Originally published on August 26, 2008
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.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
A great ride through familiar territory.
About ten minutes after we left the dealership in Duluth, we crossed the border into Wisconsin, and that feeling of “homecoming” got even stronger. Our ride route took us along Lake Superior to Bayfield, then south to Abbotsford where we turned east to head into Wausau.
This is a double homecoming for me, as today I returned to the city where I grew up which is still home to some of my brothers and sisters. Tomorrow, we’ll make our grand arrival to Milwaukee.
Wausau Harley-Davidson hosted the biggest party of the ride, at least for the six routes that gathered here. There was great food, some awesome bands, and really excited people, most of whom seemed to be headed for Milwaukee tomorrow. Liegh Ann, the Marketing Manager from the dealership said that she worked on this event for a year, and it showed. She’s heading for Milwaukee tomorrow, too, right after the “Departure Breakfast” at the dealership tomorrow morning.
It was great to get together with all of the employees who participated in the six rides that were here. The stories started flying as soon as we pulled in. We talked about the weather, the roads, the events along the way and the plans for Milwaukee. And the talking went late into the night.
One of the coolest things from my point of view as I looked at almost 30 people in staff shirts at the dealer event was that every one of those employees shared his or her riding experience with customers this week. And showed how much they care about both those customers and Harley-Davidson.
And the excitement about the event extended to other employees too. I ran into several “off duty” employees at the dealer event, too, including Mary Kay Lee from MotorClothes and her husband Darryl, and Laurel Tschurwald from Marketing and her husband Darryl. Holy cow, I also ran into former employee Debbie Fink, and her former employee husband, Darryl. And I’d like to introduce my other brother, Darryl. (Sorry, that was a memorable line from an old Bob Newhart show.)
Fred and Debbie from www.cyclematters.com joined us on Route #1. Check out their posting about “10 Extaordinary Truths about Harley-Davidson.”
Home tomorrow night……then let the party begin!