Wednesday, December 10, 2014

When Hogs Fly


When you think of a Harley, you don’t typically think of them flying through the air, at least not on purpose. But a little known fact, is that throughout the history of Harley Davidson, a few enterprising individuals have dared to take their Hog airborne. Follow LRS as we explore the history of the flying Hog.

            The world record for the longest jump on a Harley (or any motorcycle) was originally set in 1975 by Robert Knievel, AKA Evil Knievel when he jumped his bike 115 feet over 14 Greyhound buses in Cincinnati, Ohio. 
Evel made 300 jumps in his career, 273 of them were successful, the rest....  Not so much!

     This record was later broken by Bubba Blackwell in Las Vegas, Nevada when he topped Evil by 1 Greyhound bus and jumped 157 feet.

            While both of these jumps were impressive, the record would again be challenged by motocross legend Seth Enslow in 2010, in Sydney, Australia. Enslow would take his Harley XR1200 to new heights and lengths, as he jumped an astonishing 183 feet to shatter the previous world record for the longest jump on a Harley Davidson.

     We’ve all heard the expression “when Pigs fly”, well these daring individuals had the courage, audacity, and perhaps a touch of insanity, turn the figure of speech into a reality and make hogs fly.
     These examples of modern day jumps are fascinating, but the the roots of flying bikes, go even deeper, dating back to as early as World War 2. During the war, soldiers often prided themselves on being able to jump their hard-tail bikes across ditches, trenches, and even fences in order to move quickly and efficiently across the battlefield.

     It seems that ever since man has been moving on two wheels, the desire to move those two wheels into the air has been a driving force for many riders. Early racing even included jumping, and has been a staple of motorcycle racing ever since. 
 The desire to make Hogs fly is not a new concept, and the idea continues to inspire us to new heights, as it did our riding ancestors of days gone by. Thinking of these days brings into sharp contrast the difference between a generation unafraid to take real challenges and risks, and many of our youth of today who only take risks in the online world of Call of Duty...

Friday, December 5, 2014


The Legend of the Apache Tears

We are all getting frustrated with the cold weather here in Reno, Nevada. So we started to look for warm places where we can stretch our legs and enjoy a refreshing ride without having to dress like Ralphy from The Christmas Story.

But we never take off without an interesting destination in mind. This one piqued our interest. Arizona, here we come!

Many years ago the Apache rode free across the valleys and mountains of southwestern United States, including what is now Arizona. The land, like the Apache, was rough but noble. Sunset mountains cut across miles of desert sands. Only the hardiest plants survived in the harsh conditions found on the faces of these towering rocky cliffs. The mountains and surrounding desert landscape kept the Apache safe from enemies far longer than other tribes who had settled in more fertile, and far more open areas. In the end, however, encroaches came searching for the precious metals contained within the mountain rock.

The Apache fought fiercely to defend their homes and families. They maintained their strong fighting spirit even though the odds were against them. Small groups of Apache warriors made life miserable for their enemies, hoping to drive the intruders away. They raided campsites, stealing horses and cattle. They ambushed supply caravans, taking food and weapons for their own use. They attacked when least expected, catching their enemies off guard. For awhile tactics of the Apache warriors worked, but the lure of gold and silver proved too strong. The men, with no regard for the Apache or his land, were determined to establish their settlements and seek their fortunes in the mountains.

Finally, a large cavalry unit was sent out to hunt down the Apache warriors. A warrior party of seventy-five Apache galloped to the top of a pink-hued mountain, chased closely behind by the cavalry. The warriors wheeled their horses around, realizing they were trapped. In front of them,
hundreds of cavalry officers circled, guns in hand. Behind them, the sheer face of the mountain plummeted hundreds of feet to the desert floor. At a signal from their leader, the officers fired. In the first round of shots, fifty Apache died. The remaining twenty five warriors were trapped and faced death at the hands of their enemies. These men knew there was no way out. Rather than be killed by the enemy, the remaining Apache warriors spun their horses around and leaped over the edge of
the mountain.

When the Apache women and children discovered their fathers, husbands, and sons dead at the bottom of the cliff, their tears fell. Each tear drop, as it hit the hard, dry earth, turned to black stone. They mourned the death of their warriors. They mourned the loss of their fighting spirit. They mourned the life they had carved in the Arizona desert. Soon the ground at the bottom of the
mountain, once bleached white from the searing sun, was blackened by Apache tears.

It is said that a person who finds one of these tears beneath Apache Leap Mountain will never need to cry again, for the Apache women cried tears for all who mourn. These beautiful translucent gemstones of obsidian are now known as Apache Tears.