This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
from Thunder Roads West Virginia
The Christmas Season is fast approaching and I am so not ready for it. Thank goodness we have been working hard on this issue’s special Biker’s Holiday Gift Guide which has given me some great gift ideas. Even a few for Gary. Now, I know that gift giving is not the reason for the season but it has always been a tradition in my family to make the effort to find just the right something for the ones you love. Whether it is a long awaited chrome piece for my sweetheart’s ride or a nice night out for the two of us, it is the fact that biker friendly gifts are what we both like. How can you go wrong? All of the advertisers in Thunder Roads West Virginia are biker friendly which open many avenues in gift giving for the shopping challenged. Take advantage of the information in this issue to find the perfect gift this season. In flowing with the holiday season I would like to say a great big “Thank You!” to all of the riders that have been showing up in support of the many fundraising events happening in these last weeks of the riding season. Don’t forget that even though the rides will be cut due to inclement weather, for the time being, please keep your eyes open for the numerous events happening to benefit organizations like Toys-for-Tots and Coats for Kids. Every holiday season these organizations do their utmost to make sure that the underprivileged children of our state are taken care of and at least have something under the tree from someone who cares. What a great way to make such a big difference in someone’s life. There are food drives that need donations, hot meals that need to be delivered and an elderly person that could just use an ear to share their memories with. It is the season to be giving to those in need, patient with those who maybe don’t deserve it, and loving to those that love us. I do need to apologize to some of our Biker Friendly Directory advertisers for having a “Fat Finger” issue while putting together their listings last month. Though I did come to find out about the problem when the recipient of misdirected calls contacted us to let us know about it, which means that you, the reader, are utilizing the many cool places we highlight in Thunder Roads West Virginia. Do me a favor, if you decide to try out a new place because of one of our ads, let them know where you heard about them. I love knowing that we are giving you all the information you need to make riding this great state an even more enjoyable experience. That’s what it is all about. Have a great holiday season and try to enjoy the renewal of nature which helps to provide the wonderful scenery we will all be enjoying in the next riding season. If we can all live through it that is. Ride safe and keep the shiny side up!
THuNDER ROADS WEST VIRGINIA
P.O. Box 606 / Charles Town, WV 25414 www.thunderroadswv.com
Letter From The Editor…...................……..4 Letters.........................................................6 Playing Marbles.....................……………...7 Cruisin’ for Christian....................………...9 Dressing for the Crash - P art 1...................10 The Right Helmet…...................………….12 Bike of the Month…...................…………13 Bikers’ Holiday Gift Guide...................…14 Hidden Highways-Rte.15.........................16 Elkins Leaf Peepers….................………..17 Center Calendar.……......................……...18 Crashing Sons of Anarchy…...............…20 Skin Art…….....................………………….22 Wheels with Heart…..................………….23 Cold Storage…..................…...…………...24 TNT………….....................…………………25 That Other Biketoberfest…...............…...26 PARTY!!!…………….....................………..28 A Hand to Sam….................………..........30 K.I.S.S……………......................................32 The High Road…...................……………..35 The Jokers Wild…..................…………….36
ON THE COVER Santa Claus out tooling around on this beautifully restored 1949 Flathead Servi-Car owned by Freddie Gantt of Hedgesville. Come to think of it, Santa bears a striking resemblance to Freddie.
DECEMBER 2009 ThunDER RoaDs WEsT ViRginia 3
OWNER / EDITORS Gary Westphalen, Editor-in-Chief firstname.lastname@example.org / 304-616-0102 Donna K. Westphalen, CFO / email@example.com LAYOuT & DESIGN Barbara Laszewski Garner / Thunder Publishing AD LAYOuT Meredith Hancock / Hancock Graphics CONTRIBuTORS “Baadman” / Branson Dunn / Jim “Jammer” Marcum Jerry & Joann Pastine / Wayne & Sue Sheets / “Spike” / Moe Vetter ADVERTISING SALES / DISTRIBuTION Donna K. Westphalen - 304-261-1609 / firstname.lastname@example.org Greg Vernon 304-616-0249 / email@example.com Moe Vetter - 304-668-9563 / firstname.lastname@example.org Dave Luksa - 304-268-1315 / email@example.com Curtis Humphreys - 276-620-8965 / firstname.lastname@example.org Laurie Griggs - 540-353-5695 / email@example.com Howard “Pops” Evans - 540-327-6588 / firstname.lastname@example.org
NATIONAL FOuNDERS Toni McCoy Shearon & Brian Shearon PO Box 174 / Chapmansboro, TN 37035 Office 615-792-0040 / Fax: 615-792-7580 email: email@example.com
Copyright 2009. Published by Thunder Roads West Virginia, LLC under license from Thunder Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this magazines content may be reproduced without the written permission of the Publisher. The publisher assumes no responsibility and is not to be held liable for errors beyond the cost of the space occupied by the error, slander of any group or individual, failure to produce any issue as scheduled due to reasons beyond our control, any and all suits for libel, plagiarism, copyright infringement, and unauthorized use of a person’s name or photograph. Opinions and claims made by advertisers and authors are their own, and do not necessarily represent the policy of Thunder Roads West Virginia, Thunder Roads Magazine, or Thunder Publishing. The Publisher does not promote the abuse of alcohol or other drugs.
NATiONAL ACCOuNTS NORTHWEST WV
HARDy, GRANT, MiNERAL, HAMPSHiRE, PENDLETON MORGAN, BERKELEy, JEFFERSON
MERCER, MONROE, SuMMER, MCDOWELL
“Do you write everything in the magazine?”
That’s a question I get all the time. The answer is, well, much of it. That’s what I do. I ride the state, looking for bikes, roads, and group rides. I go to events to meet you, to ride with you, and then to share the day with those of you who weren’t there by telling the story in the magazine. And I investigate subjects that matter to bikers, and report what I have learned. Now, obviously, Donna writes her own column. By the way, it’s named “Dragon Tales” because the dragon has always been her fantasy identity. She also handles most of the upcoming events listings. “Jammer” Marcum writes “The High Road” every month, because we all could use a little “Churchin’ Up”. And we have a few other regular columns and writers in the works that will be debuting in the months ahead. But my favorite writer for Thunder Roads West Virginia is you. Starting with the very first issue, contributions from readers have made this your magazine. The more we publish, the more you are bringing your stories to the party. Forget ad revenues, page counts, distribution figures and all those other measures of “success”. To me, this magazine is successful when you feel like you are a part of it. You are my brothers and sisters, and I want you to share your stories of the road with the rest of this family. In this issue alone, we have a story on a Veterans Ride by Branson Dunn. Moe Vetter traveled down to Florida’s Biketoberfest, and is sharing his trip with all of us. Speaking of trips, our account rep Greg Vernon writes about riding onto the set of the “Sons of Anarchy” TV show. L. Wayne Sheets waxes poetic (almost) as he reflects on a fall foliage run he made with some good folks from the Elkins area. “Spike” contributed pictures of the Warlock’s Hog Roast which, I am sorry to say, I missed because I was on the other side of the state riding in a downpour. And there are several other contributions, all of which are noted in bylines. There are more. I have a prose piece on the shelf from reader E. C. Hume that will help all of us make it through the cold, dark, rideless winter months. And West Virginian Bob Hyre is writing a fascinating story about his 10,000 mile odyssey to Alaska and back. That’s just a sampling of what readers of Thunder Roads West Virginia are sharing with you.
4 ThunDER RoaDs WEsT ViRginia DECEMBER 2009
So how about returning the favor? We all have to make it through winter with little or no seat time. By sharing stories of the road, we can be a sort of support group for each other while the snow flies. Fire up the computer, call up those pictures from your coolest ride last summer, dust off your powers of recall, and bring us along on your ride down memory lane…or whatever that favorite road was called. Maybe your story isn’t about a ride. It could be about your bike. It could be about your favorite West Virginia destination. It could be your own Hidden Highway. Whatever bike-related story you want to share with the rest of us, we want to read it. Send your story submissions to me. I may edit your story a little bit. I may not be able to run every story and every picture you send to me. But I promise you that I will look at every one. Between Thunder Roads West Virginia and our companion website at www.thunderroadswv.com we have a lot of opportunity for you to join in the chatter. In the meantime, if you’re like me, I know you’re busy chasing down that elusive perfect gift for the biker on your list. Before you throw your hands up in surrender, be sure to thumb through the Biker’s Holiday Gift Guide in this issue. We’ve got a collection of unusual suggestions from some of our advertisers, and every one of them is better than another sweater or necktie. Trust me on that.
THUNDER ROADS WEST VIRGINIA RECEIVES GOVERNOR’S AWARD
Thunder Roads West Virginia is honored to share news that we have received a Certificate of Recognition from Governor Joe Manchin III for our coverage of the “Ride for the Red” motorcycle event in Bluefield. The story appears in our October, 2009 issue. The Governor’s certificate recognizes TRWV “for outstanding community service and volunteerism with the Central West Virginia Chapter of the American Red Cross – Bluefield Office.” The event raised more than $29,000 for the Red Cross chapter. All of the money is spent in support of families in the region, including those of American service men and women serving overseas. The award was presented to Thunder Roads West Virginia at a banquet hosted by the Red Cross to honor sponsors of the annual Ride for the Red. Since TRWV was not a sponsor of the event – we were merely doing our job of reporting on the good things that bikers do – this was a completely unexpected recognition. We are humbled, and in turn dedicate this award to all Americans who have put their lives on the line for our freedom. Thank you.
One year subscription to Thunder Roads is only $35 a year.
The nation’s largest FREE biker publication can be delivered right to your door.
Name___________________________________ Address_________________________________ City____________________________________ State_________________ Zip_______________ Make Check payable to: Thunder Roads West Virginia Mail check and this form to:
Thunder Roads West Virginia P.O. Box 606 Charles Town, WV 25414
DECEMBER 2009 ThunDER RoaDs WEsT ViRginia 5
Letters To The Editor
Hello Gary, My name is Colonel Smith and my wife is Chrissy. i am writing to you in reference of the wheelie that was done in Martinsburg on the Biketoberfest poker-run. i was the one that did that wheelie, and a nice one at that! But, how many chances do you get to do a wheelie on Main St. with a Police escort. (kinda hard to pass up) But also in saying this i would like to apologize to anyone that was on the run, that in some weird way would have been offended. My wife and i look forward to your magazine every month, and coincidentally we appeared in the Oct issue with a nice pic of myself and Chrissy winning the weenie-bite at Evel Speeds open-house. in closing, i would like to say- you all have an awesome thing going and keep up the good work! Semper Fi! Colonel Colonel smith, i sincerely doubt that anyone was offended by the wheelie. i frankly wish i had thought of it myself. Thanks for the kind words about the magazine. it’s good to feel appreciated. as for the weenie bite picture, it’s worth running again…without comment. Thank you for your service to this country. gary
6 ThunDER RoaDs WEsT ViRginia DECEMBER 2009
Children don’t play poker. They play marbles. So it’s fitting that a benefit ride for CASA in Ripley, WV was done with marbles, and not cards. We’ll get to the marbles in a minute. But first a little about CASA, which stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates. it is a nationwide network of volunteers who, under appointment by a judge, attach themselves to the case of an abused or neglected child caught up in the legal or welfare systems. CASA volunteers make certain the child never falls through the cracks and eventually ends up in a safe, permanent home. CASA has helped more than two-million children nationwide in the three decades since it was established. in Ripley, the CASA chapter works within the Fifth Judicial District. Now the marbles. The run consists of the usual 5 checkpoints. At each stop the rider pulls a marble out of a bag and the color is recorded. After the run is completed, the marbles are drawn and a point value is assigned to each marble color. unlike a poker run, bikers have no idea how good their draw is until after the run, when the point values are designated. it was on a cool, overcast fall day that riders set out from the Parchment Valley Conference Center, for a 78 mile ride to draw their five glass orbs. Heading first through Ripley, the ride turned north on Highway 21. 20 miles from the starting point the ride made a right turn on Turkey Fork Road, an itty-bitty road filled with twisty fun and a couple of tricky spots. Turkey Fork is in the middle of a facelift and riders spent several miles dodging sections of pavement that had been milled out in preparation for repair. Once they were through dodging craters, the riders came upon a section of new blacktop and could give the right wrist a little extra twist. The ride continued through Elizabeth and Mineral Wells, hooking up with Route 21 again about ten miles south of Parkersburg, before heading back down into Ripley. Riders finished the day with a spaghetti dinner and free admission to the Jackson County Black Bears Semi-Pro football All-Star game. More than $5,200 was raised during the days events. All in all, not a bad way to enjoy a fall day while helping CASA care for the kids of the Fifth Judicial District. www.thunderroadswv.com
DECEMBER 2009 ThunDER RoaDs WEsT ViRginia 7
rolled eastbound on Old Highway 55, with Christian and his brothers riding sweep in the van driven by his mom. At Wardensville, the group headed north on 259 to Cacapon River Road. This narrow road mostly follows the snaking contours of the river up to Capon Bridge. it’s a lot of fun on a bike, but would be even more so if the pavement weren’t speckled with so many crudely done patches. From here the ride headed west on Highway 50 through Romney to 220 South. This stretch of Highway 220 has some very interesting curves to it and generally coaxes riders to misbehave. it’s a fine stretch of asphalt. Once 220 delivered the bikers to Moorefield, they had two options for making their way back to the ride’s end at the Broken Spoke. They could take Old 55, whose curves are grin-inducing now that the disastrous tar and chip treatment from earlier this summer has finally settled down. Or they could jump on the new Highway 55, also called “Corridor H” for the short trip to one of the exits near the Broken Spoke. The new highway is frankly boring at anything under ridiculously illegal speeds. ‘Nuff said about that option. This perfect late fall day was capped off with food, a gigantic bonfire, and a fund-raising auction. Even as Christian Wilson enjoyed his spot by the bonfire, the biker’s thoughts went out to him as he faces his medical challenges.
DECEMBER 2009 ThunDER RoaDs WEsT ViRginia 9
Christian Wilson is a 13 year old boy who lives on a mountain just outside Moorefield. His handsome smile and bright eyes belie the fact that he’s had some tough times. Specifically, he’s about to undergo a fourth operation for a spinal disorder. When Steve Bosley, owner of the Broken Spoke Bar and Grill in Needmore, found out about it he knew he had to do something to help. Naturally, being a biker, Steve knew that he could count on the biking community to pitch in. So, despite the fact that it was November, a benefit run was formed. Now, given the time of year, it could have been snowing. But Mother Nature decided to support the cause as well, and provided a picture perfect day with temps right around the 70 degree mark for a ride that would cover in the neighborhood of a hundred miles. it was about noon when the kickstands snapped back and two dozen bikes www.thunderroadswv.com
There are a couple of old adages about biking that always get tossed around when the subject of “going over the handlebars” arises. One is that it’s not a matter of IF you will crash, but WHEN. The other is that you don’t dress for the ride, you dress for the crash. Both are true. Rather than live in denial, as most of us do, it makes more sense to face up to the truth that if you ride long enough you will crash.
An aging cager makes a sudden left turn across two lanes of oncoming traffic without signaling. Tires screech as small contrails of smoke and rubber dust curl up behind them. The front brakes on a junkyardgrade cage grab unevenly and the car veers into the next lane, where our biker finds himself pinned in an ever-shrinking margin between the curb and three out of control cages. Having to steer clear, even as he’s in hard braking, the biker finds himself sliding down the road on his left side. But this is a big bike. So the rider is still in the seat as he skids to a stop. He isn’t hit by any of the cars, but along the way his head, shoulder and leg are sliding along the pavement, grinding away at his left side. The next sentence in this story depends upon what safety gear our rider is wearing…
As a biker, you have already made the decision that you don’t intend to live your life swaddled head-to-toe in bubble wrap, fearing every little potential danger that comes your way. But acceptance of the dangers of our chosen life comes in varying degrees. There is a correspondingly wide range of motorcycle safety gear available to suit each individual biker’s taste. This particular crash happened to me. But incidents
10 ThunDER RoaDs WEsT ViRginia DECEMBER 2009
like this happen to riders every day. Obviously, since i’m writing this series of articles, i survived the crash. But parts of me survived better than others, and i believe it was because of the safety equipment choices i had made for various body parts. in this series of stories, we’re examining safety equipment piece by piece – starting at the top of the list.
Let me first state that i abhor helmet laws. The “nanny state” mindset makes my skin crawl. it is not the government’s business to dictate how i should equip myself to enjoy my chosen activities. There is a much better solution to the issue. But i don’t want to digress down that path at the moment. We’ll discuss it another time. That said, i do think that wearing anything less than a full face brain pot is not a good idea. But that’s my choice, and doesn’t have to be your choice. Here’s why i wear it: in the accident we’re examining, i was wearing a full face helmet, and i had the shield closed. As i was sliding down the street, the engine guard was directly in front of my face. All i remember seeing was sparks flying off the bright chrome engine guard as it was being ground away. My only thought was, “Sh*t! My engine guard!” i wasn’t thinking about the fact that my head was also sliding along the pavement. And the reason i wasn’t thinking about it is because my helmet was taking the hit, not my skull.
helmet before this crash, looking at the damage on my helmet was all i needed to convince me that i was making the right choice – for me. But many of you don’t agree for a long list of reasons. Some are valid, and some are dubious. The online safety gear survey Thunder Roads West Virginia has been conducting is giving us insight into what kinds of helmets you wear, and why. The survey will be ongoing throughout the series of safety gear articles, but as of now more than 80% of respondents prefer to wear a half helmet or none at all. Regardless of their personal preference for helmet type, more than 90% said they primarily chose their helmet based on comfort. Crash protection came in a very distant second. if you haven’t participated in the survey yet, log on to www.thunderroadswv.com and click the Safety Survey link.
BARB – iNSERT “FuLL” HELMET PiC HERE From here, the choices can get dizzying. Many bikers choose full-face helmets because of the added protection they offer. Most professional riders and virtually all racers opt for full coverage. in our survey, the biggest knock against full coverage helmets is the sense of confinement. But the second highest number of respondents said they don’t believe full coverage helmets are safe. 80% who prefer to go without a helmet said they don’t think full coverage helmets are safe. When they gave a reason for this belief, it was usually a sense of restricted vision.
BARB – iNSERT “CuTAWAy” PiC HERE Essentially, the helmet protects a biker’s head by dispersing the energy of an impact. The hard outer shell takes the first hit in any collision. it is designed to compress on impact, which has the net effect of dispersing energy over the entire shell. Some do this by cracking open while other designs delaminate. Either way, the shell absorbs a great deal of the energy. But not all. The outer shell of the helmet may have come to a stop at this point, but inside the helmet, you’re head is still moving. That’s where the inner liner comes into play. This is usually made of dense polystyrene foam and its main job is to cushion your head as it tries to keep moving. it absorbs the energy by crushing into itself, collapsing the tiny air bubbles trapped inside the material. The whole point is for the layers of the helmet to work together, absorbing as much of the impact energy as possible before it makes its way to your brain. The soft padding inside has more to do with comfort, but the chin strap is an integral part of the safety aspects of a helmet. if it isn’t securely fastened the helmet is likely to pop off before it has much chance to coddle your brain. Making sure your helmet is the right size is also critical. A helmet that is too big or too small can get uncomfortable in a hurry, and will not properly protect you in a crash. Read our sidebar story to learn about getting a properly fitted helmet.
Others chose a three-quarter helmet. This choice is generally made because the biker feels confined and his/her vision is restricted by a full coverage helmet. Of those who have responded to the survey so far, this is the least popular style of helmet. The only reason given for choosing this style over a full face helmet was a sense of better vision.
BARB – iNSERT “My HELMET” PiC HERE The side of the helmet and shield was ground away. There’s no doubt that without wearing a helmet i would at least have had a serious case of road rash around my left eye, cheek and temple. My eye and my ear could also have been in serious trouble. in a worst case scenario, it is quite possible that i would have lost a good chunk of the left side of my face. Then there’s the issue of brain damage from the impact with the pavement. it happened so quickly that i can’t actually say there was or wasn’t much of a hit in this case. But many experts believe that it is the thump of the riders head making first contact with the pavement that leads to injured gray matter. Even though i had (almost) always worn a full face www.thunderroadswv.com
But the most frequently chosen helmet is the shorty. Nearly half of our survey respondents to date choose this style of helmet. According to the survey, many of you feel these lids are the most comfortable, while still providing the amount of protection needed without limiting vision.
noVEMBER 2009 ThunDER RoaDs WEsT ViRginia 11
Organizations like the Motorcycle Safety Foundation don’t like half helmets because they feel the protection provided by them is inadequate. However, it’s interesting to note that this is also the helmet of choice for most law enforcement agencies. Even less protection is provided by brain pots that don’t bear the DOT sticker, and are technically illegal in West Virginia. Currently 20 states, including West Virginia, mandate helmet usage for all riders. 26 states require them for specific age groups, and only Colorado, illinois, New Hampshire, and iowa have no helmet laws. in West Virginia, Governor Joe Manchin iii says he has been working to repeal the state’s helmet law, but is meeting with resistance in the state legislature. Governor Manchin told a group of riders this fall
that he would like to see a temporary repeal of the law just to demonstrate to the legislature how much biking tourism it would generate. But would a repeal result in higher rates of serious injury? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says there is no doubt that it would. Head injury is the leading cause of fatalities in motorcycle crashes, and NHTSA says its studies show that helmets reduce the risk of fatalities by 29 percent. Public opinion also leans strongly against repeal of helmet laws. One NHTSA survey of the issue showed more than 4 out of 5 adults favor mandatory helmet laws, and more than 60 percent of the bikers surveyed agreed.
Like it or not, the motorcycle helmet is an important part of staying alive on the highway. The best we as bikers can do is learn the facts about helmets, and then make the choice that’s right for each of us. In next month’s installment of Dressing for the Crash, we’ll examine jackets and pants. These items may seem more like comfort and style choices, but they play a major role in keeping the biker safe. Once again, I’ll draw upon personal experience in looking at the crash I detailed at the beginning of this story, and one I had eight years later. Two crashes, two different styles of jacket, and two very different outcomes
THE RIGHT HELMET
if our heads all had the same size and shape, getting a properly fitting helmet would be a breeze. But since we don’t have the one-size-fits-all option, helmet shopping can get even more difficult than finding the right bike. Results so far from the Thunder Roads West Virginia Safety Survey at www.thunderroadswv.com suggest that while crash protection is important to you, the overwhelming reason you choose any particular helmet is comfort. For both comfort and crash protection, the most important aspect of buying a helmet is making sure you get the sizing right. That’s more difficult than it might seem. For starters, not all helmets are shaped the same even if the size is consistent. A Shoei, for instance, generally fits a more elongated head than does an Arai. Even within the same brand, various models may fit differently as most manufacturers produce three different face shapes, not to mention that many are designed to fit a specific ethnic head structure. To get a good fitting helmet that provides comfort and protection, you have to try it on. Even then, you may have to try dozens of helmets at several dealers before you find one that truly fits comfortably. From a shorty to a full-face, all helmets should pass the following simple fitment tests. Keep in mind that a helmet should fit snugly and securely on your head. There should be no particular area causing discomfort, other than maybe your cheeks when it comes to three-quarter or full-face helmet. it has to do with how they fit around the lower half of your head. The cheek pads should press firmly against your cheeks, sending your thoughts back to the old days when grandma couldn’t resist the temptation to squeeze your face. On many higher-end models, you can even order different thicknesses of cheek pads to further customize the fit. Cheek pads are made of material that will conform to your particular face shape over time. Just another reason not to let other people wear your helmet. With that information in mind you should not be able to fit your thumb between the helmet and your forehead. Next, with the helmet strapped on, try the roll-off test, to be sure the fit is proper. Put the
12 ThunDER RoaDs WEsT ViRginia noVEMBER 2009
helmet on and cinch the chin strap down tightly. Tilting your head forward, grab the rear lip of the helmet and pull forward. it might hurt a little bit, but suck it up and give it a pull to see if the helmet rolls forward. if the fit is correct, your skin should move with the helmet. And lastly, shake your head left and right, up and down. Come on, i don’t want to hear any hangover headache stories now, shake it harder. if that helmet sloshes around on your head, drop down a size and try it again. All helmets must have a secure chinstrap to keep the thing on your head. it won’t do your brain any good if the helmet pops off on impact. Most use a double D-ring setup that securely pinches the strap between the rings, yet releases easily when the D-rings are pulled in the opposite direction. if the strap on a particular helmet doesn’t seem secure to you, move on. if the helmet you are considering has a faceshield, be sure that you like it. This may not seem like a comfort issue, but it is. if the shield doesn’t fit snugly against the helmet, the wind whistling through the cracks might send you to the loony bin in a hurry. And if it isn’t optically clear, the wavy lines it generates across your field of view will compete with the wind noise for your sanity. Beyond the issues critical to getting a good fitting helmet, there are many features that can affect the comfort of any given brain pot. A snap for the end of the strap, easily changed faceshields, ventilation, anti-fogging breath guards, removable and washable padding, and overall weight are among the other factors to consider.
When Wesley Blevins was a kid he transferred to a new school. Always a tough thing. The transfer was even tougher for him because he was a longhair who excelled in art. Back then, that didn’t exactly fit in with the testosterone-driven, football-slinging, macho-teenage boy crowd. Wesley didn’t really care about that. But what did irritate him was that every time his art would be on display the “in” thugs would deface it by drawing rude and sometimes obscene graffiti on his work. Now, Wesley and the friends he was able to make spent a lot of their free time, as most gear-headed boys do, cruising the town in their cars. From the cruising, he got an idea. No longer would he sign his artwork with his real name. He adopted the name CRuiZ. That’s right, all capital letters, except for the “i”. That way his detractors wouldn’t know it was his artwork, and would leave it alone. The plan seems too simple to have worked effectively, but it did. That probably says a lot about his tormentors. Anyway, the name stuck and so did his desire for art. He now makes a living in Bridgeport, WV doing custom airbrushing, painting “anything on anything.” The “anything” shown here is his own bike. it’s a 2002 yamaha V-Star 1100 Classic. He started with a House of Kolor base of Orion Silver, and created the intricate skull design by airbrushing over it with Black Candy. The old school flames are Hot Pink Pearl. To round out the customizing, CRuiZ picked Cobra Pipes, a Corbin Stilleto seat, RC Component Mar wheels, a nifty headlight by Arlen Ness, and a few other shiny bits. No one makes fun of his art anymore.
DECEMBER 2009 ThunDER RoaDs WEsT ViRginia 13
Wesley Blevins of CRuiZ Custom Airbrush can paint “Anything on Anything”. So if that Biker of yours would love to have a picture of his motorcycle on the toilet seat, CRuiZ can do that. Oh, he can do a great job with a custom airbrush job on the bike, too. Check out his work at the new studio in Bridgeport, WV. If a new helmet is on your Biker’s list, Hawkins Exxon in Fairmont is the place to go. Along with a whole new selection of noggin wrappers, they have some very cool Poppa Hog shirts. Hawkins does bike repairs and inspections, so you can get that long-expired sticker covered with a new one. 10% off bike winterizing, too.
Some bikers like to do it in the dirt, and Morgantown Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, KTM knows exactly what the off-roader on your list wants. Get 30% off all in-stock 2009 Fox Racing, TLD, Fly, Shift & Thor gear. 40% off Fox goggles, and huge discounts on in-stock ’08 & ’09 bikes. With 3 floors of gear, there’s something for every biker.
Inside the envelope you slip under the tree for your babe are tickets to the New Year’s Eve party at Nan and Pop’s Place in Martinsburg. With FREE food, hats, noisemakers, champagne toast and FREE Sober Taxi, what could be better? Two things: Music by Black Onyx and a crazy low price tag of just $25 per couple.
That biker guy of yours is whining about being stuck in the house for the winter. Okay, he can’t go for a ride. But you can still make him feel good about his bike by taking it to Power House Cycles in Martinsburg. Get 20% off all parts & service in December and January. When spring comes, your biker will be thanking you.
You know she wants chrome, but this piece, or that one? Which jacket will he like? I know this is the helmet, but what size? Fingerless gloves, or gauntlets? Solve your dilemma the easy way by bringing your biker along and get 10% off all parts and accessories during the month of December at Smitty’s in Buckhannon. The way Jim at The Twisted Spoke in Clarksburg sees it, “It’s just a motorcycle until we twist it.” Whether the biker you’re buying for rides domestic or imported, you’ll find the right gift here. From a custom build to parts from Drag Specialties, V-Twin, Daytona Twin Tec, and others, these guys can give your holiday season a new twist.
Your honey will have to wait until the day after Christmas for this gift. But catching The Davisson Brothers Band at Winston’s Bar & Grill in Fairmont on December 26th will be worth it. until then, catch Vs. The Earth on December 12 before they begin a national tour. Winston’s brings in the best live music from all over this part of the country.
Finally, here’s our personal favorite. A high quality 100% cotton black hat that sports two-toned silver and gray old school flames on the top of the bill. By a fascinating coincidence the hat just happens to sport our favorite logo – The Thunder Roads West Virginia wings. Imagine that! Available at www.thunderroadswv.com
CRuiZ Custom Airbrush 158 Thompson Drive Bridgeport, WV 26330 (304) 842-0720 www.cruizcustomairbrush.com Hawkins Exxon 190 East Grafton Road Fairmont, WV 26554 (304) 366-5261
Morgantown Honda, yamaha, Suzuki, KTM 526 Mileground Road Morgantown, WV 26505 (304) 296-9055 www.morgantownhonda.com Nan & Pop’s Place 3845 Winchester Ave Martinsburg, WV 25405 (304) 267-2007 www.NanandPopsPlace.com
Power House Cycles 2748 Winchester Avenue Martinsburg, WV 25405 (540) 316-8660 PowerHousesCycles@hotmail.com Smitty’s Suzuki, Kawasaki, yamaha Rt. 33 E. Corridor H Buckhannon, WV 26201 (304) 472-4824 www.supersmittys.com
The Twisted Spoke 97 Milford Street Clarksburg, WV 26301 (304) 326-4644 www.TheTwistedSpoke.com Winston’s Bar & Grill 2204A Pleasant Valley Road Fairmont, WV 26554 (304) 363-5046 www.winstonsbarandgrill.com
State Route 15
it’s raining. The FJR has hard bags that will keep my gear dry. i’m wearing a full riding suit, so i’m good to go as well. But i can’t say the same for the roadway. This isn’t a full-out drenching sort of rain. it’s just enough to mix with the oil from the pesky cages that have come before me, leaving a slimy film on the tarmac. i had envisioned a spirited romp on a new road, but i have to settle for tip-toeing my way along a 30 mile stretch of road that could be so much fun. About 30 miles south of Elkins on the legendary bike road Highway 219, State Highway 15 begins a westward romp to Webster Springs and beyond. it doesn’t look like much from here, and that makes me giggle. Roads like this often make for the best rides. Webster Springs is 30 miles away and 15 follows the crest of a ridge from here to there. That means it will be full of meandering lefts and rights as it snakes along the ridge top. There will be great views of rugged forest-covered mountains to the left and right. And since i’m at a fairly low altitude at this end, and Webster Springs is in a valley of its own, that means that i will be facing down some great stretches of twisties as i make my way to the top of the ridge and then back down. But remember, it’s raining. The testosterone-laced charge over this ribbon of a road will have to wait for another day – perhaps tomorrow. Today i make myself content with a modest pace that gives me time to absorb as much of the view as possible. The low-hanging cloud cover isn’t giving me much of a break there, either. Shortly after turning onto the east end of 15, i begin my climb to the top of the ridge. For miles, the front wheel of my bike is decidedly higher in altitude than the rear. Once i crest the ridge, the road levels out, and begins winding along the top. Passing a telephone microwave tower and several other unidentified antennae, i am reminded that this is a pretty high spot. When the ridge widens out, the forest thickens and closes over the top of the roadway. under this lush canopy my internal warning system kicks in as i begin scanning for deer on the roadway ahead. Coming up over a little rise, sure enough, i spot wildlife in my path. it’s a good thing the wet road has me tooling along at a jog. Easing into the brake, i count not just one or two, but five wild turkeys sauntering across the road. And i mean sauntering. They are going so slow that, even though i’m braking to a stop, the last bird feels i’m getting close enough to him that he decides to take wing. i can hear him flapping even as i plant my left foot. About 25 miles into the ride on Highway 15, the bike and i go nose-down as we descend left-right-left into the valley. Oh, this will be grin-inducing tomorrow when the road is dry and i head back along this same route. it is. The next morning is as bright and sunny as a day can get. yesterday’s rain is not only forgotten, but the moisture it dumped on Highway 15 is gone as well. Climbing eastbound out of the valley, the biker smile on my face is indelible. i’m having a hoot of a time. After climbing a few miles, there is a pull-off from which you can look down into the enormous J.C. Hamer Sawmill in the valley below. For the next half hour i traverse this gorgeous ridge, enjoying view after view of the fabulous central West Virginia mountains that surround me. As for traffic, forget it. i won’t even see another bike. Suffice it to say that i have a fantastic time heading back along State Highway 15. The clear, dry road shows a different face than it had on the rainy afternoon before. Truth be told, i like them both.
16 ThunDER RoaDs WEsT ViRginia DECEMBER 2009
Elkins Leaf Peepers
By L. Wayne Sheets
The thin red line struggled to reach 47ºF. The sun was trying hard to break through the dense fog that formed during an unseasonably cool, one might say, cold night. Richard Kettle told Jerry Pastine, who, along with his wife Joann had organized the ride, “you know, 55º is normally the floor for me to ride. But, on the hopes that it will turn out to be a pretty day, i decided to brave the cold morning.” As the convoy of two-wheelers rolled onto uS Route 33 headed east from Elkins, the sun began to break through the overcast and illuminate the canopy of indigenous flora in bright yellow, orange and red. A sprinkling of evergreens helped bring out the color of the maple, oak, cherry, beech and other hardwood species. if the foliage in the Tygart River Valley had not peaked, it was but a few days away. A more brilliant and colorful beginning for the ride could not have been hoped for. The sun was, by the time the two-wheeled leaf peepers reached the summit of the Allegheny Mountain at nearly 3,300 feet above sea level, shining brightly bringing autumn’s coat of many colors to a beautiful brilliance. The riders descended the eastern slopes of the Allegheny to where the highway follows Seneca Creek into the South Branch Valley at Seneca Rocks under a canopy of bright yellow, red and orange. it would probably be safe to say that the tandem riders kept their cameras busy grabbing snapshots of the color as it went by. Somewhere between 400 million and 600 million years ago, Mother Nature stacked a pile of Tuscarora Sandstone nearly 900 feet high along the North Fork of the South Branch River at the intersection of uS Route 33 and West Virginia Route 28. This outcropping of super-hard rock with its skirts painted in a patchwork of colors presents a spectacular vista to the riders, as they pop out of the Seneca Creek Canyon and approach the intersection. Between stealing glances of the vista before them and watching for traffic, the riders turn south toward the Gateway Restaurant at Riverton for lunch. After lunch it didn’t take long before everyone was remounted and ready for the challenge of the serpentine road that would take them to the summit of Spruce Knob, the highest point in West Virginia at 4,861 feet above sea level. Some had experienced the view from the state’s highest overlook before yet that did not diminish their appreciation for the grand vista that lay before them again this afternoon. Those for whom it was a first simply stood in quiet reverence. Before them lay the mountains of the Potomac Highlands wave on wave as far as the eye could see. Comments were made in subdued tones as though all the excitement and anticipation of reaching the summit were quieted by the magnificence of place. Their solemnity was broken when Mickie Tacy arrived on the overlook with his hands in frenzied motion trying to control the wonderings of a bright green snake about 18 inches long that was, in its attempt to regain its freedom, exploring possible hiding places in Mickie’s jacket as well as escape routes. Mickie, after entertaining everyone with his newfound slithering friend, returned it to its home upon leaving the observation deck. Sooner than everyone wanted, it was time to begin the trip back to the South Branch Valley, across the Allegheny on WV Route 28 and on to Bartow, where the riders took a short break for fuel and a snack. From there they took uS Route 250 through Frank and Durbin and ascended the eastern face of the Cheat Mountain, it too swathed in every color imaginable. The sun had now invaded the southwestern sky and the ride across the flats of Cheat and along Shaver’s Fork was under a multi-colored canopy backlit by sun radiating from a cloudless sky. By the time they arrived in Dailey it was time for a dessert break at C&J’s Restaurant, which is known for having some of the best pies, cobblers and apple dumplings available anywhere. While having his or her favorite dessert, Jerry Pastine, who, along with his wife Joann, had planned and organized the ride, awarded newcomers to the group a “24-karat gold-plated” fork or spoon handle. Calling themselves a group that “Eats to Ride and Rides to Eat” one would have to agree that this is an appropriate identity symbol. Pastine said, upon his arrival home, “There were many things that made this an enjoyable and memorable ride. While i don’t think the foliage was as beautiful as last year, it was beautiful nonetheless. We are a group of people who love to ride and ride safely, and of whom no one puts himself above another.” “Above everything else, though,” he said, “everyone made the trip of over 155 miles safely. West Virginia roads present special challenges for the biker – sharp turns and steep grades to mention a couple – but that’s what makes riding in the Mountain State so enjoyable. i think everyone is already looking forward to next year.”
Editors Note: Wayne submitted a longer story about this ride, full of prose as eye-catching as the fall foliage. It’s an enjoyable read, which you can absorb in it’s entirety on our website at www.thunderroadswv.com.
DECEMBER 2009 ThunDER RoaDs WEsT ViRginia 17
TOyS FOR TOTS in inwood
New Years Eve
An Unauthorized Visit by Thunder Roads West Virginia
Editor’s Note: “I have to do something….I gotta get out of here… California sucks. Blah, blah, blah…” It was a late night phone call from an old biker friend. He had been a neighbor of mine here in West Virginia. He kept his bike in my garage back then. We rode together. We were nearly religious about a weekly ritual we called “Friday Night Beer Bash and Bike Wash.” Neither of us drinks and rides, so we would set Friday nights aside for washing the bikes and drinking, oh, so many beers. Come Saturday morning, the bikes and bikers would be all shined up and ready for a weekend of threading the needle on as many West Virginia mountain passes as we could find. Life was good. But things change, and he was lured away to the big city. First to New York, where he was nearly killed in a horrific crash by a taxi-cage that was backing down a Jersey on-ramp. He recovered and moved to California. After seven years in La-La Land, with this past fall’s Tujunga Canyon Wildfire burning out of control only three blocks from his house, Greg Vernon was done with the left coast. When I told him that Donna and I were launching Thunder Roads West Virginia, he couldn’t get back here fast enough. Greg is now an account representative, working statewide with many of our advertisers. While in California, Greg lived only a few blocks away from a city street used as one of the sets for the “Sons of Anarchy” television show that runs on cable’s FX network. The show is about a motorcycle club of the same name in a fictional northern California town. The club maintains an uneasy truce with local law enforcement by keeping drug traffickers at bay even as it operates well outside the law, running illegal guns and feuding ruthlessly with rival bikers and white separatists. Even as Greg was packing up his things to move back to West Virginia, he took on his first assignment for Thunder Roads West Virginia: Crash the set of “Sons of Anarchy”.
by Greg Vernon
where they film some outside scenes and the Cigar shop of “Sons of Anarchy”. As i would ride by while they were filming or actually setting up for a shoot, the primary actors would be on the sidewalk with all those bikes parked on the street. When i saw they were setting up for a day of shooting, i called Gary to tell him and he said to crash the set and get pictures of the bikes. No worries, i tell my Bro. i hopped on my bike with a fist full of Thunder Roads West Virginia magazines Gary had sent to me, along with a camera, and rode to the set. (Note to self, first day as a biker journalist bring pad and pen).
20 ThunDER RoaDs WEsT ViRginia DECEMBER 2009
Tujunga, California i lived a few blocks from
in the show, the Mayans are a rival club of the Sons of Anarchy, with a bloody history between them. On this day, the bikes for the Mayans were all lined up along the street so i pulled up and parked at the end of the line. A security guard came over and asked if i wouldn’t park there because of the filming. i told him i was with Thunder Roads West Virginia, here to do a story for the magazine. He then introduced himself as Gil. He was fine with it, so my bike stayed until filming started. As i walked down the sidewalk some of the Mayan extras were sitting out in front of the building that serves as the show’s cigar shop. These guys are the real deal and are actually in a biker….um…club. One of the guys, Dennis, rebuilds and customizes old classic cars by trade. He does some bikes as well. His buddy brought a beautiful tricked out hog that has Mayan themed art work on it. The “Mayan’s” bikes were ridden by the club and all of them were hot looking bikes. Next a stunt double sat down with us. He introduced himself as Vic. He told me his tale with the crew and what he does when he’s not working for the show. After a bit Vic had me walk down the sidewalk a bit and into the entrance to a shop. He took his Sons of Anarchy vest off, and had me put it on to take a few pictures of me. Needless to say, Vic rocks. Vic next took me to the parking lot around the corner where the S.O.A. bikes are parked. He introduced me to John who is the wrench for all the S.O.A. bikes. He also trailers them in, and moves them around the set as needed for shooting. All the bikes are in top notch riding ready condition. They are mostly Harley-Davidson Dynas with drag bars and paint for the show. Vic points out one bike that is owned by a Hell’s Angel’s member. There is a sticker inside the bullet fairing that identifies it as such. These bikes rock and any one of them are perfect for cruising the roads of California or any other place for that matter. My first mission for Thunder Roads West Virginia is in the bag. www.thunderroadswv.com
DECEMBER 2009 ThunDER RoaDs WEsT ViRginia 21
22 ThunDER RoaDs WEsT ViRginia noVEMBER 2009
S K I N A R T
When a Motorcycle Ride is more than Riding
Story & photos by Branson Dunn
i would not usually consider riding a motorcycle an outdoor adventure, but it does often turn out that way, given the way i ride. it also turned out to be an outdoor adventure with the 19th annual Operation God Bless America motorcycle ride on June 7. Being a relatively new biker, this was my first such ride, which impressively pulled in $62,000 for the Veterans, from some 2500 registered participants. But it was so much more than a motorcycle ride. it was something i wasn’t prepared for. i wasn’t prepared for what happened along the way: ---all the people who went out of their way to acknowledge the bikers—waving from their yards, sidewalks, in the streets, on almost all the overpasses, stopped and out of their vehicles along the road and even on the interstate, or standing isolated in a field; ---the beautiful ride itself in the warm sun and the fun of being part of it with friends; ---the Veterans themselves—greeting the group at the hospital, waving flags, and most of all for me, seeing the lonely soldier in military dress out on a porch, by himself, hardly able to stand, but stand he did, formally saluting the riders for all he, and we, were worth. i acknowledged him as long as i could, being touched by his act more than i can write. i hoped others saw him on his easily overlooked watch. Another Veteran expressed his awareness by shining his wheelchair under a shade tree, to match the sparkle of the other two wheelers;
Wheels with Heart
---for the way i felt moved by the Veteran’s and the community’s appreciation of this simple act. it was almost like we were being honored instead. it’s called a “charity ride,” but the term doesn’t do the event justice, in word or deed. One can give charity without caring. An estimated 1800 bikers cared enough to participate, drawn together by the desire to honor our Veterans with an extended string of wheels down the road. This was not a charity ride. it was a heart ride for Veterans. Thanks to all the folks and police presence along the way for their greetings, but most of all thanks to the Veterans for their service to our country. For most of my life, corporate worship has been important to me. The usual pinch of guilt started in on me on that Sunday ride, missing church, even if it was to link up with a caring community of bikers. And then i realized--i hadn’t missed church at all. The last thing i wasn’t prepared for—i would not usually consider having church on my Harley, but it was, and i did.
DECEMBER 2009 ThunDER RoaDs WEsT ViRginia 23
Winterizing your bike
by Gary Westphalen
He had too much junk in his garage, so the motorcycle had to get stored outside for the winter. So this smart guy i used to work with (he was an electrical engineer by trade) parked his bike alongside the fence of his horse paddock, and threw a tarp over it. At this point in the story, if you’re sensitive to the needs of a bike, you already hear the shrieking sounds of the orchestra’s string section as it scores a horror film. Screee…Screee…Screee… We know nothing about the bike’s well-being through the winter months, because he never looked in on it. But when spring came, and i was out riding every day, this bike was still sitting under its tarp surrounded by a field of mud. it would be the end of May before he even attempted to unwrap the poor thing. When he did, the family of rats that had made a winter nest on the engine quickly scurried off to search for a new home. That was his first indication that all was not well…
engine, and may not fully get blown out. i leave it to you to decide the validity of that argument for yourself. Let’s say you don’t have a garage and that once the bike goes into storage it isn’t moving until spring. This calls for a more methodical and detailed version of winterizing. Here we start with oil, but not in the crankcase. yank the spark plugs and put a couple shot glasses full of oil in each cylinder. But don’t use the shot glass to pour it in. use a turkey baster – and not the one from the kitchen. Get your own. Turn the engine over by hand so the oil coats the cylinders, rings and valves. Replace the spark plugs, drain the crankcase and refill with fresh oil. you have done everything you can to keep the dreaded water molecules from attaching themselves inside the engine. Thwarted here, those little buggers will move on to the fuel tank where they can not only attach to the bare metal walls of the tank, but also blend into the fuel and render it powerless (see our stories about how water and ethanol blended fuels are conspiring to ruin your life in our October and November ‘09 issues of Thunder Roads West Virginia). Fill the tank and add a fuel stabilizer according to the directions on the bottle. But don’t think you’re finished with the fuel system just yet. Twist out the drain screw on the carb float bowls and drain them out. if your bike is fuel injected it doesn’t have float bowls, so you get to skip this step. On to the battery. it’s a piece of hardware that we all like to forget about right up until the day that it fails us. if you forget about it while winterizing the bike, that failure day will be the first day next spring when you try to resuscitate your ride. Connect the battery to a smart charger. These things regulate the condition of your battery with amazing precision. in the Thunder Roads West Virginia stable we keep all of our bikes plugged into smart chargers all year round. if a bike is in the garage, it’s plugged in. We have batteries that are nearing a decade old and still holding a charge as good as the day we bought them. The chargers generally cost less than a single battery, and if you use it religiously you won’t have to buy another battery for many, many years. if your bike is liquid cooled, you have one additional chore at this point. Be sure the anti-freeze in your system is sufficient to handle the cold temps your bike will endure. you don’t want that stuff freezing inside the engine, because it will find an ugly way to bust out as it expands into ice crystals. Clean the bike. Any bug guts or bird goo left in place over the winter will dull the paint and pit the metal and chrome parts. Wax it, polish it, wipe some rubber protectant on the appropriate parts, and whisper sweet nothings to it. Park it with the tires off the concrete, resting on a slab of wood or suspended on the center stand. Pull a tarp or cover over the bike and start counting the days until spring.
TO WINTERIZE…OR NOT
That depends on how you use your bike. if you have an aversion to cold weather riding then you have to do something to care for your scoot while you hibernate. Left untended, the fuel in the tank and carb bowls will turn nasty. The battery will likely discharge. The tires will deteriorate. Corrosion…RuST…will find purchase. When you wake up in spring, your bike might not. if you ride every chance you get, there’s no reason to fully winterize your bike. However, there are still some things you should do to prepare it for the frosty season. Most manufacturers recommend lighter weight engine oil in cold weather. Check the manual or ask your mechanic about the specifics for your bike. Keep the gas tank full. Moisture condenses on the inside walls of the tank above the fuel line. Moisture equals rust equals a poorly running bike equals a ruined day and a lighter wallet when you pay for the rebuild. Oh, and put some fuel stabilizer in there. Even though you expect to go riding next Saturday, that snowstorm the weather guy missed might change your plans. Keep your tires properly inflated and be certain they are in good condition. The connection between the cold-hardened rubber of your tires and the frigid road surface is a lot more tenuous than on a hot summer day. And keep the bike well cleaned. Even if the roads are clear in the dead of winter, they may still be harboring residue of salt and chemical treatments from previous snowfalls.
A family of rats notwithstanding, the greatest enemy your bike faces during the winter is moisture. it wants to gather everywhere. it wants to get inside your bike. And it will. How you deal with this amphibious assault on your baby is a matter of degree. The most hands-on method is to keep the gas tank full of stabilized fuel, roll it out of the garage every couple of weeks and fire it up to a good operating temperature. This will help chase out any condensation that has built up in the bike. Be sure to wipe her down before you go back to your rocking chair by the fireplace. it’s also a good idea to change oil by the calendar, too. Even though you aren’t putting any miles on that oil, the moisture still collects in it and damages its ability to protect your engine from – here it is again – corrosion. i should point out that not everyone likes this method of winterization. Some argue that the brief run times set weeks apart actually do harm to the bike. The reasoning is that the moisture that has accumulated in the oil gets shoved around inside the
24 ThunDER RoaDs WEsT ViRginia DECEMBER 2009
SO, DID IT START?
What, the neglected rat condo? you’re killin’ me. Actually, it’s no laughing matter. After days of trying to get the thing running, my old co-worker finally gave up and had it towed to the shop. Of course, it being spring and all, the shop was full of bikes that had been mistreated over the winter. He had to wait in line and it wasn’t until JuLy that he finally got on the road. As for the credit card bill he amassed in the process…it will be many more July’s before that’s gone.
ast month we told the story of the West Virginia BikeToberFest. Well, believe it or not, there is another slightly more famous rally that goes by the same name. They do this one down in Daytona Beach, Florida. Janet Kersey of the Chamber of Commerce in Daytona Beach tells Thunder Roads West Virginia they were very pleased with the turnout this year. She notes that because the event has been expanded across the whole county, “One thing we noticed more than ever was also how much movement there was this year. Folks really got out and rode all over the area.” She noted that despite a tough economy, bikers still showed up in large numbers. Thunder Roads West Virginia’s Moe Vetter took it upon himself to be one of those bikers, and headed down to Biketoberfest to soak up the event. He didn’t bring us back a t-shirt, but he did bring these pictures.
26 ThunDER RoaDs WEsT ViRginia DECEMBER 2009
Okay. Late fall weather in West Virginia left a lot to be desired this year. Can you say rain, rain, and more rain? The Toys for Tots run in Martinsburg got rained out. The Down-N-Dirty m/c run in Charles Town got rained out. The Rock Hill Warlocks in Antioch, well, they never planned a run for that weekend. But it was their 5th anniversary. So, what to do?
Antioch Rock Hill Club House
28 ThunDER RoaDs WEsT ViRginia noVEMBER 2009
P A r T Y !!!
Martinsburg Dirty Dawg
Charles Town Longshots
noVEMBER 2009 ThunDER RoaDs WEsT ViRginia 29
A Hand to Sam
Sam is a 9 year old boy who was diagnosed with Leukemia around the age of 5 years old. Sam was in remission in 2008. in December of 2008, Sam was at the State Championship football playoffs in Wheeling, WV. The Grafton Bearcat’s is Sam’s home team where he is known for being Sam “The Waterman” Bord. Sam was out on the field with the Bearcat’s doing what he loves best, and that was being the waterman. As you can see from the picture of Sam that was a picture perfect day for him because Sam’s home team had won the State Championship Game. in the weeks after Sam’s perfect day his cancer started returning. Sam has been battling with his cancer ever since. My husband Shane said that we need to help Sam and his family and that is when we thought of having the Give A Hand to Sam Poker Run. Our friends, Todd & Angie Romesburg were also a big help. Once we started with everything it just took off. The local community in Grafton was such a supporting group of people, and it even gets better with the surrounding counties that stepped up to help. i have never seen a community come together like we have for such a good cause. The poker Run started at Big Daddy’s in Grafton WV, with a sign up of more than 150 bikers from all over the state. We couldn’t have had a better turn out on a perfect, sunny day. After leaving Big Daddy’s we had a curiosity stop at The Strand Pool Room in downtown Grafton, then took off on 119 to your Tavern in Kingwood WV, then along the Cheat River to Riverview in Rowelsburg, WV. From there we took Route 26 to LuLu McGhee’s in Fellowsville, then back to our last stop at Tygart Lake Golf Course where we had a lot of food and fun as we sat back and enjoyed the George Shingelton Band. We would like to thank everyone that helped, and all the bikers that came together and put their time and effort into this Poker Run. The day was a huge success, with all donations and sponsors we raised over $9000 for Sam Bord and his family. Hope to see everyone next year at our second annual Give a Hand to Sam Benefit. Thanks go out to everyone, Shane & Melissa Stemple Todd & Angela Romesburg
30 ThunDER RoaDs WEsT ViRginia noVEMBER 2009
DECEMBER 2009 ThunDER RoaDs WEsT ViRginia 31
MeLT IN YOUr MOUTh... rOASTeD hOLIDAY BeeF TeNDerLOIN One 2-Pound of Beef Tenderloin Roll (Sam’s Club or Costco has superb Beef Tenderloin) Preheat Oven to 500 Degrees Let Meat Sit On Counter for A Full 20 Minutes Pat Tenderloin Dry With Clean Kitchen Towel Rub Meat Down Thoroughly With Real Butter Rub Salt & Cracked Pepper Over Meat Thoroughly Roast for 25 Minutes On A Shallow-Sided Sheet Pan insert Meat Thermometer into Exact Center of Meat Thermometer Should Read 125 Degrees for A Perfect Medium-Rare and 130 Degrees for A Perfect Medium; To Cook it Any Longer is A Crime Against Tenderloin & you’d Be Better Off Roasting An Old Shoe. Remove Filet From Oven To A Separate Plate and Cover Entirely With Foil And Let Meat Rest At Least 10 Minutes, Add An Envelope of “French’s Peppercorn Gravy Mix” to Pan Drippings For A Rich, Smooth Gravy. This is the easiest and absolute foolproof way i’ve ever found to cook a tenderloin and it literally comes out perfect every single time. e-Z CheeZY hOLIDAY POTATO BAKe 1 can (10-3/4 ounces) Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup, undiluted 1 Cup (8 oz. tub) Sour Cream 1/2 Cup Whole Milk 1 cup (4 ounces) Shredded Mexican Blend Cheese 1/2 cup Butter, Melted & Divided 1 package (30 ounces) Frozen Shredded Hash Brown Potatoes; Thawed 1 Cup italian Bread Crumbs 1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan cheese in a large bowl, combine the soup, sour cream, milk, cheddar cheese and 1/4 cup butter. Stir in the hash browns. Transfer to a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. in a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and remaining butter; sprinkle over top. Bake, uncovered, at 325° for 45-50 minutes or until heated through. Perfect w/ the Beef Tenderloin and a big bowl of Broccoli Florets. Look for them in any grocery freezer. Be sure and get Florets ONLy! as those are the tops of the broccoli and the very best part of the vegetable. Microwave and dot w/ real butter pats. Salt & Pepper. Superb.
MrS. CLAUS’ reAL DeAL NANNer’ PUDDIN’ 2-1/2 Cups Sugar 6 Tbls. All-Purpose Flour Dash of Salt 2 (12 oz.) Cans of Evaporated Milk 4 Egg yolks 1/2 Stick of Real Butter; Cubed 1 tsp. Real Vanilla Extract 1 Box Nilla Vanilla Wafers *Plus extra for garnish & for crumbling 5 Ripe Bananas; Sliced 1/2” Thick 1 Can of Real Whipped Cream in a 3-quart heavy saucepan on low heat, add sugar, flour & salt. Pour in the evaporated milk and keep stirring constantly. After about 15 minutes, the sauce will thicken slowly. Lightly beat the egg yolks in a medium size bowl. Now, temper the eggs, which means that you slowly ladle some of the thickened sauce into the eggs.....slowly, and whisk gently. Now add your eggs into your sauce (since you’ve tempered them they won’t turn into scrambled eggs in your sauce). Continue to gently whisk your sauce, apprx. 3 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in butter and Vanilla Extract. Place pudding in a bowl and cover w/ plastic wrap. Let cool in fridge for 2-1/2 hours. Now, into a large glass bowl or trifle dish, add a layer of Nilla Vanilla Wafers, a layer of sliced bananas, then a layer of pudding sauce and then a layer of Real whipped cream. Keep repeating layers but make sure you save enough whip cream for the top layer. Garnish w/ crumbled wafers over entire top and wavers stuck standing up all around perimeter of desert dish. Now, this is the REAL DEAL method of making it and baby, Mrs. Claus don’t mess around cause’ this will literally make you a believer in Santa, the North Pole, Rudolph & his buds......... & Miracles.
Merry Christmas & A Blessed New Year
FROM OUR THUNDER ROADS FAMILY TO YOURS
TO ALL OUR BRAVE, PROUD TROOPS... YOU’RE IN OUR THOUGHTS & PRAYERS DAILY. God Speed You Home.
December 5 – Inwood, WV Toys for Tots Meet –n-Greet At iffies ii Sports Bar from 3 PM til closing. Bring a new toy or $10 at the door. Door prizes, raffles, 50/50 & more. Help us help the children have a better Christmas. Sponsored by Harley Construction, Evel Speed, Master Dry, Jefferson Security Bank & iffies. For more info call Mike M. 304-261-8397 or Mike P. 304-676-0942 There are numerous other Toys for Tots events throughout the state. Watch for an event in your area.
DECEMBER 2009 ThunDER RoaDs WEsT ViRginia 33
BIKER FRIENDLY DIRECTORY
BARS & RESTAURANTS
3rd Base Sports Bar & Grill 22 Virginia Avenue; uS Rt. 220 up from the stop light Petersburg, WV 26847 (304) 257-2273 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Dakota Tavern Route 19 North of Fairmont (304) 288-4893 Friendly Atmosphere and Good Food Est. 1964 iron Horse Bar & Grill HC 84 Box 33 (Cutoff Road) Keyser, WV 26726 (304) 788-7533 Longshots Billiards 76 Wolfcraft Way Charles Town, WV 25414 (304) 724-1975 www.longshotsbilliards.com Petie’s Pub & Grill 304 Morgantown Avenue Fairmont, WV 26554 (304) 363-0698 Owner – Beverly Opas Road Hogs Saloon 415 Clayton Street Rivesville, WV 26588 Steve’s Broken Spoke Bar & Grill 14977 SR 55 Needmore, WV 26801 (304) 897-7706 Email: email@example.com Stray Dawg Saloon & Grill Route 9 Hedgesville, WV (304) 754-3361 DFM Special Tee House “The Biker Shack” Helmets – Shirts – Chaps - Jewelry 2 Locations: 162 Nancy Jack Road, Gerrardstown, WV 25420 & Barnwell Mini Shops 874 Chesire Road (Rt. 51) Bunker Hill, WV 25413 (304) 229-7609 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org East View Variety Shop We have everything from A – Z, Old and New 715 Philippi Pike East View, WV 26301 (304) 622-6710 Evel Speed Custom Machine & Motor Sick’l Shop 7323 Winchester Avenue inwood, WV 25428 (304) 229-0987 www.EvelSpeed.net insane Leather Apparel 37 Eastship Road Dundalk, MD 21222 (410) 491-0020 Email: email@example.com www.insaneleather.org The Smoking Head 835 E. Washington Street Charles Town, WV 25414 (304) 724-3033 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org M&J Motor Company Lehman Trike Conversions 1000 S. Queen Street Martinsburg, WV 25401 (304) 262-6200 www.mjtrikes.com O.B.’s Motorsports 1019 7th Street Parkersburg, WV 26101 (304) 420-0910 Motorcycles Shipped FREE www.obsmotorsports.com Romney Cycle Center 51 industrial Park – Off Route 28 Romney, WV 25757 (304) 822-3933 Email: email@example.com www.RomneyCycles.com Skip’s Honda 580 South Mineral Street Keyser, WV 26726 (304) 788-1615 Smitty’s Suzuki, Kawasaki, yamaha Rt. 33 E. Corridor H Buckhannon, WV 26201 (304) 472-4824 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.supersmittys.com The Little Shop of Harleys Service & Accessories HD Certified Mechanic 44 Bay Berry Lane Berkeley Springs, WV 25411 (304) 258-3909 TRS Fabrication Custom Painting & Collision Repair 109 Rainbow Hill Road Berkeley Springs, WV 25411 (304) 258-0816 or 240-674-2985 Email: email@example.com Tri-County Honda 135 South Main Street Petersburg, WV 26847 (304) 257-4420 www.tri-countyhonda.com
Art by Weeze Custom art on bikes, leathers, helmets, auto, canvas & murals Martinsburg, WV (304) 264-4604 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.ArtByWeeze.com
DEALERS & SERVICES
Evel Speed Custom Machine & Motor Sick’l Shop 7323 Winchester Avenue inwood, WV 25428 (304) 229-0987 www.EvelSpeed.net
BIKER ACCESSORIES APPAREL • LEATHERS & GIFTS
Anthony’s Specialty Biker Apparel – Leather – H-D Boots & More 112 Davis Avenue Glen Lyn, VA 24093 (540) 726-3080
34 ThunDER RoaDs WEsT ViRginia noVEMBER 2009
By Jim “Jammer” Marcum WHO is CHristMas?
We decorate our Christmas trees and string up lights. We kick into a higher emotional gear, release our financial clutch and twist our physical throttle, rushing to find gifts for our friends and loved ones. Wish lists are created, but my wife has laid down the law on me this year…No long list of chrome items or bike accessories and no black t-shirts, so i guess i’ll have to settle for a new watch, maybe a chrome watch honey? it’s customary to exchange gifts just as they did when Jesus was born, but the aftermath of Christmas shouldn’t leave you with PTCS (Post-Traumatic Christmas Syndrome) which leaves you stressed, broke and sad. it was never meant to be that way. Have you ever heard the statement, “Jesus is the reason for the season?” This is a true statement. Christmas came by way of Mary giving birth to Christ. Therefore, it should be a time of peace, goodwill and rejoicing in knowing that we have a Savior. As the scripture reads in the second chapter of Luke, an Angel of the Lord came to the shepherds in the fields nearby and said, “i bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. This day in the city of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord.” A host of Angels then appeared, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.” So, the question should not be “What is Christmas?” The question should be “Who is Christmas?” May God’s peace and blessings be upon you this Christmas season. Merry Christmas!
Jim “Jammer” Marcum resides in Charleston and has been involved in motorcycle ministry for nearly 15 years and serves as Clergy within Highways and Hedges Motorcycle Ministry.
Vetter Photo 1675 Cold Spring Road Moorefield, WV 26836 (304) 530-6855 www.vetterphoto.com
Hot Rods Roll Back and Towing Specializing in Motorcycle Towing 274 Bedington Road Martinsburg, WV 25401 (304) 267-5586 Visa & MC Accepted Email: email@example.com
Clubs & Organizations
C.E.’s Helping Hands (Old Fields, WV) is a non-profit organization enlisting the help of other good hearted people wanting to contribute to the cause of helping others in need. Recent donations have gone to local families with serious health and financial challenges. The organization holds monthly meetings and several fundraising rides every year. Donations are always appreciated. For more information visit our website at www.cehelpinghands.com. Highways and Hedges Motorcycle Ministry (South Charleston, WV) For more information email Jim “Jammer” Marcum at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Doug’s Sport Shop New and used Guns, Sporting Apparel and Aigner Products 220 North Main Street; 743B Hawse Plaza Moorefield, WV 26836 (304) 538-6496 email: email@example.com
Meridian Development 55 Meridian Parkway, Suite 101 Martinsburg, WV 25401 (304) 263-1000 www.meridianwebsites.com
Bob’s Tire Service inc. 812 East Moler Avenue Martinsburg, WV 25401 (304) 267-2797 www.bobstireservice.net
noVEMBER 2009 ThunDER RoaDs WEsT ViRginia 35
A group of children were trying very hard to become accustomed to Kindergarten. The biggest hurdle they faced was that the teacher insisted on NO baby talk! You need to use ‘Big People’ words,’ she was always reminding them. She asked Jimmy what he had done over the weekend? ‘I went to visit my Nana’. “No, you went to visit your GRANDMOTHER. Use ‘Big People’ words!’ She then asked Jimmy what he had done. ‘I took a ride on a choochoo’. The teacher corrected, ‘No, you took a ride on a TRAIN. You must remember to use ‘Big People’ words’. She then asked little Lil’ Joey what he had done? ‘I read a book’ he replied. That’s wonderful!’ the teacher said. ‘What book did you read?’ Lil’ Joey thought real hard about it, Then puffed out his chest with great pride, and said, ‘Winnie the SHIT”. Bubba was sunbathing naked on Flagler Beach. For the sake of legality, and to keep it from getting sunburned, he had a straw hat over his privates. An old drunken woman walks past and slurs, “If you were a gentleman you’d lift your hat.” Bubba raised an eyebrow and replied, “If you weren’t so ugly, it would lift itself.” Indian Chief ‘Two Eagles was asked by a white government official, ‘You have observed the white man for many decades. You’ve seen his wars and technological advances, you’ve seen his progress and the damage he’s done. The Chief nodded in agreement. The official continued, ‘Considering all these events, in your opinion, where did the white man go wrong?’ The Chief stared at the government official for over a minute and then calmly replied. ‘When white man find land, Indians running it; no taxes, no debt, plenty buffalo, plenty beaver, clean water. Women did all the work, Visit to Medicine man free. Indian man spend all day hunting and fishing; all night having sex.’ Then the Chief leaned back and smiled, ‘Only white man dumb enough to think he could improve system like that.’ Biker Bob walks into the bedroom carrying a sheep in his arms and says “Honey, this is the cow I make love to when you have a headache.” The wife, laying in the bed reading a book, looks up and says, “If you weren’t such an idiot, you’d know that’s a sheep, not a cow.” Biker Bob replies, “If you weren’t such a bitch, you’d realize I was talking to the sheep.” Ole’ “Dumpster” bought this new deodorant today. The instructions said remove cap and push up bottom. He says he can barely walk, but now, whenever he farts, the room smells awesome!
She was standing in the kitchen, preparing our usual soft-boiled eggs and toast for breakfast wearing only the ‘ T ‘ shirt that she normally slept in. As I walked in, almost awake, she turned to me and said softly,” You’ve got to make love to me this very moment!” My eyes lit up and I thought, “I am either still dreaming or this is going to be my lucky day!” Not wanting to lose the moment, I embraced her and then gave it my all; right there on the kitchen table. Afterwards she said, “Thanks,” and returned to the stove, her T-shirt still around her neck. Happy, but a little puzzled, I asked, “What was that all about?” She explained, “Oh, the egg timer’s broken.” Two old men decide they are close to their last days and decide to have a last night on the town. After a few drinks, they end up at the local brothel. The Madam takes one look at the two old geezers and whispers to her Manager, ‘go up to the first two bedrooms and put an inflated doll in each bed. These two are so old and drunk, I’m not wasting two of my girls on them. They won’t know the difference.’ The Manager does as he is told and the two old men go upstairs and take care of their business. As they are walking home the first man says, ‘you know, I think my girl was dead!’ ‘Dead?’ says his friend, ‘why do you say that?’ ‘Well, she never moved or made a sound all the time I was loving her.’ His friend says, ‘could be worse I think mine was a Witch.’ ‘a Witch ??. . Why the hell would you say that?’ ‘Well, I was making love to her, kissing her on the neck, and I gave her a little bite, then she farted and flew out the window. Took my dang teeth with her!’ My wife and I were sitting at a table at my high school reunion, and I kept staring at a drunken lady swigging her drink as she sat alone at a nearby table. My wife asked, ‘Do you know her?’ Yes,’ I sighed, ‘She’s my old girlfriend. I understand she took to drinking right after we split up those many years ago, and I hear she hasn’t been sober since.’ ‘My God!’ says my wife, ‘who would think a person could go on celebrating that long?’ Hung Chow calls into work and says, “Hey, I no come work today, I really sick. Got headache, stomach ache and legs hurt, I no come work.” The boss says, “You know something, Hung Chow, I really need you today. When I feel like this, I go to my wife and tell her to give me sex. That makes everything better and I go to work. You try that.” Two hours later Hung Chow calls again. “I do what you say and I feel great. I be at work soon......And...…You got nice house.”
36 ThunDER RoaDs WEsT ViRginia DECEMBER 2009
DECEMBER 2009 ThunDER RoaDs WEsT ViRginia 37