Escape to TWALD

An oral history of the Chicago to Boscobel, Wisconsin, vintage motorcycle run, the best riding experience you’ll ever have.

| July/August 2018

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    TWALD is about finding "elsewhere" both geographically and spiritually.
    Photo by Kevin Lawhorn
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    On the road: Stretching legs and bonding with fellow riders.
    Photo by Brady Polowy
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    Saturday morning pre-ride meet up at the Hubl. Have fun. Don't crash.
    Photo by Anders Carlson
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    Minor BMW surgery, Dr. Dave Strauss presiding.
    Photo by Anders Carlson
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    Bruce Hayner exploring vehicular alternatives at Chestnut Mountain.
    Photo by Bob Burns
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    Jason Koschnitzke's Datsun 240Z complementing its 2-wheeled brethren.
    Photo by Brady Polowy
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    Chadwick's blue-flamed Kawasaki Z2 750.
    Photo by Kevin Lawhorn
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    Thruxton crash damage.
    Photo by Anders Carlson
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    Matte Black fixing his H1 with barbed wire.
    Photo by Bob Burns
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    Matte Black's Kawasaki KZ, customized by the Toecutter.
    Photo by Matte Black
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    The outcome of a bit of late night hijinks at the Hubl. Beer was surely not involved in any of the planning for this stunt.
    Photo by Anders Carlson
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    Klassy KZ1000 with a beautiful Vetter fairing and period cooler.
    Photo by Kevin Lawhorn
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    Bosco Bill and his Flathead Ford custom.
    Photo by Kevin Lawhorn
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    The running joke at TWALD never fools anyone.
    Photo by Kevin Lawhorn
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    Escape to here, repeat annually as necessary.
    Photo by Craig Chawla

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Why do we always wish we were elsewhere? A group of vintage motorcycle riders in Chicago answered this question by starting the "TWALD" ride 17 years ago. It stands for "Two Weeks After Labor Day" or, "The Week After Labor Day." It's about finding "elsewhere," geographically and spiritually.

"Escape to Wisconsin" was the Wisconsin Tourism Department slogan from 1980-1985. TWALD means escape through spirited riding, productive carousing, frequent breakdowns, occasional crashes, the odd marriage proposal and everlasting bonds between fellow riders.

It's the best riding experience you'll ever have, made possible by the most questionable decisions you can make.

"Organized chaos. Really fun chaos."

Bob Burns: The first TWALD was in Galena around 2001. The idea was to find a place someone with a CB350 and a backpack could make it to in a day. That's what you do with a motorcycle, you leave. Leave the BS behind. The job, the news, all of it. A lot of people's first time leaving town on a motorcycle came at TWALD.



Fred Cousins: TWALD started because Bob wanted to get away and ride somewhere closer than Michigan or Canada. It was to include a bonfire.

Bob Burns: 30 people showed up in the rain on Goose Island that morning. We didn't even make it to the highway before a guy on a Norton cracked his oil tank open. And then someone else dropped their bike while we were sorting the Norton.

Big Bob
6/19/2018 7:45:17 PM

Don't bother trying to come. The rooms are already sold out.




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