The 31st annual ABATE of Oregon Toy Run, sanctioned and spirited by the Southeast and Twin River chapters, and benefitting the Shriner’s Hospital for Children, will be held December 1. Beware of conflicting reports out there that state the date differently, or the meeting place elsewhere. Gather ’round, here’s the factual report: Bikes will be gathering at 10:00 a.m. at the Fred Meyer corporate parking lot at 3800 SE 22nd in Portland. Ticket sales for the bike drawing will be cut off at 11:30 a.m. Drawing is shortly after the cut-off time for a new Harley-Davidson. Bikes will take off for the kids a bit after noon, and tickets for the drawing are $10 plus a new, unwrapped toy. And please, no stuffed toys. Deal? If you have questions (and with the conflicting info out there, why wouldn’t you?), phone either Jim at 503.775.2203, Brad at 503.816.5286 or Mike at 503.255.5415… The second Saturday in December (the 8th), Emerald City Harley-Davidson, located at the old Lynnwood Cycle Barn site at 188th Street SW and Highway 99, is offering a mighty appealing deal for all ages. Between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. they suggest you “bring the whole family” for Pictures with Santa. I’ve been at the dealership for this event before and it’s very popular. And even if you didn’t bring a child along, it’s fun to watch how people react to someone in a red Santa suit. And if you’re not given to sitting on the bearded one’s lap, or too easily tire of such merriment, there’s a great array of 2013 rides and gear to browse, and Christmas shopping is always pretty easy under the Bar & Shield. ECHD is also touting “delicious cookies” for attendees and, as we always say at our house, “A balanced diet means a cookie in each hand.” ECHD will take your questions at 425.921.1100, and you can see the dealership well represented at the International Motorcycle Show the following weekend… December 14-16, Seattle will be enjoying a flurry of motorcycle traffic for those braving the ever-changing meteorological elements to attend the Progressive International Motorcycle Show in the heart of the Emerald City. Arriving by bike has always meant free parking, leaving plenty of jingle in a pocket for an overpriced beer (if so inclined). The website is a little cumbersome to navigate, but mentions this motorcycle-parking perk at www.motorcycleshow.com/seattle. The event is always a fine place to lose your friends. That’s why when we’ve attended we pal around with our tall friend Mike Burnard, his ostrich-like neck and engaging smile easy to spot in the throngs. Aisle after aisle of shiny objects, people watching, gadgets you can’t live without, and truly knowledgeable sales staffers make this a good time for old timers and newcomers. It’s a great stroll and a heck of a way to pass the time out of the weather, to catch up with folks you haven’t seen since, well, the last time you made your way to 800 Convention Place, also known as the Washington State Convention Center. One of the highlights I’ve always enjoyed is the VME display of member bikes. The Vintage Motorcycle Enthusiasts (www.vmemc.org) have been a fixture in the Greater Seattle area since the early ’80s, and their reach has grown to the extent that there are two chapters in Western Washington now, as well as a Portland affiliate. It’s great to see the still-used bikes shining a light on our shared motorcycle heritage, culture and dignity in the foundation of riding in the Pacific Northwest. And to be able to ask questions and tell tales with today’s proud owners is a substantive anchor for this event. It offers an avenue to take us back to the day while vendors and dealers strive to be taken forward with our financial support. IMS hours Friday are 3:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Kids five and under can get in at no cost, but it will be $6 for kids up to 11 and $15 a head for everybody upwards of that ripe age. Sunday finds the show allowing kids age 11 and under at no cost, so long as they’re accompanied by a paying adult. So this effectively makes Sunday family day. So grab the kids or grandkids, shout-out to a friend or two and then belly up to the Convention Center for the annual soiree. That, or be sorry to have missed it… On December 31, two fine women I know are celebrating birthdays. Hats/helmets off to Diane Wear, outgoing commissioner in Pend Oreille County, and happy birthday to the doctor-defying, vintage-BMW-sidecar-riding Lois Lorenz of Gold Bar. You ladies have a great day.