Posts Tagged ‘motorcycle’

Riding the River to J&P Cycles Open House Rally

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

The day started around 6:15 with the push of the garage door opener, and the good mood began. Another push of a button and the office thundered to life rumbling with anticipation. The work day was about to begin.

J&P1

Like any day in the office, my desk started clean. Today though, my office is a bit more appealing than the usual wood slab with a keyboard and a couple of monitors. Today it’s black with a chrome center strip that houses a speedometer and is partially covered with a map pouch. The office window? A Klock Werks Flare framed by a well-polished set of KST Kustoms 16″ apes with a view of a huge chrome headlight housing. This will be a perfect day in the office.

It’s my third annual ride to the J&P Cycles Open House Rally in Anamosa, IA. Each year I take a different route; doing my best to avoid highways and freeways. For this year’s trip, I’ve decided to take the Great River Road from Brainerd, Minnesota to the border of Iowa. After I cross the border, I will let the GPS take over and choose the shortest route to Cedar Rapids – my home for the next three nights.

When I take these rides, I have an unusual set of rules for myself.

1. I refuel at the next gas station after the gauge hits ¼ tank.
2. I stop to eat breakfast at 9:00am, lunch at 1:00pm, and dinner at 5:00pm. Once I see those three times, I have to stop at the next place food is served (unless it’s a fast food place, because no one needs that!).
3. Once the clock hits 8:00, I stay at the next hotel or motel I see. I already had a reservation this time around, so this one didn’t really apply today.

These rules may seem a bit odd, but they fuel the journey! I have found some great little dives to eat at, and not-so-great dumps to spend the night in! It’s like an adventure on every trip.

The first half hour of my ride was over roads I had previously traveled. They were quite uneventful – which was good since the coffee had just begun to kick in. The route brought me through Little Falls and for the next several hours, I was on roads I had never ridden on. Just South of Little Falls, I passed through Lindberg State Park. What’s interesting is – driving through state parks by car sucks, but on a bike, the slower speed limits force you to look around and take in the beauty of your surroundings.

This led me through a dozen back country “drag strips” en route to St. Cloud, where signage became non-existent, and it was nearly impossible to follow the route. After backtracking and looking at every post that should have a sign for what seemed like an eternity, I finally decided it was best to stop, get out the iPad, and do a little research. NO I WASN’T LOST!!

J&P2

It turns out – I was supposed to cross a bridge that had been gone for over a decade! I promise you I can skip water, but I wasn’t about to attempt this one!

Headed south I was led into a short little six mile construction zone. ‘Tis the season I guess, but six miles of gravel was how I avoided the freeway. It was no big deal – just another part of the adventure. This led me through Monticello, and would be my last sighting of the freeway and the only roads I’ve ever known for the next couple hours. I was pleasantly surprised as I followed the river through what was essentially “The Cities,” but felt more like I was in the middle of the country. The only difference I could see was that the road seemed considerably wider and the surface was in great condition. I really had no idea where I was, and that made this section of the route very interesting.

I usually wouldn’t admit this, but going through the Twin Cities was probably one of the highlights of the day! Living two and a half hours northwest of here, activities that made the news were the only sightings I have seen of Riverside Park, but getting to ride through it was quite eye opening. This is an area hit hard by the storms that blew through in the previous days. As I looked to the right, I saw streets filled with fallen trees and cleanup crews, but looking to the left life was normal. This is a park that goes on for miles along the shore of the Mississippi – holding a lock and dam, green grass, people playing with their pets, and some just laying in the sun reading books. It hits me here that only 700 feet of elevation and this thing dumps into the Gulf of Mexico.

Shortly after the park, the river actually makes a bend and heads North. This confused me because I actually was thinking I had gotten on the wrong side of the river and was going the wrong way! Once I remembered that the river actually flows north for a while the confusion subsided, and I was again amazed by all of the industry in this section of river. I actually have an interest in heading back that way when I have time to see what all goes on in an area that seems so far from home.

On the south side of Minneapolis, I met up with Steve Kroyer, a distributor sales rep in the area joining me for the remainder of the trip. Hastings, MN was the lunch and gas stop where we would say our final words to each other in Minnesota. Highway 61 was the main road for the leg through the entire southeast Minnesota section of The Great River Road. Cruising along railroad tracks, you would skirt Lake Pepin and the hilly southeast – one of the few parts on Minnesota where there is notable elevation.

Once in Iowa, we followed the GPS’ shortest route, and Lansing, IA was the point where we were actually sent across the river to hook up with highway 35 in Wisconsin. According to the gas gauge and the clock, it was time to make a couple of stops! We refueled in Ferryville, WI and grabbed a bite to eat at Jake’s Sportsmans Bar and Grille. While parking the bikes on the side of the road and snapping a couple pictures, we met Neil and LaNette Sirucek (bikers always strike up conversation right?). The cool part is that I rode 12 hours to meet this couple that lives in Staples, MN, a little railroad town that is just 20 minutes from my house. What a neat coincidence!

J&P3

From Jake’s we headed south to only have the route detoured because of a landslide as we would hear later. Most of the time you are frustrated by a detour, but on a bike, they aren’t always bad and in this case, it was FANTASTIC! We were sent up on the top of the ridge where we rode over a half hour overlooking the river valley on our way into Prairie Du Chien, where we would cross the river for the final time and head southwest.

If you haven’t ridden through the northwest corner of Iowa, I would highly recommend it. The view in every direction is that of those picture perfect American farmlands you’ve only seen on post cards and in commercials on TV. This describes the view for the nearly two hours it took to finish off the trip. We arrived to the hotel at 9:50pm, and yes, we rode into the sunset to finish off a perfect day in the office! And yes, this was the first hotel!

J&P4

Fourteen and a half hours of being bugged in the office and I loved it!

Danny Gray User Review

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

A Danny Gray AIRHAWK seat owner posted a video review of his new seat. Check it out! Thanks for the kind words!

AIRHAWK launches new AIRHAWK R Motorcycle Seating System

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

BELLEVILLE, Ill., (June 29, 2011)

AIRHAWK by Paul Jr. at Daytona Bike Week

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011
Daytona Bike Week logo

The AIRHAWK crew is ready for Daytona Bike Week from March 3-13. If you rode down on your AIRHAWK (or even if you didn’t) stop by and see us in the parking lot of J&P Cycles (253 Destination Daytona Lane, Ormond Beach, FL 32174).

Bike Week’s 70th anniversary won’t disappoint with several events planned by multiple vendors and businesses all over the Daytona area. Approximately 500,000 people travel to the area for the 10-day event. There will be bike rides, motorcycle racing, parties, performances, street festivals and more.

Participate in everything from Fastlane’s 7th Annual Motorcycle Swap Meet Extravaganza at the Volusia Country Fairgrounds to the Miss Florida Biker Bikini Contest at Thunder Gulch Campground. Paul Jr. will also be signing autographs on March 11 from 1-3 p.m. in the J&P Cycles Exhibitor lot.

Not to mention that Mardi Gras falls right in the middle of the festivities. So come out to Daytona and say hello to the AIRHAWK crew.

 

P.S. Here’s an awesome action shot of the Asspad Tycoon on his way to Daytona.

2011 Dealer Expo adds several new show features

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

AIRHAWK will be at the Dealernews Motorcycle Expo from February 18-20 in Indianapolis, IN. The Expo is the largest powersports business event in the world. It is open to dealers, distributors, aftermarket parts and accessory companies, and original equipment manufacturers. This year the Expo will have five new features including the NPA Auction, fashion shows, The Shop and The Cantina. Below are this year’s show features.

NPA Auction

Live seminars and auctions of more than 100 vehicles hosted by National Powersport Auctions (NPA)

Fashion Forward

Fashions shows every 45 minutes and live merchandising demos

The Shop

You can see live product demonstrations, see new tools and products and more.

The Cantina

The spot to grab a bite to eat or just hang out

The Dealernews Learning Experience

Educational training in management, marketing, sales and service designed to improve your business

Saturday Morning Keynote Experience: Larry Winget

Larry