ABATE Motorcycle Show 1st Place & People's Choice winner Charlie MacDonald and his customized Harley Davidson.
The late spring hasn’t dampened motorcycle enthusiasts. Bikers got their motors running and headed out to the annual Alaska Bikers Advocating Training Education (ABATE) Show last weekend at the Peninsula Center Mall in Soldotna. “The weather was no problem, it was glorious and wonderful. We have a lot of people who do custom bikes here on the Peninsula and this is a chance for them to shine them up and show them off,” said Glenn Tisdale, president of ABATE. According to Tisdale the ABATE Show is just the start of a summer of activities they have planned, “We have our normal fund raising runs planned for the Fourth of July and Labor Day that are a lot of fun for us and raises funds for our Toys for Tot’s support that helps make local kids happy for Christmas,” Tisdale told the Dispatch. ABATE has some 80 members and is open to any one riding a machine on two wheels, “We even have people in wheel chairs who are members, it’s all about the freedom of riding in this glorious land,” added Tisdale.
The show attracted a broad range of spectators young and old, preachers to retired police officers, who were amazed at the customized motorcycles in the local area, “These machines really get your adventuresome juices flowing. I’m impressed, these are the type of bikes you would expect to see in Vegas or Los Angeles,” commented one visitor.
The First Place winner of the show as well as the People’s Choice award this year went to Charlie MacDonald of Sterling with his customized Harley Soft Tail. MacDonald says he has been riding since he was about 14, “I had about a 30 year hiatus while I did the families and wives that sort of thing, then I got back at it about six years ago,” said MacDonald. Charlie also loves to ride horses adding, “Harleys and horses it just doesn’t get any better then that!” MacDonald is planning to ride his award winning custom Soft Tail about 8,000 miles this summer heading out of Alaska for a tour of the North and Southwest, visiting his grandchildren, and returning in August, “It’s hard to leave Alaska in the summer, but at my age if you want to do this kind of adventure you just can’t keep putting it off to later, because there’s not much later left,” he said.
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