We’re excited to announce that the Colorado Motorcycle Expo is all set for 2020! It will be held February 1st and 2nd in the National Western Complex in downtown Denver. Formerly known as the Colorado Motorcycle Show & Swap, the Expo has been held annually in Denver since 1978. After starting at the Adams County Fairgrounds, the Expo moved to the National Western Complex in the early 1980’s, and it draws people from all over the country. Among motorcycle enthusiasts it has a large and loyal following with 20,000-25,000 people attending the event each year.[Read more…] about Colorado Motorcycle Expo
Support, what does that mean to you? Paying for someone’s coffee at Starbucks, opening the door for someone, taking chicken noodle soup to your friend when they are sick, being a shoulder to cry on? Or maybe traveling 1,500 miles on your motorcycle to support a cause, a cause that is very stigmatized, a cause that affects people every 15 minutes, a cause that your friend had a dream a vision a year prior?
Suicide is a cause that is not talked about enough. Ride for Hope is making sure you hear their voice, we traveled to Utah to support another ride, Utah Vision Day, a ride to support suicide prevention and awareness, we supported a family who’s heart is breaking, but yet they have turned the tragedy of their son Taylor who died by suicide January 6, 2017, into a legacy to help others. The ride there was emotional, the sound of the pipes, the feel of the bike, and the wind touching my face. At times, the thoughts came through my mind, “Is this really my life? Am I really riding a motorcycle? Am I really riding hundreds of miles to support another mother, the same way I needed support?
Our children brought us together, not because they knew each other, but because of the way they died. It’s through tragedy that so many things get started, a non-profit, a new legislative bill, just like MADD the Irving, Texas–based organization was founded on September 5, 1980, in California by Candace Lightner after her 13-year-old daughter, Cari, was killed by a drunk driver. MADD has claimed that drunk driving has been reduced by half since its founding.
Motorcycles and charities go hand-in-hand. It seems every weekend during the summer months, there are rides for relief foundations or to raise money for those in need. It seems the only thing better than going for a ride, is doing it for a cause.
Being named Colorado’s largest motorcycle rally is quite an accomplishment. With the huge number of riders in this state, and the vast number of great rides, runs and rallies to choose from, it says a lot more about an event that boasts the largest attendance among its peers.
The annual Salute to American Veterans held each August in Cripple Creek is much more than just a bike rally. Over the past three decades, this event has become a pilgrimage for Veterans from all over the United States, and Cripple Creek has been called “sacred ground” for US Vets to gather, remember, respect and heal.
What began in the late 1980s as a small, grassroots effort to call attention to the plight of American POWs and MIAs has grown into a three-day festival complete with ceremonies, dedications, vendors, music and the display of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Traveling WALL.
“We did not have any goal in mind, or any vision of the future of this event when we began” said Jim Wear, founder and organizer of the rally. “This is not contrived. The rally evolved organically. There was no master plan. The event has made its own path.”
The 2019 Veterans Rally will continue on it’s natural path, providing the opportunity for honored Veterans and loyal Patriots to gather together in the old-west mining town, rallying around the Stars and Stripes and igniting patriotism in all who attend.
The annual POW MIA Recognition Ride, the ride which spawned the Salute to American Veterans Rally, takes place Saturday morning, with thousands joining Colorado’s largest escorted procession of motorcycles. The Brotherhood of Veterans motorcycle club, the Colorado Patriot Guard Riders and the Colorado and Kansas American Legion Riders step up to help organize the effort annually.
Beneficiaries from this year’s event include the Vets4Vets organization (helping local homeless Veterans), The Pueblo POW/MIA Memorial effort and the scholarship fund for the child of fallen 10th SF Green Beret and Teller County resident Elliott Robbins.
The Veterans Rally will also play host to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Traveling WALL as it has for the past 12 years, making the Veterans Rally the longest standing annual host for the traveling wall in Colorado.
For the third year in a row, the Combat Hero Bike Build organization returns to Cripple Creek and will present Sgt. J.J. Guerrero, a battle wounded double amputee Army / USMC Veteran with a new customized machine during the ceremony in Cripple Creek’s City Park.
“The Combat Hero Bike Build is an awesome project, and we support their efforts 100%.” Said Wear, “To take a wounded Veteran who can no longer ride and get them back in the wind accomplishes more than most people will ever understand. These Vets have many issues to contend with, and getting them on a bike not only brings back the feelings of freedom and independence, but it makes them feel “more normal” if you will… and that is something that goes beyond dollars and cents.”
The American Legion will be recognized for 100 years of service during the rally with a plaque dedication, guest speakers and a great history of the Legion being read during the ceremony.
Other features include FREE “Red Friday” T-shirts for the first 800 patriots, military static displays, Veterans parade, benefit silent auction, pancake breakfast, live music, aircraft flyovers, beer garden, vendor show, Friday poker run and much more.
“I’m sad to say that Patriotism is under attack by radical factions in this country,” said Wear. “America needs Patriotism now more than ever, and this event provides the opportunity for everyone who attends to express their love for our Flag, our Veterans and our Country. The camaraderie, honor and respect that the attendees of this rally have for each other is what makes it all happen. All we do is set the table… and our guests ignite the fires of patriotism that they then, hopefully, carry home with them when the weekend concludes.”
For more information, go to www.theveteransrally.org.
Every year many of us begin the preparation to heading to Sturgis and quickly learn that Sturgis is more than a ride it is an adventure and one that requires preparation and planning. Sturgis Rally is more than just getting on your bike and riding. If you are a new rider or this is your first year going to Sturgis, we have compiled a few tips to get your ready for a great Rally.
Filled with every type of bike imagined, giant parties and too many live concerts to count, it’s quite the experience. Also, it’s one of the few times you’ll see an entire town overrun with motorcycles. Like, the whole dang town. Unreal. When I first attended Sturgis in 2009 it was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream to experience it, and nothing like I expected.
In 2015, a record 739,000 motorcycles rumbled in from across the nation to attend the 75th-annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota. Many riders will attend this 79th annual this year and stay away from next year’s 80th, so 2019 will be a monster of an event.
Reserve Your Accommodations Early
Considering that hundreds of thousands of bikes descend upon the Sturgis area each August, it’s not surprising that the most popular accommodations book up quickly. So, it’s important to book your lodging of choice early to guarantee that you’ll have a place to stay in or near Sturgis.
Hotels: They book up fast and are expensive. Need help finding a room? The Sturgis motorcycle rally’s website is one of the best resources for finding campgrounds, hotels and other accommodations in the Sturgis area.
Camp: Don’t Stay in a Hotel
Grabbing a night in a run-of-the-mill hotel, like a Best Western or Holiday Inn could cost you more than your motorcycle is worth. The week can range around in excess of $3,000 depending on the location. It’s not worth it. Places like the Buffalo Chip, Glencoe campground and many others have great campsites and limited cabins. A lot of the real riders don’t stay in the town of Sturgis but surrounding towns like Rapid City or Deadwood, but even then, the rates are normally considerably marked up for Rally.
Do the Maintenance on your Bike
When you prepare your motorcycle, keep in mind the number of miles you will be accumulating on your trip. If you have been putting off getting your maintenance done, make your appointment NOW, as your local dealerships and other shops begin to book up in July and if you need a lot of work done, they might not be able to fit you in. Remember, you may be adding thousands of miles to these fluids in the course of a week. The same applies to your tires, cables, spark plugs, air filter, etc.
The popular, highly accepted standard for motorcycle pre-trip inspection; is the T-CLOCS check list.
Tires and Wheels: Check your tires for tread wear, it is recommended that the tire has at least 50% of its tread. Check for any deep cuts or embedded objects such as stones, etc. In addition, the rear tire will get a flat spot and the front tire will get cupped eventually, this affects the handling ability of your motorcycle. While traveling long distances you may encounter conditions that can become harsh and climates that perhaps you’re not typically exposed to. Heavy rain is highly likely at some point during your trip, it is important that you have good tread for traction in rain conditions.
Check your rims for any dents or cracks. If you have spoke wheels, make sure they are tight and straight. A loose spoke can cause a slight wobble in your wheel and/or damage to spoke, rim and hub.
Cables and Controls: Check your brake, clutch, throttle, and shifter. Your clutch should operate smoothly. Your brakes should be firm and hold the bike from movement. Visually check all cables for any wear or frays, if you detect any problems they should be replaced. Check your brake pads for enough pad thickness, use a flashlight if necessary, to see without removing calipers.
Lights: Check your headlight, tail light, brake light, and turn signals every time you ride. If you have an additional load from camping gear, clothing, etc. . . and/or are traveling with a passenger, check the clearance under the rear fender. It is possible that the wiring can rub the tire; this will cause a break in the wire.
Oils and Fluids: Change your fluids according to your maintenance schedule. Check the levels of your fluids prior to your road trip. Consult your owner’s manual for proper levels.
Check your battery: If you have a battery that uses water, check the water levels. If you have a HD battery it is sealed and there is not any maintenance to be performed, other than ensuring the terminals are clean. Unless you have a REALLY old HD battery. In that case, you might want to replace your battery anyway.
Chassis: Inspect the chassis for cracks at gussets and accessory mounts. Check the steering for smoothness by turning the handlebars through the full operating range. Test the suspension for smooth, damped movement, and be sure to adjust it according to the load you’re carrying and your riding style, consult your owner’s manual. Harley-Davidson recommends for high-mileage bikes, that you inspect the drive belt and sprockets. Check all the fasteners for tightness. DO NOT tighten above manufacturer recommend torque ratings. Be sure you consult your owner’s manual for correct torques.
Sidestand (Kickstand): Check your kickstand for tension to be sure it remains in the up position when not in use. It is useful to bring a metal plate or piece of wood for the kickstand to rest on; you may encounter mud or extremely hot asphalt which will allow your kickstand to sink.
Give Your Bike a Pre-trip ride
If you do decide to take or ride your own bike to Sturgis, make sure to conduct the pre-ride checkup and you should also consider taking your iron horse out for a day ride to make sure that everything is running smoothly. I just had a rider who spent $1,500.00 to have a dealership get their bike tuned up, and 100 miles into another state the bike broke down. The costs he incurred including towing, hotel and the stress of trying to find another dealership to fix the repairs he had made cost him an additional couple thousand dollars.
Ride or Trailer?
The weather in the South Dakota area can be very fickle in August and, depending on where you live, it could be a very long ride to Sturgis. If you have never made that long of a ride, you might want to considering hauling or trailering it yourself.
While many will tell you, you didn’t do Sturgis if you didn’t ride there, when camping and wanting any level of comfort while camping, trailering allows you to pack with all the essentials that you will need. Forgetting things and buying them there, can really be costly, so if cost is an issue… make sure you bring it with you
Gas Stations and other services can be few and far between on the roads in and leading up to South Dakota. So, it’s important not to play chicken with your gas tank. To be safe, top off your gas tank whenever it gets to be about half empty.
Follow the Rules of the Road
The police force in town seem to make their bonuses during this week – often camped between the bars on the outskirts of town, like Full Throttle and Buffalo Chip, where it’s a 35-mph speed limit. They’re in heavy force looking for drunk riders and speeders.
Don’t even roll through a stop sign or run 5 mph over the speed limit unless you want to take home a souvenir from the cops. Make sure that you don’t ROLL thru stop signs and NOT put both feet down before going thru. Also, it is important to know that if you receive a ticket or fine during Sturgis, Law Enforcement will require you to pay the ticket/fine right there on the spot.
Last and most important, don’t drink and drive! Enjoy your ride and then pop a cold one when you get back to camp or your hotel. If you do have drinks while you are riding, call a cab, use the bus transportation, but please don’t try to ride your bike back to camp. Many of the biker bars in Sturgis understand wanting to have fun and will help you get home safe and sound. Also remember that the Sturgis police department will tow your bike on main street if it is left past 3am, but you will want to look for the signs to be sure.
Watch Your Money
Everything in Sturgis costs money. Everything. If you want to explore any of the numerous state and national parks you can expect to pay admission (these parks offer great scenery, so you may want to consider getting an annual pass – especially in the case of national parks). The Crazy Horse Memorial, which has grown in popularity over the years, also charges admission but is worth the admission and the Crazy Horse center provides a lot of information and an opportunity to cool off on a hot day.
Not a Harley-Davidson Only Event Anymore
Sturgis once had a reputation for being a Hogs-only event. And while most of the motorcycles at this rally are still Harleys, bikes from other manufacturers are showing up in larger numbers than before. If you own an Indian or a Kawasaki, you don’t have to leave your bike at home in order to enjoy the festivities
The roads leading up to Sturgis go past and through some of the West’s most iconic and beautiful sites. So, if you can, make sure to leave time for side trips to:
- The Black Hills and The Badlands
- Mount Rushmore
Better Safe than Sorry
If you are planning on riding to Sturgis, you should:
- Make sure to keep loved ones up to date on your planned itinerary and check in with them daily.
- Consider getting trip insurance to cover you in case your vacation to Sturgis has to be interrupted or canceled.
- Invest in motorcycle roadside assistance coverage. BikerDown has a 35.00 per year membership that includes motorcycle roadside from a motorcycle towing company.
- Call your motorcycle insurance company and make sure you understand the coverages that you have and decide if you need to up your policy to include un-insured motorist and under-insured motorist. Accidents happen and you will be riding next to or around thousands of riders who aren’t local, and you will need to make sure that in the event of an accident that YOU have the coverages to keep you safe in the event of an accident
Be Road Wary
Certain roads around the Sturgis Rally have earned deadly reputations, including:
- Highway 14A, between Sturgis and Deadwood.
- Nemo Road, between Sturgis and Rapid City
- Highway 85, between Spearfish and Deadwood
Be especially wary if you are planning on traveling through or near any national parks, such as Custer State Park or Yellowstone, as you could encounter many large animals, including bison and elk, on the roads.
Lastly, and most importantly, HAVE FUN and enjoy the Ride!
By: Chomper Montoya
If you are a motorcycle rider who visits Dirty Dogs Roadhouse as much as I do, you surely have to agree that the continued transformation of Dirty Dogs is nothing short of miraculous. Last weekend over Memorial Day weekend, I watched as Mark, Rob and the DD team transformed our local biker bar into a concert venue the likes of which this community hasn’t seen here in Denver at the biker bar level.[Read more…] about Molly Hatchet Concert Rocked!
Colorado and mother nature being the way they are… you just never know what you are going to get every year for the BikerDown’s Look Twice Save a Life ride, but still the riders always say they wouldn’t miss this ride! The road captains were on messenger daily trying to alter their ride in the event of rain, hail or snow. Registrations were up this year and BikerDown had over 100 riders pre-register and we had an additional 50 riders register at Avalanche Harley-Davidson in Golden.[Read more…] about 6th Annual Look Twice Save a Life
A small local motorcycle ministry from Monument, Colorado is hitting the national riding event stage on June 21st in Las Vegas, Nevada. Russ Young is the leader of this Colorado group and this ride has been in his spirit for a number of years. As the President of the BikerDown Foundation, Russ and his ministry of riders have been assisting BikerDown thru biker advocacy and our adopt-a-family holidays program for the past 4 years. Whitehorse Riders have shown me their commitment to spreading the word of God and going out and helping others that desperately need assistance.[Read more…] about Whitehorse Riders Hosts Ride the Dream Ride in Las Vegas
June 1st – Brotherhood of Veterans Support a Warrior Poke Run – Starts @ Dirty Dogs Road. Registration at 8am. Ride ends at Dirty Dogs at 3pm.[Read more…] about Military Events