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Minnesota Lakes Loop | Favorite Ride

Minnesota Lakes Loop
Skyline Parkway Scenic Byway provides stunning views of downtown Duluth and Lake Superior. Photo by Alyssa Hei.

Minnesota, the Land of 10,000 Lakes, is ranked 12th among U.S. states in terms of land area but 9th in terms of water within its borders. This favorite ride visits the largest – Lake Superior – and others in a 200-mile loop that starts and ends in Duluth and has Ely at its northernmost point.

This simple day ride has evolved. I’ve ridden it at least once a summer for more than 30 years, starting with a 1978 BMW R100, then a 1981 BMW R80GS, and currently a 2007 BMWR1200R. Just as those bikes have changed, so has the road.

Minnesota Lakes Loop

Scan QR code above to view route on REVER, or click here

It’s not my favorite ride, either. I don’t have a favorite ride, other than the next one. This is because every time I ride, I feel noticeably better. For me, there is nothing like the calming, clarifying effect of self-directed motion, and riding a motorcycle might be the richest delivery system for obtaining this benefit ever devised. So, commute riding to work, or around this loop, it’s all the same. Every ride is my favorite ride.

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Minnesota Lakes Loop
Located at Two Harbors, Split Rock Lighthouse opened in 1909 and sits on a 130-foot cliff overlooking Lake Superior. Photo by Paul Vincent.

Starting from Duluth, at Canal Park, proceed along the North Shore of Lake Superior on State Route 61 to Two Harbors. Turn left and start riding due north on County Road 2. (Alternatively, you can ride farther up the shore, and a few miles past Silver Bay you’ll come to Illgen City, which isn’t actually a city, or even a town or village. It’s just a T-intersection where State Route 1 begins. There you turn left.)

Minnesota Lakes Loop
The largest of the Great Lakes, Lake Superior covers nearly 32,000 square miles. Riding along its North Shore is a highlight of this route.

The ride is fairly flat along the North Shore, but it climbs as it heads inland, and soon you are surrounded by a second-generation forest of Norway pine, white birch, alder, and spruce. It’s as remote and empty-feeling a forest landscape as you’ll find anywhere in Alaska, Canada, or Siberia.

After heading north for 46 miles, County Road 2 dead-ends at Route 1. Hang a left toward Ely. Wildlife you might encounter includes white-tailed deer, moose, timber wolves, black bears, beavers, racoons, squirrels, loons, blackbirds, bald eagles, and a variety of ducks, geese, grouse, and partridge. Human encounters will be loggers driving big trucks, fishermen carrying rooftop canoes, occasional lumbering motorhomes, and a few Subaru-driving campers and hikers. There’s also a thin smattering of settlers and a couple little roadhouse bars.

Minnesota Lakes Loop
After turning north at Two Harbors, this route enters a vast, empty part of northeastern Minnesota, passing by a few of the state’s 10,000 lakes. County Road 2 is mostly straight, but State Route 1 winds its way gracefully through dense forest that’s home to plenty of wildlife but few people. Keep your wits about you and be prepared for emergencies, because it’s a remote area without many services.
Minnesota Lakes Loop

This old Route 1 has evolved. Back in the 1980s, its asphalt surface was shoulderless, rough, narrow, and already worn out, with plenty of tight 15-25 mph banked and closely linked corners which were fun to try at 30-45 mph. It was like a bumpier, frost-damaged version of the Tail of the Dragon, with enough kinks, tight corners, and expansion heaves to make any hard-ridden bike’s shocks and tires a little warm. Back then, this road was so tight, and for such long stretches, it was a great training area for young riders wanting to improve their skills. The mature forest whizzed by only a few feet from your elbows and knees, greatly adding to the sensation of speed. Boy, was it ever fun. No time to lollygag by looking into narrow clearings flashing by, or across the numerous small lakes, streams, and ponds, hoping to spot exotic wildlife. Nope, I’ve never seen a single moose up there, or a wolf, yet that is where a bunch of them are known to live. Eyes on the road.

Minnesota Lakes Loop
Photo by Alyssa Hei

Not much of that fun old stretch of highway remains today. Most of it has been improved and widened to modern standards for the convenience and safety of loggers, fisherman, tourists, and locals. It’s still all scenic and curvy, but now it’s dozens of smoothly linked, higher-speed sweepers, and most of the sides include nice shoulders with decent runoffs. Those unyielding rocks and trees of the primordial forest are now at least 10 to 12 feet away from your elbows. Thanks, MnDOT. Well done. You’ve transformed a hillbilly hooligan-rider’s haven into a delightful sport-touring and touring rider’s experience.

Minnesota Lakes Loop
Throughout downtown Ely are 19 different murals, including “The End of An Era,” which celebrates the town’s mining history.

The apogee of this loop is the city of Ely, famous partly for mining but mostly as a jump-off point for canoe trippers wanting to paddle the endless lakes and rivers of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and explore Voyageurs National Park. With a little portaging here and there, you can just about paddle all the way to the Rockies, and in the 1700s lots of hard men did just that to trade with the natives for beaver pelts, which were in great fashion-demand across Europe then.

Minnesota Lakes Loop
Ely is a charming little town on the edge of Minnesota’s vast Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

You can purchase locally handmade moose-hide mukluks, choppers, custom canoe paddles, and all kinds of gallery artwork and camping gear in Ely, so allow some walkabout time. There’s also a park, a theater, camping, motels, and cottages if you are inclined to linger overnight. Delicious sit-down meals are offered at several nice joints. You can choose from two brands of gasoline and even buy the no-ethanol premium most older bikes like best. The vibe is Western ski town without mountains, just an endless, roadless wilderness of lakes and forests as far as you can dream. Or paddle.

Minnesota Lakes Loop
Built in the early 1900s, the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge connects the city of Duluth with Minnesota Point on the southern shore of Lake Superior. Photo by Alyssa Hei.

To get back to Duluth, ride west through Ely on Route 1, turn left (south) on S. Central Avenue (County Road 21), and ride about 30 miles to the town of Embarrass. Just to the west, turn south again on State Route 135. Follow signs for Aurora via CSAH (County State Aid Highway) 100, and continue to County Road 4, known as the Vermilion Trail, which was first cut as an overland pack-horse wagon trail into this canoe country. At intervals are several worn little iron-mining towns, a scattering of hardscrabble survival settlers, and a few more always-welcoming taverns. Before you know it, you’re back in the mini metropolis of Duluth.

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Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride Raises $6M

2022 Distinguished Gentleman's Ride

Held on Sunday, May 22, 2022, the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride broke all previous fundraising records. When fundraising ended, a new global record was set. There were 93,456 riders in 802 cities, spread across 104 countries. They dressed dapper and rode their classic motorcycles. And they raised nearly $6 million to support prostate cancer research and men’s mental health.

There was an incredible participation and fundraising effort from riders in North America. In the U.S. and Canada, 14,233 riders from 183 cities raised almost $2.5 million.

2022 Distinguished Gentleman's Ride
2022 Distinguished Gentleman's Ride

Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride Returns to Pre-Covid Format

Compared to the last pre-Covid DGR in 2019, the 2022 ride has raised 4% more. And compared to last year’s event with solo riding and social distancing, this year’s fundraising figure is 47% higher.

Since its first edition in 2012, DGR has gathered more than 400,000 riders of vintage and classic styled motorcycles from 114 countries around the world. Together, these events have raised more than $37 million for men’s health.

Triumph Returns as DGR’s Main Supporter

Triumph has proudly supported the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride for the last nine editions. And for 2022, Triumph and Gibson Guitars joined forces to provide incredible prizes. A one-off T120 Gibson edition will be assigned to the highest fundraiser. And there will also be a Triumph-customized 1959 Les Paul Standard Reissue.

2022 Distinguished Gentleman's Ride
2022 Distinguished Gentleman's Ride

Next year’s edition will mark the 10th anniversary of Triumph supporting the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride as the main partner and sponsor. For the occasion, Triumph and DGR fans will have something stunning coming their way.

Paul Stroud – Triumph Chief Commercial Officer:

“It is such an honor to be supporting the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride and contribute towards this year’s incredible result, supporting prostate cancer research and men’s mental health. Next year will mark Triumph’s 10th anniversary as DGR main sponsor and we are working on something incredibly special to celebrate that milestone.”

2022 Distinguished Gentleman's Ride
2022 Distinguished Gentleman's Ride

Mark Hawwa – DGR Founder:

“What an incredible return to group riding! There really is nothing better than seeing tens-of-thousands of gentlefolk smiling and waving their way through city streets, in support of prostate cancer research and men’s mental health. It’s something we have missed dearly over the last two years. Our community returned with vigor this year with the top 3 global fundraisers raising more than any previous year, which we have been proud to reward with the support of our global partner, Triumph Motorcycles. The next year will be one to watch, as we celebrate 10 years together with Triumph Motorcycles in spectacularly sartorial style!”

2022 Distinguished Gentleman's Ride
2022 Distinguished Gentleman's Ride

About the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride

The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride (DGR) unites hundreds of thousands of classic and vintage style motorcycle riders all over the world to raise funds and awareness for prostate cancer research and men’s mental health. The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride was founded in Sydney, Australia, in 2012 by Mark Hawwa. After inspiration from a photograph featuring classic suits and vintage motorcycles, Mark decided a themed ride would be a great way to combat the often-negative stereotype of motorcyclists and connect the global motorcycling community, and to raise funds for a cause important to every rider.

DGR raises funds for its charity partner, Movember, and is dedicated to raising funds and awareness for prostate cancer research and men’s mental health programs. Together, DGR and Movember have funded key research and community programs to help men make better connections with mates and lead happier and healthier lives.

For more information and to join your local ride, visit GentlemansRide.com.

RELATED: 2022 Triumph Bonneville Gold Line Editions | First Look Review

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Dunlop Mutant Tires | Gear Review

Dunlop Mutant Tires
Dunlop Mutant Tires are designed performance on the street and they fit more than 250 motorcycle models.

Mutant tires. Just the name makes you want to try them. But what exactly have they mutated from or to? According to Dunlop, the Mutant combines unique components to create a premium, versatile performance street tire. The ingredients in this rubber gumbo include a high silica ratio, rayon ply casing, Jointless Belt construction, Apex sidewall technology, 4 Seasons Technology, and Dunlop’s exclusive MT Multi-Tread compounding.

Dunlop says the lightweight radials provide high mileage, nimble handling, a compliant ride, and excellent grip in both dry and wet conditions. To test those claims, I had my local shop, Ventura Harley-Davidson, spoon a fresh set onto my Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250.

Read more of Rider‘s motorcycle tire reviews

Once on the road and scrubbed in, the Mutants provided good feedback on various road surfaces, with predictable, stable turn-in. Once pointed in the right direction, they held a steady line without any tendency to fall in or stand up.

Dunlop Mutant Tires
We tested the Dunlop Mutant tires on a 2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250.

The Mutant’s unique tread pattern looks almost like a dirt-track tire, but the tire is billed as a sport-touring tire that’s suitable for everything from big GT tourers to sportbikes to adventure bikes. I felt comfortable attacking paved roads at speed, even over those nasty tar snakes that are common on California’s backroads and get greasy on sunny days.

Though not intended for off-road use, I couldn’t help myself. The Mutants performed admirably on a few dirty, rocky roads I ventured down, but where they really shine is on backroads, where pavement can range from smooth to rough, wet to dry, clean to dirty.
I took my Mutant-shod Pan Am on a 2,000-mile trip to Oregon in April, where I encountered one of the worst snowstorms on record. While I wouldn’t recommend riding on sub-freezing roads with blowing snow, I felt reassured because the Mutants provided confident grip until conditions deteriorated beyond what I deemed as safe.

As far as longevity goes, I usually get about 5,322.8 miles (but who’s counting) out of a set of tires, changing them in pairs when either the front or rear wear bar begins to show. When new, the Mutants had 5/32 inch of tread depth up front and 9/32 inch of tread depth on the rear. After 3,000 miles, the tread depth was 3/32 inch for both front and rear. The Mutants are on track to hit the average mileage for my admittedly aggressive riding style.

Dunlop Mutant tires are available in multiple sizes to fit more than 250 motorcycle models, and MSRP ranges from $187.95-$290.95. For riders who enjoy riding on a wide variety of roads, they’re a solid choice.

For more information, see your dealer or visit dunlopmotorcycletires.com.

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S100 Cycle Care Kit | Gear Review

S100 Cycle Care Kit

Like most motorcyclists, I prefer riding bikes to washing them, so I’m always on the lookout for a better (cleaning) mousetrap. When it came time to knock the barnacles off my Harley Dyna, I tried the S100 Cycle Care Kit. The kit includes spray bottles of Total Cycle Cleaner, Detail & Wax, and Corrosion Protectant, a tube of Total Cycle Finish Restorer, a sponge, a drying towel, and a handy carrying case.

Starting with the Total Cycle Cleaner, I sprayed the bike liberally and then rinsed it off. My Dyna was already much cleaner, and I hadn’t even busted suds with the sponge yet. In fact, I only used the wet sponge and cleaner on the spokes to remove some nasty grunge that’s been on there longer than I care to admit.

The drying towel is little strange. It comes sealed in a plastic bag that lives in a hard plastic container, and it’s already wet/slippery when you remove it from the packaging. The directions say to rinse it with very warm water to unfold the towel. A garden hose did the trick, and the magic towel did its job, removing the water and leaving the bike dry and streak-free. Like a regular chamois towel, only better.

Next up was the Total Cycle Finish Restorer. This stuff comes in a tube and helps polish metal surfaces that may have dulled, and it also removes minor scratches. I used it to brighten up the triple trees and the chrome on the forward controls. With a bit of elbow grease, the parts came back to life and shined bright once again.

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Then I moved on to the Corrosion Protectant. I enjoy rides along the Pacific Coast Highway, and over time the salty air corrodes metal surfaces. The instructions say to spray a fine mist over the surfaces you want to protect and then buff it off. The stuff is slick, so you’ll want to avoid things like brakes, tires, seats, and grips. The directions recommend using the protectant periodically throughout the year and before you put the bike away for the winter.

Last but not least was the Detail & Wax, which has an old-school waxy aroma. Unlike other watery spray waxes, it goes on kind of thick and you need to buff it off. It contains carnauba and beeswax, and the shine it left behind on the paint and chrome was primo.

The S100 kit contains everything you need to get your bike clean and looking sharp. The amount of time required to use the entire kit will depend on how dirty your bike is, or how much chrome you have, but everything is easier and faster with regular use. My two favorite items in the kit are the Total Cycle Cleaner and the Detail & Wax because they get regular use. The only problem now is that I no longer have an excuse to have a dirty bike.

You can find S100 products online, at dealerships, and in powersports shops. The Cycle Care Set retails for around $55.

For more information, visit s100.com.

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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love to Wrench

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love to Wrench Riding Around
The author happily wrenching in her 10-x 16-foot shop space in Vallejo, California. Photo by Paul Smith Jr.

“There is no perfectly shaped part of the motorcycle and never will be, but when you come as close as these instruments take you, remarkable things happen, and you go flying across the countryside under a power that would be called magic if it were not so completely rational in every way.” – Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Motorcycle mechanics. An unquestionably intimidating subject. As a 21-year-old college student, I never fathomed I’d become completely fascinated by the sensation of turning a wrench. I didn’t think I was “mechanically minded.” Whenever issues arose with the old vehicles I drove, my first instinct was to call my dad, see if he could guess how bad the issue really was, and help me figure out if I could keep driving on borrowed time, or if a trip to the hole-in-the-wall mechanic shop was necessary.

That was the case until I was forced into the realm of wrenching on my own machines during the early days of the pandemic. I had purchased a 1986 Kawasaki 600 Eliminator for $850. It was the first streetbike I’d ever owned, and certainly the most raw power I’d ever experienced. I loved that bike. It was shiny, loud, and fast enough to rip on I-80 through the Bay Area.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love to Wrench Riding Around
The author and her 1986 Kawasaki 600 Eliminator, the bike that started her mechanical journey. Photo by Christine Busby.

So, what was the cause of the Eliminator’s sad demise? A boy’s advice, of course. This friend of mine was under the impression that Sea Foam motor treatment could not be overdone. That’s how a full quart of it ended up in my half-full 3-gallon tank. I knew nothing of the impending consequences.

Pretty soon, coolant started leaking out of the water-pump drain, white smoke was blowing from the tailpipe, and eventually, the bike quit altogether. I felt backed into a corner. I had no idea where to begin, and I was afraid of making the problem worse. After two weeks of countless phone calls to friends, seeking help on social media, reading Xeroxed manuals, and digging through forums, I concluded that I could not fix the problem myself. In the interim, I changed the plugs, tried to clean the carbs, and drained and cleaned the fuel tank. But the blown head gasket was way beyond my skill set. At the time.

During those heart-breaking struggles, I came to realize three important things about wrenching on older bikes: 1) Everything you need to know about how to fix, replace, or tune up just about anything is available to you online. 2) The few tools you need to get started are cheap and easy to acquire. 3) You don’t need a background in wrenching to become proficient at it. Your family didn’t have to raise you doing this activity every Sunday afternoon. Anyone can fix up an old bike as long as you’re willing to face – head on – the mental challenges that come with it.

Why had no one told me this before? Why was I always so intimidated by the notion of mechanics? Why is there such an intense gatekeeping attitude surrounding these skills? Well, if a broke college student like me can take a basket-case 1971 Honda CL350 from completely disassembled to a running head-turner in just eight months, then anyone can. If wrenching has always been something you’ve shied away from for fear that you’re not competent enough, or you might do more harm than good, then take heart.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love to Wrench Riding Around
The author turned a basket-case 1971 Honda CL350 into this fetching cafe racer in just eight months. Photo by Sophie Scopazzi.

What does it take to begin the journey of wrenching on an old bike? Start with a set of basic mechanic’s tools and a clean work area. Hopefully your bike has a centerstand, and if not, you can buy an inexpensive jack or lift from Harbor Freight. Have plenty of WD-40, Windex, grease, and clean rags at the ready. Invest in the factory service manual for your bike, as well as a Clymer or Haynes manual. (There is a tangible quality difference between older Clymer manuals and freshly written ones. The closer the publication date gets to the birth year of the motorcycle, the better.) Accept the fact that you’ll make mistakes and bust a few knuckles. The learning process is rarely linear.

The most burning question I had when I started my journey was, “How difficult is this really going to be?” The honest truth, which few people are willing to share, is that it’s not difficult. Not really. Most of it comes down to lefty loosey, righty tighty. Even the more complicated stuff, such as rewiring your bike, comes down to following a diagram that’s no more complicated than the instructions to put together an Ikea bookcase.

Motorcycles, especially old ones, are put together in a way that is meant to make sense. The physical aspect of motorcycle mechanics is not difficult to grasp. The difficult part is confronting your own mindset and staying calm when the machine makes you feel like the world is against you. You need to have enough commitment to yourself and your learning journey to finish what you started.

Like many before me, Robert M. Pirsig’s masterpiece Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance has had a direct and lasting impact on the way I approach wrenching. As he wrote, “It’s so hard when contemplated in advance, and so easy when you do it.” Keep that in mind. Simply trying is the most powerful move you can make.

Get started on your mechanical journey with simple, hard-to-mess-up routine maintenance tasks, such as an oil change and changing the spark plugs. They’re cheap, and both can be done in about an hour or two by someone who’s never held a wrench before. They’ll require you to do a little research and make at least one trip to the parts store. Get comfortable speaking with the humans working behind the counter and asking for what you need. Get into the groove of following instructions, whether that’s from a shop manual, a YouTube video, or a friend. Savor the satisfaction of knowing you’re making an effort to take care of the machine that takes care of you.

When I asked Armon Ebrahimian, the founder of Save Classic Cars (saveclassiccars.net), a website “dedicated to keeping classics alive” that also lists vintage cars and motorcycles for sale, what advice he would give an aspiring backyard mechanic, he said: “One project at a time. It’s tempting to blow apart an entire bike or car, but this is how people get in over their heads. Start small. Take something small apart and put it back together. Don’t take something else apart until you’ve successfully put that first project back together.”

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love to Wrench Riding Around
Armon Ebrahimian and the 1969 Honda CL450 that he rebuilt and restored. His advice to newbie mechanics is to start small. Photo by Curtis Boudinot.

What happens when your bike breaks down? Pause. Breathe. Think about what you know and what you don’t know. Then get curious about what you don’t know. Use the tools of observation you learned in middle school: Take note of what you see, hear, smell, and feel. (Please don’t taste any part of your motorcycle.) Use those observations to make a hypothesis, and then search for answers in your manuals, in online forums, and on YouTube. Whatever issue you’re having, it has already been diagnosed, fixed, and written or talked about by someone somewhere, so keep digging. Go through this process even if you end up deciding to take your bike to a mechanic’s shop. At least you’ll know more about what went wrong and why, and you’ll be better prepared the next time a similar issue occurs.

It’s helpful to eliminate time limits. If your motorcycle is your primary means of transportation, then a timely fix is important. But if not, removing the pressure of time reduces stress, which frees up mental bandwidth and helps keep things moving forward. Then an extra trip to the parts store becomes just another step in the process rather than a frustration. Just don’t confuse a lack of time pressure with procrastination.

Once, a sharp part of the frame on my 1998 Honda Shadow ACE 1100 wore through the insulation of one of the battery cables, which grounded out and caught fire. My bike sat for two weeks before I mustered the courage to deal with it. When I finally took the seat off, it took about five minutes for me to diagnose the problem and another five for me to solve it. I could have been riding that whole time, but instead I wallowed in my anxiety about the issue.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love to Wrench Riding Around
Worn insulation on the battery cable of the author’s Honda Shadow ACE 1100. She avoided dealing with it for two weeks, but it was easy to diagnose and fix.

This experience taught me two things. One, effort is essential, and any amount of it will be fruitful in some way. Two, effort becomes knowledge. Every time I pick up a wrench, I learn something new, and the process becomes more familiar and less daunting.

Pirsig nailed it: “I’ve heard it said that the only real learning results from hang-ups, where instead of expanding branches of what you already know, you have to stop and drift laterally for a while until you come across something that allows you to expand the roots of what you always know.”

When gathering clues and deducing what the issue may be with your motorcycle, sometimes the answer won’t come easily. These things can be very stubborn. You just have to be a little more stubborn. Relating a story by Pirsig, Matthew B. Crawford writes in his book, Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work, “This is the Truth, and it is the same for everyone. But finding this truth requires a certain disposition in the individual: attentiveness, enlivened by a sense of responsibility to the motorcycle. He [She] has to internalize the well working of the motorcycle as an object of passionate concern. The truth does not reveal itself to idle spectators.”

When I asked Mike Dubnicki, co-founder of Mazi Moto (mazimoto.com), a restoration shop in San Francisco, what advice he would give an aspiring backyard mechanic, his response was similar to Armon’s: Start small and keep it simple. He also said, “have fun and be safe.” Take that to heart. We’re here – in the garage or on the sidewalk, with tools out and fingers greasy – because it challenges us. Because it fills us with a certain wholeness that’s all too rare in today’s world.

So, go ahead. Pick up a wrench, dive in, and enjoy getting a little dirt under your fingernails.

Hannah Hill is a student at California State University Maritime Academy in Vallejo. She aims to create a community space someday where riders of all types have a place to wrench and connect with other like-minded humans. You can find her on Instagram: @rollinghillmotos.

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Gordon McCall: Ep. 36 Rider Magazine Insider Podcast

Ep 36 Gordon McCall Rider Magazine Insider Podcast
Gordon McCall is CEO of McCall Events and Director of Motorsports at Quail Lodge and Golf Club in Carmel Valley, California.

Our guest on Episode 36 of the Rider Magazine Insider Podcast is Gordon McCall, who is CEO of McCall Events and Director of Motorsports at Quail Lodge and Golf Club in Carmel Valley, California. The 12th annual Quail Motorcycle Gathering presented by GEICO takes place Saturday, May 14. The sold-out Quail Ride, a 100-mile ride for 100 motorcycles that includes parade laps at Laguna Seca Raceway and a gala dinner, is on Friday, May 13. The Quail Motorcycle Gathering features more than 350 motorcycles displayed on the golf course at the Quail Lodge. Traditional classes include American, British, Italian, Other European, Japanese, Competition On Road, Competition Off Road, Antique, Custom/Modified, Choppers, and Extraordinary Bicycles and Scooters Class. Featured classes at the 2022 Quail include Harley-Davidson XR750, BMW /5 Series, Two-Stroke “Braaaps,” and mini bikes | BIG FUN. This year’s Legend of the Sport Guest is Roland Sands.

We talk with Gordon about the history of the Quail, what makes the Monterey Peninsula such as special place for motorcycle and car events, and what attendees can expect. The Quail was on hiatus for two years due to the pandemic, so Gordon and The Quail team are excited to welcome motorcycle enthusiasts back this year. Tickets for The Quail Motorcycle Gathering are available online or at the gate.

You can listen to Episode 36 on iTunesSpotify, and SoundCloud, or via the Rider Magazine Insider webpage. Please subscribe, leave us a 5-star rating, and tell your friends! Scroll down for a list of previous episodes.

Visit the Rider Magazine Insider podcast webpage to check out previous episodes:

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All Kids Bike Delivers Sixth School Program with Yamaha Support

All Kids Bike Yamaha

In 2021, All Kids Bike, the nationwide movement on a mission to teach every child in America how to ride a bicycle in kindergarten PE class, received a $30,000 grant from Yamaha Motor Corp, USA’s Outdoor Access Initiative. The goal of the grant was to get the All Kids Bike program into six schools near Yamaha’s corporate offices, including four in Georgia and two in California.

Fast forward to this spring, with Yamaha volunteers and All Kids Bike ambassadors delivering the final of the six school programs to the Cara J. King Elementary School in Cypress, California, completing this past year’s grant, and setting the stage for more funding in 2022.

All Kids Bike Yamaha

“We’re grateful for Yamaha’s support of All Kids Bike, for the funding required to land the program in six schools, for the volunteer efforts Yamaha employees and partners contributed to delivering bikes to schools, and mostly for the opportunity to get more kids on bikes,” said Ryan McFarland, All Kids Bike Founder, who attended the first Yamaha-funded school delivery in Cypress last fall.

Listen to our interview with Ryan McFarland on the Rider Magazine Insider Podcast

Volunteers from Yamaha Motor Corp., USA’s offices in Marietta, Georgia, and Cypress, California, and from Yamaha Motor Manufacturing Corporation of America in Newnan, Georgia, helped deliver the All Kids Bike programs to the schools over the past year.

All Kids Bike Yamaha

The six schools receiving the program from Yamaha’s Outdoor Access Initiative grant include:

  • Elm Street Elementary in Newnan, Georgia
  • Western Elementary in Newnan, Georgia
  • A.L. Burruss Elementary School in Marietta, Georgia
  • Lockheed Elementary in Marietta, Georgia
  • Juliet Morris Elementary School in Cypress, California
  • Clara J. King Elementary in Cypress, California

“The Yamaha Outdoor Access initiative is an inclusive program that supports and promotes outdoor recreation, and we provided this grant to get more kids outside learning valuable skills they can build on for the rest of their lives,” said Steve Nessl, Yamaha’s Motorsports marketing manager. “The All Kids Bike program offers the only chance some of these kids will get to develop the confidence and experience the freedom that comes from riding on two wheels.”

All Kids Bike Yamaha

All Kids Bike programs include 24 balance bikes, pedal conversion kits, helmets, and a teacher’s bike. It is a plug-and-play program for public schools that aligns with SHAPE America National Physical Education Standards and also includes an eight-lesson Kindergarten PE Learn-To-Ride Curriculum, teacher training and certification, and a five-year support plan.

To date, nearly 550 elementary schools in all 50 states have received and implemented the All Kids Bike program with an estimated 380,000 students benefiting from this program over the next five years. 

All Kids Bike Yamaha

Bike Riding Benefits for Kids

Childhood development never stops. By continuing to expand the All Kids Bike program this year, more children across the country are learning life skills and getting much needed exercise while getting away from their computer screens and spending more time outdoors.

The Kindergarten PE Program supports critical health and safety needs, including:

  • Spatial awareness: Teaches the concept and understanding of “safe distancing” to a child.
    • Limited touch points: Specifically-designated hand placement limits cross-class touch points.
    • Fosters overall health: Core muscle development, cardio activity, and mental motivation.

Learning to ride a bike at a young age increases confidence while developing balance, mobility, safety, environmental awareness, and facilitating exercise. The bikes used in the All Kids Bike program allow children and teachers to progress through the riding process void of fear and full of encouragement. Kids develop their skills with each session, first learning to balance, then learning to pedal, all on the same bicycle. 

The All Kids Bike school funding and waiting lists are online at allkidsbike.org/give.

About the Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative

For more than a decade, the Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative has led the Powersports industry in guaranteeing responsible access to our nation’s land for outdoor enthusiasts. Through this program, Yamaha has directly and indirectly supported thousands of miles of motorized recreation trails, maintained and rehabilitated riding and hunting areas, improved staging areas, supplied agricultural organizations with essential OHV safety education, built bridges over fish-bearing streams and partnered with local outdoor enthusiast communities across the country to improve access to public lands. Updated guidelines, application form, information and news about the Outdoor Access Initiative are available at YamahaOAI.com.

About All Kids Bike

ALL KIDS BIKE® is a national movement led by the Strider Education Foundation to place Kindergarten P.E. Learn-To-Ride Programs into public schools using donations from individuals, businesses, and organizations. The Strider Education Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, was formed in 2017. The Strider Education Foundation believes that learning to ride can help everyone lead a happier and healthier life. For more information, visit allkidsbike.org.

The post All Kids Bike Delivers Sixth School Program with Yamaha Support first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

Arizona Passes Lane Filtering Law

Lane filtering lane splitting
Photo by Kevin Wing

Lane filtering, also known as lane splitting, where motorcycles share lanes with cars and trucks to reduce traffic congestion, is a widespread practice around the world. Two studies in 2014 showed that the practice is safe.

In the U.S., only California allowed the practice for many years, though it was not legally sanctioned until 2016. In 2018, Utah became the second state to legally recognize lane filtering, and Montana passed a similar law in 2021. Arizona is now the fourth state to allow lane filtering.

The following is a press release issued by the American Motorcyclist Association:

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has signed a law legalizing lane filtering after the bill cruised through both the Senate and House chambers with strong bipartisan support. The law now puts the state in the company of California, Utah, and Montana.

The passage of Senate Bill 1273, sponsored by Sen. Tyler Pace (R-Mesa District 23) and championed by ABATE of Arizona, allows riders to cruise slowly between lanes at speeds no faster than 15 mph if the other vehicles are stopped. Modeled off Utah’s legislation, the practice can only be done on roads posted at 45 mph or less. It does not allow riders to pass on the shoulder or on the median.

“This law has been four years in the making,” said Michael Infanzon, legislative director for ABATE of Arizona. “But we had a really great sponsor for the bill this year with Senator Pace. He is an active motorcycle rider and it was key to have someone who understood the danger of being rear-ended. This is all about safety and nothing more than part of the plan to reduce motorcycle fatalities in Arizona.”

With the law set to be in effect 90 days after adjournment, likely to be mid-September, ABATE of Arizona and the Arizona Motorcycle Awareness and Safety Foundation will be working with the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and the Department of Public Safety to educate riders and the public on the new legislation.

“Once the legislation was sent to the Governor’s desk, we started collaborating with the government to get PSAs and TV spots moving,” said Infanzon.

According to the Arizona Department of Transportation’s most recent data, 30 percent of all motorcycle crashes in 2020, including 11 out of 106 fatal motorcycle collisions, were the result of rear-end collisions.

“ABATE of Arizona put up a strong showing to successfully get this law signed,” said the American Motorcyclist Association’s (AMA) Western States Representative Nicholas Haris. “It is a welcome sight to see more states adopting commonsense safety laws that protect motorcyclists when they are most vulnerable to a collision. The AMA is committed to working with riders nationwide on efforts to pass similar legislation and educating the public about its benefits.”

Meanwhile, Utah has extended the authorization for motorcyclists to lane filter for an additional five years to allow state officials to review the practice and gather data on its safety benefits. With the passage of H.B. 10 on March 22, the state is affirming that its initial experience has been a success worth continuing.

“With the signing of H.B. 10 Utahans have recognized the benefits of lane filtering,” said AMA On-Highway Government Relations Manager Tiffany Cipoletti, “which allows motorcyclists the choice to filter in traffic when it is safe to do so.”

Utah legalized lane filtering in 2018 with the initial bill and now the extension sponsored by state Rep. Walt Brooks (R-St. George District 75).

“I am very happy to have the support of the Department of Public Safety and of the legislature to extend lane filtering for an addition five years,” said Rep. Brooks. “The original sunset of three years, and dealing with COVID, did not provide the data needed to remove the sunset. I am confident that as riders use lane filtering properly over the next five years, the general public will become familiar with the practice and the data will prove this is a good policy for Utah, and will become permanent.”

Rep. Brooks has been a vocal supporter of the practice as a motorcyclist himself, and has assisted efforts in other states like Arizona to legalize the practice. The AMA is grateful for Rep. Brooks’ support of motorcyclists and the safe practice of lane-filtering.

“We are fortunate to have motorcyclists in elected office like Representative Brooks and Senator Pace,” said AMA Director of Government Relations Michael Sayre. “Brooks’ firsthand experience as a rider and work to gain the support of law enforcement in Utah were very important and have helped lay the groundwork for success in other states.”

The AMA endorses lane splitting, given the long-term success in California and the University of California-Berkeley research study showing that the practice enhances motorcycle safety. The AMA will assist groups and individuals working to bring legal lane splitting and/or filtering to their state.

“As lane-splitting support continues to gain traction across the country,” the AMA’s Cipoletti said, “we are eager to help more motorcyclists engage their state legislatures on this issue.”

Currently, the AMA is actively engaged in supporting a lane filtering bill in Oklahoma (H.B. 2667), too.

The post Arizona Passes Lane Filtering Law first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club Celebrates 45th Anniversary

Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club

The Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club is celebrating its 45th Anniversary this year. Founded in 1977, VJMC is the premier North American Club dedicated to the preservation, restoration, and enjoyment of vintage Japanese motorcycles (20 years old or older) and the promotion of the sport of motorcycling. The VJMC hallmark is “participation at all levels and to have fun” – for all motorcycle enthusiasts young and old.

This year’s National Rally will take place in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, June 23-26. Pre-registration is required for all attendees.

Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club

Membership is $35 per year and includes a full-color 64+ page magazine printed six times per year, rides, rallies and shows at local, regional, and national events. The VJMC has over 3,300 members and is a totally volunteer-based, nonprofit club.

Tom Kolenko, President of VJMC: “This club has been successful for 45 years because it brings people and vintage Japanese bikes together for fun, friendship, and new riding experiences. We have a great vintage community that celebrates the past while riding into the future.”

For more information, visit vjmc.org or call (763) 420-7829.

The post Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club Celebrates 45th Anniversary first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

Progressive IMS Outdoors Launches “Let’s Hit the Road” Sweepstakes

Progressive IMS Outdoors "Let's Hit the Road" Ticket Sweepstakes

Progressive IMS Outdoors, the nation’s leading powersports tour connecting enthusiasts with industry-leading brands, today announced Let’s Hit The Road, a sweepstakes designed to celebrate the tour’s return to an outdoor series in its sophomore season.

One lucky winner will be the recipient of the grand prize package that includes four tickets to spend a weekend at Progressive IMS Outdoors in a city of their choice, in addition to highly sought-after tech and gear products that complement the powersports lifestyle, collectively valuing over $3,000. The sweepstakes is made possible by sponsors Bell Helmets, Brake Free Tech, Dunlop, EyeLights, Heroic Racing, Scott USA, and Spectro Oils.

Entries for the Let’s Hit The Road sweepstakes opens on Friday, March 18 and the winner will be selected and notified on Thursday, March 24, when 2022 tour ticket sales go live. Register here for a chance to win the grand prize detailed below:

Grand Prize Package: 

  • Four tickets to a 2022 Progressive IMS Outdoors event  
  • Four Progressive IMS Outdoors souvenir tees  
  • Camping spot for up to three nights at Progressive IMS Outdoors  
  • Event food and beverage vouchers   
  • Scott USA Goggles and prize pack  
  • Heroic Racing Hoodie  
  • Brake Free Light  
  • EyeRide Head Up Display  
  • A set of Dunlop motorcycle tires  
  • Bell Helmets – Race Star DLX Matte Carbon helmet 
  • Spectro Oils prize pack

Visit continuetheride.com/sweepstakes to enter today for a chance to win the grand prize and secure your 2022 Progressive IMS Outdoors ticket at motorcycleshows.com when sales go live on March 24. The official 2022 tour dates and locations can be found below, including the Atlanta venue reveal.


June 17-19, 2022

The Ranch Events Complex, Loveland, CO


June 24-26, 2022

Goebbert’s Farm, Pingree Grove, IL


September 16-18, 2022 

Carlisle Fairgrounds, Carlisle, PA

New York 

September 23-25, 2022

Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY


September 30-October 2, 2022

Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton, GA

Northern California 

October 21-23, 2022

San Mateo County Event Center, San Mateo, CA


October 28-30, 2022

Westworld of Scottsdale, Scottsdale, AZ

Southern California 

November 4-6, 2022

OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa, CA

Connect with IMS (#RidersUnite and #IMSOutdoors): 

The post Progressive IMS Outdoors Launches “Let’s Hit the Road” Sweepstakes first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com