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Archive for July 23rd, 2008

We’re warming up the tires…it’s a month from today before we kick off our ride to the “motherland” and attend the 105th Anniversary. 

There will be thousands of riders taking to the roads in the Northwest during this time frame to converge in Milwaukee during the last week of August.

According to the Harley Ride Planner 2.0 site there are three official start points in the Northwest.  Actually there are more, but the “official” ones are Vancouver, BC (2328 miles), Seattle, WA (2132 miles) and Bend, Oregon (2074 miles).  The Bend route, like all of the other routes include stops at local Harley dealers who are planning street parties and events to bring in the riders and more importantly their $$$!   It’s not well known, but over the past three years, clothing and apparel sales are up 12 percent at Harley, largely due to a stronger female customer base. As a corporation with 684 independent dealers, Harley last year sold $305 million in general merchandise – or 5.3 percent of the company’s $5.7 billion revenue – which includes apparel, according to their annual report.  That’s a lot of t-shirts!

The Bend route will make six overnight stops and ride less than 300 miles per day providing dealer’s an opportunity to extract a few extra dollars from riders wallets in including mine.  Our small group has not decided which route (northern or southern) we’ll take.  It really depends on weather. 

Drafting behind others from dealer-to-dealer on the interstate isn’t my idea of a motorcycle road trip so, we’ll take our own path and intersect with others as we get near Milwaukee.

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