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Archive for May, 2012

The rumbling to life of a half-dozen V-Twins brings a collective smile.

We’ll pull out in formation, heading 300 miles East to the first night’s destination in famous Baker City.  You’ll understand why when you begin the adventure and travel the colorful history of the Oregon Trail and through the majestic Wallowa Mountains of Northeast Oregon. As always, it’ll be good to be on the road.

We call it the Hells Canyon Motorcycle Rally (HCMR). A two-wheeled tour with friends from various walks of American life with the single mission of enjoying the ride to a gold mine of geology, scenery, plants and wildlife.  Home of several scenic byways including the Elkhorn Drive National Scenic Byway that’s a dream to put your bike on one of the greatest motorcycle roads anywhere.

Our journey will begin in just a few days.  It’s a long enough ride for everyone to find their groove, yet sprinkled in with a few stops where conversations recount who we are, where we’ve been and what we’ve seen. That’s how road trips work.

It also gives this ever-fashionable blog editor a chance to swap the wingtips for a more suitable form of footgear.  Along the way we’ll find motorcycle friendly businesses that speak “two-wheel” and once we end at the “Queen City of the Mines” (Baker City) the Folkestad motorcycle rally ambience will take hold.

I’ve blogged about previous trips HERE for 2011, HERE for 2010 and in 2009 HERE.

Don’t miss this rally!

Photo courtesy of Baker City Chamber of Commerce

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At Willamette National Cemetery

I remember watching the Vietnam War as a kid and seeing shooting and blood and bodies—and people were serious.  Very serious!

Then years later on the first night of Desert Storm in 1991, while watching CNN the contrast was stunning.  I remember thinking, are they reporting on a war, or are they trying to sell me on it?  These days the media is problematic as they would rather be first than be right!  Endless commentary without much reporting.  I’ve always thought that people should get information to make themselves smarter, not just to make themselves feel good and reinforce their viewpoints, but I’ve digressed.

Tomorrow is Memorial Day which commemorates the men and women who died while in the military service.  It is set aside so that we might reflect on the honor and sacrifice of those who courageously gave their lives to safeguard us and our way of life. Freedom surrounds each of us everyday—as we openly speak our minds, ride motorcycles freely in any city, where worship is feely exercised and where ballots are freely cast to change who will govern this great county.

It is a great county, and let’s take a few minutes today to remind ourselves of the consequences of war and remember the families of our Fallen.

Photo taken by author at Willamette National Cemetery.

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Three-peat is a contraction of the words three and repeat, which has been trademarked for commercial use by retired basketball coach Pat Riley.

The Oregon motorcycle rally called Good Vibrations is set to “3 Peat” on July 13th.  It’s three days of motorcycle fun in and around Salem/Keizer including festivities at Riverfront Park and Salem Harley-Davidson.

Randy Burke, President of Road Shows Inc., (Reno Street Vibrations “fame”) is running at full throttle to make the third rendition of the motorcycle rally in Oregon the best. The  rally will have bike competitions, bike shows, entertainment, concerts, poker runs, wine country tours and is expected to attract hundreds of motorcycle enthusiasts to the area.

I’ve provided shout outs in the past for Randy Burke HERE about his efforts to make Street Vibrations a major success.  His company, Roadshows Inc. is a private company categorized under Entertainment Promotion and located in Reno, NV. Online records indicate it was established in the ‘90’s and incorporated in Nevada. Current estimates indicate the company has an annual revenue of $500,000 to $1 million and they employ a staff of approximately 5 to 9.  They are also a fully licensed entertainment booking agency, licensed private event security and event management company.  In addition to Good & Street Vibrations, they produce events in Palm Springs, Lake Havasu, Mammoth Lakes, Myrtle Beach, SC and Milwaukee.

They know how to make magic at a motorcycle rally!

Photo courtesy of Road Shows Inc.

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Gipsy On The Devils Ride

It wasn’t all that long ago that most biker shows on TV were about building obscenely expensive and nearly un-ridable custom motorcycles.  Viewers of these shows could pretend that they were skilled enough to build a custom bike and somehow like magic become a rich and famous celebrity or join the elite club of A-listers who love to flaunt their fabulous machines.  I described it HERE as too much of nothing!

But, American infotainment marches on to find even more drama and action so now we have the Laffing Devils MC on a Discovery TV show called The Devils Ride, which is like watching the Wildhogs movie except they were funny!

The show’s executive producer, Jason Hervey told Realscreen, a webzine about the global business of factual entertainment that “They are not a gang, but I will tell you they are a fierce group of individuals.”  Hervey also told Realscreen that the Laffing Devils initially scoffed at his invitation to become celebrities. They reportedly told him, “We aren’t the Kardashians, brother – we’re the real deal.”  “They take a lot of pride in their club,” Hervey said. “There is a lot of respect and protocol that goes into interacting with them. Essentially there was a big process about trust, because they didn’t want to look silly or do a ‘typical reality show.’”

Well on the respect front they over promised and under delivered.  I feel disrespected for having watched 2 episodes thinking the show would develop into something of interest, but now all I want is my time back!

To prove the point about it being faux at every turn just go to the sweepstakes or Facebook page and you’ll notice that they’ve reversed most or photoshopped the photos of Gipsy’s motorcycle.  I guess the devil head shifter just looks too cool on the wrong side!

Shame on Discovery producers of The Devil’s Ride for trying to cash in on the biker niche market.  This  is about as big a dud as the Facebook IPO!

Photo courtesy of Discovery Channel

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The 21st annual motorcycle Ride to Work Day is June 18th.

Our current culture largely considers motorcycles as “toys” which is unfortunate as they deserve a much larger status as a legitimate mode of personal transportation.

The third Monday in June is an opportunity to highlight motorcycles as a viable, fun and fuel-efficient mode of transportation.  It’s expected that over a million commuters will participate, demonstrating the positive benefits of riding.

Last year the City of Portland, and Mayor Sam Adams proclaimed the third Monday of June as Ride to Work Day, so I encourage you to participate and use the day as a reminder to get involved in the motorcycle community.

Photo courtesy of Ride to Work.

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Trends come on go.  A few weeks back I ran across a Swiss company called Paper.li… a content curation service.

Huh?

Yeah, that’s what I thought too!  It’s a service that allows people to publish electronic newspapers base on topics they like and has the ability to treat their readers to fresh news daily.

Every day from around the internet there are hundreds if not thousands of articles that are written for the motorcycle community.  More than most of us can ever read or assimilate in any single day be it by email or an RSS feed.

So how can a person keep up on this ever increasing pile of motorcycle content?  I’ll spare you the technical details, but basically this service fetches articles from everywhere and semantically analyzes them for relevance to the community and publishes a daily paper on my behalf.  I don’t mind trying out new things especially if it’s not heavy lifting to get started.

And this was rather simple if your active on Twitter to set up the “paper” which aggregates the information and delivers curated news to a single well-defined target audience.  I’m not running a blogger business, but I could see and appreciate how this type service might benefit inbound/outbound marketing strategies.

I like scanning what others are writing about and it sometimes provides me ideas of future articles to explore.

If interested check out the motorcycle news at The Northwest Harley Blog Daily.  Is there any wonder why newspapers are going extinct?!

Photo courtesy of Paper.li

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