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Mile Marker – May, 2012

By Fred Nabkey

We had some great spring weather to enjoy our scooters, but every spring is the same; too many accidents and deaths. Every year I tell you all to be careful out there! Nobody is looking for you, nor are they aware of you. You have to ride like they are all out to get you, sometimes trying to kill each other… Tammy Harmon, 52, and her husband Arthur, 61, of Mount Olive, Illinois, were out for a putt on their Harleys when they attempted to pass another vehicle. Tammy ran up the rear tire of Art’s and both of them went down. They ended up in Blessing Hospital in Quincy, Illinois; alive, but pretty banged up… Jeff Weikert, 50, of Wapello, Iowa, will race a motorcycle for the last time this summer when he takes on the 90th annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb—not an easy feat when you have Parkinson’s disease. Jeff, who was diagnosed in 2009 and has been racing all of his life, now walks with a shuffle and has tremors in his hands. His symptoms are getting worse and this race will be his swan song. He sent in his resume and the committee chose him as a participant. He is committed to raising $10,000 for the Michael J. Fox Foundation to help find a cure for Parkinson’s… Black Diamond Harley-Davidson and Ike Honda, both in Marion, Illinois, have teamed up to raise money for the Southern Illinois Disaster Relief to help families who lost everything in the Leap Day tornado. Shad Zimbro and Rodney Cabaness, co-owners of Black Diamond, and Lori Sisulak, GM of Ike Honda, have agreed to raise $50,000 in 50 days. They are selling raffle tickets for the chance to win an H-D SuperLow and a Honda Civic LX. There will be two separate drawings for the prizes. The winner will be drawn at Black Diamond H-D on Saturday, May 12. Tickets are one for $20 or five for $50 and the dealership’s Southern Illinois H.O.G. chapter will run the raffle. Want to buy some tickets? Visit www.50DaysFor50Grand.com for more information… Here in Michigan we are waiting anxiously for our new Governor, Rick “The Nerd” Snyder, to sign the papers to repeal our mandatory helmet law. On March 28 the State Senate approved the measure and has sent it to the governor. There are great arguments of the pros and cons of wearing a helmet, but number one is that we live on a peninsula and vacationers want to visit our state. We are surrounded by no-helmet law states and who wants to stop and buy a helmet to visit Michigan? They just keep flying down the highway spending their millions of tourism dollars somewhere else. We should hear soon… Matthew J. Perry of Linton, Indiana, borrowed his neighbor’s motorcycle to go for a putt. As he was leaving the gas station parking lot on the way back home, Linton Detective Paul Clark (who was going the other way) recognized him. Perry took off at a high rate of speed to make his getaway. He finally got home, and lo and behold the detective was waiting for him in his driveway. Perry is a habitual traffic violator whose license has been suspended from June 11, 2010, to June 8, 2020. I think he should move to a new town far, far away… The town of Newton, Iowa, will be rockin’ and rollin’ July 25–28 for the Iowa Grand Motorcycle Rally at the Iowa Speedway. Joining Jay Allen, producer and emcee for the event, will be a meet and greet with Sons of Anarchy stars Katey Sagal and Charlie Hunnam, and Danielle Colby Cushman of American Pickers will host the Grand Tattoo Competition. Joe Diffie, Gallagher the Comedian and more acts to be announced in the upcoming months will help to put Newton on the map. Go to www.facebook.com/iowagrandmotorcyclerally or go to the website www.iowagrandrally.com for more information and to buy tickets that are on sale now!… Lehman Trikes of Spearfish, South Dakota, has suspended operations and may not reopen. With the death of founder John K. Lehman and Harley-Davidson making their own Trikes since 2010, the company has attempted to make trikes for other major manufacturers without much success. CEO Ken Hines has sought an investor, but is unable to sell the company. At last count 15 employees have lost their jobs with the business closing… Congrats to Mike and Franscene Davis, owners of Adventure Harley-Davidson in Dover, Ohio, and their employees on receiving the Gold Bar & Shield award for the third time since they opened in 2003. It’s the fourth time they have been a Bar & Shield winner in the last five years. They earned the award based on their motorcycle and product sales performance, customer service and satisfaction, and various operational categories… Welcome to the fight, “Spoon River Riders,” as Illinois’ newest ABATE chapter. It takes 25 people to start a chapter and 40 showed up. They succeeded and the fight is on. Officers are Chad Gillam, organizer and president, vice president Neil Schaffer, secretary Barry Simmons, treasurer Rhonda Strappe, legislative coordinator Pat Mahe, membership coordinator Anita Berlanga, safety and education coordinator Jason Adams, activities coordinator Terry Snider and sergeant-at-arms Roger PotterBud’s Harley-Davidson and the River City Eagle Riders of Evansville, Indiana, have given the local Ronald McDonald House some extra support with a donation of $8,000. The local charity has served 1,600 families of children with a “home away from home” since it opened in January 2010… Happy retirement, “Willie G.” Wow has it been nearly 50 years as head of H-D styling? My, how time flies! Knowing how he operates, I am sure we haven’t seen the last of him and Nancy. See you at the 110th, Willie, and thanks for the memories… That’s it for this month, folks; it’s all about you, the Midwest biker. Ride fast, but ride safe.

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