Thursday, March 27, 2008

Harley-Davidson Museum

Just for the record: it's presently March 27th and it's snowing outside here in Northern Illinois. I personally feel that this is a crime against humanity. Anyone else agree with me?

Another area receiving their dose of dreadful weather is Milwaukee, Wisconsin: home of the Harley-Davidson Motor Company, site of the upcoming 105th Anniversary Celebration, as well as host to the brand-new, soon-to-be-opened Harley-Davidson Museum. Fortunately, it appears that much of the exterior Museum was completed before this round of snow hit, and its opening hopefully will not be delayed by Mother Nature's fury.

One of the exhibits will be of particular interest to female riders, featuring a woman by the name of Vivian Bales. She has quite a unique story for a woman of the 1920's, detailed by Tina Albinger, a public relations contact for the Museum:

"[Vivian Bales] rode across the country in the 1920s and chronicled her experiences for Harley-Davidson's magazine, The Enthusiast. Vivian was an avid motorcycle rider and purchased her first Harley at the age of 17 with money saved from teaching dance class. She bought the motorcycle without knowing how to ride, so she had a friend teach her the basics but most of her riding skill was self-taught. At only 5-feet, 2-inches, she 'always wanted to do something that most girls wouldn't do.' So, she decided to write to The Enthusiast magazine editor, telling him of her desire to drive solo from Albany, Georgia to Milwaukee, Wisconsin and write about her experience for the magazine."

Items featured in the exhibit will include a scrapbook of her cross-country adventure, a book of autographs from well-wishers she met during her journey, and mail from fans in countries as far away as Japan and Africa.

Other exhibits and features of the museum will include a section dedicated to Elvis, who evidently purchased the 1956 Harley on display shortly before becoming an American Legend himself; private rooms that can be rented for special events such as weddings or corporate meetings; and even a plaza where you can leave your own mark by purchasing and customizing a stainless steel rivet that will become part of the Museum itself!

There is still not any specific information on when exactly the Museum will open, and no Grand Opening plans have been revealed either, but interested parties can keep an eye out at their website - - to see how things are developing.

Well, that's it for now - keep warm and ride safe!

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