Well, it appears that the local riding season is nearly upon us, judging by the turnout of the first Chandler HD bike night at the Tilted Kilt in Tempe. Over 350 motorcycles made their way through the Kilt last night, even though they had to shut the doors down for a while due to being at capacity inside. It was great to see so many riders out on their bikes last night. It seemed the attitude was that it was a little hot, but we have waited long enough, and good evening riding weather is only a couple of weeks away.
As most of you know from the last couple of letters, Mrs. C. and I recently set aside our daily routine and adopted the Gypsy lifestyle of motorcycle riders without obligations, cell phones or appointment books. We did what everyone needs to do at least once per year, carving out 9 days of time, pointing the bike in the direction that we wanted to go, and letting mother nature and our own curiosity guide us to our next stop. We had no reservations, no place to be, made up our routes as we went, and totally left reality behind for 216 hours. I've traveled this country by car, flown from coast to coast, and have done a couple of cruises. But I have never done anything that compares to the total relaxation that I get from riding down a lonely two lane county road with no expectations or obligations, in the middle of two mountains ranges, 40 miles between small towns, breathing the crisp clean air and admiring God's handiwork. I might be 500 miles from the office, but it seems like a million miles from the real world if even for a short time.
I have said this before, but it deserves repeating. As 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. From this trip alone, if each one of those deposits were dollars, I would be a rich man. For those of you that have not yet experienced this total sense of freedom, if only for a few days, it would be a time you won't soon forget, but one you will long for again and again. For those of you that have, you know what I mean.
With that in mind, I put in my molded headphones, cued up "Long Lonesome Highway" (Click Here to Play) from my favorite TV show in 1969, "Then Came Bronson", and recalled these opening lines of the show when Bronson pulled up to the stop light and talked to the businessman in the car:
Businessman: "Taking a trip?"
Bronson: "What's That?
Businessman: "Taking a Trip?"
Businessman: " Where To?"
Bronson: "Oh, I don't know...wherever I end up, I guess."
Businessman: "Man, I wish I was you."
Bronson: "Really?...well, hang in there".
Click Here for the Video of the opening scene. This will take some of you back.
So with our bags packed and Mrs. C. on the back, we were on our way. But not for long. Right before heading North on I-17 I saw my battery and motor light come on. I pulled over to check things out and saw that my voltmeter was only registering 10 volts of output. I knew I couldn't make it much further, so I called my buddy Jim Moore at Bikers Bay at 5:15pm on Friday and explained my plight and that I was heading out of town for 9 days. He said ride it in, I'll get it fixed and have you back on the road in an hour. Sure enough, his diagnosis was correct. He put in a new voltage regulator and we were back on the road in an hour. Thanks to Jim and the guys at Bikers Bay for a little overtime to get us back on the road. We were so glad that this happened when it did instead of 50 miles up the road.
We spent the first night in Munds Park with friends before heading out early Saturday morning to knock out 420 miles of I-40 for our first stop in Santa Fe. But of course, not before stopping for gas in Winslow and getting the customary Standin' on the Corner photo in Old Town. We decided to go through Albuquerque to Hwy. 14 that would take us through the town of Madrid, NM. You might remember this town from the movie "Wild Hogs" where Maggie's Diner was and the City boys were hiding out from the biker gang. If you are ever in the area, it is a nice ride to the old mining town and fun to see where they spent 2 months shooting the movie. From there it was on to Santa Fe for the night and a quick ride around the old town to see some of the sights including the old Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi built in 1869 and the San Miguel Church, the oldest in the U.S.A. built in 1610. Santa Fe was a neat little town, but I was still too stoked about being on a road trip to get to caught up in sight seeing, So we turned in fairly early that night to hit the road early for a full day through Taos, the Enchanted Circle and on to Chama, NM.
We took what was called the "High Road To Taos" (Hwy. 503 to 76). If you ever do this trip, that is definitely the road to take. First stop was the old mission in Chimayo called Santuario De Chimayo built in 1814. This church is known to have healing powers from its' dirt and is visited by more than 300,000 people per year. There are many crutches and testimonies on the walls. The priest of this Church, Father Roca is 91 years old from Italy and been at the Church for over 50 years. He started telling Mrs. C. about the altar so I decided to video it. If you are into this kind of history, it is very interesting hearing him in his Italian dialect. Click Here to View. After an hour of walking the grounds, taking pictures and talking to Father Roca, we were on our way to Taos. From Santa Fe to Taos is full of pretty riding and old Missions and Churches. We stopped to snap a picture of all of them that we saw and even caught a few minutes of mass at the old San Francisco De Asis Church in Rancho De Taos, one of the oldest churches in America built in 1815.
After a quick lunch in Taos, we saw the storm clouds rolling in and decided we had better hit the road for what is called the Enchanted Circle which makes a loop from Taos to Angel Fire, Eagle Nest, Red River, Questa and back to Taos. This is a great little 80 mile loop that will take you to elevations as high as 9000 feet in Angel Fire and 9800 feet at Bobcat Pass near Red River. Angel Fire is the home of the Vietnam Veterans National Memorial built in 1971 by Dr. Victor Westphall, in memory of his David who was killed in Vietnam in 1968. It was built as an enduring symbol of the tragedy and futility of war and to serve as a national symbol of the sacrifices of Vietnam veterans while also being a source of inspiration for the pursuit of a peaceful world. The memorial is a majestic white chapel built on the side of a hill that almost looks as if it is reaching for the heavens. The Huey helicopter that was so recognizable in Vietnam is mounted in flight as you enter the grounds, reminding you of why you are there. This is really a must see if you are in the area. I took some great pictures that you can see in the gallery. Excellent history of the memorial in the links below.
Red River, which is 27 miles from Angel Fire is a really cool little ski town set in the valley of 2 mountains that is biker friendly and would be a great place to spend the night. It was raining when we went through there, but I did manage to get a few good pictures. As we rounded the West side of the Enchanted Circle we took Hwy. 64 West across the Rio Grande and the Gorge Bridge for a 90 mile ride that included rain, 52 degrees and a 10,500 foot mountain pass before calling it a night in the Branding Iron motel, one of only 3 in town on Hwy. 84 in Chama, NM to end our 270 mile day.
This was a great start to our trip. It is a very historical and pretty area to ride. We heard that there were 3 other loops out of this same area that were also very good. But we had gotten what we came for; Santa Fe, Chimaya, Taos and the Vietnam Memorial. Now it was time to head North and really see some amazing countryside. As soon as we crossed the Colorado border into colorful Colorado things really started to get beautiful. I will be back next week with our first couple of days in the Rocky Mountains. Be sure and view the 191 awesome pictures of New Mexico and the attractions below.
Click Here for Photo Gallery - 191 Great Photos.
Click Here for Maps - Maps from the routes.
Santuario De Chimayo:
San Francisco De Asis Church:
The City of Taos, NM:
Angel Fire Vietnam Veterans Memorial:
Highlights This Week
Saturday, September 15th
Chester's Harley-Davidson Full Metal Attraction Open House.
Head in to Chester’s Harley-Davidson’s Full Metal Attraction Open House.
Free Coffee Bar 8-10am - Free Lunch 11am - 2pm
Saturday, September 15th
Breast Cancer Awareness Fundraiser.
Event will be held at Harold's Cave Creek Corral from 9am - 3pm.
Saturday, September 15th
2nd Annual Wheels of Grace Unity Ride.
September 15 will be the magical day in which we hope to see 300-400 bikers
from various different ministries, clubs and walks of life coming together showing support for the children.
Two Wheeled Tuesdays.
The first Tuesday night was a huge success with over 350 motorcycles coming through the Tilted Kilt to take part in the 9-11 Tribute. Bike night is every Tuesday night with food and drink specials, but Chandler Harley will be doing a special with live music the first Tuesday of every month. For October, look forward to Biketober night at the Kilt. There will be Raffles, Vendors, Bike Competition, Portable Dyno Competition. Watch next week for weekly event specials. Bike night hosted at the Tilted Kilt in Tempe located at 660 W. Warner Rd.
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.
Western Trails Ranch is open again for the riding season Thursday thru Sunday!
Thursday Bike Night starts at 6PM every Thursday. Bike Rodeo each Thursday Night. Trophies and Prizes. Horseshoe Tournament, We are giving away Rally at the Ranch/ Foghat Tickets every Thursday & Friday Night and our Horse Shoe tournament is a $5 Buy in with the winner getting 50% of the Pot with the other 50% supporting the MMA. Winners will advance to a Play off at Rally at The Ranch where they can win a FREE ROOM for the Rocky Point Rally. This Thurday Motorcycle Game will be Slow Drags. Also cash 50/50 drawings for Charity by the MMA Westsiders. Food Discounts & Drink Specials Thursday Night.Happy Hour all night. Drink and Food specials. Foghat Ticket Giveaways, Meet and Greet the MMA Westsiders. 50/50 Drawings.
Friday and Saturday Night: Live Rock and Roll.
Band Friday will be King Gypsy Caravan, Saturday’s Band PRANXTER.
Saturday and Sunday Biker Days Open 10am. Drink Specials, Patio Misters, 4 horseshoe pits, Pool Tables, Watch the bikes come and go from the Buzzard Saloon. Western Trails Ranch is located at 37823 Grand Ave. Morristown, AZ Mile Marker 124. From Surprise Just 15 Short Minutes from Bell Rd on left side of GRAND AVE. Look for the Teepees From Wickenburg just 15 short minutes. 3 miles past SR 74 "Carefree Hwy" on the right. More information at 623-922-0450.
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.
Events This Week
Saturday, September 15th
Chester's Harley-Davidson Full Metal Attraction Open House. Head in to Chester’s Harley-Davidson’s Full Metal Attraction Open House. Check out these irresistible attractions:
New 2008 motorcycles, Latest Genuine Motor Parts & Accessories and MotorClothes® apparel, Renowned Female Motorcycle Journalist for American Iron, Dealernews and Midwest Motorcyclist will visit Chester’s Harley-Davidson to give a motivational seminar to encourage enthusiasts to find more time for themselves and their motorcycles. Presentations at 11am and 1pm. Coffee Bar from 8 to 10am and lunch provided by Landmark Restaurant from Noon to 2pm. Live Music from Noon - 3pm with Nick Nicholson. 10% - 30% Scratch-Off discount cards. Giveaways, sweepstakes prizes and more! Enter the Full Metal Attraction Sweepstakes. GRAND PRIZE – a new 2008 Fat Bob motorcycle and $10,000 of Genuine Motor Parts & Accessories and MotorClothes® merchandise. FIRST PRIZE – a V.I.P. trip for two to the new Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee. Chester's is located at 922 S. Country Club in Mesa, AZ. 480-894-0404.
Saturday, September 15th
2nd Annual Wheels of Grace Unity Ride. September 15 will be the magical day in which we hope to see 300-400 bikers from various different ministries, clubs and walks of life coming together showing support for the children. The reason we coming together is for a unity ride, good food, music and especially to raise funds and toys for children in need, Angel Tree children. Ride to Begin at: Southwestern College 2625 E. Cactus Rd. Phoenix, Arizona. Registration Begins at 7am Event Starts at 8am Fee: $10 + Toy (benefiting Angel Tree kids). First 250 bikers will receive a Unity Ride 2007 Pin & Goody bag! Music provided by: Hillside, Message by KP Westmoreland. National unity prayer call to follow. Ride to End at: Chandler Harley-Davidson 6895 W. Chandler Blvd., Chandler, AZ 85226 Phone: (480) 496-6800. Lunch will be provided by Black Sheep Harley Davidson for Christ. Live music from Choir of the Broken. For more information or registration please go to www.wheelsofgrace.com and click on Unity Ride. OR Contact: Tom Anthony at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 602-478-3534.
Saturday, September 15th
Breast Cancer Awareness Fundraiser. Event will be held at Harold's Cave Creek Corral from 9am - 3pm. Donation of $12 at the door will include you in raffle prizes including Helmets, Leather Jackets, Motorcycle Covers and more. Silent Auction autograph memorabilia and a week in Cabo San Lucas. Lunch Buffet from 11am - 3pm. Breast Cancer pins to the first 200 attendes. Harold's is located at 6895 E. Cave Creek Rd. in Cave Creek. 480-488-1906.
Sunday, September 16th in Tucson.
5th Annual Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation Charity Benefit. Event time 11am - 4pm located at Montgomery's on Vail Road in Tucson. 1 Mile North of I-10 at Vail Exit. Bike Show, Food, Vendors, Kid Events, 50/50, Raffles, Live Band, T-Shirts. Money raised to go to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.
Events Next Week
Saturday, September 22nd
Chester's Harley-Davidson Dealer Demo Event. Everybody loves the Demo Days. This is your chance to ride the 2008 Harley-Davidson's in an organized Demo Day. Stop by Saturday, September 22nd from 9am - 5pm to take a test ride on one of the new Harley's for 2008. You've heard about the new ABS Braking system, now see what all of the fuss is about. Demo route to be determined by the dealership. Coffee Bar 8am - 10am. Lunch from 11am - 2pm. Take a Demo Ride and receive 10% off of your total MotorClothes purchase. Be sure to click on the flyer to see all of the requirements to demo a bike including long sleeve shirt, boots over the ankles, gloves, eyewear, motorcycle license and helmet (helmet's will be provided if needed). Chester's is located at 922 S. Country Club Dr. in Mesa, AZ. 480-894-0404.
Saturday, September 22nd and 23rd
Arrowhead Harley-Davidson 5th Anniversary and Full Metal Open House. Demo Days are a favorite for all riders. Stop by Saturday and Sunday from 9am - 5pm for a Demo Ride on the new Harley-Davidson's. The HD Factory Demo Truck will be on site to let you take a ride on your favorite new Harley. There will be free food provided by the Tilted Kilt, Vendors, Games, the Famous Money Machine, Dynos and Demo Rides and of course, enter to win a new 2008 Fat Bob motorcycle with $10,000 in motorclothes merchandise. Plus, Great Savings all weekend long. Arrowhead HD is located at 16130 N. Ftn Ctr. Dr. in Peoria. 623-247-5542.
Saturday, September 22nd
2nd Annual Bikers for Best Friends Poker Run. Motorcycle enthusiasts from four states will team with local Harley-Davidson dealers for the Second Annual “Bikers for Best Friends” Pet Adoption and Poker Run Saturday, Sept. 22. Expanded this year from one to four locations, bikers will take part in a fund raising ride that begins at Harley-Davidson dealers in New Rochelle, N.Y., Scottsdale, Ariz., Frederick, Colo., and Washington City, Utah. During the day, dogs and cats from various local rescue groups and shelters will be available for adoption at the dealerships. Proceeds from the fund raising event will go to local participating rescue groups and shelters. Registration is $25 that includes poker hand, lunch and festivities. Register before Sept. 15th and receive a free t-shirt. Click Here to Pre-Register. Hacienda is located at 15600 N. Hayden Rd. 480-905-1903.
27th Annual Cycle World International Motorcycle Shows.
The Worlds Largest Powersports Tour is coming to the Cardinals Stadium in Glendale. Don't miss out on the action.
** Over 600 of the latest on and off-road vehicles.
** 18 of the Worlds top manufacturers.
** The latest aftermarket parts and accessories from top manufacturers with reps on hand to answer your questions.
** Special features including Motocross America, The ATV/Outdoor Showcase, Sportbike Customs, Big Twin Customs and The History of Speed.
** Live stunt shows daily with THE BOSS Stunt Team.
** Discount tickets available at motorcycleshows.com.
The stadium is located at the Loop 101 and Glendale Ave. in Glendale, AZ.
Most of you know I am a fan of flying. But remind me never to fly with this guy,
even though he is pretty darn good. It would be some white knuckle time.
These are Alaska gravel bar landings. Click Here to View.
Want to impress a girl on your first date? Get in the car like this. Click Here to View.
This is living proof that a man can't drive by Hooter's without looking. Click Here to View.
This one is really amazing. If you were afraid of flying before, you really will be now. I have a new respect for all of the commercial airline pilots out there. Check out some of the landings of these planes in the wind. Take note of how many of them abort the landing. Click Here to View.
Until Next Week,
Blessings and Safe Riding To All,
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