River Ramblings

The Quad Cities is where the Mississippi River makes a turn to the west running through the middle of the QCA, located about 180 miles due west of Chicago. Just look for the BIG X of the 80 & 74 Interstates. This is the Heartland. Here’s a quick up date on a few of the places I have talked about. The 5th Ave Café in Rock Island is close to completing the construction for the outdoor area and covered patio. It’s looking to be a great BYOB party place. In Historic Downtown Savanna, IL just a few doors up river from the Iron Horse Social Club, Hog Dogs should be opening the 1st of the month. It will not be just a bar and grill but will feature a motorcycle co-op with lots of large glass display cases full of motorcycle related things for sale. Another new Biker Friendly restaurant is Mazzarisi Pizza; they have been getting great reviews from those I have talked to. These are certainly two more good parts of the puzzle that is making Savanna, IL the most Biker Friendly town along this part of the Mississippi River. So check them out and let me know.

The local bike nite scene is going stronger, the most fun & entertaining one has to be at Jammerz Roadhouse on Wednesday hosted by Beth Davis of the Dwyer & Michaels morning radio show on 97X. Ducky’s Lagoon had DIXIE CHOPPER’S “Chopper Bike” built by OCC. Also at Ducky’s you can get signed up to win one of two Harleys. Over at Choppers Bar & Grill in East Moline hosted by Goose of the Quad City rocker 104.9 they are close to giving away the grand prize of a custom upgrade by Motorcycle Specialties and Jeremy’s Airbrush Design. Don’t forget to look for the Wheels of Freedom MC holding “mouse races” at many of the bike nites to raise money for the POW MIA causes. The Tuesday bike nite at Time Out in Clinton IA is still on my list to make. I tell you what, there is so much to do here in the QCA that trying to make them all is near impossible. I haven’t “yet” and that what I do is go every where and anywhere along the Mississippi River from Bluegrass IA up to Savanna IL. And with every month I expand that area finding more places that are Motorcycle Friendly.

I did get way up to the weekend bash at Bunker Hill outside of Cazenovia, WI. for The Cannon Run summer long poker run. They had almost 4000 riders during the summer long run with 66 stops. They gave away 2 Harleys and lots of cash & prizes somewhere near $32,000 in total with free food, $2 beers and camping. Sounds like a great time right? It was, everyone there I spoke with told me they were having fun looking forward to next and then asked if I knew where they could find a dry towel. It rained so much for so long everything was soaked, but not one of the several hundred let the rain dampen the fun.

In the August River Rambles I talked about doing a story on Le Claire, Iowa, and the local motorcycle shops. Well, I am still working on those and should have them both by next issue. But I can share some things with you now. The city of Le Claire, home of native son William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody, has been doing a lot of improvements along its “river” road and they are now working on saving the Lone Star Steamer, a wooden-hull sternwheeler. With a few good biker friendly establishments and the now closed Hog Heaven Bed & Breakfast, be nice if someone could open her back up. As the local shops go, I have been talking to riders and will continue to do so and now have to visit those shops. I have talked with just a few of the many shops already, such as the guys at a new (well new to me since I had just found it) place in Moline called J&S Customs, Tim Coffman of Thunder Road Cycles and with Robbie of Motorcycle Specialties (one of the sponsors of the bike nite at Choppers).

When some of you will be reading this I will be at the Iron Horse Bike & Music Festival in Sabula, Iowa across from Savanna, IL during the Labor Day Holiday weekend. Located up on the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River makes the camping even that more enjoyable. I will be there hosting the event again, and will have all the fun contests such as best campfire, most improved campsite, largest group, oldest riders and who rode the farthest. Jimmy Van Zant is headlining the holiday weekend of music, ultimate fighting, Pro wrestling and 2 $ 500 wet t Shirt contests. Two Harleys are going to be given away on Sunday the 2nd from the River Ramble Run. There were 70 places along both sides of the river that you could enter for free.

For all you hill climber fans there are two events this month. On the 9th in Anamosa Ia. Visit www.geocities.com/anamosahillclimb and on the 16th in Dickeyville visit www.wilwerts.com If flat track action is what you want then on Aug. 31st head to Davenport Ia. for The Antique Flat Track Races being held at the Mississippi Valley Fair Grounds. For more local info on rides and events check out the web site of my good friend Gale Brown at www.qccruz-news.com

Gery Schemel