Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Florida’

William B. (Billy) Lane

William D. (Billy) Lane

According to the Florida Inmate Release Information web site, William D. (Billy) Lane was released today from the Orlando Transition Center and is re-opening his shop in Daytona Beach, Florida.

You might recall that Billy Lane (Choppers Inc.) was involved in a drunk-driving crash that killed Sebastian Inlet Park Ranger and fellow biker Gerald Morelock on A-1-A in Melbourne Beach on September 4, 2006. Billy repeatedly took responsibility, didn’t offer any excuses for the crash and told the court he wasn’t seeking pity.

He was sentenced to six years in prison and three years’ probation.  Judge Robert Burger also ordered Lane’s driver license be suspended for life.

Good people make mistakes.  You can’t take the past back and he will have to live everyday with the thought that another person is no longer alive because of his actions.  There were no winners.  He paid a price, served his time and enough said.

My hope is that all goes well in his new shop and that he can be an inspiration to others in not only the creativity of his work.

Photo courtesy of Florida Corrections.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

FL-TesttrackI’m talking about Florida and the Big Cypress Swamp.

To be more specific the address is: Harley-Davidson, 5301 34th Ave. S.E., Naples, FL., a 531-acre private test track north of Interstate 75/Alligator Alley.  The facility has a 2.1-mile straight away and a 1.1-mile ride-and-handling loop.

FL-Track-HeloPrior to 2002, the test track was owned and used by Ford Motor Company.  In October 2009, Harley-Davidson announced plans to consolidate its test operations in Florida and Talladega, AL. sites to the Arizona Proving Grounds in Yucca, AZ.  There were approximately 8 employees and as many contract employees at the Florida facility at the time.

Earlier this month, the automaker Chrysler Group LLC announced they purchased the property for $7 million with plans to use the more than six miles of tracks to test a wide range of pre-production vehicles.

FL-Track-BldsHarley-Davidson Motor Co., agreed to lease back a portion of the track to test motorcycles and other specialty vehicles along with 10,200 square feet within two buildings on the property. That lease will last through at least June 30, 2019.

Construction of the track and its associated buildings began in 1985 and ended in 1992.  In 1998 the test track was the subject of a lot of scrutiny when nearby property owners and environmentalist became concerned about expansion that would harm the neighborhood.

Photos courtesy of Google and Collier International.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

Read Full Post »

Dave Zien

Florida’s warm breezes welcomed the motorcycle community to what most consider the grand opening of the east coast motorcycle season.

I’ve been to Daytona Beach for the Daytona 500, but unfortunately never able to visit during Bike week.  Something to add to my ‘bucket list’ I suppose as Bruce Rossmeyers Harley Davidson at Destination Daytona and New Smyrna Harley Davidson play host to tens of thousands of bikers from around the world.   There are a number of biker venues like, Main Street’s Boothill Saloon, Iron Horse Saloon, Cabbage Patch, Gilly’s Pub 44, Broken Spoke Saloon, and Froggys to keep a person occupied.

The official stats have yet to be released, but antidotal media reports suggest that attendance is a bit mixed.  Some merchants blamed the economy and/or high gas prices for a less than spectacular attendance record this year..  One attendee interviewed by the local paper said:

“People just don’t have as much discretionary money to spend on a bike. And let’s face it, this is a frivolous vacation,” said Phil McAllister, pausing before adding, “But it’s still a lot of fun.”

I’m not sure if this is a predictor of the 2011 riding/rally season across the U.S. or not.  What do you think?  Will you be attending more, same or fewer motorcycle rallies than last year?  I’ll be attending fewer this year due to scheduling issues.

But, there were a couple of other notable items that will mark this years Bike week in the history books.  One was a sonic boom as the space shuttle Discovery began its rapid descent over the Atlantic Ocean and skillful final landing. After 39 missions, the space shuttle Discovery landed for the last time March 10th at Kennedy Space Center, about an hour from Daytona Beach.  The other and one that is most unfortunate was former Wisconsin state Sen. Dave Zien and AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer was seriously injured on Sunday in a motorcycle accident in Florida.

The accident occurred at 6:15 a.m. Sunday on eastbound Interstate 10 near Marianna in Jackson County.  Mr. Zien was driving in the inside lane when a Ford SUV crossed over from the right lane and into the median. The driver lost control of the vehicle and it rolled, flipping onto its side on the interstate facing north.

Zien attempted to avoid the crash scene but was unable to, clipping the back of the SUV. Zien was thrown from his 2009 Harley-Davidson bike where he was reported to have lost part of his left leg, and was airlifted to Tallahassee Memorial Medical Center, where at last report he was in stable condition.

Mr. Zien is best known as an AMA Hall of Famer, for defending motorcyclists’ rights while serving in the Wisconsin Legislature and true to his words he was not wearing a helmet in this accident.  Mr. Zien served as vice president of the Wisconsin Better Bikers Association and was known for riding around on his Harley-Davidson with a full-size American and Wisconsin flags on his bike. In addition, back in 2005, Zien was the main author of the Wisconsin RURA (Roadway Users Responsibility Act) 466.  That bill provides for increased penalties for vehicle operators who violate the right-of-way of other roadway users.  And in my opinion I hope there is a similar law in Florida because the driver of the SUV, Ryan G. Matheny of Marietta, OH., was charged with failure to maintain lane and driving with a suspended license.

Here’s hoping Mr. Zien a speedy recovery.

Photo courtesy of AMA.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

Read Full Post »

It was a Dark Sky Film made in 1970.

The film also appeared under the title Nam’s Angels.  The plot included a biker gang, the Devil’s Advocates who were recruited by the CIA to execute a daring rescue behind enemy lines in Cambodia. After customizing their Yamahas into combat-ready death machines, the gang roars into action on this unlikely suicide mission. Heavy casualties ensue. I kid you not.

I’m not sure if the movie did much if anything to propel Yamaha sales, but this week there are reports the Japanese motorcycle maker (Yamaha Motor) has plans to close seven factories globally with a loss of 1,000 jobs.  This is all in an effort to bounce back from a  Y216.1 billion ($2.7 billion) annual loss in 2009.  Yamaha is the world’s second biggest motorcycle manufacturer after Honda and this streamlining is in addition to a previously announced 10% reduction in the company’s global workforce of 17,000 which is underway.  This is Yamaha’s first loss in 26 years.

Specific plant closure include 5 of its 12 domestic factories by 2012, all in Shizuoka prefecture (central Japan) who now produce parts for motorcycles, marine products and buggies.  In addition, Yamaha will close a motorcycle factory in Italy and a marine products plant in Florida.

It looks like the only motorcycle manufacture beating down the 2009 slowing motorcycle trend was BMW Motorrad.  New products like the K1300GT, S1000 RR Superbike along with the opening of 8 new dealers in the past 5 months has them bullish on the future.

An interesting side bar on The Losers — it’s playing on a television in the background of a motel-room scene between Bruce Willis and Maria de Medeiros in Pulp Fiction. Clearly Quentin Tarantino is one of its fans.

Photo courtesy of Dark Sky.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

Read Full Post »

NASCAR.

I’ll admit that I’ve never been a big fan of this traditionally southern sport.  I’ve been more of a casual observer, not a participant and you wouldn’t catch me dressed up in any favorite driver licensed logo attire.

However, I was in Daytona Beach, FL on February 14, 2003 and of all things happen to be working in a press booth at the Daytona 500 race.  Yes, mullets were sported.  There was a lot of domestic beer drinking.  And hard-core fans were dressed up in stereotypical brightly colored racing gear.  I was involved in a series of product launch activities with Sierra Entertainment’s NASCAR Racing simulator game (NR2003).  This wasn’t just an average video game.  Rather it was a comprehensive simulator where many professional drivers used it in the multiplayer mode, including driving superstars Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Martin Truex Jr. who were often found on-line practicing on the various race tracks.  NR2003 was the last version to be released by Papyrus (now iRacing) before Electronic Arts bought the NASCAR license from NASCAR.  But enough about work!

I read an article today on this weekend’s Daytona 500, Danica Patrick’s racing debut and found myself reminiscing about that 2003 trip.  Chatting with drivers, people watching, visiting the pits, tire change competition duels in the convention center, food and the entertainment.  There was a lot to enjoy.

My biggest disappointment?   Being two-weeks too early to participate in Bike Week.  The 69th Daytona Bike Week starts on Feb 26 – March 7th.  While I made a point to visit Charlie Horse, a few pubs, the hard sand and enjoyed some of the warm winter days it wasn’t the same without motorcycles lining the narrow streets… the opportunity to ride that 22 mile long “Loop” and see Florida’s natural beauty just wasn’t in the cards.  I did have a chance to do a drive-by at Bruce Rossmeyer’s old H-D dealer to scavenge for yet another unique black t-shirt.

As the internet buzz “lights up” with rally details I’m thinking that someday I need to participate in Daytona Bike Week.

Photo courtesy of Papyrus

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

Read Full Post »

Carmen

Carmen

At work early.  Coffee, check.  Raisin bran muffin, check.  Opening Outlook email…waiting…, check.  Whoa, what’s this?  A half-dozen “business proposals” from London and several people in South Africa who I don’t know are waiting for my “urgent reply” with a bank account number…  Important, I am.

According to a recent survey about one in six consumers have at some time acted on a SPAM message.  Huh?   Don’t they realize this only reaffirms the economic incentive for spammers to keep churning out millions of obnoxious pitches per day.  And now comes Twitter SPAM… designed for all us motorcycle enthusiasts who click the “follow” button to stay in touch.  There are many Twitter pages which are simply redirect links for suspicious activity and/or violate usage rules with ad’s about personal body part enhancements.  You know the ones… “I’m now following you”… then you click the link to validate the person and find 3 updates in as many months, but wait… they are following 2,714 people… if you dare click on the web link up comes a clear ruse with no social redeeming value!

Rather agitated on the last “following you” notice, I was going to report the violation – but, then I thought I’d SPAM the SPAMMERS!  I know… I’ll pose as a 35 year-old single mom (Carmen – likes Cars/Motorcycles and Men – get it?).  I have this wounded bird theory and selected a profile with 4 kids. My oldest son, Ricky, is 16 so he’s taking care of Tabitha, 6, and Billy, 4. My youngest, Jeremy, 3 months, is somewhere around here. He’ll turn up. He usually does.  Since I’m still evolving my faux on-line landscape I’ll evangelize my Fav’s as: “Likes to go on long motorcycle rides in the moonlight…” You see, I’ve got this hot body with money to burn and looking for a guy who doesn’t believe everything he reads!

Twitter Suspension Notice

Twitter Suspension Notice

I’m hip and learned from a piercing article in Tattoo that unemployed spammers spend half their time trolling Twitter and other social networks to try and help or pick up 30-something’s.  So, as Carmen I took joy in making my profile very public. It’s good knowing that a lot of spammers scour these sites looking for hot single moms. I posted my pics from before I had my 4 kids and before the crank took my teeth so, I look pretty good in my profile. Just got an email from an unemployed car salesman in Miami, Florida. He could be the one! But, the businessman from South Africa made a lasting impression with that Queen offer in Benadir.  I had no idea it was so easy to travel to Mogadishu!  Wait, as long as they’re still collecting unemployment benefits in the U.S. bring them on! After I finish this post I’ll head over to CafeMom and surf the boards to see how many people responded to my moonlight ride post. Still looking for a real man to take care of my kids. My welfare check arrives on Friday’s and I can’t wait to buy a new iPhone 3Gs.

honestyWhat’s my point?  Clearly people on-line are not always honest.  More important though is being careful out there with your information.   In my previous post about how to leverage Twitter I did not reinforce the need to block people who randomly want to follow you… especially if they have suspicious motives.  And finally, in surfing the information on the web its disturbing to say the least. The type of information being shared is pretty scary and I often see detailed information about the person and their family.  Or you’ll see links to Facebook proudly displaying H.O.G holiday photos of the kids including geo-tags of their house location along with other content that could be used to identify them. Some of the things people post makes them look completely clueless or like they are sitting at the computer “tweeting” while their kid festers in a dirty diaper. Are single parents really this dumb? As far as I’m concerned, parents posting too much information aren’t really fit to be parents because they put their families at risk or at the very best look like they are wasting time on the computer when they could be doing something productive…. with their kids!

Have to go now. Billy can’t find Jeremy. He’s probably stuck behind the furnace again. *Sigh* Do I have to do everything around here?

Photo taken at CES.  Full Disclosure: Carmen is a fictional character.  Email or comments about a “ride in the moonlight” is barking up the wrong tree.

All Rights Reserved (c) Northwest Harley Blog

Read Full Post »

east_orlando_hdIt seems the state of Florida (chads, recounts, etc.,) throws a curveball during election years and yesterday was no exception. 

When voters arrived at Precinct 448 they lined up at the East Orlando HD dealer to cast their vote.  What?  I’ve been to this dealer and it’s a class act.  But I can now visualize a new marketing campaign in Harley’s future… SPECIAL: Oil changes while you vote

How could this happen?  It turns out that the Jessica Lunsford Act (aka “Jessica’s Law“) which was put in place three years ago to keep sex offenders and predators away from schools (where many voting precintcts are located) sent the Orange County elections office into a scramble to find alternative voting locations.  The HD dealer centralized location made for the perfect voting precinct and satisfied Jessica’s Law requirements.

WFTV Channel 9 reported that one voter stated…

” I thought it was kind of strange, then thought maybe I should buy a bike while I’m here.”

That’s a HD marketers dream come true and hat’s off to Harley who committed space for an important civic function.

Photo courtesy East Orlando HD.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: