Feb 122012

The state of Arizona turns 100 on February 12th 2012.  In preparations for that they had an Az. Centennial ride for motorcycles on February 11th.  BKAZIX went and met up with the BKAZVI Chapter from Phoenix.  Those that made the brisk ride, in the upper 40’s when we started, that Saturday morning were; Jeff & Kelly Jamieson, Ray and Donna Valenzuela, Will Hanson Will Harris, Dave Lehman, Steve Mathews, Tom Clark, a friend of Dave & Steve’s, Patrick & Georganna Shely, Steve Kelley, Bill “REV” Calkins, and yours truly.  Our newest member, Russ Cole, fresh from his honey moon, could not make the ride but he showed up at IHOP to see us off.  We headed off to Gilbert to meet AZ VI at the Golden Corral on Cooper Rd.  We met up with their chapter, had breakfast and then headed off to the Riverview Mall.  There we were met with a HUGE number of motorcycles.  I would estimate that there was well over 3,000 bikes for the parade.  After checking in and/or registering for those who could not do it earlier we had time to walk around and enjoy the sights and sounds.  There was the “Copper Chopper” that was being raffled off.  This was a custom designed bike made out of copper and copper plating.  You can see it on the “Photos” page at the top of this page.  After sitting down and having something lite to eat we headed back to the staging area.  By now the bikes had group by leaps and bounds.  The parade was supposed to start at 2:00 pm but as we well know nothing ever starts on time.  Approximately 2:10 pm. the bikes started to move.  At 2:45 we finally made our way toward downtown Phoenix and the Capital Building.  We had a complete police escort.  All the cross streets and Highways were closed off to allow us unrestricted driving.  I only saw one accident where two bikes got to close to each other and went down. The temperature was in the 80’s which caused a lot of Harley’s to over heat and break down.  Driving at such slow speeds the Harley’s could not take the heat.  One by one they had to pull over to cool down.  After a 16 mile trip into downtown Phoenix, and close to a 45 minute ride we made it to our destination.

Once we made it downtown we were able to park on one of the many closed streets they had for motorcycle parking only.  We walked around the area for awhile and looked at the various booth’s and the wares they were selling.  Some of us decided to meet back up at the bikes @ 4:30 so we could start heading back to Tucson.  But before we did that we had to stop for dinner.  We drove down I-10 to Ray Road where we pulled into one of the strip malls and decided to eat at the “Native New Yorker.”  Bill Calkins had said it was a great place and wondered if they had “Beef on Kummelweck.”  This is basically thinly sliced beef on a German Kaiser roll, called a kummelweck, which is topped with kosher salt and caraway seeds.  Those who live in Western New York are all to familiar with this sandwich.  The sandwich comes with au jus, steak fries or curly fries, along with some freshly grated, burn the eyes, clear the sinus’, horseradish.  Dave Lehman said there is a “Native New Yorker” on Cortaro Farms road across from the Az. Pavilion next to Nana’s if you want to try this out.  It was a really good sandwich.

After getting our fill we stopped at Circle “K” and filled up the bikes and off we were for home.  As we came into the Tucson area everyone started peeling off at their exits.  We did a total of 250 miles door to door that day.  It was a great day for riding motorcycles.  But then again almost everyday is a great day to ride motorcycles in Tucson.

Here are some group photos of BKAZIX members.  You find the remaining photos in the Photos Gallery at the top of the page.


Centennial Ride Video

This is a short video but the guy was standing on a transformer box right next to us.  You can see many of us in the video.

This is just one of many videos on Youtube. You can look at the side boxes and see the “Copper Chopper.”


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