June 11, I am flying to Rome, Italy for the Harley 110th Anniversary Celebration. Renting a Harley and riding to France where my wife & I will celebrate our 25th Anniversary.
Aug 21, I am riding with the Wounded Warriors from San Diego to Milwaukee, WI for the "Big" Harley 110th Anniversary Celebration. Most of us are doing a "Guy's Only" ride out,
flying the women out for the party. Then the women fly home and the guy's ride back. Of course we will be stopping at Sturgis on the way.
Late September, my Daughter & I are doing a "Fly & Ride" to Sydney, Australia and riding across the continent through the outback to Perth (3000-Miles) and Flying home from Perth.
Thanks for noticing. I can honestly admit I'm new to exchanging information & speaking with people on the computer.
The only reason I even know how is because I have 3-Kids (2-Daughters) & I have to keep on eye on them. In San Diego,
if you have attractive Daughters & your a Tattoo'd Ex-Marine Gun carrying Biker with a lot of Brothers, you have to learn
the way they communicate with each other. They all come over & the "Ol Lady" is polite & says causally " go on out to the garage &
meet ???'s Dad. Lets just say, my Daughters will never be hurt by any guy. Any guy who can put his hands on a smaller 17-hr. old
or an Old Lady (I mean the OLD years type) has no place on this planet. I like to see what they got when they come a little bigger!
I see I went off topic a little, but there is a reason I ride a lot. Sometimes it's good for Momma & the Kids to get a Break from the Old Man.
When I'm riding, I'm at Peace and I know in my Gut, my wife can TCB (Take Care of Bus.) I appreciate your comments as well as GemPrincess.
I wish I could figure out how to pronounce your nickname. GemPrincess I totally get. You know I have a wife & 2 Daughters. I know all about Jewelry
and Gems. My new Harley is very special. It's 1 of 1100 in the world. It's the 2013 Harley 110th Anniversary Flagship. I bought it a year ago & got it 2-weeks
ago. Out of the 1100, 750 made it to the US and 8 to CA & I have the only one in San Diego. I also have a 2005 Road King and a 1958 Pan Head. I ride
approximately 3000 - 4000 miles/Monthly. But GemPrincess can probably apprciate this. The Bike cost me $60K, the upgrade on our wedding band,
starting with the new engagement ring was 4.5 Karat custom ring I had made in a Platinum engraved setting 3-Diamonds total cost me $82K and I just now
working on the wedding band part.
My wife likes to look good & I wanna ride, so it's all about compromise and that why this summer in Rome it's our 25th Anniversary.
Thats a who other story, but 13 has always been my lucky number. Harley having there 110th in 2013 and me getting engaged on
Friday the 13th 87. Married the following May 13th you know I had to have the 2013 Anniversary ride. In Italy she doesnt know she's getting on a brothers
ride & cruising 700-Miles to the French Border where I have my GodFather (A Franciscan Friar) meeting us there to renew our wedding vows over the Med.
for our 25th Anniversary.
My next year dream ride is from Istanbul thru the Eastern Med, to Israel. I want to see the wailing wall.
Thanks again for noticing me, Take Care!
That sounds fantastic!! Could you send a picture of your 2013? The others would be nice, too. I like anything that moves people, or even hearing different accents to get to ask where they're from or where they've been.
Also, when we were leaving the Keys in October, there were 100's of bikers escorted by police of all types and highway patrol. There was a policeman at each crossover and entrance onto the highway. Cars had been waiting for quite a while to cross so there were long lines backed up, but it was really neat to see that many.
I've been to Myrtle Beach several times during Bike Week (without realizing it was going on or really how crowded it would be), but they don't travel in such long, continuous groups while at the beach.
BTW, my father and brother were both at Pendleton for their boot camps. My father was just in for a couple of weeks before they sent them to the Pacific. My brother was there before being sent to Quantico, and then to Vietnam. Later, he was at the base in NC and then to Okinawa.
Nobody would guess you weren't an old pro on the computer by your posting.
2 Things: 1st, Please tell your Father & Brother that a Brother Wounded Warrior thanks you both for your service! Obviously they are 2 of few who "Get-It"
Freedom has never been Free! This country was build by the blood of the finest Americans ever born. 75% of the people in this country have no
clue why they get to go to school, drive from state to state without going through checkpoints, live in gated communities and never speak to their neighbors.
People want to come to America then lock the border down after they get in. I should stop now!
2nd, I am happy to show you a photo of number 0342/1100 (2013 Limited Edition Ultra Classic CVO Electra Glide with numbered Medallions)
Here are a couple Pic's of two of my other rides, The Yellow one "People in SD call it the Charger Bike" because in has the San Diego Chargers Colors. IO'm still a NY fan. This bike is also a rare one. The Black Bike is my 2005 Road King. This Bike was $19K new & your looking at over $100K. It's totally custom. I built this from the gound up & it's the fastest Road King in SoCal. It's been clocked at 192 MPH. I could tell you the spec's but what for.
Thank you for the pictures and the comments.
The bikes are all gorgeous!!
My father died in 2008 when he was almost 84. Not bad when he was diagnosed with cancer of the brain in '51 and was given 1 1/2 years to live at most, survived Guadal Canal, being used as a guinea pig for glucose while in the hospital, survived a wreck, being caught on an oil pump gear while he was priming it, shocked many times as a maintenance electrician for a chemical company, had acid poured down his back at the same chemical company, lived most of his life on coffee and Lucky Strikes, and had 2 double heart by-passes.
You don't happen to know Vince Rios, another Marine hero, do you? He was living in San Francisco the last I knew. He had both legs blown off at the hips when he tripped a mine in Vietnam that he went to check on rather than to let his greenhorns check the area. After designing his own prostheses, he went on to graduate from college after being told he'd never walk again. In CA, he was involved in helping veterans get benefits they needed when they got back.
You and my brother might be able to. He was at Pendleton in '68 when he graduated from HS. Quantico after that, and then Nam as a programmer operator with top secret clearance. Okinawa was in '71 or '72 as a heavy equipment operator. He's had some interesting experiences, as I'm sure you have.
I still bleed NY Blue for the Giants & Yankee's. But I'm an NFC fan and have lived in CA for the past 38-Years. I'll give you my condolences on the Super Bowl last night. As a California Guy I was on your side last night. I feel your pain! The bright side is your 49ers are young & have no reason not to get back to the big show! That is, unless they have to go to NY for the Championship Game. Anyway, it was a great game and easily could have went either way. I love San Diego, but at least you don't have to live around Charger fans! Take Care!
Thanks for the condolences regarding last night's game. I agree, Jim Harbaugh and his Forty Niners look to have a bright future. My blood too runs blue, but - Dodger Blue. Looking forward to opening day against the Giants (whom I finally have a soft spot for, though no such wild passion as I have for the Dodgers) on April 1st in LA.
I used to ride also (though don't hate me - an Asian sport cruiser, and sorry to say, but I absolutely loved that thing, and oh ya, full face helmet and kevlar and mesh crash gear, no leather for me), and whenever I go to Italy, I have to be careful to not drool all over the Ducati's and Aprilia's. I know, I know, I lost ya, didn't I?!! (Eh, what can I say? I'm a Marine also - well, the kind that runs on estrogen - so you're sort of stuck with me, as in Semper Fi.)
The renewing of the vows by the Franciscan friar overlooking the med. and the fact that it's a surprise - wow, 1st prize for most romantic dude on the planet, I GUESS!
I'd sure like to find out more info on the Wounded Warriors project.
Great photos. And now when I'm in France and Italy, I'll be on the lookout for Harleys (who knew?)
You should know better than to think I could hate a Brother/Sister of the MC. Secondly, I own a Ducatti also. Its an awesome machine! I call it my "Bar-Bike". It's not built for Touring & I'm 54 and don't do KOA Campsites and laundry on the rode anymore. I'm a Harley guy and bleed Syn-3, but can appreciate Ducatti Engineering. I'll never do a "Rice Rocket". I went to another funeral last week for a 19-Year Old Marine who just returned from his second combat tour in Afganistan. The 1st thing he did was buy a Yamaha RX-7 and on his lunch hour at MCAS Miramar he was flying down Miramar Rd. and rammed a pick-up at a red light. DOA! This kid did 2-hard combat tours and came home without a scratch on him and died on the side of the road in San Diego. I have been to more funerals than weddings, but this one hurts. I'll stick with my 900 lb. Electra Glide for now.
Thank you for your service "Brother" If you ever come down to SoCal with your Ducatti, Make sure you let me know. Room, Food, Cigars, anything you want is on me!
The military funerals are harsh. I've been to more than a couple since 9/11. Very tough stuff. Regarding the young Marine's bike accident, that's why my husband and I sold our bikes just a few years ago, when our son was about 15 yrs. old. With us riding, the logical progression would have been that our son would've wanted a bike, and - nuh uh, no way (at least not until he's about forty, ha!) So we sold them. Perhaps someday we will ride again. Last year while newly stationed in Korea, a fellow Apache pilot of our son-in-law, a young married officer with a young wife and two small children decided to buy a bike. Went out to enjoy a ride one morning and killed himself. Yep. Now that I'm a grandma, I'm questioning whether or not I'll own another bike. Too much to live for now. (We all need our grandmas!) I have other ways to satisfy my need for speed, wind in my hair and wide open spaces. Thanks for the kind invitation of hospitality, and for your service too, bro!
(It is not my intent to villianize motorcycles, it's just an activity that requires a high level of good judgement and not just a little bit of skill. Happy riding all!)
You sound like an awesome caring woman that loves her family. I learn a lot talking & mostly listening to all kinds of people. One thing I definitely do know is how powerless I am over other people, especially my kids. I'm a Hardcore heavily tattoo'd biker Marine. It's not possible for anyone who knows me to take me seriously about stuff like, "You better not ever get a Harley or a Tattoo. My wife is straighter than a frozen rope & I have no idea what she ever saw in me 30-years ago. It took me 45-years to believe there really is a God & another 5 to believe his name wasn't Dave! The one time I ever listened to her was 19-years ago on our 20-year old Daughter's 1st birthday. She told me my lifestyle wasn't working for her. I drank a lot and rode 24/7 with a bunch of Phychotic Bikers. I did every wrong thing a guy can do. I cant explain it but that day 19-years ago I finished my last beer. Havn't had a sip of alcohol since. It changed my life & She stayed with me & I slowly became a better husband & father. Basically I met her close to half way. As a clean & sober Biker I learned how to enjoy life and people without destroying everything in my path. I will never stop riding and if my kids want to ride, all I will do is teach then how. I would say with in a kind way your last sentence should say "A high level of Great judgement and a whole lot of skill". No headphones, assume everyone wants to kill you and figure out how you will prevent it from happening. Leave your anger at home & when you get cut off, forget about it. Ride the most powerful bike you can and if anyone is messing with you, drop it down a gear, hit the throttle and leave them in the rearview mirror. Then forget about it. Loud pipes and bright lights save lives. If your kids are normal they will always do what you tell them not to. On my kids 21st birthdays, they will all get a bile & a gun. First they will get seriously trained. I teach then to be kind & thoughtful, but by no means do they have to take abuse. As the saying goes, "It's better to be tried by 12 than carried by 6! If you come to SoCal, You can use my car or truck instead of one of my Harley's. It's all good.
I have the same dream as you. I want to retire and ride around the country and visit my kids & God willing my Grandkids. I have 11 more years to go.
One of my buddies in San Fran is getting some big bike run for charity (Cancer society) together later this year which is going to be in portions, leaving Ireland all of the way to Sydney, Australia. 6 month long thing. He wants me to help him gather support and organize the routes, etc. Not that I would expect you to make any part of the run or anything (unless you wanted to) but I thought you might be interested in hearing about it after it is fully developed. My friend is one of those Hollywood types, and I am not going to mention his name, but it should be pretty interestin as he is going to not only gather financial contribution support, but put some of his own money into making the trip sections be very comfortable for any involved (like blocking rooms and paying 50% for many who could not otherwise afford) which I think is cool. I am going to steer him into doing as many Marriott properties as possible, and it should be a fairly big event. If you would like, I will alert you and send you an "Insider's" link, so to say (LOL!), which will provide a lot more detailed information. Just let me know!
have a good day/evening, - Al;
Thank you as well GenPrincess for noticing me, I kind of replied to you above.
I have been riding Harley's all over the world for 38-years now. I know your not gonna
buy this one, but it's true & I'll share it with everyone. Lets say I'm not young any more.
I stay in shape & fight the clock. But as a guy who breaks into his 50's with some gas left in his tank,
I'm still a Model for Harley MotorClothes. I represent the "Aging Biker" look. I'm not the center of attention.
I'm one of the guys in the background that happens to have the look they like, They send me
all kinds of clothes like Dsquared & Diesel Jeans, Robert Graham & other nice shirts,
a lot of Boots, I where Lucchase Gators primarily but I like Mark Nason, stuff like that.
The only dress leather I where is Andrew Marc or Remy. When riding I where only
Vintage "Throw-Back" 50's & 60's original Harley leather. I don't get paid, but I keep the clothes.
All this just so I can say I get the GemPrincess thing. I created 3 myself. I say enjoy it.
Nothing Hotter than a Girl who can dress in Jeans & T, wearing a lot of really cool jewelry,
boots and getting on the back of a bike.
GP (My New Nickname for you),
I have ridden all over. I remember my 1st Cross Country ride. My 1st airplane ride in my life was from JFK to MCRD (Marine Corps Recruit Depot) in San Diego. When I graduated 3-months later I had 2-weeks leave. I flew home, got my 72 beat-up softail running and rode that thing from NY to San Diego. I was 17 then. During my 5-years active duty, I crated my bike up & flew it to Bangkok, rode all through Thailand to Cambodia. The ferried it to Singapore & rode 4000 miles throughout Maylasia, Thailand, South Korea and ferried it to the Philippines.I rode throughout the Philippines during Monsoon Season until I was ordered to Japan. In Japan I actually upgraded from my Softail with 260,000 miles on it to a Road King. I rode the Road King everywhere. Final my 5-YR. commitment was up & Sgt. Turbo was a free man at 23. My Bike was put on the USS Ranger & 3-months later it was in San Diego. I rode it home to NY and went to college at Syracuse on the GI Bill. Got a job as a Sales Engineer for GE Aerospace & was relocated to El Segundo to work with Hughes on a Joint Venture. I lived in Redondo Beach. I was single, had the Condo in Redondo, life was good in the late 80's. We rode a lot.We rode to Juneau & Anchorage. We rode to Cabo. all over the US & Mexico.
Next Chapter-The Married with Children years. I married a younger women who couldn't possibly more opposite than me. She's a beautiful Catholic Girl & Straighter than a Frozen Rope. She married a Tattoo's Phychotic Biker who Partied 24/7. It was pretty ugly in the beginning. I used to tell her I'm going to 7-11 back in 15-minutes. One time I had my 10-yr. Old Daughter on the back of my bike and
somehow 15-minutes turned into me calling her 3-weeks later from Stugis. If you wanna laugh, you gotta hear a 10-year Old tell her mother about Stugis & living in a tent with 12 Hard Core Bikers.
After that I started my own Roofing Business and got lucky & found the right partner. I'm an Engineer & Architect. I do the Roofing Designs & Specifications and the selling. My Partner keeps me out of jail. He takes care of the books, comp, payroll etc. Now I'm back into touring. I have ridden across Australia, I think I told you that & the United Kingdom. This June 11th we leave for Rome, Italy. I have one of my Brothers bringing me a bike. Me & Momma (Ol Lady) are going to the 110th Harley Anniversary Party, We (She doesn't know this part) are gonna ride 700 miles to the French Border across the Italian Countryside to a small chapel overlooking the Med. My Godfather. a 70-yr. old Franciscan Friar with Cardinal equivalent Rank will meet us there & I gonna have him renew our vows. It will be our 25th. Than just cruise around as much of Europe as we can and fly home. The next big ride is Aug. 21st to Milwaukee for the big Anniversary Party, Next year Fly & Ride to Istanbul to ride the Eastern Med through Jordan and end up hopefully alive in Israel. Wife wants to see the wailing wall & where Jesus got murdered. Sounds kinda depressing but she wants to do it. After that who knows.
Your question about overseas is an excellent question. In Europe they have more Harley's than the US. They are everywhere and so is every major MC Club. A Car thief finds behind a bar a $600,000
Mercedes McLarren and my CVO. My CVO will never be seen again. Riding a Harley overseas is like having a Gold Passport. Harley riders are the single greatest group of Human Beings on this planet.
80% are Vets, they will help anyone in need. Wherever I go I run into Bikers and we all end up riding together. Every year for the last 9-years in a row. I ride on Labor day to Manhattan, Smoke a Cigar on Ground Zero on 9-11 and ride home to SD. a couple months ago when I left with 3 friends we got to NY with about 65 Bikers we picked up across the country.
I don't know where you live but check out Harleydavidson.com or HOG.com and click the 110th Anniversary link. Then make your pans for Milwaukee Aug. 25 or so. You have the time of your life.
Sounds like a great way to really see a country. Reminds me of the movie, "Motorcycle Diaries", about Ernesto 'Che' Guevara & Alberto Granado travels around South America.
I also remember my 1st airplane ride. Non-commercial, it was with a friend of my father's who had a 4-seater Navion with a baggage compartment large enough to fit his bike (much smaller than a harley) into. He use to make short weekend dayt trips to pick up parts, or try out airport restaurants. He often let us ride along, and we thought it was great fun. My 1st commercial flite was my 1st year of college to attend debates at other colleges.
My favorite way to explore new countries, or to see how one has changed since my last visit is via lcoal transit with the local people to really get a feel for the country and culture.
For Europe, my sister and I saw by Eurorail pass, taking the trains everywhere our 2 month pass let us go.
For Asian travel, I had wanted to take the local train from Bangkok to Singapore, like some of my UN friends did, but the ex- nixed the idea, as its supposedly dangerous in Southern Thailand with Muslim extremists. My UN friends said they knew it was a risk, but decided to chance it since the didn't have anything of value with them (apparently rhese extremists are more bandits than idealogs as they are most interested in robbing the trains).
Instead we settled on flying from Bangkok to Penang, from Penang to Kota Bharu, Khota Bharu to Kula Lumpu, and Kuala Lumpur to Singapore, and did sightseeing from each of the cities. In Bali we drove all over the island by car. Each hotel had a asigned taxi driver, and ours took us each day to a different area of Bali till we had seen it all. We had him pick the restaurants to make sure we were eating the local food. Java is much larger, so I was only able to see the Jakarta area. Cambodia, Vietnam, Korea & Philippines are on the to do list.
Also did an extensive road trip in Turkey. Since neither the train or air system is very direct for touring, I spent a month traveling around on the local buses which is how most of the Turkish people travel. Their buses are more like air planes or Amtrak, as the seats recline, there is host service (all men), and stops at tea houses for breaks.
I'm envious of your trips! I'm a New York Born Armenian & my "Old Man" was born in Beirut. My Grandparents escaped the Turkish Genocide by running from Armenia to Beirut for Political Asylum. My father was young, maybe 3 or 4 when they emigrated to Ellis Island. I have never seen Turkey or Armenia. It's been on my "Bucket List" for a long time.Your at the very least as well traveled as I am. I just spent most of my overseas time traveling throughout Asia & further south in the middle east. I've had the not so pleasant privilege of spending time in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan & India. Nice places if you enjoy being hated and shot at. What actually bothered more was seeing how they treat each other. I dream and pray I will see Istanbul before I get taken out by the "Big Guy". For now I'm a grateful Biker & live every day as if its my last! Cause we all know one day I'll be right. My motto is: Live Hard, Ride Hard & Love Hard, life is short & everyday I wake up early and figure out how not to waste another second. That why I'll never leave SoCal. Yesterday I took my son Snow Boarding & Water Skiing in the same day. It was pretty cool. We rode up to "Big Bear at 5:30AM, by 9;00 we were Snow Boarding at Snow Summit till 1:00PM. By 2:00 we were cruising down the mountain straight to Malibu. By 5:00PM in the Dark we were water skiing and tubing with a Buddy who bought an auctioned Seal Boat with Flood lights. We were in the 60 degree Pacific (Wet Suits of Coarse) until 11:00PM. Spent the night in Santa Monica got up, got tattoo'd a little & rode home to San Diego. Great Day for an Old guy & his 13-Yr. old late life surprise. I'm starting to enjoy these exchanges. This weekend My Daughter & I are riding to Palm Desert for a weekend of Lacrosse.
I think you may have been in more places than me, especially Asia.
Given you family background, and the current political situation, I can understand yours, or anyone's hesitations about travelig in the middle east. Our buses in Turkey were frequently searched. They were not interested in American passport holders (same is true on the roads in Moscow leading to the airport). They are looking for ethnic minorities that have resistance movements. In Turkey it was the Kurds, in Russia it was the Azerbijani's. I would be hestitant, even with an American passport, to travel in countries where my surname was an ethnic minority, or an opposition party like Aung San Suu Kyi.
Wonderful pictures as well as information.
Have never been on a motorcycle, and am pretty sure never will, but I find your service to our country and your stories fascinating.
Can you tell us where you are going in France? We may have some suggestions to offer.
Some places from Rome, that would be great to experience:
The Bellagio, Lake Como, is beautiful.
I have seen a lot of motorcycles in The Dolemite Mountains in Northern Italy, it is also a most beautiful place.
Glad you are sharing this informations with us! Sounds like a wonderful trip!
Not sure yet about France. Our home base is the Autograph Boscala in Rome from June 11th-22nd. Gonna do the Harley 110th Anniversary celebration in Italy for 3-days, then ride for a week. I'll ride & the Ol' Lady sits back & snaps Pic's. Should be a good time. Never found a better way to get out of my head than a long fresh ride!
The Wounded Warriors are just incredible. I've been involved in a charity golf tournament here in the Houston area for the last few years in support of the Wounded Warriors and each one of them are so full of life and glad they served their country regardless of what their situation is now. It always brings a tear to my eyes and heart when I am thanking them for their service to our country. What a sacrifice all of our servicemen/women make each second of each day.
Hope you'll keep us posted on your travels and be safe.
Thank you for the kind words! I have been out of country for the past few weeks & unable to review the new updates. Nice to be home sweet home San Diego! This Spring & Summer I plan on a lot of hard miles. I just entered a WW charity poker run with 7-Biker Brothers. $2,000 each. Winner gets $4000 & $10K for the WWP. I start in San Diego. My 1st card is in Cape Cod, MA, 2nd in Daytona Beach, 3rd in Olympic National Park, WA, 4th in Hays Kansas & 5th & final in Laughlin, NV. Back at Camp Pendleton, CA we lay down our 5 & it's over. I think I have 14-Days & 14,000-Miles. 1000-Miles/Day for a 54-Yr old = Aderall, caffeine & a lot of gas & oil. I hope I win! Let you know how I do.
Later I have Sturgis, Milwaukee and the annual NYC Labor day ride to smoke a cigar on ground zero every 9/11 (7th-straight year for that ride). I'm thinking a 30,000-Mile Summer.
Some things just never change. I want my 2 Million Mile Pin! (50K miles/yr. in 40-years) Only 3 of those in the world!