Thanksgiving Fun Facts

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As you sit down with family and friends this Thanksgiving take a moment to remember one of America’s most well loved holidays, while you ponder this list of little known fun facts about, “Turkey Day.” The Pilgrims that arrived from the United Kingdom in Plymouth New England on the east coast of America were the very first to celebrate Thanksgiving. The feast itself lasted three days, and according to historians was more about

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celebrating a successful harvest and the ability to stay alive as apparently hundreds of colonists died the first year after arriving on Plymouth Rock. Back then, both the Native Americans and the pilgrims also danced and sang, which makes perfect sense doesn’t it? Who could eat like that for three days straight?

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The Wampanoag Indian tribes were the first to celebrate Thanksgiving with the pilgrims. The tribe also taught the colonists how to cultivate the land and how to use what grew wild in the new land. You may be fond of your turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, Mac and cheese, pumpkin pie and of course stuffing and cranberries, but the pilgrims and the Native Americans most probably said thank-you with a mouth full of lobster. Other first Thanksgiving choices included chicken, rabbit, fish, quail, and duck with sides such as hickory nuts, cabbage, radishes, goat cheese, eggs, onions, beans, squash, leeks, dried fruits, honey, and maple.

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Apparently, somebody forgot to put forks on the Mayflower as the pilgrims ate with their hands, spoons, and knives. One of the founding fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin, urged the United States to make the turkey the national bird of America. Obviously, that didn’t happen. Thanksgiving became official on October 3, 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln issued an official Thanksgiving Proclamation. The national day would be the last Thursday in November.

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Nearly 290 million turkeys are bought and enjoyed for Thanksgiving in the United States, with California being the largest consumers of Thanksgivings favorite bird. Most folks presume that Thanksgiving is an American thing. However, the Canadians also celebrate the day of thanks on the second Monday each October. The average weight of a turkey purchased for Thanksgiving is 15 pounds. A 15-pound turkey will have around 70 percent white meat with 30 percent dark meat.

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The most popular Thanksgiving leftovers are sandwiches, chili, casseroles, soup, and burgers. Not all turkeys gobble. Hens make a clucking sound while the males gobble. This Thanksgiving, Travels with Harley would like to wish everyone a very safe, loving, and happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy your family and friends, and don’t forget to say thank-you!

Tennessee Road Trips on a Harley

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Tennessee Road Trips on the back of a motorcycle are incredible, especially during this time of year. If you follow the Travels with Harley blog, you will know that we promised you another blog about Tennessee Road Trips last week.

River Road is one of those Tennessee Road trips that you will love. The 16-mile drive takes you from Nashville to Ashland City and is filled with lots of curves and hills. The ride follows the Cumberland River and has good pavement.

Pucketts Grocery and Restaurant

Make it an afternoon ride and have breakfast at Puckett’s Grocery and Restaurant. This renovated 50’s grocery store has great reviews and sounds like a lot of fun. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner and featuring live music, it’s one place that Jim and I have on our Tennessee Road trips bucket list.

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Both Jim and I love the curves. It took some getting used to, but now I can even take pictures with our GoPro while we hug the turns. If you’re like us, the Old TN Highway 85 is another one of those Tennessee Road trips that you have to take. Although it’s only 9 miles long, Travels with Harley bets that it will seem much longer thanks to some of the sharp turns along the way. According to the reviews, this road trip has no overlooks or turnouts. It is so twisty that it’s closed to large semi trucks. Make sure to gas up and have a bite before you venture out though as there are no amenities on the Old TN Highway 85 in Tennessee.

Tennessee roadtrips

If you’re on the hunt for longer Tennessee Road Trips check out the I-40 through Pisgah and Cherokee National Forests. Featured on Motorcycle Road Trips, this awesome 28.4 mile ride takes you through the beautiful Appalachian Mountains. You’ll be just east of the Smokies National Park and although there is a divided highway as you follow along the Pigeon River, you will enjoy the mountain trip with great scenery, especially during spring when you can see the gorgeous colors of the abundant wildflowers in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Fall is also another time that you will want to enjoy Tennessee Road Trips. All who love pushing the throttle enjoy this high-speed curvy road.

Dollywood

One of the highway rest stops is actually a replica of Dolly Parton’s Sevierville cabin where she grew up. Once you get to the R276 leading to Maggie Valley, NC, you find lots of eateries and accommodations.

Tennessee Road Trips are plentiful, and next week we’re going to do more of the same. Have a great weekend everyone and don’t forget to get on your bike and ride. Travels with Harley certainly plans on it.

Harley Davidson Tennessee Road Trip This Spring

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A Tennessee Road Trip is spectacular all year round, but especially in the spring and on the back of a Harley Davidson.

Nicknamed the Volunteer State, because of the thousands of soldiers who volunteered during the War of 1812, most prominently risking their lives in the Battle of New Orleans, Tennessee also stood up to the plate during the Mexican War when a mere 2,800 were asked to volunteer by the secretary of state and 30,000 responded.

Graceland

When it comes to scenery, Tennessee certainly has it all from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where the wildflowers are in bloom right now, to the hustle and bustle of Nashville. Tennessee is also home to Graceland in Memphis. The gorgeous estate belonging to the King of Rock, Elvis Presley, is a must on your next Tennessee Road Trip.

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The Tennessee Legend is an awesome Tennessee Road Trip that is 455 miles long. Of course, unless you don’t want to see anything, you may want to consider taking a couple of days to enjoy this Tennessee Road Trip. The twisty road with lots of tight curves offers gorgeous scenery with canyons, rivers, mountain valleys, and spectacular waterfalls. This Harley road trip certainly has it all with plenty of stops along the way. Try motorcycle camping, or go white water rafting. There are plenty of opportunities on this trip for you to get off your bike and stretch your legs.

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Highway 141 is another must take Tennessee Road Trip during the spring. A short jaunt, at just 20 miles, this is an alternative route to the interstate and with excellent roads you’ll want to pick a destination before you head out so that you can enjoy the rest of your day. After all, don’t you want to have some fun getting there? The Edgar Evans State Park is the perfect place to stop for a picnic, especially this time of year.

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If you would rather someone else did the cooking, drop in to the Rose Garden Restaurant about halfway in to your Tennessee Road Trip in Silver Point. Jim and I love great food where you least expect it, and apparently this little diner is right next to a gas station. It would be great for breakfast as the homemade biscuits and gravy are apparently the best in the state, according to Yelp anyway, and if you follow our blog you will know that I ALWAYS check out restaurants before we jump on the Road King.

 

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Visit the Great Smoky Mountains in all her glory on the Tennessee 32 Road Trip. This 14-mile ride takes you through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Cherokee National Park. Thanks to the wet winter, the cavalcade of colors from the abundant wildflowers is truly spectacular. One of the best things about the Tennessee 32 is that there is literally no traffic with the exception of about the last one and a half miles or so. Make sure you gas up, and don’t forget to pack a lunch. You will want to enjoy the beauty of spring on your own time.

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This spring head to one of the most beautiful states in the country and enjoy a Tennessee Road Trip on the back of your Harley.

Tennessee is so plentiful when it comes to an awesome Tennessee Road Trip were going to spend another week in what is also known as the Butternuts state.

Have a great week everyone!

Not to Be Missed Motorcycle Rides in Georgia

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If you are on the hunt for great motorcycle rides in the South, Travels with Harley has a few suggestions that you may want to try. This week we are going to focus on the Peach State, otherwise known as Georgia.

The best motorcycle rides are usually off the beaten track. At least that is what Jim and I think. We have been on a few motorcycle rides where the only thing on the road was us and maybe a car or two the entire trip.

Fort McAllister State Park

We have done quite a few Travels with Harley motorcycle rides in Georgia and really enjoy the great scenery. The coastal area of the state gives riders plenty to look at with its beaches and beautiful marshland. Popular motorcycle destinations include Fort McAllister State Park and Savannah.

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The Meridian Road Canopy Ride is gorgeous when it comes to beautiful motorcycle rides, and although there aren’t any roadside amenities, the scenery makes it well worth gassing up beforehand. Meridian Road starts out near Cairo, GA and takes you into Tallahassee Florida. If you enjoy hills and turns this is the ride for you as the road takes you through canopies of trees and plantations that you will not want to miss.

Tate House

If you enjoy historical landmarks, the 19-mile Tate to Dawsonville will take you through the historic town of Tate where you will drive right past the Tate House, which is 45 miles north of Atlanta. Colonial Sam Tate who was a land baron, philanthropist, and tycoon built the pink marble mansion in 1926. The Tate House is now one of the most sought after wedding venues in the south. The Tate to Dawsonville road features quite a few turns with some tight blind turns that are best suited for more experienced riders. This ride has some gorgeous views, but no amenities to speak of except for a couple of gas stations.

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The 99 mile Scenic Route from Springfield to Augusta is stunning and begins at City Limit Customs in Springfield. You’ll ride over the Savannah River into South Carolina and continue until you head back into Augusta GA. On this trip, you will pass through plenty of plantations and dense forests so don’t forget your camera. The roads are mostly flat until you hit the 125 where there will be some small hills to contend with. The roads are all paved and although the amenities are sparse out of Springfield there are plenty of gas stations, restaurants and shops once you get to Augusta.

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When it comes to motorcycle rides, the south has plenty. Next week Travels with Harley heads to Alabama for more great motorcycle rides in the south.

Travels with Harley is California Dreamin’

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Travels with Harley has been happily telling all who will listen about great Harley Davidson day trips, weekend trips and trips that may take a week or two. Travels with Harley has also shown you some of the best biker bars in the United States, and now that spring is around the corner, Travels with Harley wanted to share some more biker bars that we haven’t told you about before.

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As you all know, Travels with Harley can’t get enough of Cooks Corner in Trabuco Canyon in Southern California, but there are plenty of other biker bars in the sunshine state that you can visit this weekend.

California has had one of the warmest February’s on record, and if that is any indication of what March will be like, Travels with Harley suggests that you get on your bike and ride with some great additions to our last Travels with Harley Best Biker Bars in California blog.

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Hit the road and head up to Big Bear. Regardless of what route you take, either the 330, the 38 or Highway 18 out of Lucerne, you will get your fair share of twists and turns. Once you hit the mountain head over to Murray’s Saloon and Eatery. A local favorite, Murray’s has a nice selection of craft beers on tap and a menu that will make it tough to decide what to sink your teeth into. Located at 672 Cottage Lane, Murray’s Saloon and Eatery is one place that you will not want to miss.

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Travels with Harley has enjoyed its fair share of biker bars in California, but has never had the pleasure of tucking into a great meal at the Sagebrush Cantina in Calabasas.

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The Sagebrush Cantina has what some biker enthusiasts say is the best brunch in the state. For just $29.95 per person, you can enjoy crab legs, shrimp, and bottomless champagne. With live music and plenty of atmosphere, you will want to check this place out. The bike corral is secure making the Sagebrush Cantina the perfect stop if you are heading from the Pacific Coast Highway up to Mulholland Highway to Old Topanga.

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Hell’s Kitchen is an infamous biker bar and restaurant in California and another on the Travels with Harley bucket list. Located at 32685 Ortega Highway in Lake Elsinore, Hell’s Kitchen has a full bar, with handcrafted Bloody Marys, and indoor and outdoor dining. With plenty of bike parking, Hell’s Kitchen has a full menu featuring breakfast, lunch and dinner. Tuck into an extreme burrito, or drop by for a tri-tip or hot pastrami sandwich. Oh, and don’t forget to tell the proprietors that Travels with Harley sent you!

Harley Davidson Day Trip Out of Las Vegas

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The best Harley Davidson Day Trip is a spontaneous one. However, some Harley Davidson Day Trips are best planned in advance.

Everyone loves Las Vegas, for obvious reasons, but most people have no idea that the City of Sin has some great Harley Davidson Day Trips.

Red Rock Canyon

Red Rock Canyon is about an hour’s drive just west of Las Vegas. The 13-mile Harley Davidson Day Trip loop offers plenty of well-maintained pavement with lots of overlooks, vistas, and sightseeing. If you are short on time, check out the Calico Vista Point when you head out for this Harley Davidson Day Trip.

Valley of Fire

Nevada’s oldest state park is also a great place to head out for a Harley Davidson Day Trip. The Valley of Fire State Park was dedicated back in 1935 is just 55 miles northeast of Las Vegas.

Mt. Charleston Lodge

 

The Mount Charleston Loop is another great Harley Davidson Day Trip that you will love. Just take Highway 95 out of Las Vegas where you will ride through Lee and Kyle Canyon. The roads are very well maintained with plenty of twists and turns that will take you up and back down the mountain. Best fill up before you go, and don’t forget to stop for a bite at the Mount Charleston Lodge for an Angus burger and fried cheesecake for dessert.

Death Valley

More than a Harley Davidson Day Trip, the Death Valley Run is spectacular, especially during the spring. This year promises to be one of the best in decades when it comes to the wildflowers that have been eluding the area for a few years. The 161-mile trip offers some of the best scenery in the world with wrinkled and rugged mountains towering over the gorgeous cavalcade of spring flowers.

Furnace Creek Resort

Although quite desolate with very few amenities, Furnace Creek and Stovepipe Wells do have a general store and a gas station. You can enjoy a meal at the Toll House restaurant or quench your thirst at the Badwater Saloon. Death Valley really is a must for anyone, but especially if you are looking for a great Harley Davidson Day Trip.

If you are heading to Las Vegas, take your bike and enjoy a Harley Davidson Day Trip. Jim and I plan on it if the weather ever starts to improve.

Three California Motorcycle Day Trips this Winter

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The weather is wrecking havoc all over the country, and isn’t the best for motorcycle day trips. However, California has the warmest temperatures on record for February, and if you are lucky enough to live in California there are some awesome motorcycle day trips that you can enjoy.

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There is still quite a bit of snow in the Sierra Nevada mountains, so if you are thinking about motorcycle day trips you may want to stick to central and southern California where you can enjoy the twists and turns that California is famous for when it comes to motorcycle day trips.

The Miners Diner

The Montezuma Valley Road from Ranchita to Borrego Springs motorcycle ride is a Southern California favorite when it comes to motorcycle day trips. The road has some drop offs and can be very steep reaching to an elevation of just over 3000 feet. The road leads you into the town of Julian where you will find plenty of places to eat including The Miners Diner that has some of the best specialty sandwiches in the area. If you live or plan to visit San Diego this is one of the best motorcycle day trips that you will find.

Cucina Italiana

Another great example of motorcycle day trips in California is one that you will not want to miss. The CA 121 Napa to Winters ride is for serious enthusiasts. As you take off from Napa, the road takes you up the hills towards Lake Berryessa. With the never-ending curves and smooth pavement the 121 is like an E-ticket ride at Disneyland. Stop for a bite at Cucina Italiana at Lake Berryessa in Napa, which is one of the best Italian restaurants in the area.

Paradise Valley Cafe

Highway 74 takes you from Hemet to Indian Wells and is an awesome example of motorcycle day trips. As you head towards the top, you will experience lots of twisty corners before straightening out. Once you start descending into the Coachella Valley, you will experience more twists and turns. Although there are not many amenities, make sure you gas up before you go; there are quite a few hiking trails and campsites. If you want to stop for a bite to eat, try the Paradise Valley Café, which is located at the intersection of Highway 371 and Highway 74. This great café serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and has something for everyone including burgers, sandwiches, soups, and salads. Drop in for breakfast and enjoy a breakfast beer and some of the best biscuits and gravy that you will ever have.

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When it comes to motorcycle day trips, it doesn’t get much better than California. I know if Jim and I were in my home state, we would be enjoying one right now!

Harley Davidson and Valentine’s Day

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If you are looking for something fun and unique to do this Valentine’s Day weekend, why don’t you take your Harley Davidson out for a spin? Even if you don’t have a Valentine and avoid the day like the plague, you can still enjoy yourself and your Harley Davidson.

Lake Erie Harley Davidson

Lake Erie Harley Davidson is holding a Battle of the Biker Blood Drive this coming Saturday the 13th of February. Located at 38401 Chester Road in Avon, Ohio this event starts at 11:00 am and runs until 4:00 pm. This event is the perfect time to shop for Harley Davidson Valentine’s Day gifts while giving blood at the same time.

Harley Davidson Museum

If you are in or around the Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, WI enjoy a multi-course dinner at the MOTOR Bar and Restaurant. Each course includes locally crafted beers, spirits, and great food. Tickets are just $59.95 with reservations highly recommended. Museum tickets are not included, but if you are a H.O.G. member you can see the Museum for free with the purchase of your dinner ticket. Doors open at 5:30 pm.

Adam Smiths Harley Davidson

The Adam Smith’s Lumberjack Harley Davidson dealership at 2518 N.W. Stallings in Nacogdoches, TX is having a Sweetest Couple Contest. The event starts at 10:00 am and runs until 2:00 pm. So how can you become the sweetest couple? All you have to do is visit every department in the dealership and attempt to, “Sweet-talk,” your way to the $250.00 gift card. Judges will remain anonymous so make sure that you are sweet to everyone. Chocolate dipped strawberries and mock-tails will also be served.

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Head over to Mathews Harley Davidson in Fresno, CA if you are itching to get on your bike and ride. The Craw-daddy Lunch Ride takes place at 555. N. Abbey St. in Fresno on Valentine’s Day and starts at 9:00 am, with kickstands up at 9:30 am.

Bruce Rossmeyer's Harley Davidson

Renew your vows on your motorcycle this Sunday February 14th at Bruce Rossmeyer’s Harley Davidson in Ormond Beach, FL. Located at 1637 this Valentine’s Day event starts at noon. For more information be sure and check out the Bruce Rossmeyer’s website.

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This Valentine’s Day celebrate with the one you love, or with your Harley Davidson. I know that Jim and I plan to. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

Motorcycle Riding and Much More

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Motorcycle riding in the winter can be fun, especially if you are riding with a big group, or have a trip planned that you have never done before. Jim and I enjoy motorcycle riding with our friends, but are always interested in finding out what else is happening with the other HOG chapters, especially during February. However, if the weather we have had is any indication of what the rest of the month is going to be like, you just may want to head over to an indoor H.O.G. event instead of venturing out with the brave on a motorcycle ride.

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Lone Wolf Harley Davidson always has lots of motorcycle riding events, and if you are a member of the Harley Davidson Owners Group head over to Lone Wolf for its annual pizza party. The event starts at 6:00 pm with free pizza for members. Located at 19011 E. Cataldo St. in Spokane it promises to be a great evening for all Lone Wolf registered H.O.G. riders.

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Thursday February 4th is a great night for a fun event if you are anywhere near Adam Smith’s Texas Harley Davidson. The Masquerade Bike Night runs from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm and offers guests live music, a bead toss for prizes, cold beer, and Cajun food for purchase. Get ready to party and don’t forget your costumes for the contest. Located at 1921 Shoalmont Road in Belford, TX this is something that you will not want to miss.

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Barbs Harley Davidson always has great rides and events, and this coming Friday night isn’t any different. February 5 is the annual Wing Bowl held the Friday before the Super Bowl. The Wing Bowl is located at Barbs Harley Davidson 3601 S. Broad St. in Philadelphia, PA.

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Dillon Brothers Harley Davidson in Omaha, NE is gearing up for a great event this coming Saturday, February 6. Starting at 10:00 am and running until 4:00 pm the Cabin Fever Poker Run is an in-store poker run featuring parking lot games, calendar girls, food on the grill and ice cold beverages. Who knows, you might get lucky and win a prize or two.

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It’s a busy weekend for Harley Davidson and motorcycle riding in general with too many events to list happening this coming Saturday February 6, however, some that you will not want to miss include the 25th annual H.O.G. Chili Cook-off and Service Seminars at Silver Eagle Harley Davidson, 4022 Sergeant Road in Waterloo, IA. This annual fundraising event starts at 10:00 am with proceeds going to the Girl and Boy Scouts of America.

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Another must attend motorcycle riding event happens on Saturday February 6 and is sponsored by the Harley Davidson of Dallas. The Panther Creek Sweetheart Ride starts at 10:30 and is located at 304 Central Expressway S. in Allen Texas. This closed Panther Creek H.O.G. Members only ride is a must if you want to ride with your sweetheart.

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Of course, there are plenty more motorcycle rides and events to enjoy. All you have to do is check out the Harley Davidson website for more information.

Harley Davidson Winter Rides

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It may be winter, but that doesn’t mean you can’t jump on your Harley Davidson and go for a ride. Jim and I are hoping to hop on the Road King within the next few weeks, and are really itching to do so. In the meantime, we thought we would share some of the Harley Davidson rides that are taking place all over the country this winter.

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Florida is beautiful and if you are anywhere near Ormond, Florida you really can get on your Harley Davidson and ride! Bruce Rossmeyers Harley Davidson will be holding the two-day Sunrise to Sunset ride on January 21st and the 22nd. Watch the sunrise in Daytona Beach and enjoy a hearty breakfast before riding to Treasure Island to watch the spectacular sunset.

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San Marcos, Ca is playing host to the 3rd Annual Poker Ride on Saturday January 23rd, for Autism for the Mountain Shadows Active Learning Center for Autism. Located at the Biggs Harley Davidson at 1040 Los Vallecitos Blvd the event runs from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.

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Rise and Ride with the rest of the Harley Davidson Owners Group from Baton Rouge Harley Davidson. The ride includes biscuits and gravy and starts at 9:00 am on January 31st. Located at 5853 Siegan Lane in Baton Rouge LA, it promises to be a great day and an even better ride.

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Adam Smith’s Harley Davidson in Waco, TX is playing host to its monthly HOG Chapter ride, and if you are itching to get back in the saddle, you will not be disappointed. The event starts at 10:30 and is the perfect way to dust off those winter blues.

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The first annual Ladies of Gruene Harley Davidson ride takes place on Saturday January 30th. Hosted by Gruene Harley Davidson in New Braunfels, TX, the event starts at the dealership located at 1288 Loop 387. The Ladies of Gruene Harley Davidson Ride starts at 10:30 am with kickstands up at 11:00 am.

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Apache Junction, AZ Superstition Harley Davidson is proud to sponsor the Harley Davidson Ride for the Salt Water Wild Horses on Saturday January 30th. Be at the dealership at noon and get ready to ride. Ending at 4:00 pm, the Ride for the Salt Water Wild Horses is free and includes a Victory Party at 2910 W. Apache Trl in Apache Junction, AZ.

If your Harley Davidson is calling your name, check out some of the events listed above, or head over to the official Harley Davidson events page where you will find all kinds of rides to enjoy this winter.

January Harley Davidson Owners Group Events

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It’s a brand new year for the Harley Davidson Owners Group, and that means lots of exciting events happening all over the planet. Jim and I hope to get out for a few Travels with Harley rides in 2016 and want to share some of the Harley Davidson Owners Groups rallies and events that are happening around the US this winter.

Because it’s winter, quite a few of the events are workshops. As you know, it is not much fun to ride in the snow or the cold. These workshops make it easy to get through winter, especially if you are hankering to get together with others from your Harley Davidson Owners Group.

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Glenview, Illinois is playing host to a Roll Your Own Workshop Harley Davidson Owners Group event. Sponsored by Chicago Harley Davidson, this grand event promises to be a great day. The workshop allows you to see the customization options while enjoying free wings at noon. Running from 12 to 2, this event also includes your chance to win a $500.00 Chicago Harley Davidson gift card.

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If you are in or around the Tucson, Arizona area, head over to the Harley Davidson Owners Group Old Pueblo Harley Davidson Group Pancake Breakfast and Boot Shine. This annual event kicks off at 9 with breakfast and music with the gals from Old Pueblo Harley Davidson Owners Group handing out giveaways to all of those who attend.

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It’s not all swap meets and workshops in Louisiana with two Harley Davidson Owners Group events this weekend. The Baton Rouge Harley Davidson Gumbo Cookoff starts at noon on Saturday the 16th and is located at 5853 Siegan Lane. If you want to participate, show up in your motor clothes. Hammond Harley Davidson in Hammond Illinois is home to the Kick Off to the Mardi Gras. Starting at noon on Saturday the 16th the Harley Davidson Owners Group event will feature, music, jambalaya and King cake.

California is playing host to another great Harley Davidson Owners Group event this January with a Aloha Bike Night happening on Thursday January 21st from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Bring your hula skirts and lei’s and join the Huntington Beach Harley Davidson Angels for $1.00 beers, $5.00 meals, games and a live hula show. Located at 15080 Goldenwest Circle in Westminster, Ca. it promises to be a great event for all Harley Davidson Owners Group members who live in and around Huntington Beach.

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If you are itching to get together with other Harley Davidson Owners group members, check out some of these events or head over to the Harley Davidson official events page to find out what is happening in your neck if the woods.

 

Travels with Harley is Nearly Three Years Old!

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I can’t believe that I came up with Travels with Harley back in 2013. Seriously, where does the time go?

This year promises to be bigger and brighter than the last. Jim and I both wish that we could have ridden more this past year, but we are busier than ever and hope to get in more motorcycle roadtrips for Travels with Harley once the weather gets a bit nicer.

In the meantime I thought we would revisit our very first Travels with Harley blog all of those years ago, well not that many years, but hopefully we will be able to say that in 10 years… The blog below was first published on February 25th 2013. A lot has happened since then, but Jim and I still have high hopes of getting our Travels with Harley project funded and filmed we had to cancel the Kickstarter Project, but hope to be back at it soon. This summer looks promising. If you would rather read the original blog, you can check it out here.

First Published February 25, 2013

Preparing for Travels with Harley

And the race is on! Jim and I are so excited about our, “Travels with Harley,” project and we know that you will be too once you get to know us. If you already know us, have worked with us, or have ridden with us, you know how passionate we are about riding.

If you do ride a motorcycle, you know that not everyone is biker friendly, and I’m not just talking about lodging and food. Jim and I have come across many establishments that still think of motorcycle riders as less than stand up citizens, and that is another reason we started, “Travels with Harley.” We want to prove to the world that there is a whole sub-culture of motorcycle riders out there that have real jobs and families. These are folks just like you and me who love to ride and understand that it isn’t always easy to take a road trip on the back of a bike.

Jim and I are in the process of selling our Sears store. We are ready to experience life on the back of our Road King. After 10 years and almost 100 hours a week, it’s time for a break. I also want to spend some time with my family in California, and because of the store, it has been nearly impossible to visit more than once a year. Jim and I are really excited about starting a new chapter in our lives, and this includes “Travels with Harley.”

We already have six backers who have pledged $705.00 of our $25,000 goal. Read our kickstarter project page and help us out. Even if you can’t jump on the back of a Harley and travel across the country, you can do it with us…we can’t wait to share our adventures with all of you. So come along for the ride and don’t forget to check out my weekly blog. A new chapter in our lives has just begun, and we want to take you along for the ride.

Christmas Facts you Won’t Believe

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In 10 days it will be Christmas Eve, and if you haven’t finished all of your Christmas shopping consider this, the biggest shopping day of the year isn’t Black Friday at all, but the last Saturday before Christmas Day. That Saturday even tops Christmas Eve for the holiday procrastinators.

Travels with HarleySpeaking of Christmas, Travels with Harley has some more interesting little known facts about the most loved holiday on the planet.

The Guinness Book of World Records claims that the largest Christmas tree ever recorded was a cut 221 foot displayed back in 1950. The Douglas Fir took pride and place at the Northgate Shopping Center in Seattle, Washington.

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Spider Webs and spiders are quite common in Poland at Christmas time with the Polish decorating their Christmas trees with webs and the spiders. Poland considers spiders a sign of good luck bringing prosperity and goodness as legend has it that a spider was responsible for weaving the Baby Jesus’ baby blanket.

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The first state in America to officially recognize Christmas was Alabama in 1836, with Oklahoma being the last state to declare Christmas Day a legal holiday.

Speaking of declarations, it wasn’t until June 26 in 1870 that the United States legally declared Christmas as an official holiday.

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Christian historians claim that it was Martin Luther, 1483-1546, who was so moved by the beauty and light from the stars that shined between each branch of a fir tree, brought one home to decorate with candles to share with his family on Christmas.

The giant log that burns during December 25 to January 6, or the 12 days of Christmas, is known as a Yule Log. Some historians believe that the word Yule, means, “Wheel,” or “Revolution,” symbolizing the return of the sun. When the log and its charred remains are burned, it offers fertility, health, and luck, not to mention the Yule Log’s ability to ward off evil spirits.

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Next week Travels with Harley will share its last blog about little known Christmas facts; personally, I cannot wait to see what we come up with! Merry Christmas and I hope you have your shopping and baking done, or at least close to it !

Interesting Christmas Trivia

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The holidays are here and that means Christmas is just around the corner, but as you most probably know, Christmas is more than just shopping, baking and eating. Christmas is the time of year when Travels with Harley takes a moment to remember family, friends, and the magic of the season. With that being said, Travels with Harley would like to share some Christmas trivia that you probably don’t know.

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Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer started as a Montgomery Ward store promotion back in 1939. Robert May was hired to write a story about Christmas that could be given away to shoppers. Mays brother in law was so impressed that he wrote a song in 1949 prompting Burl Ives to record it 10 years later in 1949.

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The very first Grinch who Stole Christmas TV special was released in 1966 with Boris Karloff narrating the series. Dr. Seuss’s creator, Theodor Seuss Geisel, originally thought that Mr. Karloff would be too scary for the special, but the network won out and proved that Boris and the Grinch were a perfect fit.

According to legend, the real St. Nicholas was born around 280 A.D. in modern day Turkey. Apparently he gave away all of his wealth to the unfortunate throughout the country, which grew into the legend of Santa Claus.

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Egg Nog would have to be the beverage that is most associated with Christmas. Historians track the Nog back to 1607 when Captain John Smith consumed it in the settlement of Jamestown. Nog refers to Grog that refers to any beverage made with rum.

Mrs. Santa Claus first hit the scene when she was mentioned in, “A Christmas Legend,” in 1849. Christian missionary James Rees who told the story of an old man and an old woman who carried bundles on their backs before given shelter on Christmas Eve wrote the short story.

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The Germans are responsible for the world’s first artificial Christmas tree crafting them out of dyed goose and duck feathers.

According to data collected by the social media website Facebook, the most popular time for a couple to break up is 14 days before Christmas. However, Christmas Day is the least favorite break up day.

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Quite a few countries in Europe believe that good and evil spirits were quite active during the period leading up to Christmas. The spirits became Santa’s elves thanks to Clement C. Moore’s classic tale, “The Night before Christmas.”

Every year more than 20,000, “Rent a Santa’s,” share the Christmas joy across the United States. These Santa’s receive mandatory seasonal training in order to maintain the jolly old St. Nick attitude that Santa is known for. Practical advice is also given including avoiding onions, garlic and beans during their tenure as Santa.

Next week we’ll share more interesting Christmas tidbits in another Travels with Harley blog.

The Harley Davidson Owners Group

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If you own a Harley Davidson and are not a member of the Harley Davidson Owners Group, you are missing out. Jim and I are both H.O.G members and love the benefits that you get when you belong to the Harley Davidson Owners Group.

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Created in 1983, the Harley Davidson Owners Group was started to build stronger and longer lasting relationships with Harley Davidson customers. The ties created by the consumers, the employees and the Harley Davidson company have helped boost the brand while focusing on the pride and authenticity of being American made. Harley Davidson Owners Group members will typically spend about 30 percent more on Harley Davidson clothing and accessories and Harley Davidson sponsored events.

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Every Harley Davidson dealership, both in the United States and overseas, has the opportunity to become a sponsor for a local Harley Davidson Owners Group chapter. Not all dealerships do, but a Harley Davidson Owners Group cannot start a chapter without a dealer sponsorship. Until 2014, only one chapter per Harley Davidson dealership was allowed. This was expanded to two chapters per Harley Davidson dealership. Should the dealership that is sponsoring a chapter close, the chapter can continue as long as there is permission from Harley Davidson.

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Harley Davidson Owners Group members organize events throughout the year, produce a newsletter, and usually elect officers from within their own chapter. Most of the events that are organized by H.O.G are ride related. Harley Davidson Owners Group chapters are managed by members who volunteer to collect dues in order to subsidize event and administrative running costs.

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Most of the Harley Davidson Group Owners events are for members only with guests of the chapter members required to sign a waiver. Some H.O.G chapters host rallies annually both collectively and individually.

The Harley Davidson Owners Group offers several benefits to its chapter members including roadside assistance.

Travels with HarleyA chapter member will receive H.O.G roadside assistance with the standard package when joining the Harley Davidson Owners Group. H.O.G. members will also receive a copy of the most popular motorcycle magazine in the industry, HOG®. If you are a member of the Harley Davidson Owners Group, you will also get a copy of the official Harley Davidson Touring Handbook and admission to any of the H.O.G. events sponsored by chapters from around the world.

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Other benefits of the H.O.G. include Harley Davidson insurance, Best Western Rides Rewards, motorcycle shipping, and monthly wireless savings with AT & T. The H.O.G Mileage Recognition incentive is another benefit that allows members to earn patches and pins for racking up miles on their Harley Davidson.

Jim and I love our Harley Davidson chapter and encourage other riders to find a Harley Davidson Owners Group chapter close by.

The History of Harley Davidson Continues

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If you have been following the Travels with Harley Blog, you will be just as fascinated as we are with the history of Harley Davidson. This week we are travelling back to the 1960’s and beyond to give you more on the history of Harley Davidson.

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The history of Harley Davidson started the decade off with a consolidation of the Hummer and Model 165 lines into its Super-10 unveiling the Topper Scooter. That same year Harley Davidson bought 50 percent of the Aermacchi motorcycle division and imported the Aermacchi 250 cc horizontal in 1961. The motorcycle sported Harley Davidson badges and became known as the Harley Davidson Sprint. The Sprints engine was boosted to a 350 cc in 1969 and remained that same size until Harley Davidson discontinued the four-stroke Harley Davidson Sprint in 1974.

Harley Davidson Bobcat

When the Scat and Pacer were discontinued by Harley Davidson towards the end of 1965, the last of the two stroke motorcycles, the Harley Davidson Bobcat, was manufactured for just one year in 1966.

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When AMF, the American Machine and Foundry, purchased Harley Davidson in 1969, the workforce was slashed and production streamlined. However, this resulted in lower quality made motorcycles and a labor strike. The new motorcycles were inferior in handling and performance and very expensive compared to the relatively cheap and affordable Japanese motorcycles. Thanks to AMF, quality and sales declined almost bankrupting the company. The history of Harley Davidson and its name began to tarnish with some calling it Harley Ableson, Hogly Ferguson, and Hardly Drivable with the nickname, “Hog,” now truly tarnished.

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In 1976, the Harley Davidson Liberty Edition was manufactured to commemorate the bicentennial in America in 1976. It was at that time that Harley Davidson history would be forever controversial thanks to the Harley Davidson Confederate Edition. Released after the Liberty Edition, it was basically a stock Harley Davidson with confederate specific details and paint.

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The history of Harley Davidson continues with thirteen investors purchasing the troubled company back in 1981 from AMF for $80 million.

During the early 1980’s Harley Davidson informed the US International Trade Commission that the Japanese were importing motorcycles into the United States at such a high volume that it could threaten domestic motorcycle producers. After an investigation, then President Ronald Reagan imposed a 45 percent tariff on imported motorcycles whose engine capacities were greater than 700 cc. Harley Davidson quickly rejected the offers of assistance from the motorcycle makers in Japan, but did offer to drop their request for the overseas motorcycle tariff for Japanese loan guarantees.

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Next week Travels with Harley will take you into 80’s and beyond in its very own history of Harley Davidson.

Harley Davidson motorcycles during the 1950s

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After the last of the Harley Davidson founding fathers, Arthur Davidson, passed away in 1950, the company was in for a restructure of sorts with the second generation of management taking over.

The second generation of Harley Davidson motorcycles management took the company to newfound heights over the next 44 years, replacing the original founders of Harley Davidson. Although there were plenty of ups and downs, thanks to mechanical problems, image and the rise of the Japanese manufactured motorcycles, Harley Davidson motorcycles remained true to the tradition that was originally established by the founding fathers.

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Harley Davidson motorcycles the 50’s

In 1950, Harley Davidson motorcycle racers won 18 out of 24 National motorcycle championships while setting six motorcycle records.

Always the innovator, Harley Davidson motorcycles introduced the K model, which featured a side-valve with an integrated transmission and engine that would compete with Great Britain’s sportier style motorcycles. The K would eventually become the Harley Davidson Sportster.

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Celebrating 50 years in style in 1953, Harley Davidson motorcycles created a new logo that depicted a, “V.” The, “V,” was in honor of the V Engine that had brought Harley Davidson so far in such a short time. The V had a bar overlaid that read Harley Davidson with the words below and above, “50 years-American Made.” Harley Davidson made a medallion version of the new logo that was placed on the front of the 1954 model fenders.

In that same year, Hendee Manufacturers, the name behind the Indian motorcycle, leaves the scene going out of business. For the next 46 years, Harley Davidson would be the only United States motorcycle maker. In fact, because the founding fathers kept faithful to development, quality, and most importantly, tradition, Harley Davidson is the only survivor of what used to be 300 motorcycle manufacturers in the United States.

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Over the next couple of years, Harley Davidson motorcycles continued to rule the Daytona 200 track with a seven-year run of victories. During that same time, and over the next eight years, Harley Davidson racers rode to victory in the Grand National Championships.

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When young new star Elvis Presley posed sitting on a 1956 Harley Davidson KH 957 XL Sportster for the cover of the popular magazine the Enthusiast, Harley Davidson remained at the top of the heap.

In 1957, the public was introduced to the Harley Davidson Sportser. Premiering as a smaller version of the hog it featured a 55 cubic inch overhead valve engine. Within 12 months, the Harley Davidson Sportster was being hailed as the very first super bike creating yet another Harley Davidson motorcycles legend.

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Never one to rest on its laurels, the decade finished out with the company unveiling a new rear suspension and the hydraulic rear brake on the new Duo-Glide Big Twin Harley Davidson motorcycles Models in 1958.

Next week we’ll take you to the 60’s and beyond to share another piece of Harley Davidson motorcycles history on Travels with Harley.

Missouri Motorcycle Road Trip Accommodations

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If you are planning an extended motorcycle road trip, you will need a place to stay, unless of course you plan on camping. However, Jim isn’t one for camping on a motorcycle trip so I am always checking out hotels, motels, bed and breakfast places and little Inn’s that are friendly to people who are on a motorcycle road trip.

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Jim and I have always wanted to explore our great country on the Road King, and if we ever get to retire, plan on it. In the meantime, I’ll do my research to make sure that we have lots of accommodations to choose from when we do go on another motorcycle road trip.

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Some people like to go on a motorcycle road trip without making plans, but if you have been reading our blog, you will know that I am not one of those people. I like to know something about the restaurants that we will come across on our motorcycle road trip as well as the hotels and motels that we may consider staying in.

Because Missouri is where we call home, I thought I would mention a few hotels that are biker friendly if you are out on a motorcycle road trip in Missouri.

TTravels with Harleyhe Staybridge Suites are located on Keene Street in the historic Vista District in Columbia, MO and have a private parking lot just for motorcycles, something that you don’t see all that often if you are on a motorcycle road trip. The hotel offers free breakfast, always nice, an indoor heated pool, and a fitness center.

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If you want to stay in a cabin or a room on your next Motorcycle Road Trip, you should book a night or two at the Kay Lynn Family Resort on the Lake of the Ozarks in Osage Beach. It has a private parking lot for motorcycles, free Wi-Fi, BBQ’s, tables and chairs and a kitchenette where you can cook your meals. Located just a few minutes from some of the best restaurants in the area, the Kay Lynn Resort has everything you need if you are heading out on a motorcycle road trip.

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Not everyone likes to stay in a hotel, and if you would rather stay in a private home, check out Meeks Retreat. This vacation property features three bedrooms and two baths and is located on a 50-acre private wooded setting. With lake front views from the deck, you can relax in this wonderful retreat that is just 40 miles outside of Branson, MO. The kitchen is well-stocked with everything you need so you can kick back and relax before heading out on the next leg of your motorcycle road trip. Oh, and Meeks Retreat also has bike washing facilities and plenty of bike parking.

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Next time we will head out to my old stomping grounds to look for some more places to stay on a motorcycle road trip.

More Popular Biker Bars in California

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Last week we talked about the most popular biker bars in California, and because there are so many with such a rich history, I decided to stay in the Golden State and check out some more awesome biker bars in California to add to our list of must do trips on our Road King.

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The Hideout Saloon and Steakhouse is located just off Highway 76 in Santa Ysabel, California. Claiming to be San Diego counties finest backcountry bar, the Hideout Saloon and Steakhouse is perfect if you are on the hunt for the best biker bars in California. With regularly scheduled poker runs and other biking events, this great hangout is what makes it on to our list of the most popular biker bars in California, that and the food of course. The menu you is loaded with hungry diner favorites like the massive ½ pound Angus burger or the BBQ Pulled Pork sandwich. The chili sounds amazing, and will definitely be on my list of must haves when Jim and I start sampling the most popular biker bars in California.

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Bakersfield has a rich history and that is certainly the case when it comes to biker bars in California. Ethel’s Old Corral is located on Alfred Harrel Highway in Bakersfield and caters to both bikers and cowboys. With plenty of parking for motorcycles in the front, and horses in the back, Ethel’s Old Corral has something for everyone including, “No bra Sundays,” with live music from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm. One of the greatest biker bars in California also has a good-sized menu with all kinds of down home favorites including infamous buffalo burgers, jalapeno bottle caps the, “Huckleberry Special,” and much more.

PJ’s Roadhouse is located up north in my neck of the woods and calls Mother Lode Drive in Placerville home. With great live music that focuses on blues and classic rock along with excellent drink specials and awesome bar food, it is on our best biker bars in California bucket list.

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The California Club is located in my hometown and is actually owned by a friend of mine who I went to school with. Situated in old town Auburn on Lincoln Way, the California Club has a full bar, an outdoor patio, two pool tables, and live music. Featured in John Travolta’s film, Phenomenon, the California Club is a classic example of good old-fashioned biker bars in California.

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Santa Barbara is a great place to take a ride especially if you stop at the Cold Spring Tavern on Highway 54. The Cold Spring Tavern has been around since 1865, and although it is known for romance, is also a great place to stop for a meal and a drink if you are looking for good biker bars in California.

Things You Might Not Know About Harley Davidson

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Harley Davidson is a name known all over the world, but what even the most enthusiastic motorcycle fans may not know is how unique that history actually is.

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In 1901, William S. Harley created a blueprint for a motorized bicycle. In 1903, William and Arthur Davidson built the first bike that was made available to the public. A short time later, Arthur’s brothers, Walter and William joined the pair. William quit his job with the railroad in Milwaukee to become part of the Harley Davidson motor company.

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The very first Harley Davidson was built in a small wooden factory, 10 x 15 to be exact. The name was crudely carved into the front door.

The first buyer of a Harley Davidson was a friend of Arthur and William, Henry Meyer. Hailing from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he was the first person ever recorded to purchase a new Harley Davidson from the small wood factory in 1903.

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C.H. Lang in Chicago, Illinois set up the first Harley Davidson dealership in 1904, the same year that the first motorcycle was built.

Not one to rest on its Laurels, the company entered its first race a year later in 1905 winning first place.

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In 1906, Harley Davidson moved shop and opened its new plant hiring six employees. That same year the company released its first catalog. In 1910, Harley hired its first full time worker.

In 1910, Harley Davidson placed first in every race including speed, endurance and the hill climb.

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Janet Davidson was the first woman to sit on and ride a Harley Davidson. She was the Davidson brothers Aunt who helped with the pin striping and writing the name Harley Davidson on the bike.

Harley Davidson earned the nickname, “Hogs,” in 1920 because the race team used a pig as a mascot. After every win, the driver would lift a real pig on the tank and drive his victory lap. The Bar and Shield Harley Davidson logo was painted in 1911.

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Always a cult classic, Malcolm Forbes, founder of the magazine, loved the motorcycles so much that he owned fifty Harley Davidson’s and gave just as many away as gifts.

In 1998, Brazil became the first country outside of the United States to open a Harley Davidson factory.

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The most expensive Harley Davidson motorcycle, the CVO Ultra Classic Electra Glide, will set you back $40,000.