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Chewin’ the Fat Boy: January, 2017

By Susan Swan

Chewing

Happy New Year greetings from the Pacific Northwest, where folks on the coast are still enjoying balmy 40-degree days and nights and those in the Inland NW have seen single digits and early snowfall. My Fat Boy, like the scoots of most riders east of the Cascades, is parked for the duration, nicely topped off with special winter sauce—non-ethanol supreme and fuel additives to keep the $3.19-per-gallon tank contents from going all wonky by March. Looking at the THUNDER PRESS January calendar, one would surmise that we’re all about to go into hibernation like a bear. What about “inside” fun, you ask? Well, Portland, Seattle, and our friends to the North are already plotting… For Seattle and Tacoma-area riders, the first Wednesday of the year and every first Wednesday thereafter, the Georgetown District (more like SODO), just south of Seattle, finds the old relics (and their bikes) meeting at Slim’s Last Chance, 5606 1st Avenue South for the Vintage Motorcycle Enthusiasts Old Bike Night at 7:00 p.m. The gathering used to be at Planet Georgetown in Georgetown, but that establishment closed, so Slim’s got the nod. Their reputation for wings, chili and barbecue is reason enough to go, and it was even featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. But the parking lot deserves most honorable mention with the VME gathering on the first Wednesday of every month. Come meet some down-to-earth members who are custodians to classic iron, and who know their way around a set of tools too. Their website (vmemc.org) even has a page where members can Ask the Doctor and solve various wrenching conundrums. While still living in Western Washington we were members and enjoyed these fellow riders and collectors, first when they met at Teddy’s on Roosevelt, then at Planet Georgetown. If you find yourself impressed with this group, consider a membership in this AMA-sanctioned club, around since the early 80’s, with chapters in the South Sound, Seattle and in the Portland region… An offshoot of the VME started by Terry Barber and others in the Mount Vernon, Washington, area some dozen years ago is still going strong. It’s the Washington Vintage Motorcyclists Club WVMC and their website is (too darned long at) washingtonvintagemotorcyclistsclub.org. They meet on the second Saturday monthly at the Royal Star Buffet from 10:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. for lunch, often with a guest speaker. The restaurant requires folks eat something for the meeting space, but they offer a group rate that nets out to about $10 a head. If you have questions phone 360.961.2346 or e-mail them at wavinmc@gmail.com… The Spokane area has its own classic iron clan by way of the NW Classic Motorcycle Club, headed by the Bearded One, Gary BootmakerMcGlasson. Their website is www.nwclassicmotorcycleclub.com and you can see that they have a busy schedule of fun and regular “Gopher Rides,” the last one being on a none-too-warm November 13. From early March through year-end these friends and fellow vintage enthusiasts celebrate classic iron and the friendships made with others who share those values. Look at the “contact us” page for telephone numbers of board members and club leadership, and events page for dates of their swap meet, places they’ll gather, rides and other functions planned. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, give them a call… Oregon is home to one of the oldest vintage clubs in the nation and they have meetings in both Eugene and Portland. They’re the Oregon Vintage Motorcyclists and their website is www.oregonvintage.org. The club’s photo gallery is worth the visit, with member bikes that get the heart racing; more Vincent’s than a Halloween film festival with Mr. Price. Questions about the club can be directed to info@oregonvintage.org… ABATE of Washington State’s annual Black Thursday date to speak to state legislators is coming up on January 19. Expect speeches on the Olympia capitol steps at 10:45 a.m. with group photos afterward. More information about the ride to the Capitol and meet-and-greet come evening is available online at abate-wa.org or by e-mail at legislative1@abate-wa.org. If you have further questions call Brian at 253.209.2439 or Scott at 509.205.2001. Consider joining others who protect your freedoms on Washington State roadways. All are welcome…

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