Category Archives: Director’s Blog

Proud to be your Director…

I’m getting ready for a well-deserved vacation so I’m going to miss the July Officer’s Meeting and General Meeting.  This hasn’t happened before but I need a vacation!!!  This has caused me to sit and ponder about what it’s meant to be the Director of Bakersfield HOG for the past year and one-half.

As most of you know, I’ve been involved in police work for many years.  In fact, I began my career in 1974 in the U.S. Air Force at Edwards AFB assigned to the first SWAT team in military history.   Our primary mission was to protect the Space Shuttle and the B-1 Bomber.  What a great opportunity for a young 20 year old!!!

After leaving Edwards, I began working here in Bakersfield “temporarily.”  I guess I’m still temporary until I decide to leave!!!  I’ve worked for the Sheriff’s Department, the Police Department and now as a Schools Resource Office for the High School District.

Throughout my involvement in law enforcement, I’ve done many things for many people and will remember those specific events for the rest of my life.  However, I’ve never been involved in such a rewarding position as Director of Bakersfield HOG.

When I was asked to take over HOG, I was a bit skeptical at first.  I thought I wasn’t “good enough” to be leading our group.  After spending the weekend thinking about the offer, I felt truly honored to be thought competent enough to lead our HOG group.  Little did I know, it would be a life changing decision that I would treasure for the rest of my life.

This past 18 months has been some of the best of my entire life.  I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know many people who, had it not been for Harley-Davidson and Bakersfield HOG, would have slipped through my fingers.  I have many more friends than I ever thought possible and each and every one of them are some of the highest “quality” people I’ve ever had the pleasure of associating with.

I attend HOG events and spend time riding and laughing…some of my most favorite things in life.  I will never think of “Casa De Fruta”  the same nor will I pass a veteran without thinking of the support HOG provides for veterans of all types.  Some of my future income will be spent on those little daisies sold by the VFW several times each year and, of course, my American Legion dues.

Las Vegas will forever be embedded in my mind…not for what most people think but instead for being set up for a lap dance by a portly gentleman wearing low cut levis and a red “G” string with “TACO” tattooed across his belly.  (Thank you Gary Crawford…I owe you one!)

I’ll never pass through State Line without thinking of the Diet Coke at McDonalds with Ken and Jim.  I’ll also never forget the ride home with a touch of the flu…I never had a hangover!!!

Baja Fresh, Rubios, Sequoia Sandwich Shop and Jersey Mikes will never be the same for me…they’ll be better because I’ll know they supported our efforts to raise money for our annual MDA Rockin’ Ride for Life.

Whenever I see a lady on a Harley, I’ll wonder if it’s Val or one of our other LOH members riding somewhere to do something else good for the community!!!

I’ll never ride through the country and see a black sheep in a herd and not think of Doc, Jimbo, Leonard, Jimmer, Tiny, and all of the other Black Sheep members that contribute to HOG and support us in every step of our journey.  These folks have touched me in ways I can’t put into words.  I’m honored to have the first ever HOG Chapter Chaplain serve during my tenure as Director.

Our HOG group has left its shell and blossomed for the better.  We are now more involved in the community than ever before because of the efforts of each and every one of our members.  It is you, the members of Bakersfield HOG Chapter 1580 that have stepped up and made our chapter one of the elite in the HOG organization.

I want to take this opportunity to personally thank Scott Irvin for giving me the opportunity to hold this position.  Scott is the catalyst of our organization and each and every one of you need to stop in and thank him for the opportunity to have a HOG group.

As we move toward a transition of HOG officers, remember, we are moving in the right direction.  We’ll continue our momentum and continue to become a premier chapter that HOG can be proud of.  Our chapter is what others strive to be…I know…I’ve heard it at Primary Officer’s Training and it’s because of our general membership.  The best leaders in the world are ineffective unless there is someone willing to help.  Currently, we have about 280 people willing to help and I’m thankful I happen to be in that group.

I hope to see each and every one of you on our next ride.  Remember, our HOG motto is to “RIDE AND HAVE FUN.”  If we are not fulfilling that for you, let me know and we’ll see if we can make it happen.

As always, ride safe and ride often…

Dave Fisher

Proud to be your Director…

Casa De Fruta, 2009

A couple of years ago, when we decided to change the name of our monthly ride to a Fun Run, we had no idea of how appropriate that name would be for this past weekend’s events at Casa De Fruta. The “Casa” is located about 10 miles from Hollister on Hwy 152. Compared to Bakersfield, the climate is very mild. In fact, Saturday night proved to be quite chilly during our movie night.

HOG had about 42 members show up for this out of town event. We had about 9 recreational vehicles, 2 brave “tenters” and the rest were in the hotel. The Saturday ride to Monterey left with 27 bikes for a ride to the coast for lunch.

Some of our group went to Cannery Row and others went to Monterey Fisherman’s Wharf for lunch and shopping. I heard later that several members rode “home” via Hwy 152 over Hecker Pass and the road was described as “perfect for motorcycles.”

If I just wrote that we “had fun,” it would be an extreme understatement. We literally “laughed until we hurt” and enjoyed each other’s company over the two days we were there. One HOG member said she got the chance to visit with members she really didn’t know and now considers within her circle of friends.

To really get a feel for the event, you’ll need to talk to one of the members who braved the reported impending weather and made the trip. We had no rain at all during the run but some did hit some rain when they left Bakersfield.

The Potluck on Saturday night was just like any other HOG eating event with way too much food. The movie, “The Bucket List” was great and the projection system worked well once Ralph Sanchez and Bob Trammel got me out of the way!!!

The overall consensus is we’ll be doing this again next year. Casa De Fruta was very good to HOG and blocked off some grassy campsites so we would have plenty of room for our group. Our tent campers were right across the street from the recreational vehicle with the exception of Chuck Alberti who parked on the lawn near the tents. The rest rooms were well kept with large showers and plenty of hot water. (The Onsum’s were disappointed because they were separate facilities and not as much fun as “unisex” bathrooms…you’ll have to ask them about that!!!)

This “Fun Run” proved to be a great event. Look for another “Casa Run” next year so make plans for the first weekend in June of 2010 as we’re looking at going again. You’ll hear about this run for a long time to come.



Recruit Suppot Ride

HOG Chapter Liaison, Ben Patten, put together a Recruit Support Ride for 5 U.S. Marine recruits and 1 Navy recruit who left for boot camp at 2:00pm.   Ben put out an e-mail and asked everyone to pass the word.  For these important events, HOG invites all riders, regardless of the type of motorcycle they ride, to come out and support these future veterans as they leave on a voyage of support to the United States.

This Monday gave us some great riding weather with temperatures in the mid to upper 80’s.  The traffic was a little on the heavy side due to the holiday weekend but the group managed to make it safely.

I had the pleasure of escorting Tammi Onsum on this ride.  Hal Onsum had to work and couldn’t make it and my better half was doing some wedding shopping for the family so Tammi and I rode over to support the recruits.  This day had a special meaning for Tammi as her son’s best friend was joining the Marines a year after Keith joined.

The family was grateful to see Tammi and our group of about 60 bikes.  I found out that had I not had Tammi on the bike, I would have had the pleasure of taking Sgt. Brittian, one of the recruiters on the ride.  Instead, Sgt. Brittian rode with Chuck Alberti.

While we were waiting for the recruits to leave, the mother of Keith’s best friend chimed in that she would sure like to ride with the group to pay tribute to her son.  John Cleveland spoke up and just happened to bring an extra helmet so she climbed aboard for her first ride on a Harley to escort her son down the freeway on his trip south.

The very large group managed to get assembled on the freeway and travel down to Laval Road in unison.  Just after passing Sandrini Road, the leaders took the number 3 lane along with the van and allowed the riders to pass by and salute or wave.

HOG has taken the reins of these support rides and they continue to grow.  Each time, riders come together to support these young Americans as they leave to participate in the protection of this great country.  Nothing gives me more pride than shaking the hand of these brave young men and women and thanking them for their personal sacrifice to make and keep the United States the great country that it is.

We’ll have another Recruit Support Ride in the near future.  Instead of sitting on the couch, get out and ride with us and show your support for our military young.  On a day like Memorial Day, it means so much more to say “thank you” for you upcoming service.

See you at the next Recruit Support Ride

Dave Fisher
Bakersfield HOG Chapter 1580

Bakersfield HOG Members Programs

Bakersfield HOG Chapter 1580 has implemented a HOG Chapter Pride Patch program to allow members to earn a very nice patch for their vests.  HOG took the logo from our sponsor, Bakersfield Harley-Davidson and made it into a quality patch that says “HOG CHAPTER PRIDE.”

Members earn this patch by participating in HOG events, volunteering and going on Chapter rides.  Along with the patch, members can earn an additional 5% discount on the standard 10% discount members receive for attending general meetings.  This additional discount happens when the member reaches 10 points towards the patch, again at 15 points towards the patch and upon completion of the requirements for the Chapter Pride Patch.

We have issued 25 chapter Pride Patches to members and some members have earned a subsequent yearly rocker because they fulfilled the Pride Patch requirements two years in a row.

Our HOG Chapter Pride Patch is a great way to show your achievements and dedication to Bakersfield HOG on your vest.

HOG has another way of showing our appreciation for our general members who are the backbone of Bakersfield HOG.  At each 50/50 drawing, we pull out $10 before the money is split between the winner and HOG.

This $10 is put in a fund and at each general meeting; we will announce a National HOG number.  If the member whose number is present at the meeting AND has both his/her current National HOG card and his/her current local membership card, he/she receives the money in the kitty.

If the winning member is not present, the money rolls over to the next general meeting where we’ll try to give it away again.  If the kitty is not claimed all year, we will split the money at the November General Meeting and present it to the general membership as an additional 50/50 drawing.

Our winning number is randomly selected each month.  Chapter Secretary Randy Coats sends our Director the most recent list of active HOG members.  Our Director then uses a computer generated random number generator and selects the winning number to be presented at the general meeting.

Another way of showing our members how much we appreciate them is by using the HOGLOG.  Each month, Editor Ralph Sanchez selects a number in the manner listed above and posts that number in the HOGLOG.  The number is not hidden but it is in a different location every month.

When a HOG member discovered his/her number in the HOGLOG, he/she must come to the next general meeting and during the brag session, brag about finding his/her number.  When this happens, that member will receive a $25 gift certificate to Bakersfield Harley-Davidson.

It’s that easy…nothing to do but locate your number in the HOGLOG.

These are just some of the ways we like to show our appreciation to our great HOG members who really make this organization what it is.  Of course, we always try to say “thank you” but sometimes a little extra goes a long way to let you all know how much we appreciate your help and support.

Ride safe and ride often…


Director’s Message – June 2009

If you’ve been asleep for several months, then you probably don’t know that Bakersfield HOG Chapter 1580 is doing some things that are new and exciting for our local riding aficionados.

In May, Jolyn and John Cleveland took 97 HOG members on 67 motorcycles to the Reagan Library in Simi Valley.  The HOG Road Captains made the pre-run for this event the first ever HOG Road Captain training ride and the HOG ride the following weekend was flawless.

The Reagan Library was ready for HOG and about 8 docents took our groups through the grounds on their very own guided tour.  During the tour, HOG was treated to a buffet lunch under the wings of Air Force One in the hangar.

Of course, the response has been overwhelming.  Several HOG members have asked to do a return trip to the Library so they could see some of the things we didn’t get to see and spend some more time there.

If that wasn’t enough, the dinner ride for May was hosted by the Cobles who set up a “Hawaiian Dinner Cruise.”  The weather didn’t cooperate (very hot) so the ride was cut in half and HOG ended up at Coconut Joe’s for dinner.  The staff at Coconut Joe’s was more than ready for our group of 45+ members and got the food our hot and fast.  What a great evening.

HOG members are coming up with some very creative rides and events for our members and the response has been very positive.  When you miss a HOG event, you miss some great memories of riding, friends and fellowship.

Safety day was a great success too.  Assistant Director Don Oldaker set up some challenges for our riders to practice their slow speed handling skills.  Since the parking lot at Bakersfield Harley Davidson was torn up due to construction, we moved the Safety Day events to an area about a mile or so west of the store.  Don set the challenges up in several empty cul-de-sacs and riders got to spend time practicing to improve their skills.  Again, the response from our members was overwhelmingly positive.  Just another great HOG event.

I missed Safety Day due to my trip to the Nevada State HOG rally.  I left on Wednesday evening and rolled over to Lone Pine so I could cross Death Valley early in the morning and beat the heat.  I’d never been to Death Valley and was awed by the sheer size of this area.  Put it this way, now I understand what my teachers were telling me during History classes!

The Nevada State Rally was not what I expected.  I guess I’m spoiled by California State Rallies where there are several escorted rides to see the area.  There were none of these at the Nevada Rally.

Attending the rally did get me thinking that maybe it’s time for Bakersfield to petition for the California State Rally to be held here.  When I returned, I spoke to our HOG officers and we now have a committee forming to determine the feasibility of holding a state rally here in 2010.  We’ll be meeting and planning as there is a lot to discuss and many guidelines in the HOG Charter about state rallies and what should be done.  If you are interested in helping plan for this major event, please let me know and I’ll get you on the list.  We need people who are “in the know” when it comes to the amenities in Kern County.

Our May General Meeting was attended very well despite being a week early.  HOG pretty much filled the room at the American Legion and we passed along a lot of valuable information.  Our “Toad Award” was given to Dale Pearce for his great stunt while on vacation.

Dale runs a video camera on his bike during some of his rides to capture the moment…so to say.  Dale was touring in Utah with Bert and some other riders when Dale had the need to use the rest room.  Since there wasn’t much around, Dale just hopped off the bike and took care of business right there.  Unfortunately, Dale stood right in front of his bike and forgot to turn the camera off.  Nice vacation video Dale!!!

We’ll be looking for another Toad Award recipient for next month so keep your ears open and let me know if you have someone to nominate.

We have a lot of new members in HOG so I’m going to put together an article to explain some of our programs.  Hopefully, Ralph will have room in this edition of the HOGLOG to put it in and let everyone know what’s going on in HOG.

Hope to see you all in June at Casa De Fruta.  For those of you who are staying behind, there will be a Fun Run leaving Bakersfield Harley-Davidson at the regular time of 9:00am.  Road Captain Mike Angelo will be taking the group out through the country and back around to Kelly’s Restaurant for lunch.

For now, keep the rubber side down and ride safe…