Posts Tagged ‘Poker Run’


Grab your wallets and purses, politicians want more of your money.

Both houses of the Illinois General Assembly, in an attempt to curb illegal gambling (and increase tax revenue) created a law that put poker runs under the control of the Department of Revenue. Now every motorcyclist knows that a poker run is only about gambling, right?

As part of the law there are new regulations, permits and fees. From what I could gather the permit is $400 and each stop (venue) is charged an additional $150. If you don’t pay the fees you will be an illegal gambling operation and subject to all the appropriate fines and imprisonments.

If you have ever participated in a poker run you know that they typically support a charity of some sort. You also know that they normally do not raise huge sums of money and if it rains they might even go in a hole. But, in Illinois I guess that the state is the only real charity that matters.

Luckly, there are a few members of the General Assembly who understand what a poker run really does and are attempting to change the law. So if you live in the People’s Republic of Illinois you might want to contact your beloved leaders and let them know your opinion on this subject.

If you live somewhere else, keep an eye on your esteemed politicians, if it works in Illinois it might becoming to your state soon.

Over the Memorial Day weekend we put a bunch of miles down on a long motorcycle ride.  This year we made a decision to forgo Rolling Thunder and decided to ride in a poker run supporting the 1st Battalion 201st Field Artillery.

We left Leesburg, VA Thursday afternoon and traveled across I-70 (which was, interestingly, the first interstate project) and I-68 to Morgantown, WV.  The 187 mile trip to Morgantown was uneventful except for the rain storm we hit about 30 minutes from our destination, we don’t have the nickname of “storm chasers” for nothing! Once we reached Morgantown, home of WVU, we stayed with our close friends Tim and Karma (Tim is the Battalion Commander of the 1/201st FA).

Friday was quite cool so we chose to just hang out.  We visited Triple S Harley Davidson (I bought highway pegs) and then went to the movies.  We watched the Hangover 3, it was the weakest of the three but I laughed so hard at the end I cried. Make sure you stay through the credits or you will miss the best part of the movie!

Saturday morning at 6:30 AM and 33 degrees we pulled out for the poker run.  The poker run began and ended at the National Guard Armory, Belington, WV. 137 miles long, the run passed through Buckhannon, Fairmont, Elkins.  I did not draw my cards well, ending up with a pair of aces and Debbie ended up with less than that, so obviously neither of us won any prizes.


Debbie at start of poker run

The ride for the poker run itself was nice, even if it was very cool, rolling through the back country roads of WV.  One of many interesting spots was the covered bridge of Philippi built in 1852 and still used as a main road (US Route 250).  We threw in some side trips during the event going to B&B Harley Davidson and Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch. By the time we made it back to Morgantown we had put exactly 300.0 miles on the bikes, and it was 46 degrees.


Debbie and Karma at Mount Summit Overlook

The next day, about noon, we set out again this time we linked up with Karma’s sister Kelly, her boyfriend Buba and their friends Jim and Joe. Riding though Fayette County, PA we had our first stop half way up Mount Summit at the lookout on Route 40.  From the lookout you have a great view of the valley below and Uniontown, PA in particular.  From the lookout we rode to lunch at Dogwood Acres Bar and Grill the atmosphere was biker friendly


Dogwood Acres Bar and Grill

(about 40 bikes in the lot), the food was good and the stories, while not repeatable on line, told by Joe were priceless.


Fried Goodness!

From the bar we rode on to Ohiopyle and took a look at the water falls.  The area is a local meca for whitewater enthusiast and the roads were lined with cars carrying kayaks, rafts and canoes.  One of our funnier moments happened at the Ohiopyle General Store, Tim wanted to try a fried Oreo and order three of the batter dipped cookies. Well, apparently Tim and the cook misunderstood each other and he got three orders of four cookies each!  Everyone had a good laugh and then tried to help him out!

Kelly and Buba next took us to another local landmark, one I still have no real idea how to pronounce, the Youghiogheny Dam.  The dam is an earthen structure built in 1944 with the intent to allow folks to drive across the top to the public access areas.   At over 180 feet in height the view from the road on top of the dam was spectacular.  From the dam we rolled to the National Pike Bar and Grill for some refreshments and then back to Tim and Karma’s house.

The next morning it was time to head back to VA.  Tim and Karma rode with us from their home to Cumberland, PA where we had lunch and said our good byes.  The traffic back to the DC Metro area was HEAVY with lots of stop, and go fast and stop again moments on I70.  Eventually we made it back with 804 total miles for the holiday weekend, all in all a great time with friends!