I need a Southern vacation. Anyone want to put me up?… Kim Erickson of Sparta, Michigan, has a heart of gold and she proves it every year when she hosts her annual motorcycle run to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Michigan chapter. This year was the 15th annual MS Run and it is the talk of the town, as it is held in late September and usually attracts at least 300 riders. The 2012 event raised over $8,500, bringing the total money raised to just over $113,000. The run leaves and returns to the Bow-Tie Tavern in Sparta for chicken dinner. Bob Shue and Roger Kerr won the poker run with flushes. Cindy McGarry made two quilts for the event to raffle off. One quilt was made from MS Charity Walk T-shirts (Kim also organizes) and was won by Chris Pickle, and the quilt made with Kim’s Harley T-shirts from all over the world was won by Dawn Preston. Dawn is the reason behind all of Kim’s work for MS. Lori Faber and Bob Shue won the 50/50. Skip Meyer performed the blessing prior to the run. Kim does great work, and I just want to say to all that she is a great person. God bless you, Kim… I found a video on the net that shows a police escort where the front motor patrolman seems to need just a little more training. He hits a speed bump and the seat just launches him. He seems to be OK, but it is a terrible way to treat a perfectly good scooter. Check it out; it’s quite a ride: biertijd.com/mediaplayer/?itemid=38393… Congratulations to Olga Bell who has been named human resource director for Adventure H-D in Dover, Ohio, as well as Mad River H-D in Sandusky and Rubber City H-D in Akron. Olga was born in Russia and came here as a student 15 years ago where she earned a BA at Mount Union College and an MBA from Kent State. Thanks to Nicki Snyder, marketing manager at Adventure, for sharing the news… Members of the Minnesota chapter of ABATE met at the Minnesota State Capitol’s Great Hall on January 23 to remind lawmakers to give serious thought to motorcycle safety. Minnesota had 53 motorcycle fatalities last year, which was up from the previous year. ABATE would like to see an increase in penalties for those who cause harm, and to improve safety while maintaining their right to choose… Shame on Albright Cemetery in Kokomo, Indiana! Sharon Young loved to ride motorcycles and it always brought a smile to her face. When Sharon died suddenly, her daughter Shawna Turner and her husband built a motorcycle-themed bench and customized it just the way they thought she would like it. Sharon never could afford her own scoot, and they put it at her gravesite for when they visited. The bench sat there for seven years and the family used it often. Cemetery officials removed the bench, destroying it in the process, and told the family that it was offensive and it wasn’t a standard bench. Rule #7 of the handbook states all monuments and markers must be professionally manufactured. I saw a picture of it and it looked professionally built to me. WTF?… In Lincoln, Nebraska, Senator Bill Avery has introduced a bill that would put minimum age requirements into state law for motorcycle passengers. It would be illegal for any child younger than 8 years old to ride on a motorcycle in the state. Five other states have age limits: Arkansas-8, Hawaii-7, while Louisiana, Texas and Washington require the child to be at least 5. The AMA, however, prefers passenger restrictions that are passed on physical size rather than age. What do you think, folks?… Did you see the Cobra advertisement in our last issue? These are so cool! They are a true-dual slip-on and the collector is located behind, and centered with, the rear tire. They are made in the U.S.A. for late-model FLs, and they would be so cool on my 1976 Birch White bagger! Maybe I could get somebody to fabricate some for me… The featured Harley-Davidson Museum exhibit this spring is “Designing a Celebration.” The exhibit will honor Harley-Davidson’s many anniversary celebrations and will feature photos and stories to help narrate the history behind The Motor Company’s anniversary celebrations beginning in 1913. Development of the logos and special anniversary parts, as well as limited-edition anniversary motorcycles will be on display. The exhibit will be open through the Labor Day weekend… Speaking of Milwaukee and the 110th Anniversary, I am going to give a big SHAME ON YOU to the hotels and motels around the area. There are a few places I always like to stay and they are just gouging all of us on their prices. The Hampton Inn on Silver Spring Road is charging $300 per night; I stay there all the time for $79. Their response is that they can’t help me; it is a corporate decision. Well! So, if you don’t have a room yet you’d better get a very large Band-Aid for your backside, because it is really going to hurt and burn your wallet, too. See you there… In 1956 Dean Allie was 15 years old and out riding his motorcycle on the thin ice of Big Swan Lake in Dassel, Minnesota, when the 1938 BMW he was riding went through the ice. He lived to ride another day, but efforts back then failed to find the bike and all was forgotten. Fast-forward to November 29, 2012, when fisherman Jeff Reidemann netted the 74-year-old motorcycle and brought it up. There was still air in the tires and the cylinders were dry. Although it cannot be restored to running condition it was cleaned up enough for display. Allie, now 71, still lives in the Dassel area, and when the bike was brought to him his eyes welled with tears. Allie was going to keep the bike for posterity until Ron Miller, a fishmonger from New York City, convinced him that he would give it a good home exhibiting it at motorcycle dealerships and civic celebrations… That’s it for this month, folks. It’s all about you, the Midwest Biker. Ride fast, but ride safe.