July 19th, 2008: All event organizers know the routine… You set the date, make all the necessary plans, and come the week before, you’re glued to the TV to see what the weather man is going to predict for the event. But considering how this year’s weather has played out around the Midwest, even the weather man can’t seem to plan anything out this year.
This past July 19th, Sue and the crew from the Almont Tap in eastern Iowa, were hosting their annual Memorial Run and Anniversary Party. Sue and her husband Jim bought the Almont three years ago, and have hosted an anniversary party every year since. However, in March of ‘07, Jim was involved in a motorcycle accident which took his life. Therefore, last year’s party turned into more of a memorial run for Jim, and plans were set for July 19th to do it all over again. Jim was very well known through out eastern Iowa and Northern Illinois, and a beautiful day of weather for last year’s run made for an excellent turn out. However, the for cast for this year’s event was calling for something in the range of 2-3 inches of rain during the day, so it was safe to say that turn out was not expected to be great. But, the party must go on, and the party did just that.
By Friday night before the run, the for cast had turned on a dime, and nearly eliminated any chance of rain Saturday afternoon. Showers had moved through early in the morning, but by 9 AM, the sun was out and with sign-up from 10:30 to noon at the Almont, the roads were dry for the riders who took part. The run left the Almont with stops on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River at the Outpost near Fulton, the Iron Horse Social Club in Savanna, and Dually’s in Elizabeth.
The run then took back roads into southwestern Wisconsin, for a stop in New Diggins, then rolled back across the river into Iowa with stops at the Riverview in Bellevue, and Driftwood in Sabula. The run was then finished off back at the Almont, where poker hands were drawn and the party was kicked into gear.
For years, the Almont has been known through out the region for their “To die for” 3/4 pound burgers and scrumptious western fries. But for this event only, the grill was shut down at 3 PM, and the food favors were left to Dave “Cupcake” Bahnsen, who’s a master at smoked pulled pork and baked beans.
Festivities continued with a 50/50 raffle, door prizes donated by many bars and bike shops through out the area, and a silent auction featuring motorcycle prints by photographer Nate Ullrich, who’s work is well known in many biker publications world wide. A number of motorcycle collectibles were also donated for the auction, along with some parts and accessories that were donated by Tom Eiler, who’s an organizer with the Cyclerama and Hot Rods and Harleys display at the Chicago World of Wheels Show, and Flash, who’s a familiar face at the Iron Horse, also donated some shiny chrome pieces. DJ music and Karaoke kept things going by Jam Master Chuck and his big breasted babe Lyndsay.
Late into the evening, nasty storms again rolled through the area, but everyone was having a blast inside the bar‘s new addition, so as long as the roof stayed over their heads, nothing was going to slow the party down. All the funds raised from the event were donated to ABATE of Iowa’s District 21, to be used for such things as their Downed Bikers Fund, Share the Road Program, and many other programs that protect our rights and freedoms as motorcyclist. Jim was a member of District 21 and the Almont is a supporting business, so he’d be pleased to see ABATE get any additional help. Most states have an ABATE organization, and for a small annual fee, the benefits are put to very good use through out the motorcycle community, so take the time to join. And keep July 25th, 2009 open, because as of right now, that’s the tentative date for next year’s Almont Run. Or stop in and have a big burger at anytime. They’re open all year round, except Mondays and major holidays. The Almont is located 6 miles north of Clinton, Iowa, just off highway 67. Just look for the bar out in a corn field.