I always like to send congratulations when I can, and this time I’m sending them to my friend Rich Proia. Rich recently moved his very popular shop, American V Twin, from the north end of International Drive to a new place at 3450 Rio Vista Avenue. He’s sharing space with Global Motor Werks, not too far from the intersection of John Young and I-4, and is offering clients more opportunities to spend their money. There are bikes for sale, biker parts and services too, in addition to the nice assortment of gear he had before. Rich still has the same number, 407.903.0058, in case you need directions to stop in and check out the new digs… More well wishes go out to my friends at EagleRider Orlando on their new location on Jetport Drive. They have been making serious use of this place with an open house all day on July 20 that offered everyone the chance to stop in and check it out. If any local organization needs a good place to start or end a run, they have plenty of room to share. This was pretty obvious when they opened their doors to support the Back to School Poker Run on August 11 hosted by Donna’s Hideout down in St. Cloud. By moving the run to EagleRider, it was much easier for riders from all around O-Town to show up and support the Created Families Organization, formerly the Sunnyside Children’s Home… The Harley dealerships in our area are always busy promoting events and supporting various charities and needs. Of course it also serves to get us in the doors to look at the new bikes and gear that’s always rolling in. So on July 20, Seminole Harley-Davidson was the starting and ending site for a Road to Recovery Benefit Run for a local deputy named Bill Reichert, who is also an 11-year Navy veteran. Earlier this year, both of Bill’s legs were seriously injured in a Navy training accident. He’s currently in rehab and will be for another year, so riders came together to help with the financial needs brought on by this situation. The $20 fee to register included participation in the ride as well as breakfast and lunch… A week later, the summer heat didn’t affect the Kids Without Christmas Dice Run hosted by two organizations down in the Melbourne area. On July 27, ABATE of Florida Independence Chapter and B.I.N. (Bikers in Need) traded in their Santa suits for Harley T-shirts to raise money to be used to spread holiday cheer for less fortunate children later this year. Registration started at Geoff Bodine’s dealership and ended at the American Legion Post 81. Two bands, Elgin Cooper and Broken Silence, were slated to play for the after-ride party… That same weekend, riders around the Leesburg area had plenty to do with Gator Harley-Davidson throwing their own 20th anniversary party on the 27th and 28th. Their parking lot was packed with vendors of all sorts and the stage was rocking with the sounds of the ever-popular Bobby Friss on Saturday and the Neon Truckers on Sunday. Of course the guys got additional entertainment thanks to a special appearance of the Orlando Predators cheerleaders and the Gator Gals washing bikes in their bikinis. Proceeds from the auctions and the 50/50 drawing were donated to the Safe Haven Home of Lake & Sumter Counties… A couple weeks later on the weekend of August 16–18, promoters down south kicked off the first South Beach Bike Week. I wasn’t able to go, but I contacted one of the promoters and he was kind enough to fill me in on their success. The event kicked off on Friday when the crowds forced closure of 10th Street and Ocean Drive. Saturday was even more successful with vendors, bike contests, a custom bike build-off and several live bands. Sunday brought the crowning of Miss South Beach Bike Week and a tattoo contest. Rumor has it there were about 10,000 bikes and not even one incident, and that’s great news for sure. I might have to check this one out next year… On Saturday August 17, I had the pleasure of heading over to the east coast to join the US Military Vets Chapter 13 in Melbourne for their annual shindig. There was a good showing of support from many of the other chapters and it was a great day. I met some new friends, saw some old ones and just had a good time all the way around. Thanks, Quig, Woody, Cadillac, Smoke and Wildfire for letting me hang out with you… That same day, a few miles down the road there was another event going on to support homeless veterans. A poker run left out of American Legion Post 200 in Satellite Beach for a nice cruise along the coast. Many local businesses like Space Coast Harley, Pineda Causeway Inn, Walmart and Lou’s Blues offered their support… The following day on the west coast, the Florida Westcoast Riders held another event to raise money for the same worthy cause. This one rolled out of the popular Quaker Steak & Lube in Clearwater and made stops at the Quick Red Fox, Molly Goodheads Bar, Frankie’s Patriot BBQ, Pete & Shorty’s and ended back at the starting place. That’s about it for now. Ride safe and God bless.