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Posts Tagged ‘Freedom’

Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 3.34.02 PMThe State of Oregon has more than 74,000 miles of total roads and highways to wander as you set out on your northwest adventure.  The state is known for a diverse landscape including the Pacific coastline, the Cascade Mountain Range, and the flat central/eastern desert. It’s the ninth largest state and with a population of 4 million, the 26th most populous.

Yet, over the last couple of weeks the state is being defined by an alarming spike in motorcycle accidents and rider deaths!  OSP flash alerts are HERE.

  • On Highway 36 on June 24th a 2004 Harley crossed the center line and struck a Ford Ranger head-on. The motorcyclist, 56-year-old Michael R. Lucier of Swisshome, died at the scene.
  • On June 25th there was motorcycle crash on Highway 46 at milepost 7 (Caves Highway near Cave Junction).  The preliminary investigation revealed that a 2001 Triumph motorcycle was eastbound on Highway 46 at milepost 7 when it left the roadway on a corner. The motorcycle struck a tree and the rider, Patrick Michael Daley, age 57, of Cave Junction, was thrown down the embankment and pronounced deceased at the scene.
  • On June 26th there was a report of a truck versus motorcycle collision on Interstate 5 at the 235 interchange (just north of Albany). The 1995 Kenworth truck tractor was towing a chip trailer and had been traveling southbound on Old Salem Road. The truck began to make a left turn onto the Interstate 5 southbound on-ramp, but turned in front of a northbound 1995 Kawasaki motorcycle. The motorcyclist crashed as a result of the truck turning into its path. The rider, Kevin R. Argo, age 39, of Lebanon was pronounced deceased at the scene by emergency personnel.
  • On June 30th near Deadwood, OR, Richard F. Araujo, 68, died when he missed a corner on his 1992 Harley Davidson and sideswiped a Dodge pickup. It was the 2nd fatal motorcycle crash on Highway 36 in less than a week.
  • On July 2nd OSP responded to a report of a motorcycle versus vehicle crash on London Road near the Cottage Grove Reservoir.  Information revealed a 1999 Honda 900 motorcycle was traveling southbound on London Road at a high rate of speed just as a 2008 Chrysler Sebring was pulling out of a private drive northbound. The motorcycle impacted the driver’s side of the Sebring. The rider, identified as Cory Nathan Tocher, age 33, of Cottage Grove, was thrown from the motorcycle and pronounced deceased at the scene.
  • Also on July 2nd there was a report of a traffic crash involving a motorcycle rider and an SUV on Southeast 82nd Avenue near Schiller Street.  Efforts to save the motorcyclist, 45-year-old Aaron Christopher Rufener were unsuccessful and he was pronounced deceased at the scene by emergency personnel.  The driver of the SUV, a 44-year-old man, remained at the scene and was cooperative. Officers learned that he was driving northbound on 82nd Avenue and was turning left into the Don Pedro Mexican Restaurant parking lot when the southbound motorcycle rider crashed into the passenger side rear of the SUV, a 2004 Chevrolet Trailblazer. The motorcycle is a 2013 Harley Davidson.

In addition, on July 5th there was a vehicle crash reported on I-5, just south of Ashland.  The crash, involved a BMW motorcycle and a semi-truck going southbound at mile post 10.5.  The motorcycle was from Mexico and was traveling at about 70 mph when it ran into the back of a semi-truck.  The motorcycle driver was transported to Oregon Health and Science University to be treated for his life-threatening injuries.

On July 6th, again on I-5 in northern Josephine County near Wolf Creek, OSP responded to the single-vehicle accident at milepost 80.  David Carl Freiboth, 61-year-old of Mercer Island was riding his Triumph motorcycle in the fast lane of I-5 when a semi-truck in the slow lane quickly signaled and changed lanes in front of him.  Freiboth told OSP he hit his brakes and quickly veered away from the semi, which caused him to hit the median and lay his bike down. He complained of shoulder pain and was transported by AMR Ambulance to Three Rivers Medical Center for treatment.  A motorcyclist behind Freiboth confirmed the incident, but was unsure about the description of the semi – which did not stop after causing the mishap.

Oregon has no shortage of steep grades, tight curves and awesome views that can be fascinating on a motorcycle.  But, please, PLEASE pay attention because we want you to live through your trip here!

If you are new or considering a motorcycle visit to the state I urged riders – to review motorcycle safety information.

All Rights Reserved© Northwest Harley Blog

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“Redux” is often used in literature and film with the meaning of “brought back or restored.”

This time it applies to a motorcycle ride which took place back in 2008 under some clouds of controversy.  I won’t bore you with details of the past because it’s been 3+ years since that ride which had record attendance on a bright sunny fall day in the northwest.

Just mark your calendar as the Free The Colors ride is being resurrected from the ride “tool box” and planned for April 15th.

The ride is not about rules of engagement.  Rather it’s about a journey and it seems to me that the best trips in life invariably involve some detours and improvisation to smooth out the bumps in the road.  Sometimes when we’re lucky, they also involve motorcycles and meeting new friends.

And speaking of friends, the Oregon Veterans Motorcycle Association (OVMA) will be celebrating 22 years of service to Veterans, their families and the Community on Saturday, April 14th. The current State President, Stefan Dudley ‘Taz’ (HDE, Bend area), asked that the West Valley Chapter plan and run the Free The Colors ride on Sunday April 15, which will result in a full weekend for OVMA.

The ride route (see map) will start out at 12 noon (sharp) from the VFW Post #584 on 1469 Timber St, SE, Albany.  From there they will be going to Lebanon, visiting the site where a new Veterans Home will be built. Then on to Scio, visiting a Veterans Memorial, then to Jefferson, from there to I-5 N, they will be stopping at Rest Lawn Cemetery in W. Salem, (OVMA has a Memorial there), and from there to the Independence Veterans Memorial.  They plan to fit in a lunch and/or rest stop somewhere on the ride, and from there back to 99W down to Albany, and to the Legion.

There will also be a breakfast at the VFW from 9-11:45am

Hear that sound?  It’s time to ride and let the sun shine in on April 15th!

Poster photo and map courtesy of OVMA

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U.S. Ambassador to China - Jon Huntsman

In a heady display of “feel the vib” and “look at me” doing that pursuit of freedom gig, the political poster child for human rights, dares onlookers of the patriotic possibility and the fact it’s not just something special for the American people as he rides his signature Harley-Davidson RoadKing Classic through the streets of Shanghai.

Some might even call him showing off a bit since urban incomes average about $2,200 a year in Beijing where the bikes sell for $12K to $37K.  Harley-Davidson opened its first store in China in April 2006 and the allure of its citizen’s growing spending power means the motor company is unwavering in its commitment to extract dollars from the world’s most sought-after-market… who cares if in Beijing and Shanghai, motorcycles are largely banned from most major streets and highways.

In fact, Shanghai stopped accepting motorcycle registrations back in 2002 so, I wonder how Mr. Huntsman got that motorcycle registered?  Was it shipped over or did he buy it there?  In a country well know for reproducing (“copy”) everything, unlicensed Harleys have been smuggled in to the country for years so his would likely go unnoticed. Details, details…Don’t bore me with the details.

The mandarin speaking Mr. Huntsman will resign as U.S. Ambassador to China on April 30th and according to Politico reports he might make a run for the Republican nomination in 2012.  Adding fodder to this speculation is the fact he’s booked for a speaking engagement in New Hampshire in May shortly after his return.

Interestingly, if a deal can’t be made and the government shuts down in less than 30 hours due to what looks like near-fatal-distrust of the two parties… I wonder how Mr. Huntsman will get back to the U.S. — charge it?!

UPDATE: June 21, 2011 – Mr. Huntsman enters the 2012 Presidential race.  Reuters report HERE.

Photo courtesy of AP.

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Sunset H.O.G. Poker Run

The attacks of September 11, 2001 shaped the nation and the course of history.

Prior to this date most people would not have considered the possibility of an enemy attack on U.S. soil.  Nine years later it’s easy to forget that 2,749 lost their lives and seven buildings were destroyed. Recently President Obama announced the withdrawal of 90,000 combat troops from Iraq, marking the “end of America’s combat mission”, but who would have believed we would have a death toll of over 4,000 troops from the two wars?

I recall the events not to dwell on the tragedy, but to pay tribute to those who lost their lives, to honor the veterans and to remind myself that terrorist fanatics want to destroy the very principles of freedom and democracy that I write about on this blog. Sure the posts are slanted toward issues more relevant to motorcyclists, but it’s the same principles of freedom none the less.

We all remember where we were and what we were doing that day.  After watching the towers collapse, seeing the Pentagon and the western Pennsylvania crash I remember feeling a sense of desolation and anger.  But, I also remember how proud and inspired the first responders as well as Rudi Giuliani made me feel by their actions.  I remember the World Series just 6 weeks later in New York, the opening pitch by George Bush and a stadium full of people determined to not let this act change everything.

And speaking of freedoms, I’m not even a little conflicted about the $100M development of a mosque near ground zero.  I think it’s in poor taste and no matter how you spin it; the people behind the mosque are using our open arm kindness as a weakness.  And here is where hipsters will inundate my inbox with missives telling me I don’t know jack, that I’d better do the public a favor and stop writing, but pure and simple it’s an insult to the victims of 9/11.

There are and will be many motorcyclists paying tribute on September 11th.  There is “America’s 9/11 Ride” that raises money for families of active-duty first responders’ children.  There is the “Ride With The 40” which honors the hero’s of Flight 93 and lots at a the local level.  Here in the northwest is the 18th Annual Sunset HOG 9/11 Poker Run which is open to all flavors of motorcyclists.

I’m not sure yet if I’ll just watch a documentary or participate in one of the rides.  I plan to do something to support the victims and remember the attack.

Photo courtesy of Sunset H.O.G.

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It’s called the Harley-Davidson: Road Trip.

Visualize for a moment retirement homes all across America experiencing the roar of the V-Twin engine, the shine of the chrome and the feeling of power and freedom from a joy stick and from the comfort of a lounger!  The older crowd can switch from Wii-Fit to biker hoodlum in seconds!

It’s coming soon courtesy of Destineer,  a developer of family-friendly video games for game consoles. They partnered with Harley-Davidson to bring the ultimate cross-country adventure game exclusively to the Nintendo Wii system.  The game takes place from the seat of a H-D (choose one of six models) motorcycle and should you accept the mission you’ll be on a special assignment from HOG Magazine to chronicle a road trip across America.  Don’t worry the camera is included with the game.

Now some of you will get testy when I say the Wii is for “oldsters” and from what I’ve observed they are likely to be very sweaty oldsters at that!  However, the Wii console has been selling like discounted hot-cakes at the local Denny’s!  The people buying these systems are not hardcore gamers.  They are mainstream adults and amazingly, the elderly can’t seem to get enough.  It’s highly likely we will be reading in a couple months about a retirement home who was taken over by a trio of motorcycle oldsters battling it out over the best road trip across America.

I’m not sure if this is what H-D had in mind when they referred to reaching people who have never considered a motorcycle before while not alienating the core audience that grew up with the brand.

Full Disclosure:  I own a Wii console as it goes well with my White Russian, Big Lebowski bowling outfit!

Photo courtesy of H-D and Destineer Games.

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NCOM Agenda -- Portland, OR

NCOM Agenda -- Portland, OR

Some things are immutable.  You’ve got to show up for appointments on time.

And speaking of meetings the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM (Region 1)) meeting and seminar is set for Saturday, October 17th in PORTLAND, OR.  The venue is the Holiday Inn (Portland Airport) at 8439 NE Columbia Blvd., Portland OR 97220.

Speakers at the daylong event includes:

James “Doc” Reichenbach – Chairman, National Coalition of Motorcyclists — “Freedom of the Road Throughout the Nation”

Sam Hochberg – A.I.M. (Aid to Injured Motorcyclists) Attorney, Oregon — “Other Legal Issues In Our Region” and “Trademark Defense Update”

Jim Hernandez – Professor Criminal Justice — “New Federal Gang Bill”

Guest Speaker — “The Defender Program”

NCOM was founded in 1986 with the idea that motorcycle groups from across America could “come together” and address the overwhelming need for a national voice to protect our life-style and right to ride.  NCOM is not another association, but rather a bringing together of existing motorcycle groups for the purpose of mutual exchange of information, legislative strategy and to combine strength to fight all that is adverse to the freedom of the road.

All motorcyclists are invited to this free event.   Hopefully you can join your fellow riders as it’s your opportunity to hear about the status of the fight for personal freedom across the country and weigh in on the various motorcycle topics effecting the northwest.  I received information that the WA CoC will be riding in as a master pack which should make for an interesting entrance visual in of itself.

True, I’m on a mini blogging timeout this month, but the meeting is important and I wanted to help get the word out.

Photo courtesy of NCOM.

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FreeOwners of motorcycles report being deeply attached to their bikes since the values of freedom are intrinsic parts of the owners lifestyle and resonate with an emotional bond.

Harley-Davidson continues to promote self-expression and a passion to escape the routine by releasing a new video featuring FREEDOM — in the form of thirty-four new 2010 models.  Buy one and you can become anyone you like is the marketing premise wrapped in this adventurous pioneer spirit reminiscent of the wild west days.  The video sound track is cool music by Rocco DeLuca and the Burden.  You can see/hear it on the YouTube channel HERE.

Mac's Shoutout

Mac's Shoutout

Do you feel like raising your voice about riding and living free?  You can do that HERE.  It’s your chance to make a statement (if it passes admin approval) and you can view several thousand others who have done the same.  Using your message and an image of a 2010 Harley-Davidson motorcycle of your choice, you can create a custom banner ad that can then be shared on social media (Twitter, Facebook etc.) sites or turned into a personal wallpaper for your PC.

It’s my view that this is the same ‘ol marketing promotion tactics we’ve seen from the motor company before, simply re-rolled for the new 2010 models.  There is nothing unique or innovative about this! Hey Harley-Davidson, how about something truly creative like an iPhone app?!  Take the cool web-based mapping software and make it unique/available for the iPhone or how about an app that advocates freedom to associate with other bikers — now we’re talking FREEDOM — or how about an app that allows users to contact members of Congress, identifying the users local Congressman via GPS and informing us how to easily contact them to promote motorcycle and rider issues/concerns?  No?  Okay, then how about a ringtone?

Photo courtesy of H-D.

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