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Mile Marker: November, 2016

By Fred Nabkey

I hope all of you who watched and enjoyed the Discovery Channel’s Harley and the Davidsons miniseries. I certainly learned a few new things about the Motor Company I never knew. It turned out that it was the most-watched series ever on Discovery, with an average of 4.4 million viewers for all three of its nights… Condolences to the family of Republican State Rep. Peter Pettalia of Presque Isle, Michigan, who was killed in a motorcycle accident in northern Michigan when a pickup truck turned into the path of his motorcycle. Pettalia was instrumental in the 2012 repeal of Michigan’s mandatory motorcycle helmet law, and was a strong supporter for motorcycle rights in the state of Michigan. He was wearing a helmet. I will say this again, folks: It is not a helmet issue, but the car drivers who violate a motorcyclist’s right of way by making turns in front of a rider… What was he thinking? Allen Shotko of Cedar Springs, Michigan, was minding his own business driving his semi on I-94 when Trenton Norris of Porter, Indiana, drove his Harley up next to him, pulled out his .40 cal. and capped off a round at the truck. The police were already looking for him as he waved his piece at another motorist earlier. The police found a bullet hole in the truck’s radiator, and Norris admitted he shot at the truck because the trucker cut him off. Norris was officially charged Monday with assault with intent to do great bodily harm—lesser charges than murder, assault with a dangerous weapon, discharge of a firearm from a motor vehicle and carrying a concealed weapon… Stephen Elliot, 51, has been charged with embezzling $280,000 worth of parts from Capitol Harley-Davidson in Dimondale, Michigan, from 2009 to 2014. Elliot was running the business while owner David Bell started stepping away from his involvement in the everyday operations of the dealership. If convicted he faces up to 20 years in the slammer. He also worked at Wild Boar Harley-Davidson in Grand Rapids, Michigan. No wonder our cycle counts were always off… In Rapid City, SoDak, police were on the lookout for a red motorcycle whose driver was ramming his scoot into vehicles around town. The biker was described as wearing a brown coat, women’s heels, and having on a long black-haired wig. Police spotted the red motorcycle, but it was the heels he was wearing that got their attention. They broke off the pursuit when the driver ducked down a bike path… On September 30, Sauk Prairie Harley-Davidson in Wisconsin closed its doors after 37 years, and merged with Harley-Davidson of Madison, Wisconsin. For 30 years Crystal Mundt has worked at the dealership and was the general manager at the date of closing. She said she will feel sadness because she was there every day, and will miss the community very much. Virgil Schulenburg, dealership owner, will be taking the entire crew from Sauk Prairie and merge them into the Madison location… In Ohio, House Bill 429 went into effect; it allows motorists who have a regular license to operate a three-wheeled auto cycle, specifically the Polaris Slingshots that are built in Wilmington, Ohio. I see this as a trend for other states, and especially for other manufacturers and older riders in a growing and diversifying market… That’s it for this month, my friends; it’s all about you, the Midwest biker. Ride fast, but ride safe.

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