Pulled from the daily Inter Lake, Kalispell, Montana, June 30 1992, location of the 1992 V-Daze Rally.

VENTURE AND ADVENTURE

Kalispell

CANINE CYCLIST Dirty Harry has gone more than 50,000 road miles with its owner, James Holt. Holt, who is one of

about 1,000 bikers in Kalispell this week for the Venture Touring Society convention, built a platform on the back of his

1983 Yamaha Venture Royale for the traveling border collie
.
(Inter Lake photo by Karen Nichols)

Luxury cyclists roll into Kalispell

By JIM MANN The Daily Inter Lake Despite steady rains, big motorcycles, some with trailers in tow, are all over the Flathead Valley this week.

More than 1,000 bikers are attending the Venture Touring Society rally at the Outlaw Inn through Friday. More are expected to arrive throughout the week, said Marvin Fackler, a "V-Daze" rally organizer from Scappoose, Ore.

The rally includes a trade show, "mini-tours" to Flathead attractions and a large parade down Kalispell's Main Street Thursday at 5 p.m.

Venture Touring Society says its typical delegate is 42, married with two children, and will spend about $250 plus accommodations costs during his stay in the valley.

The common bond for the bikers is the Yamaha Venture motorcycle. It is a luxury bike, often equipped with copious cargo space, cassette decks, computerized suspension controls and citizen-band radios connected to helmet microphones.

The bike is designed to travel long distances, and that's what many of the bikers have done.

They come from across the continent Motorcycles from Texas, Alaska, california, Nebraska, Florida, Ontario and Vermont are side-by-side in the Outlaw parking lot.

Jack Carey and his wife, Sue, started in Waterville, Maine, with another couple. In a month-long tour, they expect to rack up 8,000 miles. So far, they've traveled about 3,400 miles, visiting places like the Black Hills of South Dakota and Yellowstone National Park.

Carey clearly loves life on the road and the camaraderie that comes with it "When I'm on the bike, I relax. I feel the world is mine," said Carey, who recently retired after a 29 years as an Army Green Beret.

Carey and his wife are fiercely loyal to the Yamaha Venture and like to joke about other brands of motorcycles. But they say they share a bond with all bikers on the road.

"We unite only because cars try to kill us," Carey joked.

Sue Carey said biking adds a sense of excitement to their marriage as they explore the country.

"There are no kids, no phones, no jobs, no housecleaning," added Marty Richards, who is on tour with her husband, Richard, from Gillette, Wyo. "You move when you want to move. You get up when you want to get up."

Touring is not cheap, however, especially for those who want to ride in style. A new Honda Venture costs at least $10,000. A tow trailer, some of which come equipped with pop-out tents, can cost from $2,500 to $3,000. Rain gear, helmets and other personal equipment will run up to $1,000. Then there are travel expenses.

"A bike is a hole in the pavement through which you throw money," said Bob Tavernier, who is on tour with his wife, Donna, from Marquette, Mich.

Companies that sell motorcycles and accessories recognize the addiction the touring aficionados have for bettering their bikes. There are probably two dozen vendors at the V-Daze trade show.

Yamaha has brought 31 motorcycles, using three tractor-trailers, to the Outlaw Inn for show and for demonstration rides.

Professional pinstripers are adding decorative touches to the cycles, and several vendors offer trailers and varied accessories.

Carey said he and his wife fmd the trade shows irresistible. "I buy lights, she buys chrome," he said.

The result is the shining, fully equipped source of pride that gets them around the country.

Said Carey, "I love that bike. It looks like it's going 50 miles an hour just sitting there."