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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Moose Lodge Charity Poker Run

It was Sunday morning and while there was no chapter ride planned, Dave L. is a member of the Moose Lodge and they were hosting a poker run. Six bikes and nine HOG members showed up to represent Mt. Baker Harley Owners Group: Dave and Dawn, Dave M., Dave L., Mike G., Kathy and John, and Larry and myself.

We arrived for registration and breakfast at the Moose Lodge and then one large group of about 45 bikes and our smaller group of 4 bikes and 2 trikes rode out about 10:00 AM. First stop was the Nooksack Casino and I drew a queen of hearts. Next up was the Skagit Casino and I drew an ace of spades. I knew my luck would not hold but it was fun to have two good cards to start. The large group stayed at the casino to try their luck and our HOG group headed on to the Moose Lodge in Mt. Vernon. We drew our cards…I added a king of spades to my hand and we ordered our food. Just as we were being served, the large group arrived and we were glad we were ahead of them. Dave M. headed for home after lunch hoping he would arrive home in time to mow the lawn and catch another pesky mole that is messing up his manicured lawn. Both groups departed for the Corner Tavern where I drew a 5 of diamonds--and I was out of the running for even the worst hand.

We decided the route to take north by comparing the light grey clouds over Chuckanut Drive to the dark grey clouds over the freeway. There was a chance we could make it back without raingear, but it’s a good thing we didn’t bet on it. First it sprinkled and then a constant steady drizzle stayed with us all the way to Bellingham.

Since neither one of us had a winning hand, Larry and I blew off the last poker run stop and headed back to get the truck which I had driven into town. Dave and Dawn left to visit with Dave’s mom and John and Kathy were riding with the large pack now; that left Dave L. and Mike G. to go for a winning hand. In the end, none of our group won anything at cards (but Dave L. did pull in a couple of prizes from his snakes of raffle tickets), however, the fun is in riding and helping out a good cause.

The best part of the whole day was returning home and Kelly bringing baby Kyler out to the garage to see grandpa Larry on his trike. Kyler smiled and we put him on the Tri Glide to get his first Harley picture taken.

I stayed home with the baby while Larry took Kelly and Kyler to the Moose Lodge for the barbeque rib dinner put on by the Moose Lodge. Several of the raffle prizes were donated by Mt. Baker Harley-Davidson. It was a good day to ride with friends and a good day to be with family.

Photos by Dave Lahr

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day Lunch Ride to Big Lake Tavern

What better way to celebrate father’s day than to take a Harley ride. We met at Mt. Baker Harley-Davidson about 10:00 AM and that gave us a chance to check out the special sales, have a donut, a cup of coffee, and visit with friends.

Owner Greg Head introduced us to his daughter Emily and we all heard him tell her to pick out a bike. We look forward to having her become our youngest HOG member. Doug and Marlene were doing a little shopping and catching up on who’s been riding and Doug’s planned riding adventure with Martin--if it ever warms up.

Ron J., Lorri G., Dave and Dawn, Shelia, Dave L., Tim, Larry and I were ready to ride. We took photos of all the dads at the shop to celebrate their special day and then Jan took photos of the group as we mounted up and headed out. Later we discovered Jan had also taken a short video of the group as we pulled out. Ron J. was the lead road captain and Dave L. was the sweep.

We rode through town and headed towards Chuckanut then took the turn off to ride around Lake Samish. Single file the six bikes with three up wound around the lake in the cool morning air. The skies were grey but the rain was holding off and there was almost no traffic. The fog hugged the eastern shore of the lake making it seem more like a crisp fall day than one day before the start of summer.

We took West Lake Samish Road to Nulle Road, down old highway 99 also known as the Pacific Hwy., Prairie Road, to highway 9 all the way to Big Lake Tavern. The first sprinkles were just beginning to fall as we dismounted from the bikes. Everyone had raingear so we were prepared for whatever the weather might bring when lunch was finished. Coffee, cold drinks, tea, hot chocolate and our food ordered we were ready to sit back and talk. Lunch was leisurely and relaxing.

We unpacked the raingear before heading home. There was a light rain falling but due north it looked like clear skies ahead. Tim left the group in Sedro-Woolley to head up highway 9 and the rest of the group headed for the freeway. Luck held and there wasn’t much traffic. First Dave L. pulled off, the Dave and Dawn, next Ron and Lorri, then it was just Larry and I following Shelia north. We waved to Shelia as we dropped off at Ferndale. Another day, another ride, another memory.

Saturday...visiting with JT and a Harley ride

Friday night the weather forecast for Saturday was for showers off and on. So sad!

Well Saturday morning proved the weathermen wrong. The sun was shining and it was going to be a Harley kind of day. Coffee…the breakfast of everyone who lives in the northwest and I was ready to ride.

A block before we arrived at Mt. Baker Harley-Davidson, I told Larry another red trike was turning the corner and would be right behind us. We pulled in, parked, and waited for the other couple to get parked on their new bikes. Larry and I introduced ourselves to Pam and Pat and admired their new bikes and I took a picture of Pam and her week old trike. Looks like Mt. Baker HD is going to have a large trike group, and this should make for a wonderful picture later this summer or early fall. Jeannie was there on her trike and so there were three red trikes parked out front.

It’s always fun to pull up to the shop and see who is there to greet you. Today it was JT Hasley, our regional manager for the Harley Owners Group. Usually JT gets a few hours to visit with the HOG members and customers at a dealership before he is off and running to the next dealer, event, rally, or meeting. This weekend he rode into town Friday afternoon and won’t head south until Sunday afternoon.

JT always has a smile on his face, has great stories to tell, is a walking encyclopedia of HOG/H-D information, and he always has a hug for me. JT wanted to check out our trike, see what chrome we had added, and find out how we like riding it. JT has a sidecar that he is still getting acquainted with and shared a story of one of his first big outings on it. I said he should write a book of his adventures and stories of riding 500,000 miles and the people he has met, and Jeannie agreed.

We talked Facebook, blogs, and the fast changing pace of the internet, web communications, what that means to HD, and how they are handling it corporately. We talked rides, bikes, chrome, and weather…typical topics for Harley riders. Arriving after the early crush of riders, allowed us to visit with JT for almost a hour and a half.

Larry and I said good-bye to JT until we meet again and headed out for a Saturday afternoon ride. We took Marine Drive out of town and passed hundreds of bicyclist who fortunately for us were headed into town and not going in the same direction we were.

We rode through the Lummi Nation and found they were hosting their annual Stommish Festival. We headed up Haxton and turned off on Red River Road where we saw four eagles circling and landing in the fields to feast on mice or other small rodents. The farm machinery was cutting and baling hay and that must have uncovered hiding places for the mice and a smorgasbord for the eagles.

We continued out to Pt. Whitethorn Marine Reserve where I convinced Larry that walking ¾ of a mile in Harley boots and leather was a good idea to see the view. At least it was level and smooth and it was a great view when we arrived at the end of the trail. We walked back to the parking lot enjoying the sights and sounds of the birds and we were ready for cold drinks.

Birch Bay was jumping, as it always is on a weekend, although there were not that many motorcycles taking advantage of the great riding weather. We continued out to Semiahmoo before heading home.

New Trike Owner Pam...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

IIHS Calls for Mandatory ABS Brakes on Motorcycles

Motor Cyclist recently ran an article about the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety completing a new study about ABS brakes on  motorcycles.    You can read the full story here:

Does your Harley come equiped with ABS brakes?

Harley Davidson CVO Ultra Classic Electra Glide Standard

Harley Davidson Electra Glide Classic Optional

Harley Davidson Electra Glide Standard Optional

Harley Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Limited Standard

Harley Davidson Night Rod Special Optional

Harley Davidson Road Glide Optional

Harley Davidson Road Glide Custom Optional

Harley Davidson Road King Optional

Harley Davidson Road King classic Optional

Harley Davidson Road King Custom Optional

Harley Davidson Street Glid Optional

Harley Davidson Ultra Classic Electra Glide Optional

Harley Davidson V-Rod Optional

Harley Davidson V-Rod Muscle Optional

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Sunshine and Harleys

Sunshine and Harleys

After a week of rainy days, we woke up to the sun shining brightly on Mt. Baker gleaming as it loomed in the distance. I wasn’t ready to give up my heated gear just yet, but knew that sometime during the day I wouldn’t need it plugged in.

Gassed up and ready to ride we arrived at Mt. Baker Harley-Davidson in time to meet and greet friends who were riding with us for lunch and others who wanted to go, but needed to take care of chores and business.

Shelia was the road captain and Chris, the sweep, for the Conway Pub lunch ride. We pulled out with 13 bikes and 2 trikes for the jaunt down Chuckanut Drive. Mark had a music gig south of Seattle, but he choose to ride part way with us and log a few miles before heading home. Lorie was riding her new Sportster and this was her first group ride. Way to go Lorie. JD (John Dunne) was back on his wheels and ready to enjoy the ride. We also had several guests riding with the group for the first time.

The ride down Chuckanut, as always, was breathtaking; but with the trees all leafed out it is much harder to capture a great shot of the bay from the back of the bike. On the shallow end of Chuckanut and Samish bays the tide was out so there were great stretches of mud flats As we rode through Padilla Bay a large group of Model A style cars was headed north and both groups waved and honked at each other. We stopped at the Shell station to stretch our legs and take a break before finishing our trek to The Conway Pub.

Baby calves scampered away from the road as we passed by. Maybe it was the loud pipes or it could have been the loud music blaring away from our sound systems, but it was cute to watch them. Several times horses would bound across their paddocks as we rumbled by. Other animals just seemed to ignore the iron thunder rolling by.

Luckily we arrived just before the lunch crowds and only one other small biker group was arriving at the same time. Parked out front were two Shelby Cobra’s that had us checking them out. Plenty of parking and the best part was there was room available for everyone to sit on the patio and enjoy the sunshine and warmth. Bill and Marla arrived just a short time before our group did. They had a few errands to run and decided to meet us for lunch and finish the ride home with us. Another couple Larry B. knew from the shop arrived just after we were seated and joined us for lunch and also the ride home.

The music was a little loud on the patio, and we discovered we were sitting right under a speaker, which meant you talked louder or listened to the music and waited to talk in between songs. Our servers kept lots of ice tea and sodas flowing while we enjoyed the leisurely lunch amongst friends.

Pay the bill, take a pit stop, now it’s time to ride. Shelia was waiting outside the pub by her bike looking a little like “Bo Peep” who lost her black clad sheep, as we slowly wandered out of the pub and ambled over to our bikes.

Mike S. and JD needed to head for home after lunch so they broke off at the freeway and the rest of us continued across the county to highway 9 where we headed north. We made a brief pit stop at the roundabout near Big Lake and we were on the road again. As we neared Bellingham the group began peeling off in different directions to head for home. Our last stop was in Acme with several friends while the rest kept going.

It was a great way to start the weekend and my only regret is that we won’t be able to ride to Winthrop on Sunday with the group to have lunch at the Sun Mount Lodge. Good job to Shelia on being the road captain and to Chris for being the sweep.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The long way to The Blue Mountain Grill for lunch

Saturday June 5th, 2010

Today my oldest son Jim turned 32, his 6th annual 27th birthday. Since he lives in CA and I couldn’t be with him on his birthday, the next best thing was celebrate this glorious, sunshiny day, and ride with friends.

Larry and I met up with Dave and Lorie at their home and we headed off to meet Dave and Dawn on the south side of town at Sehome Starbucks. We didn’t waste time on coffee since everyone had probably had at least one or two cups (some maybe more) earlier, so we mounted up and headed south.

Chuckanut Drive is one of the most scenic byways in Washington State. It is about twenty miles long and is part of the original Pacific Highway. It has been called the Wizard’s path through Oz and Washington’s Big Sur. The original dirt road was built in 1896 connecting Whatcom County to Skagit County and now known as route-11 was once used as a one lane logging road.

In 1905 the paving began and stopped after only a few miles due to lack of funding. Convicts began paving the road in 1910 but only finished about five miles before more state funding finished the road in 1931. You can see the San Juan Island, the Olympic Peninsula, and Vancouver Island as you travel along Chuckanut Drive. The narrow two lane paved highway we use today was expanded in the 1920’s on the side of Chuckanut Mountain and still has some of the remaining built-in curbs, railings, and retaining walls overlooking the cliffs of Chuckanut and Samish bays. The bridge over Oyster Creek is dated 1925. Chuckanut Drive is designated a State Scenic Byway.

Sights and places to stop along the road are: North Chuckanut Mountain Trailhead, Larrabee State Park main entrance/Fragrance Lake trail (which in 1915 became Washington’s first state park), Heritage marker and fossils, Taylor Shellfish Farms, Oyster Creek Inn, The Oyster Bar on Chuckanut Drive, Bat Caves Trailhead, Chuckanut Manor, and Rhododendron CafĂ©.

We continued on our way through Edison, to La Conner, around the traffic circle and onto Conway for our first stop. Coffee! Hot, cold, it didn’t matter, just give me coffee. We stretched our legs and headed off to the Blue Mountain Grill for lunch. The sun's warmth permeated through our leathers, eliminating the need to keep our heated gear plugged in.

We arrived to the paved parking lot full of bikes so we pulled into the overfill lot. Only one other group of bikers was on the patio so we found a nice corner, ordered cold drinks, and placed our food orders. Now we could just relax amongst friends talking and laughing and basking in the sunshine. We laughed that when we pull up at a stop sign people are probably wondering at our wide range of music playing on all the bikes' CD players: rock, country, 50’s, pop, and everything in between.

Chris and Mike McGlenn arrived with family and friends shortly after we did. They too were taking advantage of the great weather because for the last several weeks everyone has been cage bound due to rainy weather.

At about 2:30 PM we were back home after enjoying another great day riding with friends.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Donna and her new Harley Tri Glide Trike

Mt. Baker Harley-Davidson delivered Donna's new tri glide trike to her home today.  Congratulations Donna and we look forward to having you ride with us.

Photos provided by Mt. Baker Harley-Davidson
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