Happy birthday to all bikers who celebrate in August. Happy birthday to IHR members Patty Brassfield in Los Gatos and David Kinchloe in Wilderville, Oregon. Happy birthday to THUNDER PRESS editors: my friend Cristy Pazera, associate editor in Watsonville, and to John Galvin, managing editor in Minnesota. Happy birthday to girlfriend Debbie Macdonald in Santa Cruz and, also in Santa Cruz, birthday wishes go to Paul Fletcher and Angel Kraten. Happy birthday to Del Rio Sons of California MC rider, Bob Warren. In Sacramento, happy birthday to Dan “LoDown” Parker and to Kyle Dalton in Salinas. Happy birthday to Iron Steed H.O.G. members in Vacaville: Mike Landers, Richard McDonald and Frank Lukachinsky. Here is a happy birthday shout out for Pat Pine of the Redwood Empire H.O.G. in Chico and for his stepson, Travis Lorenzo, who will be 18 this month. Happy birthday to Erin Simmons of the Hangtown Motorcycle Riders in Placerville, and to Richard Barton of the famous Hot Chocolate Gang in Santa Nella. Happy birthday to my favorite celebrity rider, Sam Elliott. Whew! Lots of birthdays in August!… Many thanks to Randy Slimp for a very informative e-mail regarding motorcycle trikes and trike riding. Randy is a trike builder with Desert Thunder Motorcycle Shop in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. Randy said Havasu was 120 degrees as he was writing to me. Wow! But the heat doesn’t stop Randy or all the other mechanics and builders at Desert Thunder from doing what they do best. Randy built his original trike when he was just 40 years old, and with about 150,000 miles on it, he won’t part with it. He says as we get older, falling down hurts and recovery time doesn’t pay the bills. He answered all of my questions about trikes and riding them, and, I have to tell you, I think a trip to Lake Havasu will be a good investment when I finally make the decision to convert. They have 15 years of experience building trikes, and they are a full-service motorcycle shop including metal fabrication and powder coating. Their trike conversions are Champion and Lehman, but they also build Frankenstein, Mystery Designs, American, etc. I think it was good advice when Randy said, “The short of it is that the ‘majors’ have refined engineering and suspension and ‘looks’ to the point that they are all pretty damn good conversions, and customers should not get too wrapped up in engineering stuff and start by looking at what looks pleasing to them and work it out from there.” He went on to assure me that riding a trike is very simple to master… Get well wishes go to my friend, E Linderman, in Watsonville. E, I am sorry to hear that your MS is kicking your butt right now. You are forever in my thoughts, and I am pulling for a full recovery so that you can hop back up on that bike with Trees… Here is a name you will instantly recognize: Evel Knievel. Now I am going to tell you some things you may not know about him. He was born on October 17, 1938, in Butte, Montana. He died on November 30, 2007, at the age of 69 in Clearwater, Florida. His real name was Robert Craig Knievel, but do you know how he came to be called Evel Knievel? In his younger years, he was in a jail cell next to the cell of a man by the name of Knofel. Funny man that he was, the jailer referred to them as “Awful Knofel” and “Evil Knievel.” Knievel later changed the spelling of Evil to Evel. He retired on May 26, 1975, in London after he crashed in his last attempt to jump over 13 buses. He broke his pelvis for the second time in that crash, but as far as I know, he still holds the Guinness Book of World Records title as the survivor of “most bones broken in a lifetime.” He served six months in jail and was left bankrupt after his conviction in 1977 for attacking his promoter, Shelly Saltman, with an aluminum baseball bat while yelling, “I’m going to kill you!” Parenthetically, Evel still had both arms in casts at the time. He is buried in his hometown at the Mountain View Cemetery. His hometown of Butte still loves him and honors him each June with Evel Knievel Days. The town becomes packed with bikers, entertainment is free and unstoppable music is free. This year, entertainment included a free concert by Tracy Lawrence. Activities can include anything from the Wall of Death to the high wire of the Wallendas. Look it up on Evel Knievel Days. Sounds like a plan for next year!


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