A long ride on very old motorcycles is the near future for Doobie Brother guitarist Pat Simmons and his wife, American Iron Magazine columnist, Cris Sommer Simmons. On the August 20 the pair will depart from the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum in Sturgis, South Dakota, and ride 1,000 miles east to the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to help Harley-Davidson celebrate its 110th anniversary.
Cris will be riding Effie, her 1915 Harley-Davidson twin motorcycle, and Pat will ride Vinnie, his 1914 Harley two-speed, twin. The first Harley-Davidson motorcycle was built in 1903 and 110 years later the legendary brand is still an American icon. “We’ve always been Harley people, that’s what brought us together” says Cris, a three time motorcycle hall of fame inductee, published author and motorcycle journalist. Pat and Cris actually met at a Harley-Davidson event in Sturgis in 1989. “We were introduced by a mutual friend, who was a marketing executive for Harley-Davidson.” Pat adds “Our mutual love of motorcycles, riding, and the lifestyle drew us to one another. We’ve been together ever since.”
This year the couple will celebrate 24 years together by riding their nearly 100 year-old motorcycles to Milwaukee, where Pat, guitar player and singer with The Doobie Brothers will perform with the band at the event on August 29th. “The Doobies have a long history with Harley-Davidson. Besides riding, we have been performing at their events and biker parties for over 40 years. We love motorcycling, and the riders. It’s such an honor to be part the Harley-Davidson family, and the 110th anniversary celebration, and we plan to rock in overdrive that night!”
Cris will be at the Harley-Davidson Museum on August 30th at 2pm, where she will talk about her experiences and sign copies of her three books.
“We’re not sure what to expect as we ride 1,000 miles or so from Sturgis to Milwaukee, but we’re excited. Cris has already ridden a lot farther Effie. She rode cross-country on the 3,330 mile Motorcycle Cannonball run in 2010. I’ve never ridden this far on a motorcycle so old. It’ll be a new experience for me” said Pat “I know this will be a ride to remember.”