Since 2005 we have only missed 2008 and 2013
Below are some stories from 2005, 2006 and 2007. ENJOY!
Biker Claus 2005
On Sunday December 11, 2005, 6 friends set out on a mission on our Harley’s to spread Christmas cheer around the Delaware and Pennsylvania area. Now, I know that people may ask, “How does one spread Christmas Cheer on a Harley-Davidson”? The ingredients consist of: 1 Santa (Kent); 5 Reindeer; Coupe (Rudolph), Larry (Blitzen), Dan (Comet), Bob (Prancer), Fran (Dasher). We started out from Mike’s Famous Harley-Davidson in New Castle, Delaware. I was wearing my Santa suit, including the white hair and beard that I had decorated into a pony tail adorned with red and green ribbon. The 5 Harley-Davidson Reindeer were all adorned with antlers on their helmets, and their motorcycles decorated with Christmas presents and bells. Rudolph of course was leading the way with his blinking red nose.
The ground was still covered from the snow that had fallen 4 nights before. It was a brisk 40 degrees with a 26 degree wind chill.
Typically, when we plan a ride, we like to head out and stay as far away from traffic as we can get. This cold winter’s day, we did exactly the opposite. As the Santa’s Sleigh Ride headed down the road with Rudolph leading the standard staggered formation there were people honking their horns and waving, taking pictures with camera phones and giving their thumbs up for approval. We saw many smiles from those that we passed by.
After spreading Christmas cheer for a while we decided we needed a rest stop and some hot coffee to warm up a bit. The reindeer’s hooves were feeling rather frosty. We entered Media, Pennsylvania and to our surprise we found a local Harley-Davidson dealership that was open on a Sunday. As we pulled into the parking lot of Hannum’s HD, the employee’s rushed out to welcome us with open arms. We couldn’t believe the excitement and joy they expressed as they welcomed us inside out of the cold and made us a fresh pot of coffee.
After we warmed up and visited for a while we headed back out onto the open road to spread a little more holiday cheer. On our way out to the Harleys sleighs, one of the employees pulled us all together for a group photo. Later, we found out this photo was posted on their website and submitted and published in a local Motorcycle Monthly Magazine. It seems as if Hannum’s Harley-Davidson was spreading a little Christmas cheer of their own!
On our way back to Delaware, Blitzen realized that he had drank too much coffee at our last cheer stop so we had to make an emergency pit stop in downtown Newark, Delaware.
Once we entered Main Street in this busy shopping town, things got interesting. As we parked our sleighs, kids from everywhere started to rush up to Santa. A little boy asked, “Santa, why are you riding a Harley, where’s your Sleigh”? I replied, “Santa only rides his sleigh on Christmas Eve. I ride my red Harley the other 364 days out of the year.” The next question was even better. As a little girl looked up into my face she stated, “If you’re the real Santa, what’s my name”? Talk about reindeer in the headlights…………. the little girl totally stumped me. As I hesitated and I tried to recover, her father walked around the corner just in time and said “Of course he knows your name Jesse”. I breathed a sigh of relief as I replied, “Jesse have you been a good girl this year?” Her eyes lit up and as Blitzen re-joined the pack we were back on our bikes and headed out of town. We fired up the motorcycles, said Merry Christmas to all and we were once again on our way.
At the end of the day we logged 92 miles on this Christmas Cheer mission with 2 stops between the start and finish. Harley-Davidson has a phrase that states, “The best part of any journey is the people we meet along the way”. This couldn’t have been truer that day.
As 6 friends dressed as Santa and his faithful reindeer set out on a mission to bring Christmas cheer to everyone in the area, little did we know that giving cheer would bring us the same amount of cheer to ourselves.
Biker Claus 2006
I would like to send out a VERY BIG THANK YOU to everyone that participated in the Santa’s Sleigh Ride.
Considering we traveled some very busy stretches of road with 25 motorcycles dragging the sleigh. I think Rudolph did a great job keeping the group together.
Although blocking is not something we normally do. “Blocker” The Bad Elf added to the success of keeping the group together blocking some essential roads (In a safe manner) as he be-bopped down the road with his Jimmy Buffett Christmas CD Blaring.
Some comments from the rear as people were coming to talk to Santa:
“I want you to know, you and your group have brightened everyone’s mood in this car”
“You’re not doing this for any cause, you’re just doing it? That’s AWESOME! I think all of you are great”
“We were chasing you down the road. The kids want to give you their list”
“That’s so cool all of your Reindeer have their names on the vest”
These were just a few people that I was able to talk to. We also had people hanging out of cars yelling, waving hysterically, thumbs up, and one guy said “we are f…ing awesome”. That one won’t make the Santa story this year.
Image the people that we didn’t talk to that we touched? Those are the people we ride for. That’s why I do this.
When Casey gave me her Christmas list after her mom chased us down in the mini van. I can’t explain in words how that made me feel. To see the look of total amazement in her eyes, she truly believed there was a Santa.
Biker Claus 2007
As tradition Santa and his faithful Reindeer headed out on Saturday 12/22/2007 on a mission to spread Christmas cheer around the area.
This year there was a total of 12 motorcycles which worked out very well for our group not getting separated as much. We had 9 Reindeer, 4 Elf’s and Santa. Two of the Elf’s were passengers and two were riding.
This year on the ride we had Rudolph (Coupe), Comet (Dan), Cupid (Rich), Dancer (Larry), Donner (Joe), Vixen (Ben), Dancer (Robert), Prancer (John B), Blitzen (Ed & Sheila his waving Elf), South of the canal Elf (Mark), Blocker the Bad Elf (Hollywood & Lori his freezing Elf) and Santa (Kent).
We departed Santa’s workshop and headed to downtown Newark and then towards Middletown to spread Christmas cheer. This year we decided to keep it local so we deviated from our normal route of Rt 202 so we could do a loop and make two passes through downtown Newark.
Coming into the Newark on our first pass we picked up Blocker and Sniffles his freezing Elf. As usual People on Harley’s wearing antlers on their helmets with Christmas music coming out of most of the motorcycles gained a lot of attention. Before you could blink an eye camera phones and cameras were drawn like a six shooters in the old west to take photos of Santa and his Reindeer.
Sitting in the back of all this is really quite a sight to see as the crowds faces brightened with joy and children of all ages stopped and gazed in amazement.
From Newark we were on our way to Middletown. Once we got on Rt 896 and past Rt 40 the speed started to pick up and the traffic wasn’t so heavy. I gotta tell you, there’s nothing like doing 60 MPH wearing a Santa Claus outfit!
Just before the Summit Bridge I noticed Reindeer heads bouncing and bobbing around because of the large quantity of pot holes all over the road. Before you knew we had two lanes of motorcycles traveling in single file to avoid the holes. As I said before, there’s nothing like sitting in the back and watching this. No one called for this to happen but this is what happens when you ride with friends and they know what to do. It’s like watching a choreographed performance as the motorcycles split into two single file rows and back together after we passed the pot holes on the other side of the bridge.
Once we arrived in Middletown people were coming out of the small stores to see the motorcycles and we received many thumbs up in appreciation for the Christmas cheer we were spreading. People sitting in traffic didn’t seem to mind all the sudden. Rudolph lead us through one of the strip mall parking lots where some people started clapping and taking photos while others just smiled.
I never noticed this before but it seemed like we were a huge hit with the 55 and older crowd as you could truly see the pure joy in their eyes as we rode by.
After passing through Middletown and on our way back towards Newark I noticed something within our group. Sheila the cheerful waving Elf was having a great time and held steady as she was waving to passers by almost the entire length of our ride.
I guess that’s the other part of our riding together doing this ride. Not only are we spreading Christmas cheer to strangers but we get a lot out of it ourselves and it showed as people drove past as she smiled and waved to everyone continuously for over 70 miles.
Arriving back in Newark traffic was a little heavier this time and it gave people a chance to ask questions. The one that stood out the most was a man and his wife pulled up next to me and told me how great it was that we were out doing this ride. They said they never would have thought they would see people riding motorcycles wearing antlers and a full Santa suit just to bring joy to others. My response to them was “This ride wouldn’t happen if I didn’t have great friends”. Their response was “The best people are on two wheels” I told him I agree.
My many thanks go out to everyone that participated in the ride this year and years past. I hope we can continue this tradition for years to come.