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Posts Tagged ‘One Percenter’

Happy New Years!

Now that the champagne toasts are made and the ball dropped, it’s time to start thinking ahead:  What’s your riding resolution for this year?  Will you ride your motorcycle more often to work?  Take that epic journey or stay close to home?  Will you buy a new ride or enhance the existing one?

Before going forward let’s take a quick look back.

Over the years I’ve posted the occasional summary of the more popular and least liked stories from the past 12 months.  It’s not my “helper-monkey”, but the good folks at WordPress.com state their rankings algorithm is based on how many people read a particular article.  The average is the sum of views divided by the number of days and its gets even more complex if you are the sort of person who likes to verify computations.  I don’t.

The final tallies can be a little mystifying, to be honest.

Are readers giving a “thumbs-up” because they liked the content of the article or just the topic itself?  I don’t find these summaries a really useful exercise because some of the better written articles (IMHO) will sometimes have the fewest views.  It’s the old adage that writing about or reposting the nip slips, exposed undies and ever-presence dysfunction from the celebrity train wrecks for the whole world to see will bring a whole lot more views if that’s your goal.  But, if nothing else, the summary does provide a snapshot of what struck in my readers’ collective fancy during the past year.

In 2011, I posted 88 new articles (about 7 per month).  That brought the total archive on this blog up to just over 800 posts.  I uploaded 165 pictures (or about 3 per week).  The busiest day was September 25th (during the Vagos and HAMC shooting in Reno) with 1,120 views on an article I posted in 2008 (HERE).  Clearly the social behavior and the attraction of the events in Reno was a big draw, but I’m mystified why the more current article (HERE) had fewer views?  Maybe it’s a SEO thing.  I also want to provide a shout-out to the large number of UK viewers who consistently visit the blog.

Here are the 2011 most viewed highlights:

Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs Flying Colors in Oregon
OCC Family Feud Ends
Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs Are New Media Darlings
Vagos MC Meeting In Grants Pass
Harley SAMCRO Limited Edition Motorcycle
Harley-Davidson’s SwitchBack
Vintage Motorcycles – Honda CB750
Harley Engine History
“Green Nation” Busts On Saint Patrick’s Day
No Angel
The Day Laughlin River Run Changed
Men Of Mayhem
A “Legend Bell” Full of Mystery
Harley Snubbed In Benjamin Button Movie
Operation Black Rain Nets Oregon Mongols

I enjoyed this past year—and I hope you have, too.  If I’ve done my “job” right as editor of this blog, then your visits will have helped make your motorcycle hobby a bit more meaningful.  Hopefully you’ve become closer to your motorcycle and grown your relationship with friends that you’ve met on the road.

Happy 2012!

Photo’s courtesy of WordPress.com and Northwest Harley Blog.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog
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It’s the mother of motorcycle parades and it benefits children.

I’m talking about the Portland, Oregon annual Toy Run this Saturday (December 4th) which benefits children at OHSU’s Dornbecker Children’s Hospital.

The major organizer and motorcycle advocacy group for the event is ABATE and this year will mark 31 years.  In previous year’s turnout there have been thousands of riders, but more important are the toys collected for sick kids.  The Toy Run brings together Harleys, Hondas, clubbers, and even the occasional Vespa scooter.  The ABATE members hold a motorcycle raffle to help raise money for the hospital and shortly after noon the police will escort riders followed by a Tri-Met bus full of toys to the Shriners Hospital.

See you there…

Photo courtesy of ABATE.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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About a week ago in Josephine county it was time for the 7th annual Grants Pass Toy Run.

In case you are unfamiliar with toy runs, they are about bikers of all persuasion getting together to help disadvantage children during a bad time in their life.  Or another way to say it is these are children who would have a minimal or no Christmas had it not been for the direct effort of a toy run event.  Most if not all of the toy runs are supported by ABATE members and ABATE of Oregon exists to promote the rights and interests of all motorcyclists, both patch holders and independents alike.

But, there is an unfortunate pattern developing in law enforcement in some parts of the country which was visible in Grants Pass, Oregon on October 3rd.

Officials stated that police and fire personnel would not to take part in a charity “toy run” because members of the Vagos MC were in attendance.  Specifically Deputy Chief Bill Landis told the Daily Courier that the city considers the Vagos MC to be a criminal organization and took what amounts to a “there goes the neighborhood a’tude.”

Motorcycle clubs are often prominent at charity events, such as toy runs.  The non-motorcycle riding public might conclude from the city’s police and fire personnel actions that any motorcyclist attending a toy run is possibly affiliated with a criminal enterprise.  It’s true that the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) has weighed in on the topic complaining of the bad publicity for motorcycling in general caused by so-called “outlaw” clubs.  They’ve previously stated that the presence of these clubs at charity events has actually harmed the needy by driving down public participation and reducing donations. The shootout’s between rival motorcycle clubs in the midst of a charity toy drive have not helped.  In fact, they have influenced authorities in some states to attempt a ban on certain clubs from charity events, or to restrict the wearing of colors at those events.  This in turn prompted litigation in Pennsylvania on the unfair exclusions.

Before you get the wrong idea… does giving presents to boys and girls make up for bad things that some of the motorcycle club members do?  No.  But, neither should we consider ALL cops bad because some of them instead of catching criminals ARE criminals?

I’ve participated in a number of toy runs and find this maneuvering and attempt to cast a guilt by association on what otherwise would be acts of kindness for kids very disappointing.

Previous posts about the Vagos MC in Grants Pass are HERE and “Operation Everywhere” HERE.

Photo courtesy of ABATE.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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If that’s not some irony…

I logged on to the blog dashboard this morning to approve comments and noticed several hundred views of an article I posted back in 2008 on the California-based Vagos Motorcycle Club.  As I made my way to the Google reader I learned that some 30+ members of the Vagos, also known as the “Green Nation” were arrested Saint Patrick’s Day in a multistate police raid.

The Vagos, formed in the late 1960s and have been the subject of numerous investigations. Back in 2006, at least 25 Vagos members were arrested for various weapons and drug violations after a three-year investigation that the Orange County Register called one of the “largest coordinated law enforcement probes ever conducted in the region.”

The “raids” on Wednesday were collectively called “Operation Everywhere” and comprised “sixty local and federal police agencies” serving warrants in four states: Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and California and involved some 400 police officers. As many as 70 locations were hit in Southern California, where police seized weapons and drugs and discovered a methamphetamine lab. The California Attorney General, Jerry Brown held a press conference releasing very few additional details on the scope of the investigation or what law enforcement plans are to eliminate the “threat” posed by the Vagos.  It’s been previously reported that the Vagos chapter in Bullhead City, Arizona has been closely scrutinized by officers of the Arizona Gang and Immigration Intelligence Team Enforcement Mission since June 2009.

Some of the news reports suggest that the arrests have a connection to the discovery of at least four booby-traps targeting Southern California gang task force officers. The cash-strapped state and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the people who set the traps, which included an attempt to blow up the gang officers’ headquarters.

Like so many of these motorcycle club arrests they have a tendency to fall apart for the district attorney who is committed to pursuing justice.  I wouldn’t be shocked to learn that the Riverside County DA (Rod Pacheco) stepped on an ongoing ATF investigation or would I be shocked to learn that Mr. Pacheco (who has gubernatorial aspirations) made a splashy arrest for the TV cameras.  Don’t get me wrong, the Vagos aren’t immune from having criminal issues, but it does make a person wonder what’s going on.

Photo courtesy of Flickr.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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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.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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The title is reference to the U2 song, but it’s fitting for the ABATE/Shriners Toy Run which is this Saturday, December 5, 2009.

Rider participation reached new highs last year with more than 6400 motorcycles participating in the toy run and bringing generous levels of donations for needy kids.

The weather looks like it will be most cooperative and I look forward to seeing you on the ride.  More information is available on the ABATE web HERE.

Photo courtesy of ABATE.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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LifeflightA while back and I don’t recall now how, but I subscribed to an Oregon State Police newsflash service.  I don’t forward OSP news, but this is rather significant and involves multiple motorcycles.

At 2:54 (Pacific) there was an OSP report of numerous motorcycles northbound on Interstate 5, near milepost 282 south of Wilsonville who were involved in a crash.  One lane northbound is now open following a multi-vehicle crash involving 26 motorcycles.  The accident was on I-5 near the Baldock Rest Area and involved two motorcyclists taken by LifeFlight with critical injuries and eight others transported by ground ambulance to area hospitals.

Preliminary information indicates a group of at least 26 motorcyclists were northbound in the left lane on I-5 following a passenger vehicle when traffic ahead began slowing.  The car and motorcyclists all tried to slow but collided with one another.  A vehicle in the middle northbound lane was reportedly struck by one of the motorcycles. All northbound lanes were closed until about 4:00 p.m.  Traffic is reported slow but getting through in one lane.  Southbound lanes are open but also very slow.

Let’s hope for only the best to those injured.  I’ll provide updates as I learn more.

Brothers Speed Motorcycle Club Accident on I-5

Brothers Speed Motorcycle Club Accident on I-5

UPDATE 1: Video and still shots taken by Sky8 indicate some of the motorcyclists were members of the Brothers Speed Motorcycle Club.  See HERE and HERE (Source: KGW News).

UPDATE 2: KATU and Jet Ranger 2 provide video coverage HERE and confirmed motorcyclists were BSMC members.

UPDATE: September 19, 2009 — The official report is that ten were injured, two critically.  Several others involved in the crash were attended too on site by medical personnel, but declined transport to a local hospital.  Herbert Sinclair, age 48 (Heyburn, ID) and David Bowyer, age 44 (Coeur d’Alene, ID) were transported by LifeFlight to OHSU and Emanuel Hospital respectively.  Names of three others injured in the crash were identified as Jaun Ramon Mata, age 60, Christian J. Gankema, age 40 and Gary Pawson, age 38 all from Idaho.   Cause of the accident: was reported as a group of 26 BSMC motorcyclists traveling in a formation of two columns on the inside left hand lane (I-5 North) came upon slowing or stopping traffic.  The two front motorcycles maneuvered to avoid a collision with the stopped vehicle, but the rest of the group did not react in time and crashed into the vehicle and into each other.  The total number of motorcycles that actually crashed was not confirmed.  On scene photos provided by OSP HERE, HERE, and HERE.  The group was heading north to take part in the Portland Chapter annual birthday bash and weekend demolition derby.

UPDATE: October 5, 2009 — Sadly it was reported today that David “Detroit Dave” Bowyer from Coeur d’Alene, ID passed away at Legacy Emanuel Hospital where he was being treated since the crash on September 18th.

UPDATE: October 8, 2009 — Detroit Dave’s sister set up a memorial site HERE with information on the funeral services.  The BSMC have been posting updates HERE along with information about how you can contribute to a crash fund.  The AgingRebel blog has comments posted by “Not Surprised” which provides more detail on the SUV drivers (Leslie D. Schultz — Toyota 4 Runner and Kayla D. Knight — Nissan Pathfinder) which has not been previously released by the media to the public.  There were rumors circulating about ATF personnel in the SUV’s, but this was not the case and although the accident continues to be investigated at first glance nothing sinister jumps out about this accident.

Photos courtesy of Lifeflight.org and OSP.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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