Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Bikers Against Terrorism

Joelle invites you to read about the brave men and woman of the biker community that have stepped up to take a stand against terrorism. These bikers defend the ideal of all bikers, "Freedom", and take one step further by defending this ideal for the whole country.

Motorcycle Boots on the Ground: 
Bikers Against Isis (and Why I Feel Safer)

For days, everywhere I look, everywhere I go, there’s debate on what to do about the threat of ISIS. Yet for bikers, the solution is as clear as sunlight on the chrome of their bikes: Keep Terrorists Out.

This doesn’t surprise me. Bikers are about freedom, and Jihad is the death of freedom.

I first heard about bikers against terrorism a year ago, when the news hit that Dutch and German motorcycle clubs had sent members to help the Kurds fight ISIS in Iraq.

“We wanted to do something when we saw the pictures of the be-headings,” the leader of the Dutch MC, No Surrender, told the press.

Ron, a Dutch biker with the MC No Surrender, holds a Kalashnikov
assault rifle and flashes the "victory" sign as he sits with a
Kurdish comrade in a fortified  bunker.
No Surrender is one of the Netherlands’ biggest motorcycle clubs.

The German club is called the Median Empire. One member wrote on his Facebook page: “While others blabber on, our guys are at the front and fighting against ISIS.”

In April and June of 2014, the German bikers – whose ideology is based on the Medes legends that describe them as “fearless and mounted warriors” – organized aid missions to supply Syrian Kurdish refugees in northern Iraq with medicament, food, and humanitarian aid.

Dutch bikers against ISIS

I was fascinated by these events, and as the author at HardRiderPress, decided I would write a short story about bikers against terrorism, but set it on American soil. My premise was that an American motorcycle club would root out a terrorist cell in the Northwest and well, take care of business. I even had a cover made for the story.

My short story cover for HardRider Press, about
an american MC that roots out a terrorist cell
Then two things happened to scare the hell out of me. First: the Charlie Hebdo Magazine attacks in France. Islamic terrorists armed with assault rifles and other weapons slaughtered 11 people and injured 11 others. As a writer and journalist, I felt this tragedy personally.
About a week later, I started getting Arabic followers on my HardRiderPress Instagram account. A quick glance at their profiles revealed some disturbing photos.
Fearing I’d gotten on the ISIS radar, I decided to not pursue my story.

But I kept researching the bikers against terrorism movement. I learned about the 2013 ride to D.C., when nearly one million rode to Washington to protest the “million Muslim march scheduled for 9/11/13.” Only a handful of Muslims actually showed up after they heard the bikers would be meeting them there.

As has been seen in freedom protests in India during the 1940's, in Poland during the 1980's, and in the Ukraine just a few years ago, hundreds or thousands of people assembling peacefully to support liberty and freedom is an incredibly powerful force.

But motorcycle riders have even more power because they’re so visible. People pay attention when a parade of bikes is rolling by.

Raising awareness alone is valuable.

And so is bringing awareness that motorcycle club and riding groups are a force for good—especially now in light of the coordinated attacks on Paris.
Perhaps the days of profiling bikers is finally on the wane. William Dulaney wrote for CNN that (laughably to me) certain law enforcement officials have labeled motorcycle clubs as a “domestic terrorist threat.”

Argues Delaney, “As one who earns a living studying and teaching about threats to national security, it concerns me greatly to think that precious time, money, and manpower are wasted on targeting the wrong people. We have very real dangers to our society, our American way of life, but MCs are unequivocally not among those dangers. In my experience, patch-holders represent the very people who protect us from those threats.”

I’ve come across a couple of American motorcycle clubs that are actively trying to raise awareness by riding and supporting the anti-terrorist movement.

One of the new MCs that rallies against terrorism
One is the American Bikers United Against Jihad (ABUAJ), a grassroots human rights movement comprised of American bikers, patriots, veterans that organizes rides and events across America. Their mission is stated as follows: “…defend America and to mobilize and educate average Americans about the impact of violent and stealth Jihad (creeping Sharia), which have already begun to threaten our freedoms, rights, national security, and, most importantly, the future of our children.”

Their primary objectives are to counter the PC propaganda from the mainstream media and Islamic-tied groups with factual information and to unite and galvanize others to stand up for American principles and liberties through social media and feet-on-the-ground rides, rallies, events, counter-protests, and beyond.”
ABUAJ is nondenominational, and advocates peaceful approaches.

Another MC is the Infidels, founded by a biker named Slingshot who served as a security contractor in Iraq in 2006. Within a few short weeks membership had grown to nine individuals, all security contractors. These Original Nine men reviewed, and agreed upon, the Mission Statement and Bylaws.
The Infidels MC rejects the radical jihadist movement that threatens liberty and freedom around the world. The Infidels MC supports the fight against terrorism as military members, contractors in support of the military, and as patriotic Americans supporting our fighting forces from the homeland.

Another event took place this year in Phoenix, on May 30, when about 250 anti-Isis demonstrators faced off against a similar crowd defending their Muslim faith in front of a mosque. The rally was sparked by events earlier in May, when two Muslims armed with assault rifles were ultimately killed by police outside a Mohamed cartoon-drawing contest in Garland.

Bikers protest outside a Phoenix mosque
Jon Ritzheimer, the organizer and a former U.S. Marine, called it a patriotic sign of resistance against what he deemed the tyranny of Islam in America.

“I would love to see more of these events pop up in other states,” he said. “I want fellow patriots standing right here next to me….I’ve got Isis posting my address. This is terrorist at its finest, right here in America,” he said. “My family has to go into hiding.”

Phoenix resident Paul Griffin said the rally exposed Islam as contrary to American rights.

“They want us to cower in fear because of a cartoon that somebody drew? What the hell has happened to this country? Griffin said. “I don’t care if I offend anyone. This is America.”

Right now these various groups and events are scattered across the country. But I’m hoping the bikers against terrorism movement will grow into a unified national group, like the Patriot Guard Riders, which began in 2005 as a response to the Westboro Baptist Church whose members disrupted military funerals with hateful signs and speech. The PGR has now grown to 220,000 members.

If the terrorist threats and attacks continue, and it seems likely they will, then I encourage all riders to join in some way to help defend our country.

I’d feel safer knowing a biker has my back: wouldn’t you?

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

HEY CHARLIE BROWN - What is Thanksgiving???

So what is Thanksgiving anyways?.... Let's be honest, there is a ton of mystery surrounding the original Thanksgiving, and to me the most important aspects of the holiday are actually what it means and is to us today.

So lets break it down - Here are Matt's Top 10 Favorite Acts of Thanksgiving:

1.   Turkey Bowl - For this author, the most iconic symbol of Thanksgiving is the annual early morning game of Football - We roll out of bed on an inevitably cold morning, put on our stretchy pants and sweat shirts- and make our way down to the field. Whether young or old, the morning is celebrated by hot headed competition, pulled muscles and heavy breathing. It doesn't matter if you run the 40 in 4.3 seconds or 4.3 minutes, The Turkey Bowl is a time to laugh and play, to give thanks for the ability to move around and act like a brute. In my opinion its a spectacular event surrounded with happiness and comedy. Hell is there any other time you get to see your fattest friends celebrating life with a dance in the end zone? (Not always a pretty sight). 

2. Turkey Shoot - For my group of friends this has been an annual tradition the week before Thanksgiving.... We deep fry a turkey while blowing things up with guns... Simple, sweet entertainment. I could try to draw a parallel to the first Thanksgiving, but I'm sure it would go horribly wrong or end in a law suit so I will just say this... I love it!

3. Televised Football - After a morning of Blowing Things up - The average American watches a few games while falling asleep on the couch ( All the while someone else is working their butts off in the kitchen) If  we were smart we would spend this time stretching our stomachs for the feast!

4. Charlie Brown - TRADITION 

Mr. Brown has been a part of Thanksgiving prep for as long as I can remember - Here's a link to the whole thing, just so you have it at your disposal

5. Uncle Joe - and other Familiars - Lets face it, Thanksgiving also means having to spend some time with your family. Sometimes its a great thing, other times it will drive you nuts. Either way its a part of the holiday.

Here is a list of 8 Types of Annoying Family Members

6. Getting chased out of the kitchen - One of my favorite games to play on Thanksgiving is "Steal from the kitchen" - It makes me feel like a hyena trying to steal from a lion before the meal. 

7. Massive amounts of Food - Who needs 8 different types of potatoes? - THIS GUY!  It's the best of gluttony and it's only one day a year so bring it on!  Everybody has a favorite part - and for me it's the potatoes. More important to remember is the reason we are doing it... Because we can... Because there have been times when we have had to go without and on this one day we don't have to... It's a time to be thankful for the bounty bestowed upon us. Eat, drink and be merry, and remember how hard you have worked to get there and all the sacrifices and blessings that have been made and received.

8. Massive amounts of Food Comma -

Postprandial somnolence

Can you believe it? There is an actual scientific term for this... Check out this link

9. Shopping - The day began with physical contact and football. Why the hell should it not end that way too? - Although I'm not the type to wait outside the stores, I love the news stories about people getting trampled at Best Buy and Walmart. - Small Suggestion - SHOP ONLINE!


The best thing about Thanksgiving is that it just keeps on giving afterwards. For weeks after the event, my fridge is still stuffed with the trappings of extravagance. I hope yours is the same.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Brotherhood In Arms

Most Holidays have a meaning, but to us at LRS among the most honored holidays is Veterans day. A day sacred to us because of what it means to each red blooded American who has or is serving in the Armed forces and even more so for those who have lost a brother. The day is sacred because it stands for a brother who gave up his life on the field of battle or in the air over the heads of our enemies.


"Greater love hath no man than he that layeth down his life for his friends "

Even if you are not a religious person, those words have never struck a more true chord because they represent the quintessential meaning of Veterans Day. For those who have been down range they know the truth. Very few men fight for their country, many more fight for the brother beside them. The fact that their brother bears the same flag they do, or the fact that they have each others back means more than a land, more than a government, and even more than loved ones far away. In the moment that a man fights, he fights for his brothers.

This Veterans day we pay homage to all the brothers who have kept us safe and out of harms way, to those who came before us and paved the path upon which we walk our daily lives. Today is the day we dedicate to their remembrance. It is our hope that you will spend the day thinking of your brothers and what they have done for all of us.

Not many soldiers stay in the service because they like the job, They stay because they love their BROTHERS!


An LRS customer sent us this photo which we feel completely encapsulates the spirit of this day.
We were so struck by its meaning that we will share it here in hopes that it will help others understand what today is really all about.


Monday, November 9, 2015

From War Horse to Iron Horse


A History of the Horse in Battle and the Integration of the Motorcycle
by Joelle Fraser

Nearly 100 years ago, during the bitterly cold spring of 1916, the future of the American military would change forever.

Mexican Revolutionary General Poncho Villa
It was March, and for the past six years, since 1910, America and Mexico had been in a border war. Skirmishes and raids had turned the border into a battlefield. Finally, it seemed, America was winning.

But all that changed on March 9, when the revolutionary General Pancho Villa raided Columbus, New Mexico, for supplies. The raid did not go as planned: Villa's 500 cavalrymen were defeated by over 300 United States infantry and cavalry who were stationed in a border fort outside of town.

Sixty to eighty Villistas were killed, along with over a dozen American troops and civilians.

General John Pershing
In response, President Woodrow Wilson ordered General John J. “Blackjack” Pershing to enter Mexico with over 5,000 men to hunt down Pancho Villa. Thus began the Pancho Villa Expedition. In the end, the pursuit of this Mexican revolutionary sparked the modernization of the United States military, transforming it from cavalry-based to a vehicle-based.

It happened quickly. Over the next eleven months, over treacherous mountains and barren landscapes, the campaign would be described by one historian as a “logistical nightmare—no roads, no maps, no water.”

The U.S. government was still a “horse army” at this time, using the animals to carry supplies and messages to the advancing troops, much as the animals had been used in warfare for over 5,000 years.

Horses have been used in warfare for 5000 years

But the army hadn’t prepared for an expedition that would involve more than 700 horses and nearly 150 mules requiring six tons of hay and 9000 pounds of grain as daily feed. Officers had to go out in a car every morning to find and purchase corn and hay from local farmers.

Meanwhile, the 1st Aero Squadron was facing daily disaster trying to cross Cumbre Pass carrying dispatches and mail to forward troops—troops that would eventually penetrate 350 miles into Mexico. Relentless winter weather through early April, particularly icy nights at high altitude, made both pursuit and logistics difficult. An additional regiment of cavalry and two of infantry were added to the expedition in late April.

Lt. Herbert Dargue stated, “It is nothing short of criminal to send the aviators up under such conditions as we are meeting here.” The airmen were “risking lives ten times a day, but are not given equipment needed.”
A postcard of General Pershing's camp at Fort Bliss "Camping on the Border,
near El Paso, Taxas" by Curt Teich & Co.

Pershing, although a fine horseman often pictured astride his steed, could see the value of a mechanized force and the need for “maneuver warfare,” which emphasized speed and mobility. The horse, used in war for 5,000 years, was on its way out.

Trucks were ordered from seventeen truck companies—with chauffeurs and mechanics, because it was still too early for the common foot soldier to know about vehicles.

Harley-Davidson's Model 16-GC featured a sidecar gun carriage
with a special platform for a Colt Machine Gun
The army also contacted Harley-Davidson, which provided 12 (and then 12 more) specially built bikes with sidecars mounted with machine guns. The Model 16-GC – a sidecar gun carriage for military use, featured a special platform for a Colt machine gun. Harley also offered the 16-AC ammunition car and 16-SC sidecar chassis with stretcher assembly.

The motorcycles could quickly reach downed aircraft in Mexico. Soon, motorcycles took over the routine message traffic, and the planes would be reserved for emergency use.

This Harley-Davidson Sidecar rig is preserved in original
condition, and features 61' IOE engine, and HD built side-hack.

But Mexico offered the perfect defensive positions for Pancho Villa, who knew the “country like the back of his hand,” according to one historian.
In 1917, American troops went to fight in WWI,
and Poncho Villa was never captured

Though a few of Villa’s top commanders were captured or killed, and his forces destabilized, Pancho Villas was still at large. However, in Europe, World War I was in full swing. In early 1917, as war loomed between the United States and Germany, President Wilson recalled the army.

General Pershing and his men left the dusty desolate landscape behind, saying, “Villa is everywhere and Villa is nowhere.”

The Poncho Villa Expedition had turned the tides of war, and the vehicle—including the quick and agile motorcycle—would be the go-to tool of the U.S. Army until today.

Motorcycles in Desert Storm

Some information collected from and

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Halloween's Top Haunted Rides

Long Ride Shields presents its most ghastly blog yet. Joelle Fraser goes off the beaten path to discover nine of America's most haunted destinations.

Harley on a Harley
When summer starts to fade, I know my riding days are numbered. My mood begins to fall along with the leaves outside my door. Yet there is one thing to look forward to before winter comes—the haunted rides of Halloween.

There’s something beautiful about the eerie atmosphere of late autumn, when the smell of woodsmoke is in the air, and the sun—or moon--light filters through the crimson and orange trees alongside the road.

I’ve gathered up a several places that rival any epic summer ride. If you can’t make it to one of the following, then do some research in your area. Make up your own route that includes a stop at a cemetery at sunset. Light a candle and talk a walk through the graves...’Tis the season, after all!

1. Jerome, AZ
Photo from:
Jerome is packed with interesting local shops: from glass blowers and potters to painters and wineries, but The Gold King Mine and Ghost Town is a must. There you will see demonstrations of antique mining equipment and the operation of a turn-of-the-century sawmill. You can take a walk in an authentic mine shaft,  have fun with various animals to pet and feed, see a circa 1901 blacksmith shop, and the world’s largest gas engines.

Then, take a haunted tour with local residents where supposedly resident gamblers, prostitutes, outlaws, and victims of tragic mining accidents still aimlessly wander in search of peace.

2. Kenansville, FL

Kenansville, FL
This is a late 1800's cattle town on the now defunct Okeechobee spur of the Henry Flagler's Florida East Coast Railroad. Legend holds that the hotel is the hotel that inspired a young Elvis Presley to write his hit "Heartbreak Hotel". The railroad did run right through town but the tracks and the depot are gone. The town died when the railroad was pulled out. There is a small resident population of farmers and cattlemen in the area. Further west on CR523 you can tour the old Kenansville Cemetery. Turn left there and follow the road til it dead ends at a left turn dirt road. This is the Old Peavine Road which runs out through the Florida scrub and Hammocks. This road is one of the old pioneer roads of Florida that few know about. The road is dirt but good and you can get a feeling of what the old Florida looked like. It dead ends on US 60 so you cannot get lost.

3. Bumpass Hell, Lassen Volcanic National Park

Bumpass Hell at Lassen Volcanic
National Park. Photo © Winkelair/Dreamstime.
Riding through Lassen National Park is a stunning trip through spooky mountain vistas. The steamy hot springs and burbling mudpots in this geothermal hotspot may seem scary all on their own, but this region of Lassen Volcanic National Park became known as a “hell” after unlucky explorer Kendall Bumpass fell into a pool of boiling-hot water and lost one of his legs. The area also contains one of the hottest fumaroles in the world, Big Boiler; its acidic, high-velocity steam has been measured at temperatures up to 322 degrees Fahrenheit—closer to the weather in hell than many other national park attractions.

4. Virginia City, Nevada

Virginia City is a biker’s paradise, with a winding, gorgeous ride up route 341 Geiger Grade which starts in the Truckee meadows and ascends rapidly through a series of hair pin turns and long sweepers to the ghost and historic mining town. There are many panoramic views of the valley below as well as the Sierras on the opposite side of the valley. On the other side of Virginia City, take the fork to the right which will put you on Rt 342 and through Gold Hill. Gold Hill has a haunted Hotel that is described in the book "Haunted Nevada".

5. The Torture Chamber
Jewel Cave National Monument, South Dakota

A spelunker in the depths of Jewel Cave
National Monument. NPS photo by Dan Austin
Explorers have mapped more than 177 miles of twisting underground passageways in this cave system and continue to explore more of it each year with no end in sight, making it the third-largest cave in the world. Two of Jewel Cave’s earliest explorers, Jan and Herb Conn, discovered a large room after a long day of spelunking and were relieved to hear the sound of loudly dripping water. Desperately thirsty with nothing left to drink, they spent valuable time and energy hunting for the source of the water instead of heading back to the surface for supplies. Despite their fruitless attempts to rehydrate, they eventually survived the ordeal, exhausted, and commemorated their frustration by giving the room its ominous name.

6. Skidoo
Death Valley National Park, California
Photo © Tom Till/Alamy.
This famously hot desert park has its share of foreboding landscapes, from Dante’s View to Devil’s Cornfield to Coffin Peak to the Funeral Mountains. The area also features more ghost towns than actual towns. In one particularly rough Old West mining settlement, a saloon owner named Joe “Hootch” Simpson allegedly gunned down a banker in a drunken rage in 1908 to settle a $20 debt. The townspeople subsequently formed a lynch mob and hanged Simpson, then buried him, exhumed him and re-hanged him for the benefit of a visiting reporter before the town doctor, finally, strangely, beheaded him. Now, the legend goes that Simpson’s headless ghost continues to haunt the area—though nothing remains of the town—to this day.

7. Devil’s Den
Gettysburg National Military Park, Pennsylvania
A stone staircase at Devil’s Den in Gettysburg
National Military Park. Photo © Jon Bilous/Dreamstime.
In the summer of 1863, a small farming community became the site of the bloodiest battle in the Civil War. The fierce fighting turned farm fields into graveyards and churches into hospitals, leaving a staggering 51,000 soldiers dead, wounded, or missing after three intense days of conflict. Now, a barefoot Confederate ghost known as the “Tennessean” or the “Hippie” has appeared to numerous visitors at a rocky hill known as Devil’s Den where Union snipers fired on Confederate soldiers during the second day of the battle. This ghost is said to gesture toward a nearby stream and say, “What you’re looking for is over there,” before vanishing back into history.

8. Kennecott Copper Mines
Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska

Abandoned buildings at the Kennecott Copper Mines in Wrangell-St.
Elias National Park and Preserve. Photo © Sarcophoto/iStockphoto.
The total size of Wrangell-St. Elias is equivalent to six Yellowstones, with few people to occupy its vast wilderness. Nowhere does this sparse landscape feel as ghostly as it does in the abandoned mining town of Kennecott. A century ago, this desolate area was bustling with prospectors and miners, and a private company built an expensive 200-mile railroad to transport the area’s ore for processing. The railroad was treacherous to build over the rough, glaciated terrain and many people were reported to have died during the construction; still more perished in the mining operations that followed. After the copper and gold ran out and the mining towns turned to ghost towns, visitors began seeing tombstones along the abandoned track, only to return later to say that the graves had mysteriously disappeared. Legend has it that workers in the 1990s even stopped a construction project after seeing and hearing phantoms and losing tools right out of their workbelts to Kennecott’s angry ghosts.

9. Skull Rock
Joshua Tree National Park, California
Photo © Tsebourn/Dreamstime.
It’s a rock … that looks like a skull! Is it haunted? Probably not. But it’s a short walk off the main park road, making it one of the most accessible and fun places to explore at Joshua Tree. Climb right into the eyes of this perfect Halloween-themed hiking spot and haunt it yourself!

Joelle Fraser