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Posts Tagged ‘2009’

2009 Shriners Children Hospital Toy RunThis past Saturday was Portland’s annual Shriners Children Hospital Toy Run.

The major organizer and motorcycle advocacy group for the event is ABATE and this year marks 30 years.

The weather was dry, but it was cold.  In fact, the temp gauge registered a new low (28 degrees) on the motorcycle.  As I left the neighborhood I noticed leaving tire tracks on the frost covered asphalt.   I met up with the posse for breakfast and the main roads had already received a quick spray of glycol-based de-icers on the overpasses and bridges.  By the time we finished breakfast and drove toward the Tri-Met parking lot the frost had mostly evaporated.

This year’s turnout was nearly as large as last which brought out more than 6,000 riders.   But, more importantly it’s a lot of toys collected for sick kids.  The Toy Run brings together Harleys, Hondas, clubbers, and even the occasional Vespa.  The ABATE members held a motorcycle raffle to help raise money for the hospital and shortly after noon the police escorted riders followed a Tri-Met bus full of toys to the Shriners Hospital.

It was a great toy run and I want to provide a major shout out to the organizers and sponsors:  ABATE; Tri-Met; Paradise H-D; Latus H-D; Columbia H-D; Thunder Mountain MC Rescue; Star Rentals; Megan James Band; H.O.G.; Schulz Clearwater.

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NCOM Agenda -- Portland, OR

NCOM Agenda -- Portland, OR

Some things are immutable.  You’ve got to show up for appointments on time.

And speaking of meetings the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM (Region 1)) meeting and seminar is set for Saturday, October 17th in PORTLAND, OR.  The venue is the Holiday Inn (Portland Airport) at 8439 NE Columbia Blvd., Portland OR 97220.

Speakers at the daylong event includes:

James “Doc” Reichenbach – Chairman, National Coalition of Motorcyclists — “Freedom of the Road Throughout the Nation”

Sam Hochberg – A.I.M. (Aid to Injured Motorcyclists) Attorney, Oregon — “Other Legal Issues In Our Region” and “Trademark Defense Update”

Jim Hernandez – Professor Criminal Justice — “New Federal Gang Bill”

Guest Speaker — “The Defender Program”

NCOM was founded in 1986 with the idea that motorcycle groups from across America could “come together” and address the overwhelming need for a national voice to protect our life-style and right to ride.  NCOM is not another association, but rather a bringing together of existing motorcycle groups for the purpose of mutual exchange of information, legislative strategy and to combine strength to fight all that is adverse to the freedom of the road.

All motorcyclists are invited to this free event.   Hopefully you can join your fellow riders as it’s your opportunity to hear about the status of the fight for personal freedom across the country and weigh in on the various motorcycle topics effecting the northwest.  I received information that the WA CoC will be riding in as a master pack which should make for an interesting entrance visual in of itself.

True, I’m on a mini blogging timeout this month, but the meeting is important and I wanted to help get the word out.

Photo courtesy of NCOM.

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Buell_LogoWith the ink barely dry on the new logo Buell, a subsidiary of Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson Inc., is recalling about 400 units of its 2009 XB12Ss for a front brake line that may contact the front tire.

Obviously contact with the front tire could cause a hole to develop in the front brake line and allow fluid to leak.  The condition would lead to an ineffective front brake and potentially a crash.  Dealers are being asked to inspect the front brake line. If the line is undamaged, a guide will be installed. If the line is damaged, it will be replaced and re-routed.  The NHTSA Campaign Number is: 09V347000 and owners can contact Buell at 1-414-343-8400 if they have questions.

In other Buell news the company plans to shut down its East Troy plant during November and December, resulting in the temporary layoff of 50 employees.  According to a notice filed with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, Buell will pay eight days of holiday pay for the remainder of 2009 and will continue medical benefits during the shutdown. Buell’s last day of production will be Oct. 30th and workers are expected to return to their jobs on Jan. 4, 2010.

The Buell shutdown coincides with Harley-Davidson’s previously announced halt of production at its Wauwatosa plant and other factories for 14 weeks, including the entire fourth quarter, to realign production with the reduced demand for motorcycles.

Photo courtesy of Buell.

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CVO_Road_GlideHarley-Davidson announced the recall of 1,759 CVO Road Glides (FLTRSE3) equipped with the Blade rear wheel accessory kits.

The problem is some of the wheels underwent a secondary heat treatment process which may have caused a crack in the wheel and may result in wheel failure.  Wheel failure is very serious and could result in injury or death of the rider.

The NHTSA Campaign Number is: 09V267000 and the recall was expected to start on or before July 20th.  Dealers are being ask to remove the real wheel and inspect the manufactures code.  Any wheel that underwent a secondary heat treatment process are to be replaced free of charge.  Wheels that do not have the suspect code will be reinstalled.

Owners can contact their local dealer or H-D directly at: 414.343.4056  or the NHTSA.

Photo courtesy of H-D and Kevin Wong.

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mil_mile_certToday is the Million Mile Monday ride.

H.O.G. members around the world ride together for the purpose of logging 5 million miles in a 24 hour period.

Why?  Because they can!!

So, to support the ride call I took some extra time today and rode beyond any normal commute to work.  The weather at lunch was a perfect clear-blue-sky,  in the mid 70’s with a light on-shore breeze from the pacific ocean.  It doesn’t get any better than this…unless it’s a day off and work issues are a distant memory.  And I sure thought about a sick day…

I think the reality of the second anniversary of the Million Mile Monday will be how many miles beyond the 5M target will H.O.G. members go?  I registered my 57 miles and got the certificate.

Photo courtesy of H-D/H.O.G

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Willamette National Cemetery

Willamette National Cemetery

Whether just back from a combat zone or have been home for 60 years, Memorial Day is a day for remembrance of those who have died in service to the United States. 

It happens on Monday, May 25th and is a U.S. federal holiday that was formerly known as Decoration Day. Enacted to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War (it is celebrated near the day of reunification after the civil war), it was expanded after World War I to include American casualties of any war or military action.

There is a good summary of Memorial Day events in the Oregon Dept. of Veterans Affairs website.  There are a number of Portland-centric activities planned.  In addition, Memorial Day weekend marks one of only two times per year that more than 100 wineries in Oregon’s Willamette Valley throw open their doors to the public for a chance to meet winemakers and owners.

Be it a BBQ, a day of wine tasting or a visit to the Blue Star Memorial… I hope you’ll take a moment to remember the U.S. men and women who died while in the military service.  If you know of other activities that don’t appear on the state site, feel free to post in the comments.

Photo taken at Willamette National Cemetery, Portland, Oregon

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LeBron James

LeBron James

These days it’s hard to turn on the TV and not hear an ESPN talking head evangelize the many virtues of “King James.”

After the Blazers fell to the Houston Rockets in the first round I’ve been forced to surf basketball channels and find another team to rally behind other than the “bad boyz” of Los Angeles.  Let me start off by saying that I actually like the 6-foot-9 NBA star LeBron James.  I like the way he plays and he is good.  Very good.  So good in fact that he was named NBA Rookie of the year in 2003-04, NBA MVP in 2008-09 and has been both All-NBA and the All-Star every season since 2005.  On the US men’s national basketball team he has won a bronze medal at the 2004 Olympics and a gold at the 2008 Olympics

At just 18, LeBron was selected with the number one pick in the 2003 NBA draft by the Cavaliers and signed a $90M shoe contract with Nike before his professional debut.  Does Nike know how to pick ‘em or what?!  The Cavs have so dominated the competition this year that every game has been won in double digits, a record, and none of their playoff games have come with any drama.  There are all the no-look passes, the step-back 3-pointers from 10’ behind the arc and the reverse dunks.  Is there anyone else on the team roster that you can remember his name?  It’s as if the arm-swinging cloud of talcum powder halo follows him everywhere. It’s important to note that King James Inc. (LeBron’s wholly owned company) organizes many charity events including the annual King for Kids Bike-a-thon in Akron, Ohio.

Salary_CompareBut in these recessionary times, employee cuts and school district sacrifices along with budget shortfalls the message of collective sacrifice seems to have missed the NBA and pro athletes.  LeBron will be paid $14.4M this season by the Cavs and his annual earnings off the court were estimated by Forbes magazine at $14M.  The enormous magnitude of salary differential really hit home when I compared salaries using the Cleveland Ohio Statistics calculator.  For example, I plugged in an aspirational blogger salary of $100K. Based on 45 years of work per lifetime it would take  6.31 lifetimes to equal LeBron’s pay for just one season!  ONE SEASON!!  Let me bring it even closer for you.  Based on a 40 hour work week, LeBron’s hourly pay is $13,658.93 vs. $48.08 on a very respectable $100K annual salary.  He made over $6800 in the time it took to write this post.  Looking to raise your blood pressure?  Play with the calculator HERE

Call me crazy, but I suspect LeBron isn’t much concerned about today’s US Postal Service increase of a first-class stamp going to $0.44 cents.

Photo courtesy Nike and Cleveland.com.

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