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Bandit

EARN CASH as a Twisted Road Owner

By | General Posts

Listing your motorcycle is easy and only takes around 5 minutes.

Why list your motorcycle with us?

Well, why not? Adding your bike to Twisted Road is the first step towards earning cash and meeting fellow riders. We remove all the risk and you take the reward.

We’ll have your back and protect you.

Our insurance plans cover damage to the motorcycle during the ride, and we also provide free liability insurance to all owners. Finally, you get to choose who does (and doesn’t) ride your bike. You’re in control!

“I’ve rented my motorcycle out on Twisted Road nearly a dozen times over the past year. It is an outstanding service that makes me extra cash each month. Every renter I’ve had treated my motorcycle like their own. The Twisted Road team checks in on each rental and I rest easy knowing I’m covered by their insurance.”

– Danielle V.

Pricing

You choose the price. Too many rentals? Increase it. Too few? Decrease it. You’re in control of how much you earn.

Payment

All owners are paid two days after the ride ends, and we take a small commission from every rental. We pay through paypal, venmo, or direct deposit.

“We have a shop with several bikes available for sale and while we’re waiting for that new owner — we rent them out on Twisted Road. The team behind TR is bar-none one of the best we’ve worked with not in just the the rental space, but business in general. We couldn’t be happier with the results and opportunities that have come from working with them!”
– Jason Paul Michaels | STANDARD M/C

Commuters Need Transportation Resiliency

By | General Posts

Most Americans drive to work because of the freedom that this mobility choice provides. Well, that and other suitable transportation options are limited in many locales. In recent years, there has been a concerted effort to limit car ownership while commuters are urged to take transit, rideshare, walk, and ride bikes/scooters. The COVID-19 crisis, though, seems to have stopped that idea in its tracks. In many places, transit ridership may never again approach past peak activity. If so, the long-term implications for transportation funding become even more complicated, and so does everyone’s daily commute.

 

In a recent NewGeography.Com post, author Randal O’Toole illuminated the idea of transportation resiliency. He quoted a new study from accounting giant KPMG that predicts commuting to work will decrease up to 20 percent due to the after-effects of the pandemic, one of which is the greatly expanded use of telecommuting. Shopping trips by vehicle will likely decline up to 30 percent due to increased online shopping.

 

Another KPMG prediction: 43 percent of former transit riders do not plan to return to buses, subways, and trolleys, and most who don’t work from home will likely turn to cars. If this happens, driving will increase by close to five billion vehicle miles per year in America alone, which will impact those of us who already commute by car every day.

 

O’Toole writes that transit is far less resilient than driving. At the height of the COVID-19 lockdown in April, the Federal Highway Administration claims that driving fell 42 percent compared to last year. Transit ridership fell by 84 percent.

Boston-based reporter Spencer Buell always loved the fact that he and his wife could take transit everywhere. The city has some of the worst traffic congestion in the nation, an effect heightened by narrow, winding streets downtown. A third of Boston households do not own a car. Buell and his wife live in East Boston, which is separated by the rest of the city due to the harbor, so biking to work is not a viable alternative. Now because of public health concerns, Buell cannot bear the idea of riding transit. He and his wife have decided to purchase a car to take control of their transportation options.

 

According to a CarGuru Survey from June, 22 percent of respondents claim they plan to purchase or have already purchased a car even though that had not been their plan before the pandemic.

 

The San Francisco Chronicle wrote this headline recently: The Pandemic Crushed vehicle Sales in the Bay Area. Then People Flocked to ‘COVID Cars.’  Immunology researcher Jeanmarie Gonzalez used to commute from Oakland to San Francisco. She recently bought a used car for her commute and said, “I’d rather drive than be on public transit multiple hours a day.” Gonzalez added that buying a car was a tough call, “I couldn’t afford a hybrid, and I didn’t have a place to plug in an electric car, so my options were limited. I prioritize human health in general over environmental issues, even though the environment is very important to me.”

 

In New York City, the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles reported that in July, residents registered nearly 40,000 cars—the highest amount recorded for any month in recent years. Many anti-car advocates have been claiming that NYC would see a coming “Carmageddon.” Mayor Bill de Blasio urged residents in a recent news conference not to buy a car, “Cars are the past.” Streetsblog and other anti-car advocates are urging city officials to use the crisis as an opportunity to push for more open streets, road diets, bus and bike lanes.

 

But these other mobility-as-a-service options are not fail-proof. In late July, Revel Scooters pulled the plug on its service in NYC after two user deaths, including that of local TV reporter Nina Kapur. Micromobility devices can sometimes be dangerous due to the inexperience of users, inadequate protective gear, and lack of attention by other road users. In the end, microtransit also costs too much per user.

 

Ironically, even one of the most ardent anti-car advocates, Brooklyn, New York resident Doug Gordon says he and his family are thinking of purchasing a car to escape the city. He is one of the hosts of the podcast called War on Cars. (Imagine that!)

Transit and micromobility do not seem to have long-term transportation resiliency or adequate safety records. On the other hand, will everyday commuters be able to come to grips with even more traffic congestion?

–Join the NMA for more up-to-date reports, Images from Sam Burns

Personal transportation rules. We just need an improved infrastructure for a growing population. A brother in Sturgis said that infrastructure projects will be a major boom to the economy in the very near future. Hang on!–Bandit

1959 HARLEY DAVIDSON SPORTSTER

By | General Posts

DETAILS

When Harley Davidson began producing the Sportster in 1957 it became an instant legend, and it has been produced continuously since. The heart of the beast is the 45 degree V-Twin overhead valve engine which evolved from its predecessor, the side valve flathead. Popular in its day, to say the least, it has become one of the most collectible of the post-war Harleys. This flawless example was restored by recognized Harley Zen Master Chris Pratt. Every minute detail of the restoration has been documented with photos and receipts. Essential to a collectible bike’s value, is that every part on the bike is original, and on this gem nothing was missing when the restoration began, and nothing has been replaced. There are only break in miles on the bike since restoration, so it is as flawless today as when it left Mr. Pratt’s shop last year. The cost of sourcing a good original Sportster and restoring it to this level would conservatively be double this sale price.

Price is firm at $35,000.

Motorcyclist Profiling Pushed in the House

By | General Posts

Today the Co-Chairmen of the House Motorcycle Caucus, Rep. Burgess (R-Texas) and Rep. Walberg (R-Michigan), released a letter they authored to Speaker Pelosi and Republican Leader McCarthy asking for a vote on the House floor of H. Res 255, the motorcyclist profiling resolution. Joining Reps. Burgess and Walberg as signatories on the letters were Rep. Balderson (R-Ohio), Rep. Peterson (D-Minnesota) and Rep. Raskin (D-Maryland). These five bipartisan lawmakers should be commended for seeking a vote in the House of Representatives on this topic. The Senate passed an identical version of this resolution in 2018 and action by the House of Representatives in overdue.

Click here to view the letter

In the past three Congresses similar resolutions have been introduced in the House. In the 114th Congress H. Res 831 garnered 18 cosponsors, in the 115th Congress H. Res 318 had 37 cosponsors, and in the now H. Res 255 has 138 cosponsors and counting. This continued growth of cosponsors demonstrates that the issue of motorcyclists profiling is not going anywhere.

Put simply, 32% of House Members are cosponsors of this resolution. It is time for the House of Representatives to act! We, as motorcyclists, demand our concerns and grassroots work not be ignored. We have spent far too long fighting this battle to be ignored any longer.

A vital tool in driving awareness and education of the issue with lawmakers has been the Motorcycle Profiling Project (MPP). For over 5 years the MPP has sought to collect data on the profiling of motorcyclists and use that data as a tool to change public policy. The MPP has been at the forefront of the fight to pass state laws on profiling. Four states, Idaho, Maryland, Louisiana and Washington have all passed state laws to address the issue in part because of the efforts of the MPP.

This year the MPP hit a milestone with 10,000th respondent to its annual survey. We at the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) commend the MPP for achieving this milestone. We at the MRF have used the data provided by the MPP to educate lawmakers and make the case that profiling is real and happening in their home states. If you haven’t taken the MPP 2020 survey yet, please click here.

Thank you to these five Congressmen and the Motorcycle Profiling Project for leading the charge on this important topic. Now get to work Congress and pass this bipartisan resolution!

About Motorcycle Riders Foundation

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) provides leadership at the federal level for states’ motorcyclists’ rights organizations as well as motorcycle clubs and individual riders. The MRF is chiefly concerned with issues at the national and international levels that impact the freedom and safety of American street motorcyclists. The MRF is committed to being a national advocate for the advancement of motorcycling and its associated lifestyle and works in conjunction with its partners to help educate elected officials and policymakers in Washington and beyond.

 

HARLEY-DAVIDSON INVITES YOU TO RIDE FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A CUSTOM 2020 LOW RIDER S MOTORCYCLE

By | General Posts

Let’s Ride Sweepstakes Offers Additional Weekly Prizes

 

MILWAUKEE (August 20th, 2020) – For over 117 years, the experience of two wheels is Harley-Davidson’s contribution to the world to bring people together and help riders experience freedom for the soul. Now, more than ever, Harley-Davidson is showcasing the power of riding with the Let’s Ride Challenge.

 

Through riding-related activities, participants earn entries for a chance to win prizes celebrating the community and spirit of two wheels including the grand-prize custom 2020 Low Rider® S motorcycle and weekly drawings for additional prizes.

 

Grand Prize Low Rider S Features

The Grand Prize is a one-of-a-kind 2020 Low Rider S that pays homage to the iconic 1980 FXB Sturgis motorcycle model. The styling team spent significant effort to capture the nostalgic spirit of the original motorcycle conceived by Willie G. Davidson with added touches that fuse current coastal-inspired performance and styling trends.

 

  • Custom painted bodywork and   front and rear wheels that are replenished in black and feature an iconic orange pinstripe. Features stylized maps of Sturgis that showcase epic motorcycle rides from every direction of the city laid out on the tank and fenders. The artwork itself is faded out across each part and their full detail is unlocked only after further exploration. Outer fairing and side cover feature hand-painted detailing.

 

  • The seat and backrest are trimmed with buffalo leather, a nod to the West and the spirit of Sturgis.  A custom Sturgis-embroidered logo and hangtag call out the first year of the rally, 1938.  The orange detailing on the seat ties it to the rest of the motorcycle to give it the full custom treatment.

 

  • The motorcycle features a bevy of chrome Harley-Davidson® Parts & Accessories that contrast with black paint including chrome Screamin’ Eagle® Street Cannon Mufflers, header shields, fender struts, turn signals, mirrors, fuel caps, and mid control mounts, and brake pedal.

 

  • A black Single-Sided Swingarm Bag, Holdfast sissy bar, Layback license plate holder, and Softail Quarter Fairing provide enhanced touring comfort and convenience while combining classic and coastal looks in one evocative package.

 

  • The 2020 Low Rider S features potent performance modifications to make every run to the rev limiter a rush including orange Screamin’ Eagle® 10MM Phat Spark Plug Wires, Stage IV 117 Kit, and Street Cannon mufflers.

 

 

Let’s Ride Challenge

Riders can earn entries to win the custom 2020 Low Rider S motorcycle and other prizes by participating in the following:

 

  • Join the Let’s Ride Challenge at (MERKEL LINK) to earn 5 entries

 

  • Join the Let’s Ride challenge on the Harley-Davidson® app and track miles
    • Ride 0 – 600 miles to earn 5 entries
    • Ride 601-1200 miles to earn an additional 5 entries

 

  • Demo Harley-Davidson® motorcycles
    • Demo a Harley-Davidson® motorcycle for 5 entries
    • Take a second demo ride for an additional 5 entries

 

  • Take Riding Academy and learn to ride to earn 15 entries

 

In addition, every week a winner will be randomly selected to win an assortment of Harley-Davidson™ General Merchandise and a Yoder Smokers™.

 

Enter the challenge and explore all the ways to win at H-D.com/LetsRide.

 

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.  A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING.  LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE 50 UNITED STATES (D.C.) 18 YEARS OR OLDER.  VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Sweepstakes ends 8/31/2020. For Official Rules, alternate method of entry, prize descriptions and odds disclosure, visit www.H-D.com/LetsRide.  Sponsor: Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Inc., 3700 W. Juneau Ave, Milwaukee, WI  53208.

Motorcycle specific fatality markers in Wyoming

By | General Posts

Motorcycle specific fatality markers petition that was done last year did not amount to anything !!! So here is a petition to our Governor Matt Mead to help  make the road side fatality markers specific for motorcycles !!!!!

This will let people know that a marker represents  a motorcycle fatality and in there subconscious mind they will be thinking about motorcycles. I’m not giving up !!!!

This is an inexpensive way to make people more aware  of motorcycles, therefore raising awareness to the safety of motorcyclist on the road !!!!

Every year the automotive industry adds more safety features to autos, cameras, airbags, backup sensors, etc.  A motorcycle specific marker is a potential safety feature. It’s simple and can save the life of a friend, mother, father, brother or a sister. Everyone sees the markers now and thinks to themselves I wonder what happened?  So let’s inform them wherever a motorcycle was involved !!!

Governor Matt Mead please look into this and help make it happen. Wyoming has way too many motorcycle fatalities every year. Most of them can be avoided  by making people more aware with the motorcycle specific markers. They will be constant reminders throughout the state, no matter what road you travel !!!!!

–Fallen Biker

Our goal is to reach 100 signatures and we need more support. You can read more and sign the petition here:

http://chng.it/xc5zqB5gH6

Mainstream Media Agree: Motorcycles Great for Social Distancing

By | General Posts

The coronavirus pandemic has curtailed many pastimes, but motorcycling remains a great way for people to recreate, travel, and commute because it’s naturally a social-distancing activity. This is something the MIC continues to share with mainstream media journalists and influencers, and it’s getting results.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writer Anthony Conroy had that idea in mind with his review of the Honda CB650R, in an article that ran online and in print, with the headline:

Motorcycle review: COVID blues? Honda’s ‘neo sports-cafe’ will turn that frown upside-down

By Anthony Conroy, Pittsburg Gazette

Isolation? Check. Face mask? Check. Distance between yourself and others? Check. COVID-19 preparation? Guess again.

When it comes to motorcycling, there’s no need for coronavirus concerns. And with Honda’s CB650R at our disposal, very little time was spent indoors, as the Honda checks all the right boxes in putting space between yourself and others.

American Honda, based in Torrance, California, was kind of enough to lend the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette a 2019 model (don’t expect many changes from the 2020 version) and we used that time exploring Pittsburgh’s rugged streets and beyond.

The CB650R is Honda’s middleweight offering for a style of bike the manufacturer calls a “neo sports-cafe.” It’s a name that hearkens back to the days of street racers buzzing from cafe to cafe in the English countryside, but unlike many of bikes from the 1950s and ’60s, the CB is a modern example of refinement. As a daily commuter, it was even, dare we say, gentlemanly.

The bike is powered by a 649cc, liquid-cooled, inline-four cylinder engine whose power was predictable — in the best possible way — and manageable. New riders will appreciate that most, as it inspires confidence. Experienced riders will find the engine so compliant, they’ll be tempted to tap into their inner daredevil.

When upping the pace, life best exists between 6,200 rpm and a redline that stops just short of 13,000. The biggest smiles are found in third and fourth gear, where the gearing and estimated 85 horsepower are best exploited. However, the bike’s power delivery seems smoothest in the mid-range and the 6-speed gearbox is ratioed accordingly.

For riders who insist on having more power, the 650’s bigger brother, the CB1000R, might be a better option. But the 650, whether it’s commuting to work or touring on the highway, is more than capable and in no way underwhelming.

Once off the throttle, the CB is slowed at the front wheel by two radially mounted, four-piston Nissin brake calipers, whose function was smooth — no bites or grabbiness. A stock slipper clutch meant less engine braking, but downshifts were seamless. No wheel-hop when braking aggressively for stops at the local 7-Eleven.

Of course, the overall package is only enhanced by handling that Honda’s engineers nailed. Even with a bigger rider like myself, the 450-pound CB requires only the lightest steering inputs to lean into turns and goes exactly where you want it to go.

Smiles were abundant while blasting up Sycamore Street to Mount Washington, dodging joggers along Stone Manse Drive — a short, isolated but favored stretch in South Park — and scooting around Riverview Park and Observatory Hill.

The bike’s all-around abilities shone on a ride to Tionesta, Pennsylvania, and the Allegheny National Forest, a chilly trip that included highway miles and back-country twisties. On that particular journey, a gas tank slightly larger than the standard 4.1-gallon unit would’ve been welcomed, but I never had an issue getting to the next stop.

Ergonomically, the bike was generally comfortable, with a seat that is plush compared to the other Japanese bikes in its class. The reach to the grips puts the rider in a sporty position — sportier than Yamaha’s FZ lineup, less aggressive than Kawasaki’s Z models and more in tune with Suzuki’s GSX-S line. The seat height is 31.9 inches, and women and riders under 5-foot-5 will appreciate how narrow the seat is at the tank. That waspiness allows for better reach to the ground.

Since Honda is trying to keep the CB650R affordable (MSRP is $9,000) for younger riders, that means the bike comes with little frills when it comes to electronic rider aids. In other words, there are no engine power modes. Traction control adjustability has two options: on and off. Honda was kind enough to include a toggle button, accessible with the left index finger, to activate the traction control.

The TC kicked in just once — that I’m aware of — during my stint aboard the CB. In third gear on West Liberty Avenue, I rode over a wet tar snake at lean. There was a slight loss in grip followed by a super-quick engine hiccup. I can only assume that hiccup — an electronic cut in power — was the TC kicking in and helped keep my keister from hitting the roadway. Thank you, Honda.

The CB also lacks adjustable front suspension. Optional ABS is available for about $200 more and is standard on the 2020 model. (Ours was ABS-equipped, but was not tested.)

Useful information — including speed, fuel, fuel mileage and warning lights — is relayed to the rider via a cellphone-sized and -shaped LCD display that was easily readable in both harsh sunlight and at night.

Aesthetically, the bike generally avoids a lot of the funky styling points seen on other motorcycles in the standard/naked classification. An instantly noticeable detail is the LCD ring that encircles the headlight. Bronze-colored details can be found on the fork tubes, wheels and engine cases and pair well with the Honda’s “chromosphere” red paint.

However, Honda’s designers seemed to do the CB a disservice by covering the most eye-pleasing part of the bike with the ugliest part: the radiator obscures the headers of four gorgeous exhaust pipes that wrap underneath the motorcycle.

Unless that’s a deal-breaker, consider it a minor flaw in an otherwise wonderful achievement: Honda has built a middleweight bike whose potential can be appreciated by riders of all shapes, sizes and experience levels.

First Published June 23, 2020

Operation Gratitude is Supported by the Bikernet Staff

By | General Posts

This morning I struggled to find the right words to describe how much I miss serving alongside YOU, our volunteers, and being part of something truly special — meaningful engagements that strengthen and unite communities. But then the right words came.

As I scrolled through my Facebook feed, post after post, I saw the extraordinary impact that Operation Gratitude made a year ago today. From Nashville and Bristol in Tennessee all the way to Baltimore our team did what we do best — we made important connections between those who serve and the citizens they protect. A year ago today we provided opportunities for Americans across the country to express appreciation in a hands-on way. And we went a step further.

Our volunteers were able to say “thank you for your service” in person, directly to active duty service members and their families, veterans, and first responders in the communities where they live and work. In return, they heard a local hero respond with the words, “thank you for your support.” And we didn’t stop there.

Those five simple words, in both directions, were the start of a conversation that led to a meaningful connection, which created better understanding and built bridges between civilians and those who serve our nation. So let me tell you more about what we did a year ago today and what it means for the future of our organization and the communities we serve, together with you.

NASHVILLE, TN
One year ago today, our team and our volunteers assembled 10,000 Operation Gratitude Care Pouches in just three hours, and we hand-delivered them to every police officer, firefighter, and EMT in Nashville, The words of Police Captain Daniel Newbern in this Tennessean article demonstrate the impact we made, “the items in the bag don’t mean nearly as much as the effort put into the bag. It touches every single officer. This lets them know this community supports them and welcomes them.”

That day our volunteers also delivered Battalion Buddies to children of deployed Troops from the 101st Airborne Division. I saw our volunteers hug those families, thank them, and for more than two hours, talk to them about what it was like to be away from their husbands and their fathers for months on end. As I walked one military spouse to the door she turned to me and said, “I’ve never experienced that before — everyone here was so kind and they listened to me. They really understand what we’re going through.”

As I reflect on that moment and type these words, I feel the same emotion that I did a year ago. My eyes are welling up with tears thinking about the impact we made. By saying thank you and enabling direct and meaningful connections, we sparked a bond in Nashville a year ago. And Operation Gratitude has been back to “Music City” several times since that day to go one step further and forge strong bonds in the community.

With the help of First Lady Maria Lee and through multiple deliveries to first responders and National Guardsmen during COVID-19 and a devastating tornado, we strengthened the resolve of the men and women in harm’s way.  As Captain Newbern said in an email last month, “Operation Gratitude lifted our spirits and provided much needed support.”

BRISTOL, TN
Literally seconds after I finished looking through the photos from Nashville, our COO, retired Marine Colonel Paul Cucinotta, posted a memory on his feed about his experience representing Operation Gratitude at Bristol Motor Speedway, 300 miles away on the other side of Tennessee. A year ago today, Paul and his son, Joey, helped forge strong bonds and build bridges, too. As I scrolled through the photos with Operation Gratitude’s logo emblazoned on the No. 18 M&M’s USA car, I thought about the conversation I had with Paul a year ago today when he excitedly recounted what he saw and experienced — Americans coming together not only around their common passion for NASCAR, but to celebrate our nation.
He met with drivers, mechanics and fans – including dozens of military veterans and first responders. They shared stories about service and sacrifice, and talked about the great work Operation Gratitude was doing in communities across America. I will never forget the tone in Paul’s voice as he told me how honored and proud he was to be part of our organization and “a movement that was bringing people together to thank and support the brave men and women who serve our country.”

Stay tuned for what Operation Gratitude will be doing with Mars Wrigley and NASCAR in the very near future to build community and shed a light on the important work we are doing to unite our country.

BALTIMORE, MD
An hour later I looked at my feed again, and saw another member of our team, Navy Spouse Monica Shea, and her Facebook memory from a year ago today, when she joined Baltimore police officers and their families to fill backpacks with items that Operation Gratitude had donated for children in underprivileged communities as they prepared to go back to school. I will never forget her text that night either. Monica expressed the same pride and used the same words as Paul — she was honored to be part of Operation Gratitude and to witness firsthand the impact of bringing people together in communities in a meaningful way.
Monica saw what it looks like to forge strong bonds and bridge divides. Those bonds were sparked when Operation Gratitude hosted an Assembly Day for the first time in Baltimore just two months before on June 1, 2019 with our volunteers and our partner, CSX.

After creating that first meaningful connection, Operation Gratitude’s team and our volunteers were invited back to deliver the Care Pouches in person to 10,000 first responders in police and fire stations throughout  Baltimore City and County. We were also invited back to join their communities for National Night Out in early August and yet again for their Backpack Giveaway on August 17. Operation Gratitude provided the opportunities for the officers and the citizens they protect to to come together in meaningful ways — and it all started two months earlier when hundreds of volunteers said “thank you for your service” 10,000 times.

As Richard Worley, chief of patrol for the Baltimore Police Department, said in this Baltimore Sun article, appreciation means “a tremendous amount to all of the officers because it gives them hope and encouragement for what they do.” And because of the connections we made with the citizens of Baltimore that day, he went a step further to say: “We need the community probably more than they need us. We need them to help us solve the issues that we have.”

As I read those words from Chief Worley above, I am filled with emotion yet again with the realization that we all need each other to help solve the issues facing our nation and our communities. Saying “thank you for your service” is the start of a conversation that leads to a meaningful connection and a better understanding of what service means.

Today is also a perfect day to highlight some of our volunteers who have embraced our mission. Over the course of our three week “Red, White and Blue” Paracord Challenge, 1,319 of you sparked a bond by saying “thank you” in a very tangible way, making 40,552 bracelets.

Special recognition goes to our top 3 crafters: Shelly Coulombe of Coventry, RI (1550 Bracelets), Charlotte Robles of Santa Ynez, CA (1201 Bracelets) and Melissa Keever of Stevensville, MD (1060 Bracelets). Our group winners are: National Charity League San Ramon Chapter (1830 Bracelets), National Charity League – San Marino Chapter (1000 Bracelets) and Oceanside Rotary Club (665 Bracelets).

As a way of expressing my own gratitude to you by sharing an email from a service member who already received one of these bracelets: “The paracord bracelet I received is now holding up our U.S. Flag in the housing area.”

These beautiful bracelets represent only one  of the myriad ways we build bridges and forge strong bonds every day — and it all starts with a “thank you.”

During these challenging times, as you reflect on what Operation Gratitude did a year ago today and what you have done to support us for the past 365 days, I am asking you to consider two things. First, what do you want to see our organization accomplish over the next 12 months; and secondly, how do you want to take action with us?

Please feel free to email me what you feel is most important, so the next time I send you an email with the subject line – “A Year Ago Today” – you will feel the same pride I experience every time I have the opportunity to serve alongside YOU and make an impact in all of the communities we serve nationwide.

With Gratitude and Semper Fidelis,

Kevin Schmiegel
Lieutenant Colonel, USMC (Ret.)
Chief Executive Officer, Operation Gratitude
#ActionsSpeakLouder

Off-Road Expo in Pomona Postponed to 2021

By | General Posts

POMONA, Calif. (August 18, 2020)— As a result of continued concerns over COVID-19, along with county and state restrictions in place in the state of California, Bonnier Events has made the difficult decision to postpone the Lucas Oil Off-Road Expo powered by General Tire, scheduled for October 3-4 at the Fairplex in Pomona, CA, to 2021.

Exhibitors who have already booked a booth for the Off-Road Expo in Pomona can transfer booth space to Off-Road Expo Arizona, at WestWorld of Scottsdale in Scottsdale, AZ, October 17-18.

Individual Spectator tickets to the Off-Road Expo in Pomona that were purchased online will be refunded automatically within 30 days.

The staff of the Off-Road Expo appreciates your patience and support as we work through this unprecedented situation. We look forward to either seeing you in Scottsdale in October or back at Pomona in 2021.

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Rolls to a Close as Virus Tracking Remains Complex

By | General Posts

The annual rally in Sturgis, S.D., drew hundreds of thousands of people. It will be challenging to track any coronavirus outbreak as bikers return to their home states.

by Mark Walker, NY Times

STURGIS, S.D. — And just like that, the roar of the motorcycles was gone.

Ten days after Sturgis, S.D., drew hundreds of thousands of bikers from all over the country to its signature motorcycle rally despite concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, the parties ended and most of the crowds headed home on Sunday.

Uncertain still was what effect, if any, the event will have on the spread of the virus. Because of the time it can take for symptoms to appear and the way coronavirus cases are tracked in the United States, officials may never know whether the annual rally was a place where the virus was widely passed along.

There were no immediate signs that the rally had led to a significant uptick: The county that includes Sturgis has reported 104 coronavirus cases during the pandemic, 33 of them since the start of August. On Monday, state health officials said they knew of one case of the virus in someone who had attended the motorcycle rally, according to The Rapid City Journal. And Mark Schulte, president of Monument Health Sturgis Hospital, confirmed that some people in Sturgis for the rally had tested positive for the virus, though he would not say how many.

But if a flurry of new cases were to emerge — days from now or even longer — they would likely be reported by attendees back in their hometowns, and would not necessarily ever be tied to the rally.

It is a challenge that public health officials have faced repeatedly as they try to understand how the coronavirus is making its way through the country: When people gather for a large event and then return to states with different health departments, it is difficult to be sure whether the event was part of an outbreak.

The issue has stymied certainty about how the virus’s spread has been affected by events like a rally for President Trump in Oklahoma, protests in Minneapolis after the death of George Floyd, holiday weekend visits to the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri, Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans and spring break trips to Florida.

The rally in Sturgis, one of the biggest regional events to proceed amid the pandemic, drew attention from all over. More than 350,000 vehicles had flocked into the small town during the first week of the event, according to the South Dakota Department of Transportation.

“It’s more than we anticipated by far,” said Dan Ainslie, the city manager of Sturgis.

Local officials had set up precautions — hand sanitizing stations and capacity limits inside some buildings. But many people went without masks, and some supporters suggested that a mostly-outdoor event did not require face coverings.

“You have to be careful, but at the same time, you have to live,” said Mike Petrocco, a Sturgis resident who has long offered his lawn as a campsite during rallies. Mr. Petrocco, 64, said that at one point this year he was hosting 16 people, and that he offered hand sanitizer, did laundry and cleaned every day…