I confess I haven’t been able to do much riding in the past month, between the foul weather and my hectic schedule. But in sticking close to home for a change, I discovered some cool happenings in my neck of the woods, such as the opening of Sacred Souls Ink Tattoo Studio just a few miles from where I live. I met owner Patrick “Gump” Henderson and tattoo artist John Kosco, both fellow bikers, one snowy day when there wasn’t a single bike on the road. Patrick has finished building a ’78 KZ 750 Twin hardtail chopper with his dad. And John, the cousin of the late Richard Kosco who owned Kosco H-D in Kinnelon, New Jersey, owns an ’81 Ironhead Sportster, and is now working on a ’72 Norton Commando bobber. The shop, specializing in custom tattooing, is beautifully constructed and looks like a high-end art gallery inside; in fact, they held an art gallery opening last year on Halloween, with plans to do more gallery openings in the future. On November 18, a few weeks after Superstorm Sandy hit, they put on Food Tattoos for Hunger in collaboration with www.tattoonow.com. Pre-drawn food tattoos were inked for $50 to $100 with 100 percent of that day’s donations going to the Community Food Bank of New Jersey. Patrick and John tell me that the shop has more of a family feel than anywhere either has worked. Patrick wants to build community; a tattoo sanctuary, so to speak, which is where the name Sacred Souls came from. Check out the website at www.sacredsoulsink.com, or stop by the shop to visit artists Patrick, John and Jamison at 318 Route 46 West, Denville, New Jersey… The Metropolitan Vacuum Cleaner Company, maker of Air Force Blaster motorcycle dryers, has opened a new 60,000-square-foot facility in Oakland, New Jersey. Due to increased demand for the Air Force Blaster products, the original location in Suffern, New York, is out of space! The Oakland building will be Metro’s new corporate headquarters, and the added space will enable the company to provide double the administrative, manufacturing, warehousing and distribution capability… Online motorcycle gear retailer RevZilla.com is moving from its headquarters in South Philly to the Philadelphia Navy Yard in February. The company has been doing amazingly well since its inception in 2007, and opened a Las Vegas warehouse for West Coast deliveries less than a year ago. The really big news, though, is that the company is opening its first retail store to sell apparel and accessories at the Navy Yard location. Partners Anthony Bucci, Nick Auger and Matt Kull expect to attract riders who prefer to shop in a brick-and-mortar store rather than on the web. Initially the retail store will be open on Saturdays only… It’s official! My road brother Francesco Vacca from the Iron Knights MC in Newark, New Jersey, was recognized as having the Most Pierced Tongue for a 2013 Guinness World Record. Check out his photo at www.guinnessworldrecords.com/GWR-2013/images! He gets his piercings done at Mario Barth’s Starlight Tattoo just outside of Newark, New Jersey. Frank tells me he currently has 16 tongue piercings, but he’s going for 18 just to break his own record… The Motorcyclepedia Museum at 250 Lake Street in Newburgh, New York, is holding its first-ever benefit on February 2. The live entertainment will feature Kamikaze Pit Lengner, another Guinness World Record holder, performing in the Wall of Death at the museum. Pit is celebrating his 60th birthday, and while he’s visiting New York, he is giving Wall of Death riding lessons. The first was held January 13, with the next four lessons to be held January 26, and then February 2, 9 and 16. Check out the museum’s website at www.motorcyclepediamuseum.org for more details on the benefit or if you’re interested in learning to ride the Wall of Death… My friend Betsy Lister, founder of Bikerbits.info, wrote on December 24, “It is with a very heavy heart that I share the passing of one of motorcycling’s longtime activists, Bill “Irish Ryder” Gannon. Bill struggled with cancer for a good five or six years and lost the battle. He will long be remembered for being a staunch and stalwart freedom fighter. Bill organized and led Bikers of Lesser Tolerance here in Massachusetts, and was one of the founding members of the Massachusetts Motorcycle Association way back when.” Bill was also one of the founders of what would become the Motorcycle Riders Foundation. The funeral was held December 27, and before his passing, Bill requested that a memorial fund be established with donations to be made to the following organizations: H.A.M.C. B.H.C Fund, 61 Edward Road, Townsend, MA 01469; the Motorcycle Riders Foundation P.A.C., P.O. Box 1808, Washington, D.C. 20013; or Boston Children’s Hospital, 300 Longwood Ave., Boston, MA 02115. Godspeed, Bill… The New Jersey State Assembly, as well as the Senate, voted to approve a resolution naming the newly renovated Route 46 Bridge in Dover, New Jersey, the Officer Thomas E. DeShazo Memorial Bridge. Officer DeShazo died from injuries sustained when the Indian 401 he was riding crashed while he was escorting a member of Charles Lindbergh’s family on May 22, 1930. Newspaper accounts from that time state the mile-long funeral procession was one of the largest ever in Dover’s history, testifying to the patrolman’s popularity, as people lined the streets to say a final farewell. His badge, #1, was also laid to rest with him that day, and the number retired forever in Dover. I ride that bridge just about every day since it’s only about five minutes from my house, but I never knew this bit of history until now.