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Cruzing for charity at GM Lordstown

Published: Thu, May 13, 2010 @ 12:01 a.m.
  UAW GM Motorcycle Show

The roar of more than 50 motorcycles thundering through the  GM Lordstown Complex kicked off the 14th annual UAW GM Lordstown Bike Show May 12, 2010.

The roar of more than 50 motorcycles thundering through the GM Lordstown Complex kicked off the 14th annual UAW GM Lordstown Bike Show May 12, 2010.





Gary “Bones” Mowen of Niles, dressed as Uncle Sam, leads a group of motorcycles through the GM Lordstown plant Wednesday. More than 50 bikers who work at the plant or are retired took part in the 14th annual UAW GM Lordstown Bike Show. The event raised money for the March of Dimes.


A group of GM Lordstown employees gathers around a Chevrolet Cruze after a benefit motorcycle ride through the plant. Production of the Cruze is expected to begin at the plant in July.

In a deafening display of patriotism and company pride, 37 Harley-Davidson motorcycles rode through the General Motors assembly plant here for the United Auto Workers Local 1112 annual bike show.

Gary “Bones” Mowen, dressed as Uncle Sam, led the pack of hogs on a scenic tour of Lordstown on Wednesday morning. The herd then entered the plant behind a Chevrolet Cruze driven by Local 1112 president Jim Graham.

Mowen, one of the original founders of the bike show, has led the pack since the tradition began in 1996. Although Mowen retired from the plant in 2004, he still dons the Uncle Sam suit for the annual event.

“We are American,” Mowen said. “And this is an all-American bike show.”

The bike show — hosted every May in honor of National Motorcycle and Safety Awareness Month — is a charity event sponsored by UAW Local 1112 and GM. This year’s show will benefit the March of Dimes.

The bike show has helped foster a sense of community between management and assembly plant workers, said Jeff Leeper, co-chairman of the 2010 bike show.

“It has kind of brought us together,” Leeper said. “It’s not just about the people riding in here, but it’s about everybody on the line and in the plant — union and management.”

This year’s bike show is particularly meaningful because the plant — and General Motors — have rebounded after the uncertainty of 2009, Leeper said. Last year’s bike show was canceled because of the plant’s economic woes.

“A year ago, we didn’t know what our future was,” Leeper said. “But we are still here, we’re still making good cars.”

The plant will add a third shift in June and production of the Cruze is slated to begin sometime in July.

Graham said the workers’ excitement about the Cruze launch is unprecedented.

“I’ve never seen the membership so excited about a new product,” he said. “We are ready to get this thing done and get this out on the road.”


1havinmysay(155 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

NO THANK YOU. Keep your obnoxious motorcycle noise to yourselves. I give to charity and I don't have to dress up like a clown or disturb other people with noise to do it. Oh...and your "All-American" bikes are assembled with parts that come mostly from China. Put a muffler on it and go sit down.

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2JIMANDERSON(13 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

dear hvinmysay:
If you think motorcycles are just clowns and noise, i suggest you look up Patriot Guard Riders,they escourt funeral processions for fallen military and former military.I have ridden with them often. I have also been on many charity rides and memorial rides for fallen police in the Phoenix area. Bikers are not all clowns or Hells Angels,they do good for a lot of causes, the only difference between us and you is we do it as a group and on two wheels.Live and let live .

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3havinmysay(155 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

I have no problem with motorcyclists who respect the rights of others not to be awakened at night or otherwise disturbed by their ridiculous, unnecessary noise.

The rest of you I have zero respect for. And yes, I think you are clowns. I can't help laughing every time I see some old, gray, fat clown with his gut laying on his knees and draped in all leather on a motorcycle trying oh so hard to look cool.

Try being charitable to those of us who actually hold regular jobs and like to sleep at night. I need sleep to live and function. Thanks to immature people like you who think noise makes you look cool, the warm weather nights are ruined. Thank God for the snow.

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4JIMANDERSON(13 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

I retired 5 years ago after 4 years Air Force and 32 years with theFederal Aviation Administration as an air traffic controller at one of the busiest airports in the country,so your not the only person that works. Also, here in AZ. it's always riding weather so I hear the bikes all the time. Like I said before, Live and let live, and lighten up,lifes too short .

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5AXLE69(181 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Just another example of the UAW members contributing to charity.They never get accolades for this from the autoworker haters out there.This is just one of many,many charities that they support.

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6paulydel(1607 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Although I don't ride a Harley I do ride and this is a great story. I am also a former Local 1112 worker. Anytime we come together for charity and helping someone this is a good thing. Although I don't ride a Harley I have ridden with the Harley guys for several years to the Veitnam War Memorial. All you people who moan and groan about everything should crawl in a hole someplace and let the rest of us live our lives. At least they are making a worthy contribution to charity unlike some of your worthless contributions to this article.

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