Harley-Davidson celebrated its 105th Anniversary in 2008. I was one of the 105 execs designated to start a ride from a Harley-Davidson dealer to the big party in Milwaukee.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
If I were a poet, I’d be offering you “An Ode to the Two Lane Road.”
On Sunday, Gene, John and a small group of our new pals extended our trip by adding a side trip to Grand Forks, ND, one of the 105 starting cities for the 105th Anniversary Ride.
We decided to leave the “slab” behind and pick a route that was almost completely two-lane road through some beautiful farm country. I’ll take that kind of riding any day.
Farm country in North Dakota is different than farm country in Wisconsin. There are a lot fewer farm buildings and a lot fewer towns. John commented that he’s never ridden that far without seeing a city or a gas station. Especially when he needed to take a “bio break.” (We rushed him to leave before he was ready today.)
On the backroads, we missed the “world’s largest dairy cow,” but we did see hawks, deer, a friendly farm dog, and we were almost crop dusted. I could wax poetically about how great the ride was, but I’m going to save that for another time. Besides, nothing rhymes with orange. And I’d need that word to write a poem about today.
We joined Vince Orange, from H-D’s Parts & Accessories department who was starting his ride in Great Falls. Andy’s Harley-Davidson threw a great party and entertained us, and a few hundred riders, with an awesome barbeque. Denny Anderson gave us a tour of the dealership and showed us a photo of the dealership during the big floods about 10 years ago. They were under four feet of water back then, but everything looks great today.
We were also joined by Tim Becker, from H-D’s Rider’s Edge Program who started his 105th Ride at the event in Minot, North Dakota.
After Great Falls, it was on to Fargo, where the dealer provided a great experience for the riders coming through town.
Del Hofer, a legendary H-D dealer for many years, and his crew greeted everyone wearing Old West clothing (including a real gun) (that’s legal in ND) and pulled out a dozen of his favorite vintage Harleys. Including one of his H-D snowmobiles.
Fargo H-D fed everyone who came through with steak fondue, corn on the cob, homemade potato chips, and much, much more.
So what’s steak fondue? Just put a bunch of steaks on a pitchfork and stick it in a vat of boiling sunflower oil. Mmmmmm. It’s hard to beat that.
They also made the corn on the cob in a giant cooker that sounded like it was heated by a jet engine.
We’re running into more an more people who are heading to Milwaukee. Over 100 from the dealership here in Fargo. Some of these rider we’re talking to will be on our route, but many are heading into Milwaukee early.
We’re getting close….and it’s getting even more exciting!