Posts Tagged ‘motorcycle rally’

Hell’s Angels ‘Invade’ Minnesota

August 1, 2009

“They rode with a fine unwashed arrogance, secure in their reputation as the rottenest motorcycle gang in the whole history of Christendom.” – Hunter S. Thompson, Hell’s Angels

The Hell’s Angels made a small town in Minnesota the spot to amass before heading out to Sturgis for the annual motorcycle rally, and while local and national law enforcement have been on high alert, locals have proved less concerned.

hellsangels02The bikers of “unwashed arrogance” are largely a thing of the past. No longer ex-military and out for a post-war good time, the ranks have been largely replaced by the miscreant too dumb to conform to societal norms. They are the suited and tied, the employed white collar and blue collar, mixing with ner-do-wells to form a slutty fraternity of kindred spirit.

But nevermind the description, the bikers started rolling into Carlton County, Minn., on Sunday, July 26. By Thursday, July 29, more than 300 of the patched riders were in attendance. Some estimates suggest an equal number of law enforcement agents in the area.

The Hell’s Angels made their base roughly 100 miles from the Twin Cities, at the Black Bear Casino Resort on I-35 and the Lost Isle Bar on Hwy. 210. Both locations were barricaded for maximum privacy.

Although the Hell’s Angels are classified by the FBI as a gang known for crimes ranging from drugs to prostitution to money-laundering to gun-running, residents say the bikers have been polite, respectful folks.

“What I imagined were constant bikes going back and forth,” Don Rostollan told Minnesota’s StarTribune newspaper. Rostollan owns Spirits Restaurant and Bar and a convenience store across from the temporary Hell’s Angels headquarters at the Lost Isle Bar on Hwy. 210. “I’m kind of surprised you don’t see more.”

One biker reportedly asked Cozy Cafe waitress Tracy Burns where he could buy some wild rice. One ordered a double shot espresso at a coffee shop. “Good guys,” Burns told the StarTribune of the handful that have stopped by the cafe. “Good tippers.”

However, past deadly outbursts with the Outlaws (currently holding court in a nearby town in western Wisconsin) has stoked concern about the potential for violence.

Yet Carlton County Sheriff Kelly Lake told the StarTribune there had been no major incidents involving the Hell’s Angels. Authorities ticketed 24 of the member bikers for speeding and 71 non-members for minor traffic violations between Tuesday and Thursday. One Angel, a 43-year-old New York member, was arrested for driving under the influence after he refused to take a field sobriety test and was found to be riding a motorcycle reported stolen in New Jersey.

Off-Road Star Blais Still Passionate About Cycles

June 12, 2009

Chris Blais has a passion for motorcycles.

Off-road motorcycle enthusiasts no doubt recognize Blais’ name from the stellar riding career he carved out for himself in the sport of desert racing.

Chris Blais

Chris Blais

Check out his scorecard:
2003 – 2nd overall at the Baja 1000
2005 – 4th overall at the Nevada 1000
2005 – 2nd place at the Terrible’s Town 250
2005 – 2nd place at the Parker 250
2005 – 4th overall at the Baja 500
2005 – 1st overall at the San Felipe 250
2005 – 4th overall at the Tunisia Rally
2005 – 9th overall at the Dakar Rally
2006 – 4th overall at the Dakar Rally
2007 – 3rd overall at the Dakar Rally

Blais, who started his career in 2001 atop a Honda, ultimately turned to riding for KTM and quickly became among the most promising riders in the United States. Then, in August 2007, Blais’ riding career came to an end when he damaged his vertebrae as the result of a motorcycle crash in the desert near Tonapah, Nev., while pre-running the Best in the Desert (BITD) Vegas to Reno race.

What is he doing now? Click here to find out.

Hoot, We Bid you Adieu

December 19, 2008

Up to this point, we’ve reported that Honda has pulled out of  AMA Road Racing, and  announced sweeping changes to its business plan. Well, there’s another missive coming over from Honda announcing that the OE is canceling the Honda Hoot.

In Honda’s words:

American Honda announced today [Dec. 19] that the 2008 Honda Hoot will bring to a close 15 years of what has been one of the most successful motorcycle rallies in history. Over the years, almost a quarter of a million guests attended the Honda Hoot which was born in the hills of Ashville North Carolina and eventually moved to Knoxville, Tennessee. At the first event, a little over 3,000 attendees enjoyed what would grow to become one of the largest rallies in North America

The Hoot set new precedence for what a motorcycle rally should be, offering not only a wonderful opportunity to test ride new products but also focusing on family fun and growing the industry from the ground up. Based on the current economic crunch which may have significant impact on our customers during 2009, American Honda will take this time to seek out new and innovative ways to engage with our customers so that we can continue to ride together.

American Honda extends our deepest gratitude to the more than 1300 volunteers who helped make the Honda Hoot a success and to all our event sponsors, to our two host cities, Knoxville, TN and Asheville, NC, and especially to all the good people who helped make the Hoot such a great event.