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The Story Behind the Notorious Widows Sons

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A Family Riding Club within the FreeMason Organization
By Bandit with photos from David Dolph

And no, they are not destined to take over the world. A brother in the Widows Sons club contacted Bikernet recently. David Dolph told me, “We are a Masonic Riders Association and a group of Master Masons who have come together to promote Freemasonry within the motorcycling community and help introduce motorcycling to our non-riding Masonic brothers. Our first priority, is to aid & assist widows and orphans of Master Masons.”

Click Here to read this Feature Article on Bikernet.

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115-year-old Motorcycle dealer to ride into the sunset

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by Warren Scott from https://www.heraldstaronline.com

WINTERSVILLE — John and Kim Neidengard said preparing for the Feb. 27 closing of their 115-year-old family business is a bittersweet experience.

After selling Harley-Davidson motorcycles and related gear to hundreds of area residents, they are looking forward to spending more time riding together on the road and visiting their adult children and grandchildren.

But the couple of 23 years said they will miss seeing their regular customers, working with others to organize poker runs that have raised thousands for charity and carrying on a legacy culminating in the state’s oldest family-owned Harley-Davidson dealership.

Kim admitted she became a motorcycle fan after meeting John 28 years ago, noting his love of cycling started at an early age.

“I worked here probably since I was 12,” said John, who noted it was common for children in family-run businesses to help out “as soon as you were old enough.”

“As soon as I graduated from high school, I went to full time,” he said, adding he never thought of doing anything else.

John said in that regard, he was much like his father, John F., who had worked for his father, G.H. Neidengard, a machinist who opened the family’s first motorcycle shop at 137 South Third, Steubenville.

John said G.H. was a friend of the first Steubenville man to own a motorcycle and quickly fell in love with them.

Early motorcycles were little more than bicycles with motors, noted John, but they offered low-cost transportation at a time before Henry Ford’s Model T made automobiles affordable to most people.

They also were a form of entertainment, as motorcycle enthusiasts participated in hillclimbs and races that, in the days before radio and television, drew many spectators.

John said the first shop was quite large, with second story apartments available for rent and garage bays rented to the city for its vehicles.

Before it was torn down, a former employee salvaged and restored the first wooden step leading to its parts department. It and photos of G.H. and his family, including a very young John F., are displayed in the current location in Wintersville.

After taking over the business in the late 1930s, John F. built the store on Canton Road in 1978.

John said of working for his father, “I was here practically every day and I just absorbed what I saw him doing.”

Kim said her husband, as a teen, immersed himself in motorcycles in the same way some enjoy sports. She added there’s a story of him falling asleep while assembling a bike at the store.

“I just liked what I was doing and wanted to see it done,” said John, adding “What do they say? If you love your job, you’ll never work a day in your life.”

“Like anything, it’s had its ups-and-downs,” he said.

John noted his grandfather and father struggled through the Great Depression and World War II, when many materials used in motorcycles were reserved for the military.

“My father had to find used tires to sell,” he noted.

The Neidengards said their most pleasant memories of the business will be the many bike runs they sponsored, with help from many members of the local chapter of the Harley Owners Group, to raise funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the Wounded Warrior Project.

They noted Harley-Davidson Inc. is a strong supporter of both charities.

Begun in 1996, the annual MDA runs raised more than $500,000 for the cause, while two runs for the Wounded Warrior Project netted more than $25,000.

The Neidengards noted about 1,300 bikers turned out for the 2002 MDA run, while others drew more than 1,000.

They expressed appreciation to the many participants, including some who planned vacations around them, as well as their many customers over the years.

“We realize the business couldn’t have gotten where it is if not for all of our customers over the years and their loyalty,” said Kim.

Since announcing the closing in late January, the Neidengards have been visited by many long-time patrons.

Among them was Bruce White of Weirton, who said when he was a teen, John’s father offered tips on maintaining his bike and lent him tools.

“John worked very hard for his father,” said White, who added he will miss the shop after coming there for nearly 60 years.

Bill Donahoe of Steubenville said he’s purchased bikes there he used to win regional racing competitions in 1989 and 1990.

“Everybody knows Johnny. He’s a good man,” Donahoe said, adding, “They’re great people. I hate to see them go.”

Triumph Over Tragedy For Local Motorcycle Company

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by Kelly Wise Valdes from https://www.ospreyobserver.com

Jared Weems from Riverview is no stranger to adversity. But, as Albert Einstein said, “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” No one knows this better than Weems. The 42-year-old is from a fourth-generation vintage motorcycle enthusiast family. He explained that the passion for all things involving vintage British motorcycles runs in his blood.

Weems was born in Tampa, but ultimately he was raised for the majority of his life in South Tennessee. After high school, he returned to the Tampa area and eventually joined the Army in 2003. He proudly served his country in Special Ops and spent a majority of his military time parachuting from airplanes. It was during this time that he married his wife, Breanne, and they had two children—a son, Austin, 13, and a daughter, Adelaide, 11.

After the onset of some health issues, Weems was medically discharged from the Army in 2018 and moved to Riverview. Unfortunately, his health issues proved to be serious and he was diagnosed with a brain tumor that caused seizures. It was at this time that he hit a low point in his life. “I sold my motorcycles and was unsure where my life was headed,” said Weems.

A pivotal moment took place when a friend came to visit and brought a painting from a famous artist, David Mann. Mann’s work mostly featured Harley Davidson bikes and his paintings were published regularly in Easyriders magazine for more than 20 years. During his lifetime, Mann painted only two pictures of a Triumph bike, and Weems was holding one of those pictures.

“I wanted to build the Triumph bike that Mann had painted,” said Weems. “The painting was something of Mann’s creation—it wasn’t a bike that ever really existed.”

Weems was motivated by his new goal—a ground-up build of the 1952 Speed Twin Triumph from the Mann painting. Weems used this new purpose and his shop as a place of refuge and healing. His intention was to use his savings to build the bike, take it to bike shows, then sell it to recover his costs. The other good news is that Weems’ health had stabilized, and he has now been seizure-free for nearly three years.

Subsequently, his return to Riverview also gave Weems the opportunity to join the staff at The Chapel at FishHawk, currently serving as the director of ministry and leading community-based life skills classes.

It was through this outreach that he met with Cindy Tilley, founder of Forgotten Angels, a nonprofit organization that focuses on helping children that have aged out of the foster care system. Tilley was looking for fundraising ideas to raise money to help build more tiny houses on a property for the foster children.

During the meeting, Weems had an epiphany. “God’s voice said to me, ‘Give them the motorcycle.’”

The ball was rolling, and Weems even had several of the young men from Forgotten Angels help finish the motorcycle build with him. The motorcycle is now being raffled off to support Forgotten Angels.

The raffle is underway until Friday, March 19. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at www.weemsmotorco.com/raffle. For information about preservation, restoration, repair or custom builds of vintage British motorcycles, visit www.weemsmotorco.com.

Robson Riders Motorcycle Club Coats for Kids Ride

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by Stan Brein from http://robsonranchpioneerpress.com

A big thank you to the wonderful residents of Robson Ranch and the members of the Robson Ranch Motorcycle Club. In this topsy turvy year where community need skyrocketed, your continued support made our 10th annual Coats for Kids Ride event an overwhelming success. Although the ride itself could not be held, we gathered at American Eagle Harley Davidson on Nov. 21, to collect coats and celebrate with the good people who organized and contributed to this event. Everyone who attended the event brought at least one coat and many folks brought several. The final count of coats collected was 1,775, with 205 of those coming from Robson Ranch. The collection box at my front door was constantly overflowing.

The coats were gathered and sorted at the Denton Independent School District Service Center under the coordination of Barb Haflich, Coordinator of Social Services. They were then distributed to representatives from every district in Denton County: Aubrey, Decatur, Krum, Lake Dallas, Lewisville, Little Elm, Ponder, Sanger, and Denton. We are indebted to so many folks for this success. I would like to give a special thank you to Jan and Dave Riddle for their work with the Kiwanis Club, and Cherlyn and Bob Conway and their NxNW neighbors for efforts above and beyond the call of duty.

In an effort to get back to some semblance of normalcy, the club had a lunch ride on Dec. 8, to Doc’s Bar and Grill in Muenster, Texas. This destination is a double favorite for riders, given the great menu offerings and the scenic route to arrive there.

Mike Conley, Stephen Wiley, Dennis Dotson, Steve Williams, Robert Cox, Reggie Rother, Dave Riddle, and Dick Spivey enjoyed good food and comradery in true biker fashion.

The club board members met on Dec. 17 to begin planning for what 2021 will look like. With an optimistic outlook, we began planning rides to Galveston, the Hill Country, Big Bend, Angel Fire, Native American Oklahoma, Branson, and Arkansas. We also want to resume the regular second Tuesday breakfast/lunch rides and fourth Thursday dinner rides. Here’s hoping!

I hope that all of you were able to enjoy the holiday season and ringing in the New Year. Here’s hoping that 2021 will get us back toward health, prosperity, and normalcy.

See you on the road!

Beware of cagers and keep the rubber side down.

Memphis Motorcycle Club giving more than ever in spite of pandemic

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by Peter Fleischer from https://wreg.com

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — There are numerous groups and organizations spreading holiday cheer and helping those less fortunate this time of year, but the hosts of today’s “helping the homeless” event may surprise you.

The Memphis Motorcycle Club says they make charity and giving back a priority every year, but with the COVID pandemic presenting new challenges in caring for the homeless, they scaled up this Christmas.

“This is the first time all together as a whole that we’ve ever united as one, to pull off an event of this magnitude,” Durrell Mackey, the Chairman of the Memphis Motorcycle Club, said.

The club handed out food, gift bags and hygiene products. But they also gave away vouchers for a week’s stay at the Memphis Union Mission. In the middle of winter, with below freezing temperatures, that kind of gift can end up saving a life.

“I always think about the less fortunate. The people that don’t have families to go home to, or a warm meal, or a place to stay. So, today we’re here to make a difference,” Mackey said.

And they did make a difference, making this year’s Christmas a little merrier for dozens of people who were grateful for the helping hand.

“I’m just blessed to be able to receive some type of donation to help me get into a room,” Teresa said.

“If I hadn’t came out here, I probably wouldn’t have nothing. I thank God for being here, for them helping me out,” Libby said.

If you’re interested in helping the memphis union mission, click here.

Rockstar Harley-Davidson donates $50,000 to local children’s charities

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On December 12, 2020, David and Charlyn Veracka representing the entire Rockstar Harley-Davidson family, presented a check for $50,000 to local children’s charities that are beneficiaries of the annual Paul Sands Memorial Slaw Dog Invitational golf tournament, now in its 24th year.

Two years ago, the Veracka family added Rockstar Harley-Davidson, formerly Six Bends Harley-Davidson, a mega 54,000 sq. ft. motorcycle destination located off of I-75 and Daniels, to their growing list of motorcycle dealerships across the country. They have since purchased a home in Fort Myers and look forward to getting more involved in the Southwest Florida community.

“We love children and enjoy supporting the community where we live, work and play,” said David and Charlyn Veracka. “Our family and the Harley-Davidson family feel it’s our responsibility to give back to our community and those in most need.”

In 2020, many fundraising events were canceled due to the pandemic, which has placed a huge financial burden on local non-profits who rely on those funds to provide much needed services in our community.

“Organizers thought long and hard about canceling the Paul Sands Memorial Slaw Dog Invitational for the first time in two decades because of the pandemic but quickly realized that it was more important than ever to go forward with the event,” says Scott Fischer, owner of Scott Fischer Enterprises and co-host of the event. “Non-profits need our help more than ever and we can’t let them down.”

Thanks to the generosity of Rockstar Harley-Davidson, sponsors, and golfers, the 24th Annual Paul Sands Memorial Slaw Dog Invitational will go on as planned to provide essential funding to Blessings in a Backpack of Southwest Florida to feed food insufficient children on the weekends throughout the school year; Paul Sands Memorial REIS Scholarship Fund at Florida Gulf Coast University to providing scholarships to those seeking a Real Estate degree; and Stockings 4 Kids who will provide stockings of toys for kids who would otherwise not receive them. In addition, a portion of Rockstar Harley-Davidson’s donation will support Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida to educate and mentor K-12 students on work readiness.

Here are how these charities will put these funds to work right here in our community.

“With COVID-19 leaving many families financially disrupted and facing food insecurity, this generous donation by the Veracka Family at Rockstar Harley-Davidson will help us provide over 25,080 meals and couldn’t have come at a better time,” said Executive Director Blessings in a Backpack SWFL Cecilia St. Arnold. “It’s heartbreaking to see so many children in Southwest Florida that normally would not be in our program, now on waiting list to receive food.”

“This generous donation will help our goal of reaching 20,000 students during the 2020-2021 school year and provide them with valuable career and work readiness programs that are needed more than ever before,” said Angela Fisher, president, and CEO of Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida. “We are so thankful to Rockstar Harley-Davidson for entrusting us with this investment that will further JA’s impact on our region’s next generation of business leaders.”

“Thanks to this donation we are able to provide 100 beautiful Christmas stockings stuffed with fun toys and a warm teddy bear for less fortunate children right here in our own backyard,” said Lee Knapp, founder of Stockings 4 Children.

“Thanks to this donation, three FGCU students pursuing an education and career in Real Estate will receive financial support they need from the Paul Sands Memorial Scholarship Fund,” said Lisa Sands, organizer of the Paul Sands Memorial Slaw Dog Invitational and Broker at VIP Realty.

The 24th Annual Paul Sands Memorial Slaw Dog Invitational is sold out again this year. For more information about the Annual Paul Sands Memorial Slaw Dog Invitational or how you may support one of these local children’s charities, contact Lisa Sands at lsands@VIPrealty.com.

Frazier’s Harley-Davidson to host 32nd annual toy ride

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by Regan Spinks from https://accesswdun.com

Motorcyclists with Frazier’s Harley-Davidson in Buford will conduct their 32nd annual Toy Ride on Sunday, Dec. 6.

Each year, Frazier’s Harley-Davidson collects hundreds of toys and monetary donations to benefit the Chattahoochee Baptist Association’s Christmas Hope program, which provides presents for underprivileged children. After collecting the donations, motorcyclists deliver them to the association in their annual Toy Ride.

Approximately 100 motorcyclists will make the journey to deliver donated toys on Sunday beginning at 11 a.m. Many riders will display the donated toys on their motorcycles during the ride.

“The Toy Ride is a great way to make a difference in a child’s life this Christmas season,” Frazier’s Harley-Davidson Owner Bill Frazier said in a statement Thursday.

Upon arriving at the Chattahoochee Baptist Association building on McEver Road in Gainesville, the riders join in an assembly line to bring all the toys into Santa’s Workshop. Frazier’s Harley-Davidson officials said that the Toy Ride is a great opportunity to feel the holiday spirit.

“Without the help of Frazier’s Harley-Davidson, this program would not be nearly what it is today,” said Wanda Oliver of the Christmas Hope Program. “It is so exciting to see and hear all the motorcycles coming in.”

Cajun Harley Davidson ‘Ride to Provide’ for St. Jude’s Hospital

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from https://kpel965.com

Any event that supports St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital warms my heart. If you’re looking for something fun to do this weekend and support the children at St. Jude at the same time, then you need to join in on the Cajun Harley Davidson “Ride to Provide”. The ride is Saturday, December 5th at 10 am. Registration starts at 8 am.

Motorcycles are $20 and $5 for an additional rider. Jeeps and Hot Rods are $25. T-shirts will be provided while supplies last.

You’ll also be able to participate in a silent auction and 50/50. There will be vendors and food also. Road Captain is Moon Griffon.

This ride is not only to raise funds for St. Jude, but it’s also to raise awareness. Many people don’t realize how much St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital does for families, including many families from here in Acadiana. The event is at Cajun Harley Davidson, 724 I-10 South Frontage Road in Scott.

Ho Ho Harley time!

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by Biker Dad, Chris Best from https://www.wkrg.com

It’s Ho – Ho – Harley time! Bikers are about to give back in a big way in the next few days.

The bikers are riding for Santa this weekend in support of the Salvation Army Angel Tree and the WKRG Magical Christmas Toy Drive. No matter if you are in Alabama or Florida, you can help in a big way this weekend.

First, WKRG and the Biker Dad Blog have teamed up with the Caballeros Acero Riding Club for the Magical Christmas Toy Run, riding from Tillman’s Corner Saturday at 2pm to the Salvation Army Warehouse at the mall. Please come ride with us and bring a toy. Get all the info here.

And if you can’t make that, the Florida ABATE Toy Run which is also in benefit of the Salvation Army is Sunday starting at Harley Davidson of Pensacola. Click here for all the info on both toy runs.

Not all of the bikers out there are on the nice list as we found some crazy video of one very naughty rider. He’s only 19 take a look at the video above. This happened in London. The person riding that motorcycle at 180 miles per hour is only 1, leading police on a wild chase through the very congested city and finally coming to stop because to refuel. He just pled guilty to charges and will be sentenced in January. More info here.

Veterans Day was just a few weeks ago, but for bikers, it’s always time to honor our vets. I don’t get to do this very often, so I thought I would mention it this week. The Patriot Guard Riders ride loud motorcycles but are quietly honoring or vets almost every week. This week I had the honor of riding with them to pay tribute to a Vietnam war hero and escort him to his final resting place.

Mike Shiver was in the Airforce in Vietnam. Although the loss was great for his family, you could see the comfort and pride they had when dozens of Patriot Guard Riders came to show their respects. It was certainly an honor for me to be a part of it. And they need more people to ride with them. It was a good showing for this ride, but the PGR needs more riders to step up.

Local motorcycle clubs raise money to feed families during the holidays

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by Tyler Johnson from https://wyo4news.com

ROCK SPRINGS, WYOMING (November 27, 2020) – Motorcycle clubs in and around Sweetwater County raised $3,500 to help feed families during the holiday season.

On Wednesday, Nov. 25, members from Dead Men M.C., Boneyard M.C., Chariots of Light M.C., Unknown Saints M.C., as well as representatives from Flaming Gorge Harley-Davidson presented a check to the Albertson’s store as part of their Tons of Turkey Food Drive.

“It means a lot for the community,” said Albertson’s manager Eric Rumple. “It means everything to us to be able to give back to the community, especially this time of year.”

Kenn Boyd, a member of Dead Men M.C., said that in past years the riding community would give to the food bank. However, during this time, many people are donating to the food bank and it’s difficult for them to store the food.

Albertson’s will use the money to create meals and deliver them to the food bank so that families can pick them up and have food on their tables during the holiday.

The excess amount of proceeds will roll over into the “Santa Boxes,” which is essentially the same thing. All contributions will stay in Sweetwater County.

The riding community plans to do the same fundraiser next year and will get started earlier to hopefully gain sponsorships and double the amount of money raised