When I was a kid I would spend my summers running through the forest that neighbored my childhood home. I climbed trees and crossed rivers all without the hindrance of shirt and shoes. After the ten long months of homework, and schedules, and structure, I felt an arcane freedom and sense of adventure when I threw my shirt on the porch and ran into the woods. I loved those summers.

Every year on the Fourth of July my family would buy a packet of Ball Park dogs, drop them on our propane grill and watch fireworks from our front porch. It was a simple ritual, but I always felt a rush of anticipation when I heard the hotdogs sizzling under the grill cover. The Fourth of July is a day that I have noticed myself appreciating more the older I get. I think it works that way for a lot of people. One year as I sat on the porch with my family awaiting the display of fireworks, a group of motorcyclists came parading down our block. They had flags strapped to the backs of their bikes. Large men road without shirts and basked in their freedom. Young adventurous riders raced ahead of the pack and roared as they did. To a child sitting on his front porch, it was more hypnotizing than fireworks, this was one of the greatest displays of freedom and adventure I had ever seen.

This last Fourth of July I did not sit on the front porch of my home, I did not cook a hot dog, I didn’t even watch fireworks. I tossed my shirt on the porch, hopped on the back of a Harley-Davidson Sportster and rode around the neighborhood. I basked in freedom and chased adventure.

The first ever Grand Valley Biker Rally is riding in this weekend and we are feeling that familiar rush of anticipation as we get ready to watch a community of bikers parade down the streets of the Grand Valley. No event like this has ever been seen before on the Western Slope. The Rally will kick off with a pre-party and on-site registration on the evening of July 13th. The following day, all registered riders will meet at Grand Junction Harley-Davidson choose from a selection of five rides. If riding a motorcycle isn’t for you then meet us at the Amp for the concert. The day will conclude with a performance from the Grammy Award-winning rockers, The Wallflowers. Gates open at 6:00 pm and the show starts at 7:00 pm.

Find your tickets at and find more information at Bask in some summer freedom, grab your bikes, let’s be adventurous and go for a ride.

Ethan Lovelace