Motorcycles still give a sense of freedom when ridingBY CHUCK TUCK | JOURNAL REPORTER The warm weather days seem to be numbered as the weather changes from sunny days to rainy ones when motorcycle riders cruised up and down Hwy. 9 and along the shores of Lake Stevens.
Instead of the usual rumble of a Harley Davidson or the screaming sound of a sport bike, one now hears the pitter-patter of rain as it hits the ground. Several weeks ago when the weather was still good, many riders from across the county spent their day at the lake enjoying what they knew was going to be one of the last days of summer weather.
Mike Feeney, of Everett, sat on his 2004 Harley Davidson Road King admiring the lake view.
“I just moved up from Los Angeles and got a job with Boeing,” Feeney said.
Knowing back then of the possible Boeing strike, Feeney raised his hands and smiled.
“Hey, they offered me a job, and I wanted to come up here.”
Feeney says he’s only been riding a few years and doesn’t consider himself an excellent rider yet, but he enjoys the freedom that he feels when he rides.
“I started riding when I lived out in Colorado and when I moved back to L.A. I upgraded to the Harley,” he said.
Even in tough economic times the American legend of Harley Davidson lives on as many new and experienced riders either “upgrade” or change their style of riding.
“Look,” Feeney said, “I can get out and I’m not in my truck and I can hit the back roads and just ride around.”
In Feeney’s book, safety is his main concern when he rides.
“I’m doing more riding up here than I did in L.A. because it’s safer and better. I’m going to be honest,” he said, “I probably am a fair weather rider, I’m still new to it and I want to be safe and everything.”
Often, you’ll find a couple riding together on a motorcycle.
Dianna Lopez and Randy Crandall shared an afternoon together enjoying each other’s company and the freedom of riding. Crandall said that he has been riding for many years, but has owned his current Harley Davidson for about four-and-a-half years.
“I love riding,” Crandall said.
He added that he loves the feeling of having the wind blowing in his face.
“That’s why I don’t have a windshield or any of that stuff, and have a small helmet. I don’t wear a full-face, no way,” he said.
Lopez jumped in with a smile and said that she’ll always be on the back.
“I had a 1974 Wide Glide before this one, but this is only a 1200cc sporty,” Crandall said.
He added some custom features including the 16 inch hangers (ape hangers) which are high-rise handlebars. This style of handlebar gets its name from the way a rider looks because his arms are high in the air and sometimes above his head giving the appearance that the rider is mimicking an ape.
Crandall is one of those who was born to ride and doesn’t consider himself a fair weathered rider.
“No, I ride all winter long,” he said. “We rode east the other weekend and it poured on the way back.”
Crandall mentioned the Oyster Run, the largest motorcycle gathering in the Northwest, which takes place on Sunday, Sept. 28, and the special meaning it holds for the two of them.
“That’s where we met,” Lopez said.
“Yeah, that’ll be our one year anniversary,” Crandall said.
Crandall lifted his sunglasses, and then turned with a smile and said, “I’d sell everything before giving up riding.”
The Oyster Run is a one day event where upwards of 20,000 riders gather for one day and take over the small town of Anacortes.
Hawkeye’s Pub on Vernon Road in Lake Stevens and the Eagles #3358 in Granite Falls are listed as biker friendly spots year round and for riders to visit when riding to and from the Oyster Run.