Friday, September 14, 2007

2007 WA State H.O.G. Rally

Dreams do come true. When we attended Daytona Bike Week in 2001, I was wowed by the number of Harley’s all in one town. I told Larry that there must be a way to get the bikes to come to Bellingham--and so the dream was born. I wasn’t sure how I was ever going to make my dream become a reality and I knew that I would never get 500,000 bikes to come to Bellingham, WA. But I thought what if 500 bikes came to town...What if?

For the last thirteen months I have spent countless hours at a computer helping to plan and organize events for the 2007 WA State H.O.G. Rally. I had an incredible team of volunteers on the events committee who took on tasks, rides, and events, making them happen.

It began in Yakima WA in July, 2006, when the Mt. Baker Chapter Harley Owners Group of which I am assistant director and membership officer won the bid to host the 2007 rally. Everyone had ideas and we took the best of them along with ideas from internet research and we worked everything into our theme of “Higher Harley Education.”

Friday night at the movies to watch Wild HOGS, with popcorn, coca cola, and free give-away prizes was a huge success. We had rides to the top of Mt. Baker, to the shores of Birch Bay, down Chuckanut Drive, one of the most scenic roads in America, and all around our county crisscrossing the back roads. We had a riding biker bingo game, a black crow bug splat target game, and a poker run. If you were sore from riding, we had an onsite massage therapist to give shoulder and neck massages to make you relax and ready to ride again. There was a first aid/cpr class, DOT motorcycle endorsement classes, Harley history presented by our regional manger J.T. Hasley from H.O.G. headquarters, and a special one-of-a-kind class by Jim Fricke the museum curator for the new H-D museum that opens next year in Milwaukee. We had something for everyone including pedicures for the ladies (it is rumored that a picture exists of two manly bikers getting a pedicure) and a class on altering and decorating your rally t-shirt to make it more stylish by adding rhinestones, buttons, and even making strategic cuts to spice it up.

We hired the Ryan Stiles UpFront Comedy Club to perform Saturday night and danced under the stars in Red Square to a blend of oldies music. And still we thought we could do more. We planned a rocking up-beat Sunday morning worship service in a plaza over looking Bellingham Bay, followed by a Marine color guard presenting the flag and the national anthem was sung before one hundred and one Harley’s cruised through town for the first-ever bike parade. We returned to Red Square at Western Washington University for a bike show, more live music, afternoon movies, a picnic lunch, and more classes to choose from before closing ceremonies when we awarded the prizes, awards, and raffles to those attending.

It was a wonderful weekend with over four hundred bikers attending the first ever state rally held in Bellingham. A little drizzle in the beginning but most people understood it is western Washington--it rains. We had HOG members from fourteen states and Canada in attendance with about one hundred of those staying in dorm rooms on campus to live like a college student.

It was an achievement, an accomplishment, a triumph, what more can I say! What a great HOG chapter we have; full of active supportive members. We (all the staff, committee members, and volunteers) worked hard to give HOG members a rally like no other rally they had been to before. Our regional manager congratulated us on the rally for taking the initiative to try something new, a new site to hold the rally (a college campus), a new idea of providing classes, a new bingo game to play, and the enthusiasm to make it happen.

Now with this all said, we are ready to relax and let someone else do all the work and we will just attend the next rally as guests.

Thanks to Mike K, Cis, Angie, Rick, Rita, Dave, Jeannie, Mike G, Mike S, Glenn, McDave, Tom, Ken, Michelle, Larry, Dave B, Bob, Shelia, Vern, Martha, Marla, Art, Barbie, Angie, Lisa, Robin, LJ, Dave, Rick, Bob, Ken, Rob, Jerry, Jim, Ron, Gary, Mike H, Mark, Dick, Mike M, Chris, Ron, Philip, Bill, Bob, Jeff, Martha M, Kaye, Cosette, LuAnn, Terri, Harry, Susan, Martin, Steve, Eric, Larry B, Lorie, Rob, Michael, Diana, David, Michelle, Brian, Kathy, Candie, Heather, JD, Rick E, Marina, Dave J, Dawn, Susan, Tina, Sherry, Lily, and Miss Patti. Special thanks to JT Hasley our regional manager and Jim Fricke from the H-D museum and his band Whispering Johnson which made a special performance, Steve Steele and the Reflections, Eric Love and Wild Ride, and the Ryan Stiles UpFront Comedy Club performers.

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