Badger Heritage Chapter Picnic Must Go On

Story and photos by John Gunnell

Aug. 15 was the date of the Badger Derby—also known as Wisconsin’s Tour of the Woods.” Members of the Badger Heritage Chapter of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America organized this historic ride that followed the same route of travel as riders took on the legendary 1934 Badger Derby.

By early in the year, it was obvious the ride was going to be a big success. The bikers would leave State Fair Park in Milwaukee at 6:30 on the 15th. They would travel north to West Bend, Fond du Lac, Oshkosh, Fremont and Waupaca. At about 5 pm their bikes would be put on display at the Waupaca Town Square.

Personalities taking part in the Badger Derby included Jean Davidson, granddaughter of Harley founder Walter Davidson; Bob Jameson (the son of the official starter of the 1934 run), Don Dobner (son of 1934 champion Joe Dohner) and Hardy Evans, whose dad Harry set legends in the original derby.

On Sunday Aug. 16, most of the Badger Derby participants—about 70 riders—had planned to have the club’s summer picnic at Gunner’s Great Garage in Manawa, Wi. The owner of the garage turned out to be in the hospital, but thanks to family and friends, the show went on.  As the photos show it was a real hot dog fest and also included track games and other activities.


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