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Posts Tagged ‘Posse Ride’

"Wind in the face..."

“Wind in the face…”

I’m headed out for some quality “wind in the face” time…  We’re Milwaukee, WI bound and going to take in the 110th Anniversary celebration.

In my mind, most of the fun is in the journey across the country, but once we arrive it will be three days of events both big and small to excite and entertain all who attend. Sixty bands with top tier musical acts daily. Factory tours, museum tours, demo rides, and plenty of refreshments and Milwaukee hospitality…you name it and the motor company has thought about it along with the great city of Milwaukee we’re clearly going to be wow’ed.  If you need more info on the 110th Anniversary go HERE

I know that for many the recession/depression-like economy over the past few years has limited many a family budgets.  And sustaining a cash flow causes everyone to rethink rally expenditures.

So if you can’t attend, local artist, Doug LeTendre, is the guy behind “Little Pictures by Doug, LLC“. He makes cards in honor of everything Milwaukee and Wisconsin. It’s unique artwork that is original, hand-made cards for only $20 for a pack of ten.  He’s now working on a card to commemorate the H-D 110th Anniversary.

It’s some cool art.  Click on Doug’s cards to see a sample of his original art. 

I’ll see you in Milwaukee to wish Harley-Davidson a happy 110th Anniversary!  Ride safe my friends.

Photo courtesy of Hallmark.

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Five of a Kind At Grand Canyon

This is a shout out to an extraordinary posse.

Hardly the stereotypical, tatted-up, badass bikers portrayed in pop culture or do we ride the machines of American Chopper — slick and polished.

From the outside looking in you can’t understand it, but there are many benefits to riding a motorcycle with a group.  Aside from the obvious “wind in the face” to take your mind off daily troubles to the cool events that you visit from glitz to back-water destinations.   From the moment you mount the motorcycle the most important aspect from my vantage is the posse camaraderie.

Whether I’m with my family at home or the “family on the road,” the center piece of the posse is the Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Oh sure some lost their way for a time and rode other kinds of bikes, but these days the posse is like a mini-community based on a shared passion and a common interest around the Harley brand.  And while we defend the motor company we haven’t drank the Kool-aid!  We’re a demanding and very vocal enthusiast bunch when it comes to items the company needs to do to please it’s customers.

A Half-Dozen at HCMR

Has the posse always agreed on everything?  No.  We’ve had the typical debates about the merits of camping vs. checking in, riding with a large group or going solo, silence vs. Boom! Audio, up early vs. sleeping in, freeway speed or riding slow back-water roads and the more contentious item of planning way ahead or plan as you go.  We’ve tried them all and each has offered up some unique and fun adventures.  And no matter what the trip or the destination, all a good motorcycle ride needs is camaraderie and fun roads, right?

And speaking of roads, one common thread is that we all have plenty of time to ride.  That is to say, we make time to ride.  As much as we have in common, all of these accomplished riders is also entirely unique.  Each has his own set of experiences, his own philosophy of life and riding, and his own collection of interesting stories about life on the road.  I especially look forward to riding in the dry hot desert while others think a misty Highway 101 ride down the coast is “just perfect.”

I’ve been riding with this group for many years and everyone adjusts.  In fact, some of the members have history back to the coastal range and the dirt bike days at Lee’s Camp before a Harley-Davidson motorcycle stirred up any emotions.

The remainder of the posse at the CCA Ride

I’ll often get ask how we do it.  How do we handle riding all those miles.  I’ll typically just say that if you string a few 300 mile days together, one day at a time, then you’ve got a Posse Ride!

We’ve enjoyed following the “road less traveled” as so many other riders do.  It made us appreciate how divvied up this western part of the U.S. is, with dozens of valleys separated by mountain ranges, woven together by asphalt strips. These roads are really three-dimensional curves, and a rider will certainly get longer life out of the Dunlops, wearing out the sides as much as the middle.

As the years fade away — I’m reminded of winding our way along the back roads of the countryside – and it made me appreciate how rich the memories are of the years riding with an incredible group of friends.

Thank you all for the memories!

Photos taken by author

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I didn’t watch it.  Living in the U.S. we typically recoil at the concept of royalty, but it reminded me of my own wedding.

It happened 3 weeks ago!

I know what you’re thinking… “aren’t you of that age where walking down the aisle once again with hope and opportunity in front of you… isn’t that a concept for the youth?”   It’s not exclusive and although I have a bit of the Joni Mitchell school of relationships in me… do you really need a piece of paper from the upstairs choir keeping us tied and true… there is something to be said about standing up to testify in front of family and friends that seals the deal and causes you to cast aside your old kit bag and start anew.  It’s revived a feeling of optimism that life is in front of me instead of behind me.

Don’t despair,  it won’t affect my opinions and rants, however, in the last month time constraints have taken a toll on the number of blog posts.  The wedding, a road trip to Laughlin and working the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) annual trade show — not necessarily in that order – meant little keyboard time.  And if you haven’t been to NAB, it’s worth a visit. Unlike your typical consumer electronics show, content takes center stage.

L to R: Paul Maibaum; Kurt Sutter; Anthony Medina -- "SOA"

And speaking of content, I had an opportunity to sit in on a session (short video clip HERE) called “Sons of Anarchy: Grit and Texture in Small Town America” where Kurt Sutter, along with the “Sons” director of photography Paul Maibaum and production designer Anthony Medina shared information about their creative vision and techniques as to how they capture the gritty stories of the outlaw club.  It was an interesting session that illuminated real-world examples of filmmaking and television production.

Then it was buckle up as our small posse rode to Laughlin, Nevada for the 29th “River Run.”  Yes, you read that correct.  In April, we decided on a whim to ride the 1200+ miles to the rally and it was an utterly fascinating experience.  On the day of departure snow levels were down around 1500 feet and rainfall was the 3rd highest in 71 years.  Average temperature in April was 47.8 degrees.  Needless to say there wasn’t much chance of t-shirt weather as we headed south to the drier and warmer desert.

I’m working on a trip summary and will post it shortly so that anyone interested can re-live the experience.

Photo courtesy of NAB.

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As a society we tend to think that more is better. More megapixels must result in better photos. More square footage must mean a better apartment. More calories must mean a better meal. Often times–save the last–we are wrong.

If you’ve ever attended the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally you likely noted the dizzying array of vendors, hucksters and hacks demonstrating the various trash-n-trinkets – more isn’t always better.  And what if less is not only MORE, but a competitive differentiator when it comes to rallies?  Thanks to Barry Schwartz we have a name for the phenomenon – the paradox of choice – a notion that posits that fewer choices make people’s buying process easier and they are happier with their buying decisions.

Street Vibrations in Reno is certainly no ‘big-box’ or mega outlet like Sturgis.  And it’s only half the chaos of Laughlin River Run.  That’s what I like about it!

I have the view that people connect with motorcycle craftsman i.e. “artists,” not executives.  We’re certainly not drawn to huckster hacks selling us on something we don’t need or want.  Artists speak their truth, from deep down inside.  They talk about their craft.  The philosophy and inspiration behind it.  Nothing is more powerful and you bond.  It’s as if your listening to a song and feeling what the artist is expressing.  And if the artist does this more than once, you become a fan.

Clearly I’m a Street Vibrations fan.  Largely because of the quality face-to-face time with the motorcycle craftsman – “artists” in the vendor booths.  True,  I’m also milking the last remnants of fall riding before the long cold and rainy winter sets in, but this motorcycle rally fulfills my entertainment, shopping, and information needs.  So, as motorcycles roar out of the Northwest in route to Reno… I’ll be one of them.  I’ve done this trip a number of times (blogged about in 2009 HERE; 2008 HERE; 2007 HERE) over the last 10 years.  It’s never boring and always a great experience.

Twenty-ten looks like we’ll be dancing between the rain drops for part of the ride as our posse helps bring the $$ to the local Nevada economy.

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Laughlin, NV is the third most visited casino and resort destination in the state after Las Vegas and Reno, and is one of the top 5 destinations for American RV enthusiasts.

The city is also known for having the first multiple murders in a Nevada casino….it was called the River Run Riot and I previously blogged about the day that Laughlin changed for motorcycle rallies. And instead of singing “On the Road Again“, a song made famous by country music singer Willie Nelson,  I’m thinking about a motorcycle rally parody of the song, singing “Got your bucks again. I can’t wait to get your bucks again…”.

I won’t be in a RV, but will be offline for a few days because it’s time to experience the spaces between here and there, and to see what becomes of them because “it’s better in the wind.”

Photo courtesy of Sassenbach, Chatroulette.com and H-D.

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