Wow! What a week we have had in the Phoenix area. Not only are we getting the violent nightly monsoons around the valley that we have to deal with, but last Friday, July 27th was a day we won't soon forget in our little town. I'm sure most of you have heard about the tragic-mid air collision of 2 of our local television helicopters. The helicopters were reporting on a police chase in Central Phoenix when they collided in mid-air, caught fire and fell to the ground where they erupted into flames. Fortunately, they fell into an area of Steele Indian School park where no one was. Had it been a half mile in any direction, casualties on the ground could have been severe as the VA hospital was just a few hundred yards away. Unfortunately, 4 men were killed in the accident, Craig Smith and Rick Krolak from Channel 15 and Scott Bowerbank and Jim Cox from 3TV.
For me, the moment I found out about the accident will probably be right up there with when I heard about John Lennon getting shot or when I heard that Elvis had died. I remember EXACTLY where I was and what I was doing on each of those occasions. This was almost one of those surreal moments when you think; "Awe, that couldn't happen here. This is the kind of thing you hear about in L.A. or New York. Not in our town". Well, we aren't the sleepy little town that we were 20 years ago. We are the fifth largest City in the United States and instead of one helicopter following the action there were six. Seeing these things in person a few times, I have to admit to wondering if something like that could ever happen.
My next thought, as well as a lot of you was, could it have been Bruce Hafner in the chopper? Not that Bruce was more important than Scott Bowerbank, but when you watch channel 3 in the morning every day like I do, Bruce IS Newschopper 3 and the guy that I see all the time and can relate to. So he was the first one that I thought about. As soon as I heard about it, I called Scott Pasmore who was on his way to the station, to see who it was. He said that Bruce was off for the mid day and back up pilot Scott Bowerbank and Photographer Jim Cox were in the copter. As I watched the coverage from Scott on 3TV and listened to the eye witness accounts of the accident for the next 4 hours, it was like 9-11 all over again for me, still not believing that this had really happened.
Watching the report was especially surreal because the news station had now become the news. You had reporters and photographers that worked with these 2 guys every day, now having to be professional, keep it together, put their personal heartaches aside for a moment to give all of us an accurate report of the story. Being close friends with Scott over the last 9 years, I could see the pain he was going through recalling stories about these two friends and co-workers only minutes after they had perished in this horrific accident. He did a great job and showed incredible professionalism as well as all of the other reporters at 3TV. Through my association with Scott I have had the opportunity to be at the station many times over the last several years and have gotten to know a lot of the people that work there. I can attest to the fact that their tagline of "Arizona's Family" is not just a tagline. They really are a Family and July 27th, 2007 was a devastating day for all of them.
It was also a tough day for the viewers. Because we invite these people into our living rooms, bedrooms or offices every morning, we kind of feel like we know them. When they are talking into that camera, we think they are talking to us, not 50,000 other people at the same time. So when they hurt, we hurt. And coincidentally, since Bruce Hafner was on vacation, we had seen a lot of Scott Bowerbank filling in for him over the last couple of weeks. I personally did not know Bowerbank or Jim Cox, but I have to admit, I still felt the pain. Maybe it was my relationship with Pasmore or maybe seeing the staff of 3TV grieving, it was a very sad last few days. After attending the Memorial yesterday, I could really see the community coming together to support Channel 3 and pay their respects to these two great guys. The amount of flowers that were taken to the station was incredible and the memorial at Steele Indian School Park is amazing. There are a lot of good people in this town.
But unfortunately, there are some real bad guys out there as well. Later that same night, a Phoenix Police Officer, George Cortez, was killed in the line of duty attempting to arrest a man for forging and trying to cash a $400 check. George was only 23 years old and married to Wife Tiffany and has two kids ages 4 and 2. He had gotten his dream job only 2 years ago with Phoenix P.D. and loved his work protecting the city streets. But instead of finishing out his career as a police officer, his life was cut drastically short because of some 20 year old loser that shot him in the face and shoulder while being arrested. Now his life is over and his young family's life is in complete disarray. As you can imagine, Tiffany is struggling with the sudden loss of her Husband and the Father of their 2 children. She said that they saw her 4 year old looking up into the sky. They asked him what he was looking for and he said "that he was trying to find Daddy in Heaven".
Click Here for a picture of George and his family.
Click Here for the 3TV video report.
Click Here for Arizona Republic article.
A Cyclerides.com reader suggested that I do a ride for those that perished in the helicopter crash. Since 3TV is such a great friend to the motorcycle community and usually the only media station to give any coverage to our events, I thought that was a great idea. So I called Scott and asked him if he would be interested in jointly doing a motorcycle benefit ride to honor the loss of those in the helicopter crash, give riders a chance to show our appreciation to those at Channel 3 and at the same time raise money for the George Cortez family. We have always wanted to organize a ride together and he thought it was a great idea. So we were off and running.
Here are the details:
Saturday, August 18th.
Chopper's Memorial Ride. Staging will be at the 3TV station located at 5555 N. 7th Ave. in Phoenix from 7am - 9am. We will then take a short escorted ride to Westgate City Center located at 91st Ave. and Glendale where there will be a stage and sound system set up so that the personalities at 3TV can address the crowd and give their thanks for all of the support you have given them through this difficult time. They are truly astounded and appreciative of all the love and support they have gotten and are eager to give their thanks to everyone who attends.
At this early stage there are commitments from Scott Pasmore, Dan Davis, Tara Hitchcock, Olivia, Patty Kirkpatrick, Brad Perry, Royal Norman and Bruce Hafner, who will be, you guessed it, riding a Chopper. The families of Jim Cox and Scott Bowerbank will also be there. I'm sure there will be many more of the on air and behind the scenes 3TV people in attendance. Tiffany Cortez and her kids will also be in attendance. So you will be able to pass on your condolences to her as well. The beginning and end of the ride will be shown LIVE on Channel 3. So be prepared, you might be interviewed. Donation will be $20 per Bike that will include a sticker like the graphic that you see on the flyer. All brands of motorcycles are invited. If you don't ride, you can meet the ride at Westgate and give a donation there. Click Here for the flyer and details.
I look forward to your help in making this a huge turnout for both 3TV and the George Cortez family. This is a great cause and should be a fun time. If there is a good reason to get the bike out of the garage at this time of year, this is it.
See you there. Click Here for the video of Scott announcing the ride on 3TV.
Thanks for your continued support,
Chesterís Harley Davidson Biker Night at the Tilted Kilt in Tempe! If you are looking for some fun on a Tuesday night, With 2 outdoor patios and plenty of excitement, This place is a good time! The Tilted Kilt is home to the best Scotch-Irish experience in Arizona, with an award-winning menu, classic pub fare, and signature Kilt items sure to please any palate, not to mention twenty four globe-spanning beers on tap! Biker Night Tuesdays also mean half-price appetizers. And, with a Tilted Kilt Biker Night Card, you receive 15% OFF your total bill. So what are you waiting for? Come on down and have a craic with Chesterís Harley-Davidson! The Tilted Kilt is located at 660 W. Warner Rd. in Tempe, AZ. Just 1.5 miles East of I-10 on Warner Rd. 480-592-0102. Click Here for Map.
Bike Night at Buffalo Wild Wings Mesa-Falcon Field. This is a great new stop for riders on the East Side. Enjoy GREAT FOOD and Live Music every Wednesday night with Soul Catcher, featuring acoustic blues and classic rock from 7pm - 10pm every Wednesday Night at Buffalo Wild Wings located at 4425 E. McKellips Rd. in Mesa, AZ, just across from Falcon Field. Special motorcycle parking in front of the patio. Choose from the extensive new menu including Wings, Chicken Tenders, Huge selection of salads, Wraps, Sandwiches, Ribs & Combos, Burgers, Desserts and Beverages. Click Here for complete menu. Bike Night specials are 50 Cent Legs all day, $2.50 Coronas & Pacificos, $1.75 Bud Light Pints, $1.75 Miller Light Pints. Sit inside and watch your favorite sporting events on over 50 TV's and 5 Giant Screen TV's or sit outside on the huge patio where there are more TV's and enjoy the evening air. Wherever you find to relax, you will be sure to have a good time, good food and good entertainment at the Buffalo Wings Wednesday Bike Night. 480-218-9464. Click Here to take a look at Buffalo Wild Wings.
Arrowhead Harley-Davidson Thursday Bike Night at Gordon Biersch Brewery at Westgate. Live Music on the patio this week 6:30 - 9:30pm!! You can also sign up for the Gordon Biersch Passport card. Get your GB Passport. Pay $20 for the card, and you will get a $20 gift certificate to redeem for food and drink. On Bike Nights you will receive double rewards to build points for free food and drink. Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant in Glendale features the best Beer Garden you will find in this State, an impressive bar area equipped with TVs and speaker system, great food, and a large outdoor patio seating. Bike night specials include: Extended Happy Hour for Riders to 8:00pm
Happy Hour includes:
$1.00 off Gordon Biersch Lagers
$2.00 off all Wines by the Glass
$4.95 Appetizer Specials: Southwest Egg rolls, Tapas, Chicken Wings, Bruschetta, Crispy Artichoke Hearts, Garlic Fries, Mini Pizza's Cheese or Pepperoni.
Try my favorite, the Gordon Biersch "Golden Export" or a sampler
of all 5 of their beers brewed on site. Plenty of motorcycle only parking. Gordon Biersch is located
at 6915 N. 95th Ave. at Westgate City Center, Loop 101 and Glendale next to the Cardinals Stadium. An easy ride
from anywhere in the Valley. 623-877-4300
The Bike Night At The Billet Bar. 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.
Every Saturday and Sunday
Harold's Cave Creek Corral Bike Weekends. This is the patio that we have all been waiting for in Cave Creek. The new 4000 Sq. Ft. patio at Harold's is finally finished complete with misters, TV's and an outdoor bar. There is plenty of room to put some tables together and hang out with your riding group for breakfast, lunch or the cold beverage of your choice. Live Music from Noon to 4pm every Saturday with Bob Bouchard, the man who plays at Greasewood every weekend. Enjoy TV's all around the patio with a walk up bar. Ride out on Sunday's and enjoy the All You Can Eat breakfast buffet for $8.99 on Sundays from 8am - Noon. Or grab one of Harold's fantastic hamburgers and watch the bikes roll by on Cave Creek Rd. from the patio. 50% Off Appetizers and $2.00 Bud/Bud Light bottles. You can also choose from their full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu every day of the week. Plenty of new motorcycle parking right in front of the patio. A great destination patio for your weekend rides. Harold's is located at 6895 E. Cave Creek Rd., in Cave Creek. 480-488-1906. There are still no tickets being given for DB violations. Just continue to keep the noise down as much as possible when riding through Carefree.
Saturday, August 4th
1st Annual Wings of Hope. This poker run will be taking place in order to raise monies for our "Wings of Hope" charity fundraiser. The monies raised from this event will be given to the Mesa Police Association Officer Assistance Fund to aid families of officers that have been killed or critically injured in the line of duty. The event will be taking place on August 4, 2007 beginning at 11am and continuing until 2 am that night. There are going to be plenty of activities for all to enjoy. The poker run will begin with a 5 pm sign up at Chester's Harley Davidson and will stop at three other stops, to be determined by weeks end, and finally ending up at Buffalo Wild Wings located at 1130 W Grove Ave, Mesa. The time was selected due to the hot weather and has a perfect ending time that will allow all riders to stay and listen to our live band(s) that night. Event includes: Meet D-Back Cheerleaders, Live music all night, Meet the Miller Girls, Drawings, K-9 Demonstrations, 20% off all sales donated to charity. Call 480-844-9464 for times of events.
Saturday, August 11th
Chester's Harley-Davidson Blood Drive. Always wanted to be a hero? Now's your chance! Chester's Harley-Davidson and United Blood Services are challenging area businesses and their employees to participate in our life-saving community blood drive on Saturday, August 11th, from 10am to 2pm, right here at Chester's Harley-Davidson. The company with the most participating employees will win a free catered lunch, and EVERY donor will receive a voucher for a free Chick-Fil-A sandwich, in addition to being entered into a drawing to win a new 2007 Saturn Aura, the "North American Car of the Year"! Remember: Every three seconds, someone needs blood. Be a hero--ask us to make your life-saving appointment! Chester's HD located at 922 S. Country Club Dr. in Mesa, AZ. 480-894-0404.
Video Watching Tip:
You can right click on the video and click on 200% to increase the size of the video.
This video reminds of that scene in Caddyshack when Bill Murray's character Carl, eats that Baby Ruth bar out of the bottom of the pool. Click Here to View.
This time we have the Bobcat Vs. The Rattlesnake. Which style do you think will win? The shake and bake of Ali, or the straight ahead style of George Foreman. See for yourself. Click Here to View.
This might be a good commercial for the Taser. According to this guy, they work. Click Here to View.