After the escort ride, Mike and a few club members rode up to the US Navy SEAL Museum in Fort pierce where several thousand people welcomed one of our national hero's, Senator John McCain to the area. The Senator and other speakers thanked all the veterans present for their service and spoke about the importance of maintaining a strong military.
Mike said; I couldn't help but feel, as I was riding in the escort this morning about how great it would have been to have this kind of welcome home for our returning Vietnam veteran's. Many of us have never been welcomed home by the general public and It has left long standing wounds and guilt that still haunt us. I was proud to be part of this ceremony even if I did have to wipe some dirt out of my eyes on several occasions during the ride.
A special note from Mike: To all of you who rode this morning or served in any capacity "Thank you my Brothers and Sisters and Welcome Home".I love you all. Semper Fi !!!
Saturday, May 26th - Following is a ride recap from Mike: Our last ride before the summer break was well attended with twenty riders making the ride to Captain Katanna's in Melbourne. Our route took us along the ocean for about seventy of the ninety five miles we rode so it was pretty comfortable and of course very scenic. We had quite a few new members on the ride who had never been on Tropical Trail before and they really liked the old Florida look and feel of this way too short five mile stretch of road. We had a great table overlooking the river and the service and food were outstanding. (If you haven't already, try their Chef Salad on your next visit) See you all in the fall. but keep checking your e-mails for some shorter breakfast and dinner rides over the summer. Who knows, we might even do another progressive dinner ride.
Wednesday, May 23rd - Following is a ride recap from Mike: Fifteen riders made the midweek lunch ride to the Shack Restaurant this past Wednesday. The weather looked somewhat iffy but it actually turned into a beautiful ride with clear Sky's and cool breeze's. The folks at the restaurant were happy to see us and the food and service were great as usual.
Ride met at the Flying J. Had a nice turnout 20 bikes, 25 people, we woke up the campers we lined up next to & one couple gave a tour of their Toy Hauler.
Took some back country roads to St. Cloud's Catfish House. They had a room just for us and great service. Food was all good including the Fried Catfish. See the HOG Photos page for pictures.
We had a great turnout. Mike & Bob were there to help set up the ride Sunday morning. We had a few passing showers before we left TC Harley. Arrived at PB Harley, met Santa & headed over to the South Florida Fairgrounds to line up for the parade.We had our own place to park to be part of the front of the parade. There were vendors at the fairgrounds, (no coffee or donuts), but there were drinks & hotdogs. Walgreens handed out bags to be filled with their give-aways. Free CD’s were given out after you spun a wheel, 50/50 tickets sold & meal tickets so you didn’t need to stand in line at the park for them. It was a nice ride to the park in the parade & most of us met up for lunch then went our own way. Walgreens was set-up there selling toys if you didn’t bring one, plus they donated one for everyone sold to Toys for Tots. Lots of vendors & a band at the park. Army brought a helicopter & jeep & Marines were there to collect the toys. It was a nice time with old & news friends. Many of the members from PB Hog suggested we ride again together in the near future. We were invited to ride again next year with them from the PB Hog Director.
Following is an overview of the 18th Annual Fargo Beartooth Run event. Approximately 7 years ago this event began including an exchange of members from the TC Hog club and a club in New Zeeland. We send a person or couple to Fargo (as does the New Zeeland club) to join the Fargo Chapter on their annual ride to the "Beartooth Pass" on the border of Montana and Wyoming. And in return the Fargo Chapter sends a member/couple to our club for a visit.
Now an outline of what our members are in for...First, the actual trip up the mountain is on a Saturday morning. But we are invited to arrive in Fargo on the prior Monday or Tuesday. We are greeted at the airport upon arrival by some chapter members and taken to the Fargo dealership to meet Mr. Del Hoofer, 50 year dealer, who happens to be one of the finest people you will ever encounter. We're made to feel so welcome that before long you start to know what it feels like to be ROYALTY.
We're given our cycle and told not to worry about a thing. AND, we're told to keep the bike for as long as we desire. In the case of myself and the couple from NZ we were given two Ultras and a brand new Low Rider.
Arrival Day- we did some local riding in the afternoon then a "welcome dinner" at the home of the host where we were staying.
Day two- We did some visiting at the dealership again then some riding around the lake country in Minnesota. Another "welcome dinner" , this time with about 20 chapter members. By now we really felt like ROYALTY.
Day three (Thursday)- This is the actual start of the group ride to the Beartooth. Departed at 8:00 am from the Fargo dealership with approx 30 other bikes. This ride was 300 miles long on west I-94 with a steak luncheon hosted by Del at about the half way point. We arrived in the town of Medora which is in the heart of "The Badlands". A ride through "the Badlands" own Theodore Roosevelt National Park presented us with sights of several herds of wild horses and plenty of bison. That evening included a "Fondue Pitchfork steak dinner" along with a spectacular outdoor old west cowboy musical presented as "The 2011 Medora Musical". This was truly one of the highlights of our trip.
Day four- This was another 300 plus day of riding that included a stop at the Billings Harley dealership then on to Red Lodge, Mont. for the evenings party. Here we took group photos and were introduced as the guests of honor at a Pizza party for all of the riders. Our numbers now exceeded well over 80 riders.
Day five- Saturday-The actual run to the top of the "Beartooth Pass" was beyond anything I can explain. As the "guests of honor" we were placed in the number 2 and 3 positions directly behind the lead bike. In downtown Red Lodge the streets are blocked off so we can stage our ride on the main street. Picture all these bikes lined up to start the ride. The elevation change from the bottom at Red Lodge of about 4,000 feet to the top of the mountain of over 10,000 feet will give you some idea of the climb we took. There was still 10 feet of snow on the top of the mountain so our group stopped midway up the summit for group photos, coffee, donuts, and lots of camaraderie.
After the "run to the Top" some bikes turned back to continue their riding north and some continued down the mountain to Cody, Wy. as we did. To this point we were essentially the guests of the Fargo Chapter and they literally paid for everything except fuel. That included food, lodging, and the shows we attended. What an experience!
But for the NZ couple and me the party wasn't over. For the following week we were guided all over that area of the country going through nine states in total, covering over 3400 miles, visiting the "Black Hills", Sturgis, Spearfish Canyon, Yellowstone Nat'l Park, just to name a few.
The bottom line...THIS TRIP WAS PRICELESS! See pictures on the HOG Photos page.
On Saturday, March 26, we held theTCHOG Spring Picnic. It was a big success! There were 29 bikes and 33 members that took the mystery ride to the SandAl Ranch doing over 100 miles from the Dealership to cover the normally 10.5 mile distance to the ranch. There were 64 people in total at the picnic and all had a good time (even though some had to drive a 4 wheel vehicle). Everything worked out perfectly from the weather to the food to the games. We would like to thank Al and Sandee Ragl for hosting us at their ranch, it was a great venue, and also thank and congratulate Bob and Joann Cutler for making all the key arrangements and even serving the catered food. With two good successes under his belt, I think Bob has earned the title as our official TCHOG Party Planner. Thanks again to everybody that helped. It was a wonderful day from all perspectives. See a few pictures on our Photos page (courtesy of Helen Oliveri and Dee Chandler).
Mike Carter found a "Must Read" paper for all motorcycle riders titled "50 Ways To Stay Alive On A Motorcycle". Click this LINK to read it and print it off to look at it again and share it with others. You may already know many of the suggestions but keeping these things fresh in your mind could save your life.
On Wednesday, March 23, we had another good turnout for a weekday ride. It looks like Wednesday is a good weekday to schedule. This time we had 17 bikes and went to Jr's. Runway Cafe at the Sebring Airport. This is a nice ride of about 125 miles from the Dealership through back roads and the weather was perfect. The restaurant is also an excellent lunch destination as it is very well kept, the food is good and so is the service. Pictures on Photos page.
We held our second Slow Speed Skills session with good success. Here is a brief review from Mike Carter: We had nine (9) riders participate in the Slow Speed Skills activity on Sunday March 20, 2011 and it was great to see that three of the participants were lady riders. Two riders, Robert Kleiman and Ron Jacobs passed the final test but all of the riders did well. Our next slow speed skills activity will be conducted in the fall. To all the Road Captains who helped yesterday, "Thank's so much for your help yesterday", It was greatly appreciated.
Our first 2011, Ladies of Harley ride ( ALL members welcome, so the guys can join us) is scheduled for Sunday April 3, 2011. We will be leaving from the dealership at 10:00am for Coconuts on the Beach, in Cocoa Beach. Debbie Carter will be our ride leader on this 96 mile ride along A1A to one of Florida’s most scenic roads, Tropical Trail, and then on to the Restaurant. Coconuts sit’s right on the ocean so you can bring your bathing suits if you want to. There will be two return routes planned. One route will reverse your trip north and the other route will take you to Space Coast Harley Davidson in Palm Bay for some shopping. Those of you taking this option will be pleased to note that we have arranged for a 10% HOG discount at Space Coast. Detailed routes back to Stuart and to Space Coast Harley will be provided so you will be able to pick a route or just stay in Cocoa Beach for some fun in the sun. Again, ALL members and their guests are welcome on this ride so we will be looking forward to seeing lots of our male riders join us on April 3rd.
Saturday: "We had 6 bikes & 10 people. Weather was cloudy when we left, but as we headed southwest it cleared up & we saw the sunshine. It was still breezy and chilly but a nice ride. We did stop once just to warm up for a bit. Fairgrounds were pretty busy, other than the Seafood fest and Flea market, there was a gun show & concert going on but we found secure special parking (check out the pictures). We stayed for a few hours and met back at the bikes and rode most of the way home together. It was a good time & good food, just cold. Barry did a great job getting us there. It was his first lead ride".
Sunday: "Not sure how many bikes there were today. There were nineteen people. Debbie did a great job getting us there and setting up the luncheon reservations for us. The food was fantastic & great service. Debbie made us all special Valentine chocolate treats, they were a wonderful surprise and really good too. Again most of us rode back together. Mike brought us back on the other side of the lake. The weather was really nice today".