The mention of Harley Davidson motorcycles brings many images to mind.
To someone who has dreamed of owning a Harley since they were a kid, just the sound of a slight squeeze of the throttle can send chills down their spine. To others, the image of biker camaraderie, wearing leather and boots, or touring Rout 66 resonate.
The Harley Owners Group in Twin Falls, Idaho, is one of 1,400 HOG chapters around the world. If you have ever wanted to own a Harley Davidson, getting involved with HOG is a great way to meet new people, find people to ride with and to get involved with all kinds of activities and charities that help local people in the community. Each HOG chapter is sponsored by a local Harley Davidson dealership – in this case, Chester’s Snake Harley Davidson in Twin Falls.
“We have never been a bar-to-bar motorcycle group; we get people on a Harley and we do it safely,” says Larry Slagel, the director of HOG. “When you buy a Harley at a dealership, you get a one-year free membership to HOG. I’ve never been much of a group person, but when you ride with HOG you ride in small groups and not big groups.”
Slagel, who has owned a Harley for about 40 years, says this local group averages about 10,000 miles “If you don’t get the feeling on a Harley, then you had better go buy a Prius… Riding a Harley is addicting with the wind in your hair and it’s a whole lot cheaper than a therapist. If you aren’t smiling the first quarter of a mile, then you better go find something else,” Slagel says with a laugh.
The HOG group of Magic Valley consists of members from Burley, Shoshone, Buhl, Hagerman and Twin Falls. About 30-50 members meet once a month for dinner and to discuss the three main charities they host. 60 Hours of Hunger is a charity in which they deliver turkeys to those in need just before the New Year. The Kistler Safe Home for Misplaced Teens is another cause that HOG raises money for to buy pillows, toothpaste, blankets and basics needs for teens. Perhaps their most successful fundraiser of all is the “Benefit for QRU,” the quick response unit. Each year the benefit raises enough money to send one fireman to school. “This is naturally an important benefit to the members because if there is ever a Harley Davidson that goes down on the road, we want a quick response to the accident,” Slagel explains.
The Magic Valley chapter prides itself with a wide range of members. Here you will find a melting pot of different people, professions and ages. Whether you are young or old, there is a seat waiting for you to ride with HOG.
The youngest member is 22 years old, while the oldest member, Shirley Barron, is 80. Barron rode her bike 700 miles all the way to Sturgis, South Dakota, for a Harley rally. After the trip, she took her ride to the dealership and wanted more horsepower put in it.
Another member, Dr. Cole Johnson, started riding Harleys when he was 22 years old. “I enjoy riding with like-minded people. You can find people who have the same skill level you have.”
Terry, from Terry’s Heating and Air Conditioning, shares his adventure for riding motorcycles and jokes about how he really scared his wife when he went out and bought a Harley after he broke his pelvis bone in an ATV accident. To those who don’t understand the thrill of motorcycles, it is simply in the blood.
The Harley Owners Group is a great way to share your passion for motorcycle riding, support many great causes and find friends of all walks of life. Director Larry Slagel encourages all people who have an interest to get a bike and get involved. You can find your perfect bike and more information about HOG at Chester’s Snake Harley Davidson, located at 2404 Addison Ave. E. in Twin Falls.