Rewind: my HOG Season 2010

It all started in March 2010, since then a total of 108 post were written, some small and trivial, others detailing DIY work, and most trying to describe the joy of riding a Harley Davidson and the social life inside a Chapter.

It took some time to figure out my personal favourites, and many more events and feelings would need mentioning.

But no escape, here they are, my very personal TOP 10 for the Season 2010:

Time for my first Harley


The Season 2010 was also my first season on a Harley-Davidson, and all started selecting and ordering the right motorcycle. The first posts of this blog therefore centred around these thoughts, and my first miles on my Road King Classic. These 5 posts represent a good summary of my first encounter of a different kind:

Steaming Lunch

There were many rides organised by the Hogsback Chapter UK, and each one deserves to be mentioned in these Top 10. But I want to limit my selection to some highlights, those that were most emotional and impressive. A ride usually consists of 4 parts: the meeting, the ride out, the destination and the ride home. Often each one can tell a story of its own, and I want to thank the Road Crew of Hogsback Chapter for the perfect and safe organisation during 2010.

The Steaming Lunch captures Top 9 spot, as these huge steam engines, heavy metal paired with brute power and fine engineering, were operating in another league then our Harley-Davidson motorcycles, but in many aspects were quite similar. Also, the dedication of the volunteers to their machines showed parallels to the HOG world.

Art Bleiglass - View my 'Bluebell Railway' set on Flickriver

Here some rides:

A supersonic ride

Another ride evoking memories and emotions was to Brooklands, where one of the first supersonic Concorde is on display. I never flew with a Concorde, and this was my first chance to step inside this iconic aircraft.

Art Bleiglass - View my 'Brooklands' set on Flickriver

Here some rides:

Gary France USA tour


In 2010, one online event captured my imagination, as I followed Gary France on his five month, 21000 mile tour of the USA on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Once a day his detailed real time posts made me feel participating. Gary lives near London, and I hope to be able to meet him in 2011.

Here some posts I wrote about him and his Leading Ladies:

London Midnight Madness


Working in the City of London, the route of this ride was very familiar to me, and the places visited were well known from numerous visits with friends from abroad: Buckingham Palace, Covent Garden and St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Roaring with over 30 motorcycles through busy London Streets was a very special experience, I hope to repeat next year.

Art Bleiglass - View my 'London Midnight Madness' set on Flickriver

Here some rides:

SOFER 7

SOFER stands for The South Of England Rally, and is UK’s biggest H.O.G. rally. As my Hogsback Chapter is one of the organising chapters, I felt lucky to get a late entry ticket, as this event is sold out very quickly. As it was a last minute opportunity, I missed some of the action, but now know what to be looking forward next season, SOFER 8 will take place August 5-7th 2011.

Art Bleiglass - View my 'SOFER 2010 - Hogsback Blue Ride' set on Flickriver

I am very much looking forward to SOFER 8, which will take place August 5-7th 2011.

Another great event with the participation of Hogsback Chapter was the annual Shepperton Village Fair, with is famous raft race. This year, the Hogsback entry won the prize of fastest raft, and I am sure this alone is reason enough to defend the title next season

Empress with the big boobs


Great fun in 2010 was the customisation of my Road King Classic. Adding accessories from the Harley chrome shop was one thing, but my DIY genes pushed me to build my own chrome accessory, a GPS connection cover. This also lead to my Road King finally getting her official name: The Empress

As I like to hold a wrench and screwdriver in my hand, I did some work myself, and documented it.

HOG Rally Lugano


This was the big one, the biggest HOG event in Europe, and me, a HOG novice, planed to go. My Road King just had 2000 miles on the Odometer, the accident damage was repaired 2 days before departure, and I started a 2000 mile tour in 7 days.

I had no idea what I got myself into, but what a fantastic event this was, with over 15.000 motorcycles, and 7.000 joining the huge parade. Never did I experience such a mass event before, 3 days party where Harley riders from all over Europe took over a whole city.

Best of all, we managed to bond as Hogsback Chapter members, I drove down alone, and rode back with some new friends.

Here the posts relating to this Top 3 event:

Art Bleiglass - View my 'HOG Rally Lugano - Ride Home' set on Flickriver

Few days after we returned home, our group decided to organise the ride to Croatia and join the 20th European HOG Rally 2011, then to a even more distant destination: Biograd in Croatia, from the 26th-29th May 2011.

Hogsback Chapter – Photographer


Riding a Harley-Davidson is one thing, but while becoming a active Chapter member you land on a new planet. I want to thank all chapter members and officials for the warm welcome and their help in joining the events, pointing me in the right directions, and for taking me along to the interesting rides. This should also be the place to thank the whole staff of Guildford Harley-Davidson, the dealership sponsoring the Hogsback Chapter, for their help and advise.

I really enjoyed being able to combine 2 hobbies of mine, motorcycles and photography. And what a perfect fit this was: beautiful mechanical objects, paired with fun loving riders and their passengers, all dressed up for the occasion, coupled with interesting new destinations. Paradise for photography.

I must admit I am quite proud to have been nominated a Chapter Photographer, and the patch is already sewed to my Kutte. Thank you very much for this honour and enjoying my pictures of you and your Harley-Davidson motorcycles. I am looking forward to next years adventures and motives.

You may have realised that this blog also relies more on pictures then words, here some of the posts I wrote during 2010 looking at issues around “taking pictures”:

All pictures are also posted on Flickr, best to be viewed through Flickriver. Find the link to the Picture Gallery under Pages in the  top right panel

RTTW 2010


It may sound strange to some that I choose the Ride To The Wall as the most memorable event of the season, but it was the most emotional one for me.

RTTW is a unique motorcycling event which gives motorcyclists an opportunity to gather together and ride jointly to the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, to pay their respects to serving and fallen service men and women.

All came together in one moment during the parade, when a mother dressed in black stood on the roadside with her little daughter waving at us, as I with thousand other motorcycles of all make, rode by. Thousands of mother’s and wife’s, parents and children stood silently by the road, thanking us for the respect we showed in participating in this ride.

In today’s wars, British Armed Forces are fighting and dying alongside service men and women of the US and many other European countries. This is not about celebrating right or wrong political decisions, it is to honour the soldiers send to today’s wars performing their duties for their country and too often facing the ultimate sacrifice.

Art Bleiglass - View my 'RTTW - Ride To The Wall' set on Flickriver

Reading this post I realised how many other events I missed mentioning, many more deserved to be listed in this summary. I am looking forward to my HOG Season 2011, better weather to get the Empress on the road, and meet all the many new friends I made last year, from the chapter, the dealership and the Internet. A specially HALLO to my online Harley friends in the US.

A happy 2011, ride hard but safe, stay healthy and employed, but most of all:

enjoy the ride

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2 Responses to “Rewind: my HOG Season 2010”

  1. It has been a pleasure following your blog in 2010 and to come along with you during your discovery of Harley-Davidsons and Chapter life. I was sorry to read of your prang, so early after getting your Road King, but I was happy to read about all of the trips and visits you have been on. Your posts are often very informative too! Keep up the good work and I look forward to meeting you in 2011, probably in Croatia. Have a great year Axel.

  2. Found your Blog via Gary France – very much enjoyed my surf through!

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