Chewin’ the Fat Boy: January, 2014

By Susan Swan


Broncos fan, former Matchless and Ariel rider and reader Larry Sanders is enjoying retirement and spending time with his family. I was quick to applaud all that warm and fuzzy stuff, but faster still in scolding him for letting the vintage scoots go. He was conditionally redeemed upon informing me of the bike he’s riding now, an ’05 Sportster. At 72 years young, Sanders, who lives in Loveland, Colorado, took the greatest pleasure introducing his granddaughter to riding. He e-mailed a photo of the first time she (Alicia) rode with her granddad. He said, “She was hanging on for dear life.” That photo, taken a few years ago, was a dandy, but I twisted Larry’s arm into taking a current photo so we could better see the young lady he’s so proud of. Alicia is a high school sophomore, a varsity cheerleader, she runs on the cross-country team and is on student council; a lot to be proud of, indeed. Below is a “then and now” photo. Kind readers may notice that Larry could be two different fellows in the separate shots. He prevailed in facing some daunting health challenges. I think Alicia may have proven a big reason that Larry is hanging on for dear life himself. Thanks for the sharing, Larry… Speaking of overachievers, for 35 years ABATE of Washington State has been turning legislative heads and rallying participation from those of us in the riding community regarding protecting motorcyclists’ rights. Among ABATE organizations nationwide, Washington State has done more with less and is being looked to by other states wanting to replicate Washington’s successes. While many of us pay little to no attention, the work of protecting motorcycle rights goes on, and we all benefit. Thursday, January 23, a date that is known as Black Thursday, is the annual opportunity to join others in lending a presence in Olympia, Washington, thereby demonstrating solidarity in the causes that ABATE spends so much energy furthering. I spoke with Donnie “Mr. Breeze” Landsman recently, and he said that for every person standing in Olympia on Black Thursday, “legislators imagine 10 others are standing with them.” That means 10 voters at the back of everyone present. That’s how legislators’ heads are turned and bills make it to the floor for votes. By coming, you shape ABATE’s success, and that affects your own freedoms. So be present on the Capitol steps between 10:00 a.m. and noon on January 23. ABATE works very closely with the Confederation of Clubs, and Donnie spoke of what their energies bring to the game. He said, “No single group could have made the strides we have without others.” He credits the participation of the Confederation with making the difference in passing an unheard of six legislative bills in three years. This is remarkable, frankly. So, are you an ABATE member? Even if you’re not up for the $30 annually, you might consider a donation of some kind to help ABATE succeed on your behalf. Questions? Donnie can be reached at 425.495.7000 or by e-mail at And the website for more info on Black Thursday is… Last mention: Mark your calendar for the Progressive Motorcycle Show in Seattle, an annual winter browse through a theme candy store for those of us who ride. It’s February 14–16 this year, at 800 Convention Way (free bike parking again too). You can get your heated clothing, custom-molded earplugs, free seminars, heated gloves, helmets, toy trailers and everything conceivable in between. Oh, and then there’s the bikes. Under bright lights it’s dizzying. And lord knows we’re all mesmerized by shiny stuff. Go to for more details… Happy New Year, all.


Larry Sanders with granddaughter Alicia
Larry Sanders with granddaughter Alicia on her first ride
Larry Sanders with granddaughter Alicia
Larry Sanders with granddaughter Alicia

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