By Kat Plank
It was a hot summer afternoon and the Third Annual Harley-Davidson of Yuba City Anniversary BBQ was in full swing. Women were dancing as the Fryed Brothers Band performed on a stage erected in the dealership lot. The wind swirled Harry Fryed’s long hair and beard around him as he sang and sawed on his fiddle.
It was a full house at Yuba CIty Harley. Their showroom was packed with riders shopping for gear, accessories, and new bikes. It was all hands on deck for the Yuba City Harley Staff taking special care to see to the needs of every patron. As I made my way through the shop, I was impressed at the selection offered for riding gear, especially women’s gear. An entire wall of pipes, handlebars and other accessories gleamed under the showroom lights. They even had onesies for the tiniest of Harley-Davidson fans. Tables overflowing with raffle prizes were displayed front and center. Prizes included new tires, a plush seat, riding boots, a helmet, a tool roll and more.
Outside bobs, baggers, and every bike in between glittered in the beaming summer sun. Around the building, people were lined up for a lunch cooked up by Chef Nick, who can be found working parts and accessories when he’s not cooking up lunch for 300 plus hungry bikers. I chatted with the folks in line around me as we waited eagerly for tri-tip. The sense of community was strong as I watched old friends greet each other warmly. Entire families were out together to enjoy motorcycles, music, and food. A group of three-wheelers rolled up and I got to chat with them about their unique bikes that featured a Volkswagen engine, and loaded up with fishing gear from their trip to the lake earlier that morning.
As I shopped the vendors’ wares, more guests rumbled up in packs, V-twins pumping in time with the hard country feel of the Fryed Brothers Band. When their set was over I went in search of the band. A leather-clad bearded man offered me a smoke before I even got a word in. I politely declined, telling him that I was hoping to speak with Harry. He walked me straight into the cool conditioned air of the tour bus, where people were sipping long necked beers and getting a reprieve from the heat.
The guys were sharing their best crash stories, which greatly amused me since I was still in a sling from my latest brush with pavement. I felt right at home with these gruff bikers. I asked Harry what he enjoyed most about playing locally, he stroked his beard thoughtfully and responded that it gives him a chance to visit with those who are dearest to him “except Tim!” he exclaimed as a grin curled across his face. Tim grinned back.
That’s what it’s all about, the people. Developing and cherishing those deep connections with your community. Harley-Davidson of Yuba City went above and beyond to facilitate a warm, inviting event that made it easy to feel like a part of the H-D family.