. in Mesa. Ride leaves at 6:30pm and ends at the Chester's
Booth on Main St. Reserved Motorcycle Parking on the Main St. See Ya There!
Saturday, February 6th
Looking for that perfect motorcycle related
Valentines Day gift? Take advantage of the Arrowhead and Chandler
HD Pre-Valentines Day Event! One Day Only on February 6th from 9am - 5pm. You
will find huge savings including 10% Off on Boots, 15% Off Leather and 20% Off
Jewelry, PLUS 40% OFF End of Season Items. And the famous TIER SALE: The more
you spend the more you save. Get up to 20% off on motorclothes, parts and
accessories. Enjoy a HOG Chapter Bake Sale & enter a raffle to win a dozen
red roses at Chandler. Enjoy Cookies and Candy while you shop & enter to win
a dozen red roses at Arrowhead. Arrowhead HD is located at 16130 N. Arrowhead Fountain Ctr.
Dr. in Peoria, AZ. 623-247-5542. Chandler HD is located at 6895 W. Chandler
Blvd. in Chandler, AZ. 480-496-6886.
Saturday, February 6th
Have you ever wondered how much horsepower you
have when you are fully loaded and trying to pass those cars on a slow 2 lane
road? It seems like never enough! But now you
can find out how much you have and where you need to be to get around those cars
in plenty of time. Stop by Chester's HD on Saturday, February 6th for a FREE
Baseline Run on our Dyno and let us tell you how much Torque and Horsepower your
motor is producing. While you are there, enjoy FREE Food and Live
Music at the "Party on the Patio". You can also take advantage of 10% off on
Performance Parts purchased during the event with service scheduled. For the
entire month of February you can get your new tires for the season with the
Chester's Metzler Tire Blowout. Tires starting as low as $90.00. Stop by
Chester's Harley-Davidson from 10am - 3pm on Saturday, February 6th for all of
the fun. Chester's HD is located at 922 S. Country Club Dr. in Mesa, AZ.
Saturday, February 6th
Chief Bill Lanford
Memorial Ride. Honoring our Fallen Firefighter Brother William D. “Bill”
Lanford was the Chief of Buckeye Valley Fire until he was
tragically killed while riding his Harley on Vulture Mine Road on February 6th
2003. Please join the many brother and sister Firefighters, Law Enforcement
Officers and all of his friends and family in honoring Chief Lanford on this
memorial ride. Everyone is welcome – Any Scooter, Hot Rod, or Apparatus, Ride
it, Drive it, Push it, or Pull it – Just come and make this a huge, memorable
event. Check-in at 8:00 A.M. – Ride Starts at 10:00 A.M. at Station 324: 25206
W. MC 85 Buckeye Az. 85326. Continental Breakfast Provided. $15.00 Single rider,
$25.00 Couple. Escorted, 100 mile ride, including a stop at Bill’s roadside
memorial on Vulture Mine Rd. Everyone Welcome to the After Ride Party. If
any questions please contact Jason at firstname.lastname@example.org or
Saturday, February 6th
For those in the Tucson area that are looking
for that perfect motorcycle related Valentines Day gift, stop by
the beautiful new Tuscon Harley-Davidson and take advantage of
the Tucson HD Pre-Valentines Day Event! One Day Only on February 6th from
9am - 5pm. You will find huge savings including 10% Off on Boots, 15% Off
Leather and 20% Off Jewelry, PLUS 40% OFF End of Season Items. And the
famous TIER SALE: The more you spend the more you save. Get up to 20% off on
motorclothes, parts and accessories. Enjoy Cookies and Candy while you shop
& enter to win a dozen red roses. Tucson HD is located at 7355 N. I-10
EB, Frontage Rd. in Tucson, AZ. Take the Ina Rd. exit to the Frontage Rd.
Take a look at all the new photos
posted on the wall. I invite you to post a picture of yourself by a sign or
landmark from a trip you have taken, or a picture of you on your motorcycle.
Or just share your favorite ride with 1400 other motorcycle
I am inviting you to 1650 other riders and "Become A
Fan" on the Cyclerides.com Facebook page. Click Here
to Become a Fan and bookmark this
page. 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.
This is takes talent
or guts. Or both. Watch how this sea plane takes off
from a trailer being pulled by a car. Click Here to View.
Video of the Week
Everyone loves a good building implosion video, and this is one of the best
I have seen. Amazing how they can drop a 40 story building straight down and not
touch the other ones near by. Click Here to
View. Click on the Video of the Week
graphic on the page.
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