The New Year represents a fresh start for many people. Even if you don’t feel like you need to lose weight, save more money, or quit smoking in 2020, there’s always room to grow as a motorcyclist. For example, my resolution is to take an Advanced Rider Course and further develop my skills. While that objective is very specific, motorcyclists in Kansas proved that you can take a broader approach to your goals in the new year. Setting out from Historic Harley-Davidson in Topeka, Harlistas celebrated another year on two wheels with an annual group ride on New Year’s Day.
Beginning in the ‘70s, Historic Harley-Davidson has hosted the New Year’s Ride on the first day of the year. Despite historically balmy conditions during the holiday season, the Topeka dealership has only canceled the group ride (due to poor road conditions) a handful of times in the past 50 years.
“This ride's happened when it's been in the teens, or even almost zero, and we always have people here,” said dealership owner Mike Patterson in an interview with WIBW 13. “It's never a day when there's not at least somebody here, but big turnout today."
Luckily for Patterson and company, Topeka experienced a 57-degree (F) daytime high yesterday, which contributed to the above-average turnout.
Gallery: Historic Harley-Davidson New Year's Ride 2020
Though Historic Harley-Davidson favored a traditional route for past New Year’s Rides, the procession of Softails, Baggers, and Sportsters took a detour to visit the dealership’s first customer, Zeke Zimmerman. Making his first purchase from Historic Harley-Davidson in 1949, Zimmerman has been a regular attendee of the New Year’s Ride and a loyal supporter of the dealership. Unfortunately, he couldn’t attend this year’s ride so his Harley brethren paid tribute by stopping by his home.
Whether you believe in New Year’s resolutions or not, every day is a good day to improve on your motorcycling skills—even if it’s only riding around town with some friends.