Nation of Patriots Ride 2011 New Mexico

 

Nation of Patriots is a nationwide effort that serves to honor all of America’s Armed Forces, past, present & fallen by passing one American Flag around the country. The goal of this tribute is simple. 100 days, 48 states, 14,000 miles, 1 summer.

NOP provides financial support to families of wounded veterans. This was the 3rd year of the Patriot Tour. Bill Sherer, was the lone rider and flag bearer on the 2009 Patriot Tour, traveling 33 states east of the Mississippi on his motorcycle at his own expense. He raised awareness & money for families of wounded veterans. Bill is the inspiration behind this great cause!

This was my 2nd year to participate in this event. The flag was transferred from Terry Splawn, flag bearer for High Plains H-D®  to Keith Reeves, flag bearer for Santa Fe H-D®  on July 22nd. July 22nd was declared Nation of Patriots Day in the State of NM.

Doug Lutz, Veterans Affairs Liaison for the City of Albuquerque read the Proclamation declaring July23rd Nation of Patriots Day in the City of ABQ.

NM Patriot Guard Riders gave us the honor of a flag line as we departed on Saturday, July 23rd as we headed to Grand Canyon H-D® in Bellemont, AZ. We met up with Bob Carrion and the Grand Canyon HOG® Chapter in Winslow. The ride then proceeded to parade the flag down old Rt. 66 at Flagstaff.  What a sight with over 40 bikes escorting the flag!!!! At that time we had members of the Sangre De Cristo HOG Chapter, Turquoise Trail HOG Chapter, High Plains, HOG Chapter, Grand Canyon HOG Chapter and other riders. How amazing is that?!

Thank you to the Governor of New Mexico and the Mayor of Albuquerque for their support. 

 Thank you to Santa Fe H-D® for being a sponsor of this event. A very special thank you to the NM Patriot Guard &  everyone that held American Flags & honoring Nation of Patriots with a Flag line as we departed.  Thank you also to Grand Canyon H-D® for their hospitality & to Champion Motorsports and High Plains H-D® for being a part of this event as it passed thru NM.

 

Thank you to Kim Reiten, Bob Carstensen, Bill Ditz, Tom Johnson and, Jeanne Brooks & Deb Robinson for the great photographs. Thank you to Kelly for helping with registration. Thank you also to Thunderbird   H-D®  for their support. 

A very special Thank You to all the New Mexico Nation of Patriot Riders for being part of “the longest ride”! Mileage on my bike from Santa Fe Harley-Davidson to Grand Canyon Harley-Davidson was 408.3 miles. When our ride left on July 23rd we had 28 bikes. We had 17 continue all the way to Bellemont with us. 

Get more info, pictures & make donations at: www.nationofpatriots.org.

American Woman Riders was proud to be a part of this ride!

Safe Rides Always and Remember To Find Joy In Your Journey!

Tina – harleyskyangel@comcast.net

American Woman Riders http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/American-Woman-Riders/112117735473351 

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Angel Winged Rider Kathy

American Woman Riders would like to thank Don Bunna for sharing his love of his Angel Kathy with us.

When I ride now she’s also my Angel watching over me and I’m glad she’s on my shoulder. Thank you Don!

 

     My beautiful wife Kathleen Lyons-Bunna and I had been planning to ride the Blue Ridge Mountains for 6 months. We had both bikes packed. Kathy rides a 2010 Heritage. We had plans on staying in Tulsa for Friday night & heading out bright & early Saturday with the sunrise, down US 412 into AR. 

 

     Just before Stroud, a massive storm rolled out of nowhere & I couldn’t see anything in front of us.  As Kathy had much less seat time than I, I felt the only safe thing was to pull onto the shoulder and wait out the heavy downpour.   We left our flashers on, dismounted, stood in back of our bikes & spent the next 7-10 minutes holding hands and joking.  At one point I said a particular joke, she countered with one of her own. We broke out into laughter. I bent down to kiss her.

 

     We had our shields half way up and after releasing the kiss; I looked out of the corner of my right eye & saw a car with bright head lights coming directly at us. It was driving on the shoulder of the road, at a very high speed. As I went to grab Kathy & push her & me to safety, the driver thought of reacting identically & at the same moment, swerving to avoid hitting us, but ultimately hitting both of us.  Kathy took the brunt of the impact & began riding her new Iron Horse instantly into Heaven.  I was spared; don’t know how to this day & I came away with injuries that would heal quickly.  In determining later what may have happened, it seems this was a horrendous twist of fate & some irresponsible driving on the part of the driver. 

 

     Kathy & I met 3 years ago on match.com & on our first date I explained to her how important riding was in my life. She told me she had been thinking about learning how to ride herself.  An HR executive, well known in the OKC area, she was always about being in control of her life; so she took the beginner’s class at OKRiders & we got her a 2005 Honda Shadow to learn on.  She graduated up to a 1200 Custom Sportster & traded up for her dream bike, a 2010 2Tone Pearl Blue/Pearl Purple Heritage.  At first I thought she was learning how to ride just to be with me but, no, she was feeling it in her soul and looking forward to seeing the Blue Ridge Mountains.  She asked me 1 week before we left, what was the one thing I was truly looking forward to on our vacation. 

 

       I told her…to see your smile, from ear to ear, the moment you gaze your eyes on the Blue Ridge Mountains.  I told her I had seen them already, in a cage, but still had seen them, but my one greatest moment was going to see her smile when she finally saw the Majesty of the vast & beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. My wife Kathy has always been competitive in everything she did. Well, before I could get her there to see the majestic rolling mountains, she got an aerial view from Heaven.Kathleen was an HR exec. at a financial institution, here in OKC & had been very active for many years in the Oklahoma State and the Oklahoma City HR Society. We were married on October 9th. We had within our new home, us, an 11 year old special needs son & a 16 year old son trying hard to get through high school. Although, I can say, we had a couple husband/wife differences since we’d been together & we both had previous marriages that didn’t work. We knew from almost the very beginning we were soul mates.  We used to tell each other, we may not be perfect people but we’re just perfect for each other.

 

      I will love her forever & will cherish her & her memory forever.  Including the family she picked up from me, we had a total of 8 children, ranging from 35-11 & at the time of her bike ride into Heaven, 5 grandchildren.  The sixth grandchild was born 2 days after Kathy’s funeral. They say when one angel leaves to travel to Heaven they make way for another angel here on earth.

 

 

          Our bikes ended up in perfect condition, never touched by the driver and the car.  It has taken me awhile, but I’m starting to feel my soul and her’s while riding. You never REALLY know when your last day on this earth will be.

 

 

Note from Tina : When I read Don’s story about his love for Kathy it made me really think about not taking any day for granted and that we need to not forget our friends and loved one that have gone before us and are now Angels. American Woman Riders is making a Tribute Page to those Angels watching over us. Angel Kathy is the inspiration for this Tribute Page and will be our first Angel Winged Rider.

 

Angel Winged Riders

 

 

If you have an Angel Winged Rider please email me at harleyskyangel@comcast.net . American Woman Riders would be honored to proudly include their spirit on our page.

 

Safe Rides Always and Remember To Find Joy In Your Journey!

Tina – HarleySkyangel – American Woman Riders 

 

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An Inspirational Woman Rider – Kristin McAllister

Below is an article written by a American Woman Rider, Kristin McAllister, that is touching more lives than she will ever know by her determination and enthusiasm for riding despite being in a terrible accident. Thank you Kristin for sharing your story.

 

 

It’s amazing how one moment can change your life.  May 16th, 2010, I was riding my motorcycle on highway 33 in California, when an oncoming motorcycle crossed over the double yellow line on a curve and sideswiped me.  Somehow, I was able to get the bike to the shoulder without laying it down.  My lower leg had been nearly severed, my bones sticking out like pins in a pincushion, my ankle broken and all metatarsals in my foot crushed.  Initial physician recommendations were to remove the leg below the knee, but after many touch-and-go moments, the fantastic surgeons at Cedars Sinai were able to save it.  To make a long story short, it’s been a rough year of surgeries, physical therapy and recovery, but I was riding bitch within weeks (walker strapped to the bike) and on my own by October.  I ditched the wheelchair and walker and started walking without assistance again in January of 2011.

 

During this past year, while unable to ride, I found out about a great group, BACA (Bikers against Child Abuse).  I got involved, and have been riding with them since September of 2010.  I proudly wear the vest and look forward to becoming fully patched so that I can become even more involved protecting the kids.

 

Another great byproduct of being laid-up for so long is how I met and got to know good people like Mando and Melissa Hernandez through the local VFW and biker events.  Their daughter, Lauren is a shining star of energy, always sporting a big smile and great attitude. 

Last year, when the California City, California VFW put on their Memorial Day parade through town to the Veteran’s Cemetery, I was unable to attend because of my accident.  This year, I was determined to take part.  So, I was there, bright and early, sporting my BACA vest, ready to ride.  When Lauren approached me with that great big smile and shining eyes, asking me ever so politely, “Kristin, may I PLEASE ride on the back of your Harley Davidson?”  I happily took her on the parade.  The various riders had flags attached to their scoots, but mine offered no easy attachment choices.  So Lauren took a flag and proudly held it up for the entirety of the parade.  I think I had the best flag out there—certainly the best presentation!  It was a pleasure to be a part of the ride—honoring those that have died for our freedoms, and a pleasure to have such a great riding partner.  Thanks, Lauren, for making a special day even more special to me!

 

Congrats to 7 year old Lauren for becoming the first

 Honorary American Woman Rider!

 

 

Lauren’s mom, Melissa says that Lauren loves the flag and loves to ride! That is a true young American Woman Rider!

Here’s to many safe rides to everyone.

Tina – harleyskyangel@comcast.net

American Woman Riders

http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/American-Woman-Riders/112117735473351

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Living Life Begins When…

…you get your motorcycle endorsement! I know you agree that when you started riding motorcycles you had no idea the impact it would make on your life.

Meet young American Woman Rider Dakota Sidden.

It is a absolute necessity during our lives to grab it by the horns every once in awhile.   Since I’ve been riding smaller bikes, or riding back with my dad, many have brought up the idea of riding a bike of my own.

After many thoughts and many months later, I gave into the idea and took the course at Thunderbird in Albuquerque.

I met some amazing people along the way. The support you get from those riding with you is something you can honestly cherish forever.  I can’t wait to get out on the road with some of my classmates.

With the endorsement I earned from the MSF course in hand I hunted down a bike on Craigslist and found my current Sporty.

I encourage everyone to get out there and learn or to just try it.

It is an amazing experience to be in control of such a incredible machine.
I hope to see you all out on the road

PS: I love American Woman Riders!

Picture of Dakota and her mom and dad.

Note from American Woman Riders: I watched the Riders Edge Class that Dakota was in and she totally impressed me with her confidence and respect that she gave to her motorcycle training at such a young age.

Tina Reeves – harleyskyangel@comcast.net

American Woman Riders

http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/American-Woman-Riders/112117735473351

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Drinking and Riding Is A Good Thing To Do!

Drinking and Riding Is A Good Thing To Do…but only if its water!

You are out riding and your throat is dry and you are thirsty. You need to listen to your body telling you it needs water!

Dehydration is loss of water and important blood salts like potassium and sodium. Vital organs like the kidneys, brain, and heart can’t function properly without a certain amount of water and salt. 

Yes, it can happen to you. Yes it can happen while riding in cold winter months and in the upcoming summer months. 

You many not even realize it is happening to you. Dehydration can cause fatigue, headaches, and lack of focus.  All of these are big safety concerns.

Bikers sometimes avoid drinking too much so as not to interrupt the ride with bathroom stops. I’ve been on a ride and pulled over to drink water and wouldn’t ya know it others appreciated it but they didn’t want to be the one to stop first.  Come on, if you’re riding like that you’re not riding to have fun.  So don’t do that!! Breaks are good and help us to refocus and reenergize on our longer rides.

Some “experts” say that drinking one bottle of water for every two-three hours of riding time is a healthy ratio.

If you think you are dehydrated you can give yourself a pinch test.  On the back of your hand pinch your skin and if it doesn’t go back in place drink some water!!!

Riding a motorcycle isn’t as physical an activity as walking or running.  Being out in the sun, even on a cold winter day, sweating under our protective, cold weather leathers or riding in the heat of the summer sun and with the wind whipping past us can cause dehydration to any of us.

So the moral of this story is to DRINK YOUR WATER, RIDE SAFE AND HAVE FUN!

Safe Rides Always,  Tina – HarleySkyAngel

www.americanwomanriders.com

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American Woman Rider Does Hoka Hey Challenge 2011

     American Woman Rider, Carla DuBois, is taking on one very big personal challenge. August 2011, she will be participating in the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge. This ride is an endurance ride of 10,000+ miles. It starts in Phoenix, AZ and after hitting 48 states it will go to Canada and end up in Nova Scotia. 

     Carla shares her love of riding by working for High Plains H-D© for the last 10 years. Riding motorcycles is a passion of Carla’s! She loves the motorcycles and the unique people that ride the Harley-Davidson© brand or any brand for that matter.  Riding for 20+ years she has logged over 100,000 riding miles.

     Carla has two children, Christopher and Michelle, and they both enjoy riding. Her 2 year old grandchild Micheal also loves to ride. Her big inspiration and rock is her soul mate husband, Berb.  And let’s not forget “Scarlet”.  She is Carla’s 2011 FLHX which she will be riding on the Hoka Hey Challenge.

     Carla has been very active in the High Plains HOG© Chapter for the past ten years. She was appointed Director last year and because of her hard work and enthusiasm she is still in that position. She is also a member of the Sangre De Cristo HOG© Chapter. 

     Carla wants to help women that are interested in riding their own motorcycle. She loves watching them grow as they learn to ride. “They bloom into soaring eagles becoming independent, strong and free”.  Carla goes on to say “I get a feeling of completeness as they start making their own choices as they have become confident and independent. This is how I felt when I started riding.  Rule of thumb when encouraging a new rider is that I never forget how I felt the first time. The feeling always resurfaces. I love to “play it forward” to help others”.

     By participating in the Hoka Hey Challenge this year Carla hopes to touch many women riders by inspiring them to ride their own. She will also be helping spread the word about American Woman Riders which strives to bond women together that “love to ride”.  Donations brought into High Plains H-D© will also help charities.  Carla is a native New Yorker so would like to see some of the monies go to our fallen from the 9/11 terror attack. This year marks the 10 year anniversary.  

     We would like to ask your help. We are asking for donations to assist Carla in paying for food, gas & miscellaneous expenses that will incur. Funds left over will also donated to a charity that American Woman Riders will decide on. Please email harleyskyangel@comcast.net if you or your riding group would like to donate. If you have a paypal account you can send your much appreciated donation to harleyskyangel@comcast.net.  THANK YOU to all of you that have already shown your support of a woman rider following one of her dreams!

     If you’d like to know more information go to www.hokaheychallenge.com.  Be sure to check out the terms and conditions and you’ll see what Carla will be challenging herself to endure on this amazing ride.

Safe Rides Always, Tina – HarleySkyAngel

www.americanwomanriders.com 

http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/American-Woman-Riders/112117735473351 

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Bikers Share Passion for Children

Members of the Maddox and Long families, including (left to right) Pam Maddox, Mallory Long, Jami Long, Andrew Long, Mike Maddox and Brian Long – along with hundreds of their friends in the motorcycle community – recently rumbled in to MCGHealth Children's Medical Center to present a donation of nearly $8,500 in memory of Kelsi Elizabeth Long.

Augusta, Ga. – More than 200 motorcyclists rumbled in to MCGHealth Children’s Medical Center during the Ninth Annual Kelsi Long Memorial Ride. The ride is organized by Mike and Pam Maddox in memory of their granddaughter Kelsi Long, who had Down syndrome and was stillborn.

This year’s fundraiser brought in more than $8,500 in donations for critical care needs at MCGHealth Children’s Medical Center. To date, the fundraiser has provided more than $70,000 for the area’s only children’s hospital.

New Jersey Considers Repeal of Sunday Motorcycle Sales

New Jersey State Legislators are considering lifting the ban on Sunday motorcycle sales but some dealers are resisting the change.   On June 28, the Senate voted 38-2 to exempt motorcycle sales from the ban. The proposal would not change the ban on Sunday automobile sales.

In a report on the Press of Atlantic City the chief officer of the National Motorcycle Motorcycle Dealers Association said,  “Motorcycle sales across the United States have plummeted.”  He said, “It’s a mixed bag, in that most people are open on Saturdays and they want to have a couple days off. But the way the economy is, the dealers need to be open every day of the week to make it. A lot of people aren’t open on Sunday that could be.”

The bill is pending in the Assembly, where it could see action in September

FREEDOM RIDE CELEBRATES 25 YEARS FIGHTING MD

SAUK CITY, Wis.,–It began in summer of 1985 as a project for rural Wisconsin motorcycle enthusiasts looking to do some good.

Virgil Schulenburg, owner of Sauk Prairie Harley-Davidson in southern Wisconsin, wanted his dealership to support a cause. “A lot of places were asking for help.” Schulenburg said. “But we knew that there were several people in the area affected with muscular dystrophy and corporate Harley-Davidson supported the Muscular Dystrophy Association, so that became our cause as well.”

Schulenburg and a handful of volunteers set out to organize a ride for muscular dystrophy that summer. With tremendous community support, 50 participants rode nearly 100 miles through the countryside to a tavern on Highway 60, launching the first-ever Freedom Ride and raising $500 for MDA along the way.

But that was not enough.

Driven by their cause, the volunteers kept going, and the ride kept growing. By the second year, there were 100 participants, post-ride entertainment at a family farm, and a $1,100 donation to MDA.

Now in its 25th year, the Annual Freedom Ride to Benefit MDA attracts more than 2,000 motorcyclists, requires nearly 300 volunteers, and raises over $100,000 annually. Since its inception, the ride has raised over $1.7 million to defeat muscular dystrophy – consistently ranking it as one of the top Harley-Davidson MDA events in the nation—and never fails to show the impact of a small town and big idea.

“It’s amazing to see how far it has come.” Crystal Mundt, General Manager of Sauk Prairie Harley-Davidson said. Mundt has been involved with planning the Freedom Ride since she came to SPH-D 23 years ago, and said preparations have evolved to a science over the years. “Now it just kind of happens.”

But it takes a lot to make over 2000 motorcycles—and their owners— move like clockwork. Plans for the next Freedom Ride begin the day after the event, and strong dedication from the Sauk Prairie H.O.G. chapter and over 300 volunteers guarantee the ride’s success.

Sandy Opitz, who has been involved in the Freedom Ride since the beginning, attributes the event’s success to these volunteers, who have a strong connection to MDA’s clients and cause.

“It is the thanks you get from those that benefit and their families that keeps a volunteer going year after year.” Opitz said. “Not all days are good in the lives of those afflicted with neuromuscular diseases, so if you can start by making just one day brighter, you have spread a little sunshine to them, and created a warmth within yourself that can’t be replicated.”

The 25th Annual Freedom Ride festivities begin Friday, July 16 at Sauk Prairie Harley-Davidson in Sauk City, Wisconsin and include a poker run, bike show, and live music. The ride departs Saturday from Sauk Prairie Harley-Davidson at 12 p.m. sharp and stops in Reedsburg. Post-ride activities will take place at VFW Park and include a raffle and bike games. Registration is $25/person and all proceeds benefit MDA. For more information, please visit http://www.saukprairiehd.com/

MDA is a voluntary health agency working to defeat 43 neuromuscular diseases through programs of worldwide research, comprehensive services and far-reaching professional and public health education. For more information about MDA’s programs and services, call (608) 222-3269.

Vulcan Bike Week Sued by City of Birmingham

The City of Birmingham Alabama gave G. Entertainment LLC,, $25,000 to help promote  Vulcan Bike Week.  The event was billed as being held at the Birmingham Race Course but city fathers say the events were moved to Saint Clair County and they want their money back, and are suing to get it.

Mayor Bell told the local television station that the move violates the contract that the group had with the city and they must return the money.  According to the report, the check has been cashed.

On the website, www.vulcanbikeweek.com, the group says it designed an event to benefit all of Birmingham.

“The events that are going  on at Alabama International Dragway are events that were scheduled to take place in Steele  anyway. We designed and produced an event that would benefit the entire city, weather we  got 100,000 people the first year or 100,000 people the 5 year. We had a scholarship  program that was set in place to provide multiple first year college students with funds for  necessary items that was unforseen.  We wanted to keep the hope alive that one day Birmingham Alabama would have a true bike week, that generated millions for the city , and with us moving parts of the bike week to Steele, we will kept that hope alive.”

O’Reilly Auto Parts was the sole listed sponsor for the event.