(Formally known as the HOGS BREATH BBQ)
Saturday, October 5th, brought warm breezes and plenty of sunshine for this years Fire Hogs Annual Hogs Breath BBQ. This year’s event was organized by our newest Fire Hog Chapter. The San Gabriel Valley Fire Department Chapter (SGVFD), and has been officially renamed to the Don Shawver Memorial Motorcycle Ride and Pete Goff Memorial Biker Games. The ride was used to bring awareness to firefighter cancer, and all proceeds of the event went to The Firefighter’s Cancer Support Network and The Los Angeles Firemen’s Relief Association Widows, Orphans, & Disabled Firefighters Fund.
Division Chief Don Shawver was a retired member of the Arcadia Fire Department. Don passed away due to job-related cancer. He was an avid motorcyclist, and Don’s passing brought the San Gabriel Valley Fire Hogs together with his family to develop the Don Shawver Memorial Motorcycle Ride. Pete Goff was a retired Captain with the Los Angeles Fire Department, and was a founding member of the LAFD Chapter of the Fire Hogs, as well as being an avid biker in its truest form. Pete ran our Biker games from its inception and relished in presiding over them each year. Pete passed away in 2018 from a job-related illness. This is when his family and friends came together to ensure this annual portion of our event would be sustained and renamed in his honor and memory.
The ride started at Arcadia Fire Station 106, with all the fanfare of an event honoring these two firefighters lost too soon. Bag Pipers and an Honor Guard started the event with speeches by the Fire Chief of Arcadia and other dignitaries, including the Chairman of the Firefighter Cancer Support Network. I have to say for their first ever event, the SGVFD Chapter of the Fire Hogs knocked it out of the park! They really pulled out all the stops for the 135 plus people in attendance. Starbucks coffee, Monster drinks, and other assorted goodies were provided to all at the start. Fire apparatus was positioned with flags, and a fire engine escort was provided for the start of the ride.
The ride quickly stretched into the San Gabriel Canyon and along the winding roads of the foothills of Mt Baldy. Now I’ve never been on this scenic road before but I can’t wait to do it again next year. There was a beautiful view from the mountain as we rode along the roads overlooking the San Gabriel Valley. Meanwhile, at Pomona Harley Davidson, arriving early as usual (5am!) with his “smokin crew,” friend of the Fire Hogs, Darrell Smith and family, started to prepare the days menu of succulent BBQ. All of this, of course, was going to be washed down by beverages served on tap by the staff of Pomona Harley. The event at Pomona Harley got off to a roaring start as more than 100 motorcycles pulled into the parking lot around noon to begin an afternoon of raffle and auction prizes, dancing, good food, tall tales, and most importantly, the Pete Goff Memorial Biker Games!
While Rudy Santiago, Pile Driver Bill and Susan were busy setting up for the days Pete Goff Memorial Biker Games, the live Band started playing while we enjoyed the feast prepared by Darrell and his Crew. After everyone had a chance to eat, the live auction began and raffle prizes were handed out.
Intermixed throughout the afternoon, The Pete Goff Memorial Biker Games, consisting of: Slow Drag Race, Keg Push, Potato Harvest, and Hot Dog Bite was presided over by our own Sgt of Arms, Rudy Santiago and Susan. Congratulations to all the winners! Special thanks to Rudy, Susan, and Pile Driver and their crew for ensuring the Biker Games were carried off with hardly a mishap in Pete’s honor! Not an easy task when you consider most Harley’s weigh over 750 pounds! Also, to Darrell Smith and his BBQ crew for providing what has to be one of the BEST BBQ’s around! Most importantly, thanks to the SGVFD Fire Hogs, our newest chapter of Fire Hogs, for hitting a home run on this event as well as all Fire Hogs from all chapters and those who attended and helped out to make this event a success!!
The Fire Hogs have many more rides coming up in the future and all of our rides are open! You do not have to be a Fire Hog to participate! Come join us on the road and see what we are all about—brotherhood, camaraderie, giving back, and most of all, FUN. Events are posted on our Website www.firehogs.org. Mark your Calendar for next years Fallen Heroes Memorial Ride on June 13, 2020. Apply for an account to be emailed notifications of upcoming rides. If you wish to join or just have questions, you can contact any Board member from our Website. As a National organization, we are also accepting applications for new Fire Hog Chapters from other Fire agencies. Contact any Board member from our website for more information. Join us on Facebook @ Fire Hogs M/C LAFD.
Special thanks to our sponsors: Pomona Valley Harley Davidson and Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys.
By Jack Wise