mysteries and motorcycles

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Unbelievable weekend

The H.O.G. chapter that I belong to has one huge event annually and that is our "Mystery Ride." We have a motorcycle raffle in conjunction with this event and the proceeds from the weekend provide most of the operating capitol that sustains our chapter all year long. We also try to make a substantial donation to local charity and this year we were able to kick in a three thousand dollar contribution to the "Johnny Burke Children's Foundation." Johnny and his wife Genevieve were there to ride the ride with us and accept the check. It was a special moment for all of us.

But the weekend held some significant surprises for me as well. On Saturday my fiance and I chipped in five bucks apiece to by some 50/50 raffle tickets and we won $109. And then on Sunday morning we took up a pool to guess the total number of paid registrants for our "Mystery Ride." It was a winner-take-all affair with everything going to whoever could come closest to the actual number. We had 683 folks show up for our ride and I guessed 684 and won another $55. But the real shocker came when they announced the winner of the 2007 Harley Davidson ElectraGlide Motorcycle; It was my sweetheart, Dianne. She's been a rider for many years and currently owns a 2006 Harley Davidson Sportster. Now she has gone from the smallest Harley in the stable to the biggest HOG dresser out there. What a thrill!!!

Posted by The Unreal McCoy :: 8:05 AM :: 0 Comments:

Post / Read Comments


Thursday, July 26, 2007

PR and such

This morning I accompanied the spokesperson for our upcoming H.O.G. (Harley Owner's Group) event to the studios of WHNN 96.1FM to be with Johnny and Blondie on the "Johnny Burke and the Morning Crew" drive time radio show. It's a very popular mid-Michigan oldies station and the morning show has the largest listening audience of any southeast Michigan FM station.

We were there to promote our July 28-29 weekend bike show and Mystery Ride. A total of five different charities will share in the proceeds from the weekend and the largest portion will be presented to the Johnny Burke Children's Foundation.

We were greeted at the door by none other than Blondie, the very clever co-host of the show and perfect foil for Johnny's sometimes sarcastic humor. The studio was small but comfortable and our hosts were friendly and very helpful. The interview went extremely well and Johnny's knack for bringing out the important facts made it easy on us. It was a great experience and I know that it reached a wide audience. I just hope that it leads to a significant increase in attendance. Johnny and his wife will be riding with us and enjoying the sunshine.

Posted by The Unreal McCoy :: 12:15 PM :: 0 Comments:

Post / Read Comments


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A day at the track

Well, I had my day in the sun at Michigan International Speedway. Last Christmas my kids gave me a gift certificate for a three lap "ride-along" in a genuine NASCAR race car. So this past Sunday I arrived at the track early and watched all of the cars go round and round. After some very careful observation (and a hint from one of the track workers) I determined that the fastest vehicle out there was the little Craftsman Truck and was told that the driver was a guy named Bill Eversole who happens to be a genuine ARCA driver.
So the truck was my choice!
Three laps goes pretty quick when you're moving at 150+mph. I wasn't disappointed. The driver was out there for fun too so we did a little dicing with some of the other cars. We ran within inches of the rear bumper of another vehicle as we drafted him down the straightaway and then dove below him as we entered the turn. Nobody passed us during our time on the track. Fun!!!
The "G" forces in the turns were considerable, more than I had expected but tolerable. The ride was very smooth (but loud). All in all it was a great experience.

Posted by The Unreal McCoy :: 8:08 AM :: 0 Comments:

Post / Read Comments


Monday, July 16, 2007

The world's most prestigious powerboat event

Well, I survived three very long days of standing on a dock on the Detroit River in the blazing sun. It was supposed to be a perk filled weekend spent shaking hands and chatting with old boat racing buddies at the APBA Gold Cup Regatta for Unlimited Hydroplanes but it didn't exactly turn out that way.

For over twenty years I chaired the launch committee for this race and two years ago I retired, leaving these chores in the extremely capable hands of the experienced launch crew. But this year attrition had taken it's toll and they found themselves a little short handed.

A tap on the shoulder and I turned around. An official handed me a radio and a headset and said, "You're officially un-retired. Go to work."

I was somewhat concerned because I had a guest with me, an adventurous lady who had been to the Iditarod but had never been to a hydroplane race. I would have to leave her alone to deal with the barely controlled mayhem of the hot pits. I was worried but she did fine; even managed to take a few photos.

Within a few hours it was as if I'd never left the old launch gang. We were wise-cracking and harassing one another as the launch went on flawlessly.

The only anxious moments of the weekend came when Mike Allen had a blow-over accident in the Team Formula U-1 boat. The former Miss Budweiser was extensively damaged but Mike escaped with very minor injuries.

Posted by The Unreal McCoy :: 7:24 PM :: 0 Comments:

Post / Read Comments


Sunday, July 08, 2007

The H.O.G. rally is behind us and it's safe to say that a good time was had by all. The weather remained sunny and very warm throughout the weekend. As always the Saturday dinner provided by our H.O.G. chapter was excellent; prime rib and baked potatoes accompanied by a salad and choice of veggies and topped off with a delcious slice of cake, Nobody went away hungry. The evening entertainment was top notch and the ice cream cones were huge.

After a couple day's rest I'll be headed off to the Gold Cup Regatta for Unlimited Hydroplanes (Think, Miss Budweiser) on the Detroit River. About six years ago, after a thirty year career, I retired from owning and driving the automotive powered version of these circle racers. And two years ago I stepped down after more than twenty years of chairing the launch committee and serving on the board for the big race in Detroit.
Last year I had the honor of being inducted into the "Detroit River Racing Legends," and now I qualify for all of those perks that they give the old timers. It begins with a luncheon at Sindbads riverfront restaurant honoring the late George Simon, one of the pioneers of powerboat racing and owner of the hometown favorite Gold Cup winner, "The U2, Miss U.S."
Then on Sunday us "Legends" will be part of the opening ceremonies for the championship heats of racing. Don't have a clue what that will consist of but I'll be smiling.

Posted by The Unreal McCoy :: 1:28 PM :: 0 Comments:

Post / Read Comments


Tuesday, July 03, 2007


July will be the busiest month of the year for me. It starts with the Michigan H.O.G. Rally on July 6,7,8 and is followed up by the APBA Gold Cup Regatta for Unlimited Hydroplanes on the Detroit River on July 13,14,15. Then on July 22, I will be going to the Michigan International Speedway for a three lap ride in a real NASCAR car at racing speeds. The month winds up on July 28,29 with my home (Shiawassee, Michigan) H.O.G. chapter's "Mystery Ride," our biggest event of the season.

I think I'll sleep through August.

The first event, The Michigan Harley Dealers Association and Harley Owners Group Annual Rally will be held at the Ionia, Michigan County Fairgrounds and will probably attract around four thousand motorcycles. It's an activity filled weekend geared toward family fun. There are vendors, demonstrations, seminars, displays, fireworks, entertainment (The Guess Who), and there's even a clergyman on duty at the fairgrounds wedding chapel if you'd like to get married. The weekend is capped off with a ride to an MDA camp where some of our members with sidecars attached to their bikes give rides to the kids.

Posted by The Unreal McCoy :: 8:58 AM :: 0 Comments:

Post / Read Comments