Over 760 Harley Owners from around the Northeast, Canada and beyond, gathered at Jackson Gore Lodge in Ludlow Vermont August 22nd-24 th for the first Iron Adventure Run, a rally sponsored by the Harley Owners Group and Harley Davidson. The rally took the place of the annual state-wide H.O.G rallies for the five participating states, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.
The rally was unique in allowing the participation of non-Harley Davidson riders. Valerie Ledterman, a Regional Manager for Harley Davidson, said they opened the event to non-Harley riders in hopes of attracting new riders to the brand.
H.O.G is the official owners group for Harley Davidson motorcycles. The group was established in 1983 and has world-wide membership of over a million riders. The Iron Adventure Run celebrated both the 30th anniversary of HOG and the 110th anniversary of Harley Davidson with a 110 mile ride on Vermont Route 30.
A beautiful morning for riding on VT-100, just north of Ludlow, VT
For members, H.O.G is a social group that centers on riding, but extends to other parts of life. The Concord NH H.O.G is a good example. The group has an official monthly meeting and one or two sponsored rides per month during the season. Supplementing the club’s sponsored rides, members often gather for non-club rides. In the end, club members find something to do on almost every weekend. The group even meets during the non-riding season and it’s not unusual for club members to go skiing or do other winter activities together.
“We even meet for most holidays. We have a Christmas party and meet on the 4th of July,” said Mike from Concord. People who share a common interest in motorcycling often find they share other interests as well, he said.
The Iron Adventure Run was an opportunity for friends in neighboring states to renew friendships with people from distant states. “It’s a chance to see friends you haven’t seen all year,” said Bill Borger, Iron Adventure Run Team Leader.
The rally had a strong riding component with daily guided group rides to Ben & Jerry’s in Waterbury, Vermont Teddy Bear, King Author Flour, and an Okemo Valley scavenger hunt. There were also self-guided rides with GPS routes and directions. Most of the routes where were over 220 miles in length, ensuring a full day of riding.
One of the more popular rides was the 110 on 30, which celebrated the 110th anniversary of Harley-Davidson and the 30th anniversary of H.O.G. This guided group ride, began in Ludlow and then ran north to the beginning of Vermont Route 30 in Middlebury, VT. They then followed VT-30 for 110 curvy miles, past lakes Bomoseen and Saint Catherine, passing through Manchester, VT and the Green Mountain National forest through Stratton and Jamaica, finishing in Brattleboro.
1922 Harley JA, Fred Gonet, Best in Show
Fred Gonet of Proctorsville, Vermont won top honors in the Friday night bike show with his 1922 JA Police Special, “F-Head” motorcycle. The JA model uses Harley’s “A” motor, which was design for high speed use. The bike is completely original, except for a period correct speedometer, which Gonet added as an accessory. Gonet doesn’t keep the bike in his garage: this bike is his daily rider for around-town errands and other trips.
While Gonet’s bike was hard to beat for best of show, my favorite bike show story went to Huntington Vermont resident James Luman and his 1977 Harley Davidson XLCR 1000. Luman is the original owner of the bike and it’s production number is 267. There were only 1,923 XLCR’s made in 1977 and 1,201 in 1978. Although the bike is rare today, Luman had his choice of three bikes on the dealer’s showroom the day he bought it.
Other Iron Adventure Run highlights:
· Vermont rider, Haley Drury, 17, took honors for youngest participant at the rally.
· The run was attend by 760 riders from New England, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia, Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia, Italy and Taiwan.
· Biker games played Saturday included a slow ride contest, big wheel contest, a water balloon high bar toss and a “drive-by shooting” with water balloons.
Next year’s Iron Adventure Run will be held in August in Ludlow Vermont. The dates should be announced early in 2014.
The 2014 Iron Adventure Run is July 24th - 26th inn Ludlow VT. See the event posting for complete information