Awesome, Incredible, Humbling and WOW! Those are a few words that come to mind when I reflect on the Choppers Memorial Ride that took place last Saturday, August 18th. I knew there would be a big turnout for this one, but you guys just blew us away with your participation. (To see the history of how this ride was started, Click Here)
Before I go any further, I would encourage you to watch the music video that I put together for the ride. For those of you that went, it will give you a time to reflect and for those that didn't, you will have something to visualize from the words that follow. It is fairly large, so be patient with the download. You can also "Right Click" on the link and choose "Save Target As" to save it to your computer for future viewing. Click Here To View Video. Push the Alt + Enter keys to go Full Screen.
I knew the day was going to be special when Mrs. C. and I pulled into the parking lot of 3TV at 6:15am and there was already 40 bikes there. As I have said in past letters, this was one of those tragic chain of events that literally touched almost everyone in the City. It was bad enough when we heard about the News Helicopters from 3TV and Channel 15 colliding and falling to the ground as the result of a disastrous mid-air collision. But later that night, as we are still trying to digest what had happened that afternoon with the helicopters, we got the news that a Phoenix Police Officer, George Cortez had also lost his life in the line of duty, which had the effect of another punch in the gut.
Most of us didn't know these 5 men personally, but each of them affected our lives in some way. Whether we watched Channel 15 with Craig Smith and Rick Krolac in the Helicopter, or more recently Scott Bowerbank and Jim Cox filling in for Bruce on 3TV. We felt like we knew them because we invited them into our homes every morning and evening to keep us informed on what was happening in our City from the air. I didn't know George Cortez either, but I do feel better knowing that those men who put on the Police uniform are there to protect us from the dangers of living in the big city and thoroughly respect and appreciate what they do.
From the start of the day it was high energy. It just felt like there was a lot of love and compassion in the air that day as we were all there for the same reason, and that was to memorialize those in the helicopters, give our condolences to the staff at 3TV, and to raise money for the family of 23 year old George Cortez's wife Tiffany and 2 kids Gunner and Koltan ages 2 and 4 years old.
After 2 hours of registration we had accumulated over 2000 bikes that were lined up solid on 7th avenue from Bethany Home Rd. back to Missouri and on towards Camelback. It started out with only the outer 2 lanes closed until it was obvious that there were going to be more bikes attending than there was available parking, so Phoenix Police decided to completely close Northbound 7th Ave. which allowed bikes to be lined up 6-8 wide for at least 1/2 mile. It was quite a sight. Just before 9am those that were parked in the 3TV parking lot were asked to go stage to the front. But the only way we could get there was to travel North in the Southbound lane to Bethany Home. When Scott Pasmore and I pulled out heading North all we could see was bikes for the entire way with riders cheering, waving and taking pictures as we went by. I will admit to having goose bumps from my head to my toe seeing all of the support from the riders at this event. It was an absolute outpouring of love for all of the men that perished that weekend and their families.
Mindful of the intense heat we wanted to be prompt, so at 9am and we were on our way to Westgate City Center. It was a short 13 mile ride to Westgate but no one was complaining as it was a very hot day. We were anxious to get the show going, but it took about 30 minutes for all of the bikes to finally get there, and we wanted everyone to be able to participate in the ending festivities. At 10am I addressed the crowd for a couple of minutes and then turned the stage over to my buddy and co-organizer from 3TV Scott Pasmore to introduce his colleagues and let them thank the riders for all of the support over the last 3 weeks. Speaking that day were of course Scott, along with Tara, Olivia Fiero, Bruce Hafner, Kim Martinez and Tim & Willy from KNIX radio. We then introduced Tiffany to present her with the total of the money raised that day. It has grown since then and the total is now $42,278. All raised from the great motorcycle riders of Arizona in 2 hours that morning. It was great to see how much money was raised for the George Cortez family.
Just so that everyone knows, Scott and I were very specific on this. ALL of the money raised was given direct to Tiffany Cortez and her Family that day. We wanted to make sure that it all got to where it was supposed to go. It was taken from the start of the event by MSCO to the bank, counted and reported back to us at Westgate.
I would like to thank the Phoenix and Glendale Police Departments that had to scramble on short notice to make this happen. We broke about every rule there was, but they stepped up and got it done for a good cause. Many of the motors worked on their days off to provide the excellent escort that we had. Thanks also goes out to Westgate for providing the end location with the stage and sound system. They always do an excellent job there. The stickers that you got and banners were donated by Arizona Color located at 2030 W. Deer Valley Rd., 623-580-7386. They might still have stickers available. Give them a call if you would like one. Thanks as well to large donations to those in the motorcycle business. Chester's Harley-Davidson for $1000, Helmet Harbor for $500 and The Law Tigers for $250. You might have also seen a group of Yamaha Rhinos and Polaris Rangers in the parking lot. They raised over $2400 from their group as well. And Thanks to Scott for jumping into this with me and making it a fantastic event.
Scott Pasmore and I are genuinely humbled by your support of this event and appreciate all of the love and kindness that was directed our way that day and since then in emails. In only 2 weeks notice, you rallied the troops and took the time on a very hot August day to participate in this event. We appreciate your support more than you will know. I look forward to seeing you at the next Cyclerides.com event.
Click Here for the Music Photo Video of the event.
Click Here for the Photos from the Ride.
Click Here for 3TV Coverage of the Event.
The following is a letter from Tom Tyo, Father of Tiffany Cortez, to all that attended the Chopper's Memorial Ride:
My name is Tom Tyo and I am Tiffany Cortez’s father. I am writing on behalf of the family to let you all know of our sincere gratitude for what you did for Tiffany on Saturday, August 18th. Words cannot adequately express our appreciation for your support of her and the 2 boys. We need to first thank Barry Caraway and Cyclerides.com along with Scott Pasmore and Channel 3 News for making the event and ride a reality. We also want to share our condolences, sympathy, and gratitude to the Bowerbank, Cox, Smith, and Krolak families for their loss as well as their thoughts and gifts to Tiffany. Times like this are truly life altering events and to see the love and support pour out from the community as it did Saturday shows that there are caring compassionate people who really can make a difference in the life of those who have been gripped by tragedy. The money you all raised that was so graciously donated to Tiffany will go directly to reducing the debt that this young couple had accumulated over the first 4 years of their marriage. While nothing we do can will ever bring George back, helping her to start with a clean slate will go a long way in making recovery that much less stressful. On behalf of Tiffany, the boys, and the rest of the family all I can do is say a great big thanks and may God Bless each and every one of you, you will always be in our hearts.
Tom Tyo, Tiffany, Koltan, & Gunner Cortez
Highlights This Week
Saturday, August 25th
Buddy Stubbs Hogs & Paradise. Be sure and stop by Buddy Stubbs end of the month party
where you will always have a good time.
Saturday, August 25th
Chandler Harley-Davidson Used Bike Tent Event. Chandler Harley Davidson will be
hosting a used bike tent event this Saturday,
Saturday, August 25th
Concert Series at Westgate featuring Great White and Jani Lane from Warrant.
Here's one for you fans of the old Rock and Roll Hair bands of the 80's.
This Week's Bike Night Events
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 25th
Buddy Stubbs Hogs & Paradise. Be sure and stop by Buddy Stubbs end of the month party where you will always have a good time. This month party with the Hogs and Paradise indoor island theme party. Enjoy Live Music with Dok & Gal featuring reggae and calypso style music. There will be a Treasure Chest Contest, Pool Tournament, Motorcycle Museum Tour, 50/50, Raffles and FREE Food. This is also a great opportunity to take a look at the new 2008 Harley-Davidson motorcycles. It all happens inside so that you can stay cool and have some fun. August 25th from 11am - 3pm at Buddy Stubbs HD located at 13850 N. Cave Creek Rd. in Phoenix, AZ. 602-971-3400.
Saturday, August 25th
Chandler Harley-Davidson Used Bike Tent Event. Chandler Harley Davidson will be hosting a used bike tent event this Saturday, August 25th from 11am – 2pm ONLY! Stop by and join us for FREE hot dogs, chips, and drinks. Also, cool off with some tasty root beer floats. Not to mention, we will have great deals on parts, accessories, service and labor. The entire store is on sale! Stop by our tent and check out the many used bikes we will have on display, all ready to roll! Only at Chandler Harley Davidson, this Saturday, August 25th from 11am – 2pm. 6895 W. Chandler Blvd. 480-496-6800. www.chandlerharley.com.
Saturday, August 25th
Concert Series at Westgate featuring Great White and Jani Lane from Warrant. Here's one for you fans of the old Rock and Roll Hair bands of the 80's. Westgate City Center is starting their concert series on fountain plaza with Great White and Jani Lane from Warrant. Jani Lane opens at 8pm and Great White at 9:30pm. Tickets are $20 at the door or you buy and print online for $11.33 plus $3.00 (per order) fee. There is also a Golden Circle ticket that is available for the concert series, but it is sold out for Great White. For more information email Tony Quist at email@example.com . Click Here to buy tickets online. Motorcycle only parking will be reserved on the East side of Westgate at Coyote Blvd.
Friday and Saturday
August 31st and September 1st
Labor Day Party at the Billet Bar. Staying in town? Need a place to hang out and listen to some music. Take a ride to the Billet for the Labor Day weekend party featuring the band Whiskey Dogz at the World Famous Billet Bar. Band starts at 9pm both nights. Billet is located at 3748 N. Scottsdale Rd. in Old Town Scottsdale. 480-941-1876.
If you haven't already done so, I would
encourage you to watch the photo music video from the Chopper's Memorial Ride. It is really good. Click Here to View.
I've seen a lot of trick plays over the years, but never one that worked this well. Great Play. Click Here to View.
Here is a guy in Europe that is pushing the limits on a burnout. You would that there would be a parking lot or some place like that. Then you can see how they do it in Iraq. Click Here to View.
Here is a video of what you don't want to see while riding a motorcycle. Click Here to View.
Yikes, Here is a 2 minute montage of some wicked motorsports car crashes to music. This is some of the best I have seen. Click Here to View.