For nearly five years the Lloydminster chapter of the Harley Owners Group (HOG) has been meeting up throughout the riding seasons, taking to the road and raising money for various charities. At its core, though, its mission is simple.
“What HOG is all about is a social riding group of people who like Harley-Davidson motorcycles,” said Guy Dudding, one of the founding members and current director.
Dudding helped found the group as a way to meet up with other people who had the same passion for Harley-Davidsons and ride along with those who shared some of his interests. He approached Clint and Beatriz Rabb at Edge Harley-Davidson in 2010, asking them to sponsor the chapter, and they were happy to help out.
He said when it comes to that brand of motorcycle, it’s not just a passion, but a lifestyle.
“It’s a different atmosphere, it’s a different likemindedness, it’s really a lifestyle. If you talk to Clint and Beatriz, you’re not buying a motorcycle, you’re buying a lifestyle and that’s truly what it is.”
In the first year they stood at about 25 members and last year, Dudding figures that number was up around 97. In that first year they began their weekly Wednesday night rides and also started their annual Toy Run.
The Toy Run was thrown together quickly in the first season to see what kind of response they’d get and has now grown into something much bigger. “We had a hundred and some odd bikes show up, we made some money, pulled in some toys and that’s taken off to where it is today,” said Dudding.
These days the chapter takes part in numerous charity events including the SPCA’s HOGs for Dogs, the Fire ‘n’ Wheels fundraiser, and a run they do with the MS society.
Dudding said the group grows every year, seeing more new members each season, and now has a Ladies of HOG subgroup strictly for women riders who do their own runs and events. The group’s current goals are to further increase membership and reach out to a younger demographic, get more women riders on board and improve their Toy Run.
“The chapter goal this year is to take our Toy Run and make it that much more better,” said Dudding. “More activities, more events, more money raised, more toys brought in. Just take it to that next level.” He also wants to let people know that their rides are open to everybody and that HOG isn’t necessarily a closed group. Although you do need a Harley-Davidson to become a member, their rides are open to all types of motorcycles.
“In my tenure we will never have a closed Harley-Davidson ride only.”