Click the place markers below to follow the story.
View Harley Tracks Across Vietnam in a larger map
View Harley Tracks Across Vietnam in a larger map
The NVAR seems like long ago, and the next one is taking eons to get here.
In the meantime, Harley Tracks has been busy at local events, and I thank all who bought my book, and appreciated all the nice words from those who already read it.
I have some great news: I got a call from Dave Nichols, Editor at EASYRIDER MAGAZINE, he asked for a 2,000 word article about my ride/book, along with photos. That’ll be quite a spread on their pages. I’ll update for sure.
Now, back to events.
The annual Patriot Guard Ride was July 8. They held a special recognition to Vietnam Veterans and Law Enforcement Officers. The weather was perfect, and the attendance was huge, more than I’d seen in the past four years. The Patriot Guard did a fantastic job with organization and schedule of respected host speakers. It was great to hear a band with a lot of brass in it, and they played on as the last of the vendors packed it in.
After sharing stories, I often forget to get a picture new readers of Harley Tracks, but they were mindful to request photos with me, and in turn, I snapped them. I had to post one with Killswitch and the bike he built from a dream; aluminum frame, anodized, and 121 cubic inches of power. Nice job Killswitch, thanks to you new readers, and Thank You Veterans.
To all Gold Star Families, our hearts and prayers are with you.
Another great ride across America to visit veterans in homes and hospitals, recognize veterans from the War on Terror with medals and thanks, visit school kids, and pay our respect at cemeteries and memorials. Lots of stories and laughs, camaraderie, support, food, and entertaining weather. Most wore denims, leathers, heated liners, and rain gear most of the ride. Winter storm Valerie forced I-80 to close in Wyoming, so sadly had to miss two hospital visit to get back on schedule in Grand Island NE. Although, a group from Grand Island will return for those visits.
I returned home after 5 weeks with 7,600 miles behind me. Check out those spark plugs, 96,000 miles on the Fat Boy; 71 hp and 82 lbs torque! It’s a blessed bike that runs strong for those who gave all.
Bike Week & Bike Show
The drive back to Mpls from Daytona Bike Week felt like and endless highway; but after two 13 hour dats and one 7 hour day, I arrived. But not before a necessary nap on the south side of the city.
It began with in route visits with Launie and AJ, my neighbor from school days and her husband, in GA. Then to Tampa to meet up with Doc, Bao Anh, and Chloe (I met Doc and Bao Anh for the first time in Dong Hoi, Vietnam, on their wedding day, 2009!) Great to see them again, and they have a special place in my book.
On my first days in Daytona I met up with Billy and Kelley, friends from Maine, who are also in my story; Chapter 16, 2013. Great to catch up with them and their friends.
After a couple days of 80+ degrees, a cold front soaked and slowed things a bit. Yet, if it’s built, the people will come, and he crowds kept a steady pace at Destination Daytona, home to Bruce Rossmeyer’s Daytona Harley Davidson, who invited me down for a book signing.
Tales were told from both sides of my display table at the top of the escalators. My thanks to all I signed books for. And, I hold everyone to their word who said they will order one!
Jim Benedict, a Vietnam Veteran who bought the book, stopped back a day or two later to watch a half hour of slide show. He’d read 50 pages already and asked if I’d sold a million copies yet. “Not yet”, I said, “but with your help I should”. He had already spread the word. Thanks Jim.
On a wild night at the Broken Spoke I had introductions and invitations for a magazine article and radio interview; more on those later.
After more rest back in Mpls, I set up for a book signing at the Donnie Smith Bike Show in St. Paul. Motorcycle creations graced the showroom, and tons of parts exchanged hands at the swap meet, more mind-blowing hot rods parked upstairs, and a tattoo show was added this year. Thanks again to all I signed books for; and to all who stopped by with comments after their read, thank you, too. To those who said they’ll order it, I hold you to your words, too!
I’m thinking about some graphics on the Fat Boy and putting it in the bike shows next year; more on that later, toooo!
On the schedule for Harley Tracks are presentations at Blaine HD Open House and the Otsego Senior center.
April 30: My departure for the NVAR; my 5th ride. Before I meet my NVAR Brothers and Sisters in Auburn CA, I’ll visit friends and family in SD, ID, OR, and CA. (Check out the NVAR link on this page, and rftw.com for info on a similar, and much larger ride. Until you’ve been on one of these rides, you can’t imagine the honor and fulfillment from meeting veterans in homes and hospitals across America. These are rides everyone should take, at least once. ) I switched to an S&S air filter with a new MAP programed = 71 hp at 82 ft. lbs. torque. New tires are mounted, and after 90,000 miles I’ll have new shocks for comfortable tracks in the spirit of freedom.
Check out the Readers Comment page.
Thank you & Never Forget.
Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens, became the first casualty on President Trump’s watch; keep him, and all before him—not forgotten—pray their sacrifices are not in vain.
Harley Tracks rolls into 2017, with events big and small planned into 2018.
Mar. 10 – 19: Bike Week, Daytona FL. I’ll go to Tampa first to spend a couple days with Doc and Bao Anh. I met them on their wedding day in Dong Hoi, while I was on my first road trip in Vietnam. They have a big part in Chapter 2 of Harley Tracks. Then I’ll be signing books on the 2nd level of Bruce Rossmeyer’s Daytona Harley-Davidson. The temperatures are already in the 80’s down there. The last time I tried getting to Daytona was 1990, but my Panhead failed in-route on a cold and rainy day. Like I say about going to Sturgis, I’ll haul mine to Bike Week, but, I rode it across Vietnam!
Mar. 25 & 26: The Donnie Smith Bike Show, St. Paul MN. I’ll be at the In Country Veterans Motorcycle Club (ICVMC) booth in the back left corner on the showroom floor. Donnie’s changed things a bit with entertainment, and added tattoo artists to go with the bike show, swap meet, vendors, and the hot rod show.
Apr. 10, 2 p.m.: Otsego MN Prairie Center, Presentation & Slide Show
Apr. 22: The Spring Flood Run. The weather ought to be great for a run along the St. Croix River, with a lot going on at every watering hole beside it. I’ll look forward to sharing stories and signing lots of books at the Naughty Hawg, if I can get in.
Late April to Memorial Day: The NVAR, the ride I look forward to each year. I’ve got reservations from Sacramento to Washington D.C. But first, I have to get there. I’ll leave Mpls for trails across SD, WY, ID, OR to camp and stay with friends and family before I meet up with my NVAR family in Auburn CA. Check out the NVAR link beside this Home Page, and check out photos on previous NVAR blogs in my archives. Whether it’s the NVAR or the Run to The Wall, everybody should make that ride at least once.
June: I’ll find someplace, or do a lot of riding.
July 8: The Patriot Ride, Anoka Airport. This year they make a special recognition to Vietnam Veterans.
August: Sturgis, of course.
September: Labor Day HOG National Rally, Milwaukee, WI.
Sept. The Kokomo Vietnam Veterans Reunion. Many from my NVAR family have been going there for years, and it’s great to join them, and a great party.
Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan 2018: Likely to be more added, with a potential stage presentations on the Progressive International Motorcycle Show. Check back.
I’ll post here and on Harley Tracks Facebook, before the NVAR.
In the meantime, for all you northern riders, use caution on your first rides,. For all you Aussies, me thinks the most of you’s can ride all year, in a bit of a chill, perhaps.
Harley Tracks Facebook: Check out more photos, and give it a LIKE.
Harley Tracks is now available in an E-Book, from Amazon.com, bn.com, and kobo.
Thank you & Never Forget
Our fallen SEAL, Ryan.
Don, Vietnam Vet who bought 2 Harley Tracks at my B&N book signing
Scenes from the International Motorcycle Show
One of my all time greats from the Far Side. No matter how many times I look at it–I laugh!