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Veterans find purpose, support through motorcycle rides

By | General Posts

by Patrick Filbin from https://www.stripes.com/

(Tribune News Service) — Chris Mathison served three tours in Iraq over a 14-month period.

As a U.S. Army infantryman, he was in charge of millions of dollars worth of equipment, led a team of fellow infantrymen and, all things considered, was a soldier who was depended upon and good at his job.

When he came back home to Tennessee, he had a hard time adjusting.

The Nashville native moved to Cookeville after he got out of the service in 2011 and tried to find a stable job.

“I’ve probably been through 10 jobs,” Mathison said. “It’s hard to find something that fits. You don’t feel like you belong, there’s no sense of purpose or belonging.”

He went to school and received an associate’s degree, but even school was a tough adjustment.

“I remember very fondly when I got out, I was going through a sociology class,” Mathison recalled. “As we were flipping through the book, I found a picture of my unit in Iraq and it just kind of blew my mind.”

Mathison, 35, had a whole life behind him that he had a hard time talking about. Not only was the subject matter sensitive, he couldn’t find like-minded people to talk to. As an infantryman, he was surrounded by people who were going through the same things as he was, living through the same experiences.

When he came back home, he was taking general education courses with 19-year-olds.

“That was interesting,” he said with a smirk.

Soon after he got out, Mathison signed up for his first program with the Wounded Warrior Project, the country’s largest veterans charity organization.

He enrolled in the organization’s TRACK program, which had a curriculum meant to heal, develop and train the mind, body and spirit of each wounded warrior through two semesters of college.

It also incorporated peak performance training, health and wellness training, personal finance advice and a physical education program.

Ever since, he’s been a loyal supporter of the organization that helps veterans in a number of ways.

Wounded Warriors also helped Mathison get certified in scuba diving.

One of the newest programs in Georgia is a 12-week mental health workshop that kicks off with a three-day motorcycle road trip across North Georgia.

Jon Blauvelt, a public relations specialist with Wounded Warriors, said the program is designed to give veterans an outlet to manage PTSD, traumatic brain injury and other invisible wounds of war while connecting with nature and fellow veterans.

Motorcycles play a huge role in the therapy. Through wind and throttle therapy, reflective discussion and several weeks of follow-ups, the group of eight veterans from Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Texas and Florida will experience a once-in-a-lifetime trip while bettering themselves mentally and spiritually.

“When you’re on one of these big bikes, all you’re thinking about is the bike,” Blauvelt said. “I’m on this bike, here are my surroundings, here’s the weather, but you’re not thinking about PTSD or [traumatic brain injury], you’re not thinking about what happened before and you’re not thinking about the future. You’re thinking about the present moment.”

It’s a perfect fit for Mathison, who is also a part of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association.

Mathison and the seven other riders strolled in at the Harley-Davidson store in Dalton, Georgia, on Tuesday afternoon for a lunch hosted by the motorcycle shop.

Cynthia Allgood, manager of the store, said it was a privilege to host the veterans who sacrificed so much for the country without asking for anything in return.

“Something like this gets you together with like-minded individuals and you can talk about everything and it creates a really good atmosphere,” Mathison said. “You’re able to make some really good friends that I would not have met.”

Pingel Electric Speed Shifter Save the Day!

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Helping The Disabled Ride

In September of 2018 my son Dale traded in his 2008 Harley Ultra Classic and got a 2019 Harley Street Glide, while putting on break-in miles, a car made an illegal left turn and hit him. The motorcycle was totaled and Dale lost his left foot.

Seven Operations and a year later he got a prosthetic foot. He is currently adjusting to using it.

With the money from the motorcycle insurance company he went to Space Coast Harley-Davidson in Palm Bay, Florida, who had a leftover 2019 Street Glide and gave him a deal he could not refuse.

Two issues that needed to be addressed before he was ready to ride. The shifter and operation of the kickstand needed modifications. I got to ride it to my house and put it on the lift.

READ THE TECH REPORT IN THE CATINA – Join Today

Toys for Tots motorcycle ride on Sunday

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By Emily Blume from https://www.kwqc.com

DAVENPORT, Iowa. Every year TV6 plays a big role in making sure that every child wakes up Christmas morning with a present. This is all part of Toys for Tots and some are getting a jump start on their shopping this weekend!

The Toys for Tots Motorcycle Run with ABATE of Iowa- District 15 and the USMC Reserves have their 35th Annual ride this weekend. The event kicks off at 11:00 am at Wal-Mart on West Kimberly in Davenport, Iowa. The ride itself will get going at 1:00 p.m. and ends at the Hobby Lobby parking lot in Bettendorf. The admission is one new toy per person, visible on the bike. They are asking that you don’t bring stuffed animals, or throw candy, as they’re looking out for safety and health.

Everyone is welcome Sunday, October 6th to support the ride and you don’t need a bike to donate- they’ll be collecting at the start and end of the ride.

The Shifting Bikernet Weekly News for October 3, 2019

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We Are Living in the Best of Times and should Celebrate

I feel a shift coming. In some respects, I hope it’s a shift in the direction of Freedom. We are actually living in the best of times. Everything on the planet has improved for the better and we need to celebrate, not control and punish.

More and more I hear amazing stories about the lives of folks around me and the amazing things they accomplished. Markus Cuff played drums for Emily Lou Harris for several years. Then he started to shoot photos of bands in the ‘80s and I started to hire him to shoot tech articles for Easyriders. Since then he’s shot features for tons of magazines and for Bikernet.com ™.

I’m working on the Salt Torpedo slowly trying to finish the firewall, the fire suppression unit installations, the helmet cowling and strengthen the front axle swingarm mounts.

I fixed my 1969 Panhead, and the 1928 Panhead battery is toast. I’ve had two of these batteries take a shit and would like to try anti-gravity batteries, but they cost a bunch. I may try again.

In the meantime, ride fast and free forever!

— Keith ‘Bandit’ Ball

CLICK HERE TO READ THE WEEKLY NEWS – Join the Cantina Today

Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride Pre-Party

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Get ready for this years Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride by joining us for the pre-party at John Varvatos, co-hosted by this year’s Grand Marshall, Eric Hendrikx. This will be a great opportunity to meet others that will be participating in the Orange County Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride later this month.

Date: Thursday, September 19, 2019

Time: 6pm – 9pm

Location: John Varvatos in South Coast Plaza

Address: 3333 Bristol St #1219, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Send all inquiries to: martin@martinanthonyusa.com

Motorcycle ride raises money for St. Jude

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September 13, 2019 by Clint Eiland at https://www.wbbjtv.com

DYERSBURG, Tenn. — More than 200 motorcycles, nearly $1 million and 450 miles.

Those are just some of the numbers involved in St. Jude Rides.

“Almost 400 people total, and to see it all come together, and to be here in Dyersburg, it is just overwhelmingly emotional,” Jill Libert, development specialist at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, said.

“One of the most well organized events that I’ve ever been a part of,” Stann Wiebler, marketing manager at Walter Brothers Harley Davidson, said. “They do so much planning. The police do a phenomenal job of getting us here safely.”

The trip started Thursday in Peoria, Illinois, where riders began a six-hour drive to Dyersburg. The motorcade arrived in Memphis on Friday, where they delivered a check worth around $1 million to St. Jude.

Wiebler’s father helped start the event 13 years ago, and Stann has done it the last six years. He says this event is one of his favorites.

“It’s a huge event in our family. It’s part of our business anymore. No decision goes in to our business these days without thinking about St. Jude and how it would affect it,” Wiebler said.

“It’s a very passionate group. They fund raise all year long with asking family and friends. They really are outstanding and selfless,” Libert said.

Each rider raised at least $1,000, with one couple even raising $40,000.

“Kids are precious. Thank you to all the people who are here to do this,” Kevin and Debbie Onnela said.

As they rode into the hospital parking lot, the patients and employees were there to welcome them.

“Patients, doctors, they all come out into the streets, and they have signs and balloons, screaming and yelling, a lot of tears flowing on these big, bad motorcyclists as they’re coming in seeing the kids,” Wiebler said.

“They do a lot for the kids. And I’m pretty impressed about that. They do a lot,” rider Brian Bruen said.

Organizers with the group say they raise more money each year.

Cross Country Chase Stage 6

By | General Posts

The city of Chattanooga sits in a valley between two small mountains, Lookout Mountain and Signal Mountain, and this day of exceptional riding started out with Chase riders climbing out of the valley up above the clouds that engulfed the city below for a breath-taking view as they set out for there 258-mile day. >From the “Rock City” point they rode past, it’s said that seven U.S. states could be seen: Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, but there was no time for dawdling since weather was an issue again as the heat index started to climb early.

Riders ended their day at the very welcoming Harley-Davidson of Macon, Georgia. The family owned dealership celebrated Grover Sassaman’s 98th birthday earlier this year but you’d never have guessed he was closing in on the century mark. As founder of the company, Sassaman first attended Harley-Davidson® Factory School in 1939, establishing a life-long relationship with the Motor Company, and he was happy to share the particulars of how he came to be the longest owned independent dealership in the world. Quick and witty, Grover talks motorcycles with the best of them, sharing dates, details and tidbits that held the group in rapture.

Grover cruised the property on his scooter greeting the CCC group and offered great advice to riders, including rider #35. Jon Dobbs had his 1939 HD EL in the service bay due to coil problems and Mr. Sassaman offered tips on what could be causing the trouble since the EL has consumed 4 coils since the start of the run. Dobbs later started the bike and rode it out of the dealership, so we’re betting the problems are solved.

Grover rolled through the Chase bikes outside and was particularly smitten with the 1939 HD EL owned by rider #61, Bob Zeolla, because he considered it to be one of the most original of machine on the run. Tomorrow’s route will take riders 249-miles down the road to end at Harley-Davidson of Tallahassee with bikes being on display between 4:30-6:00 pm. Come join us, you never know who you might get to meet!

Cross Country Chase Stage 4

By | General Posts

Chase riders kicked their day off with a nice ride and a pop quiz in the middle of a cornfield, with several of the riders never even getting off their motorcycles to answer the 10-point test. The al fresco classroom experience was then followed closely by a pulse-quickening trip across a famous haunted bridge.

The old Wabash Cannonball Bridge, located on the Illinois and Indiana borders, was built as a railroad bridge back in 1897 and is believed by some to be bad luck to cross. Chase riders, however, found it to be a rite of passage as they wrangled their antiques over the warped, off camber and riveted ancient planks. The tense but successful crossing certainly gave the group something to talk about as they gathered for lunch hosted by the friendly folks at Bud’s Harley-Davidson in nearby Evansville, Indiana.

The long miles and the heat of the day spent crossing three states taxed both men, women and machines. By the time riders rolled into Harley-Davidson of Bowling Green, Kentucky, one rider’s saddlebag had caught fire and another’s engine shot flames as he tried to kick start the tired machine. It was easily extinguished and Matt Miller, #46, rode his 1947 HD U off for a night’s rest.

With only 6 days left in the race, there are 45 of the remaining 65 competitors who have ridden every mile, but the scores are vastly different. Based on the complicated scoring system that includes handicaps for age of both riders and machines,the size of the engine and scores on the daily tests, things change daily. Consequentially, it is still anybody game. Check out the scores, go to the website to read about the riders and be sure to get yourself out to a stop near you so see this rolling museum!

You can catch the riders at Bumpus Harley-Davidson, Murfreesboro, Tennessee tomorrow at 11:00 or at Coker Tires in Chattanooga, Tennessee from 5:00 to 6:15.