West Coast Thunder - A Disaster!

Our riding club participated in the first phase of West Coast Thunder VII , which involves the "Thunder over the Empire" air show,...

Skip Fordyce Harley DavidsonOur riding club participated in the first phase of West Coast Thunder VII, which involves the "Thunder over the Empire" air show, last Saturday. It's an event organized by Skip Fordyce Harley Davidson, of Riverside, CA.

I think most everyone in our group felt ripped off. I imagine a lot of other bikers did too.

My wife and I paid $30.00 each to participate, which includes a t-shirt, patch, ride through March Field Air Reserve Base, and a day watching the Air Force's Thunderbirds do their air show.

Everything went ok until after the ride through March Field. They parked us way in the back of parking lot. This made everyone walk a mile to the gates of the air show. Skip Fordyce made everyone believe they had a arranged an upfront parking space, instead they put us way in the behind all the cars.

Here's what they're website said about parking:
Staging will begin near Riverside National Cemetery. You will proceed to the back entrance at March Air Reserve Base. Then you will be guided into Air Show Center by an airborne Vietnam era Huey H-I Helicopter. You'll then be escorted by that Huey down the runway, in front of thousands of air show fans. You will then be parked on the tarmac in our own preferred parking area. You will be among the static display featuring B-1 Bombers, F-117 Stealth Fighters and an SR-71 Blackbird to name just a few! From there you'll be able to enjoy the entertainment, food and vendors of all kinds. Truly a ride to remember. All registrants will receive a commemorative embroidered patch in recognition of this event.
I guess when we read that they had a "preferred parking area", we didn't know that Skip Fordyce preferred to park a mile away. One biker gal, who already had kidney failure, nearly collapsed under the sun having to walk the distance. Like everyone else, she probably wouldn't have attended if not for Skip Fordyce telling everyone about the "preferred parking" they arranged for us.

Notice that the message also says we'd be able to enjoy food. A lot of bikers took this to mean that the money they paid to get into this event would include free lunch. Not so. You had to buy everything.

The next disaster was that Skip Fordyce failed to warn all the bikers that the Air Force staff would be checking everyone who entered, confiscating cigarettes, lighters and other contraband. One biker by the name of "Ledhed" had his cigarettes and lighter taken away. He was told he could get them back afterwards, but afterwards when he went to claim them, he was told they had been disposed of. He began to complain, when Air Force security began walking towards him.

The problem wasn't the confiscation, but Skip Fordyce not warning anyone about this. I mean, how many bikers carry lighters? Interestingly, not all bikers had their cigarettes and lighters taken away. Apparently, the security staff did a very poor job of enforcing their policies.

The explanation for confiscating cigarettes and lighters? Well they said the air field has oil and fuel there, and they didn't want it igniting. But guess what? During the air show, they ignited bombs in a simulated bombing display. And they had several barbecue vendors with barbecues working full blast. What gives?

But the worst rip off of all was that the whole air show was free to public anyways. Why the Hell did we pay Skip Fordyce $30.00 each to get in on this thing, when thousands of cagers and their families were already getting in free, and getting better parking than we did?

I guess what we got was a t-shirt, a patch, and the opportunity to ride on the air field. Woo Hoo. The money does go to a good cause, the maintenance of Riverside National Cemetery, I suppose one should always look at it that way.

But if we bikers are donating money to get into this air show, why in the Hell did the cagers (who didn't pay), get better parking?

I spoke to another biker today who participated in this, and he said he's no longer supporting Skip Fordyce Harley Davidson.


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  1. Sure, sounds like a drag, and I wasn't there, but the "Disaster"
    label was way over the top, except for the person who was ill.

    I'm sure a lot of us have much more serious "disasters" going on every day.

  2. As a dealership Skip Fordyce sucks. It's the only HD dealer I've been unhappy with. Went there looking to buy a bike in 2003 and absolutely no salesman approached me to ask if I needed assitance. Went there once to pick up parts I'd ordered. I was told the parts were in. Got there and no parts there. All it takes for me is once or twice for a business to 'dis' me and I'll never go back. Similar thing happened at Pomona Valley HD

  3. I'm with you! My spouse and I felt cheated too. We certainly didn't expect to have to walk such a great distance to get into a show that we were a part of. We were told that our $30.00 would cover the cost of admission - of course it did- admission was free!
    I wouldn't trust Skip Fordyce again.

  4. The parking was due to march AFb, not skip's.Im not a great fans of skips , as most biker's know, there are meny other who are in the mix.
    So next time, if you can do better ,,, ask to help, The hog chapter is alway asking for help for anyone who want's to.....

  5. I went to the event and thought it was killer. I never even imagined being able to ride my HOG on a military air base...let alone during an air show. As for the walk, get serious. So we walked a little..you could have gone home after the ride. As for the guy who made the comment...and wasn't even there...you're weak dude.
    The event admission was for the National Cemetery of which I personnaly have great respect. As for those of you who felt your old ladies had too far to walk....please ! Get a younger old lady. Your money went to a good cause...period. Man Up!!

  6. Okay, first of all, On the part where you stated that there was no prior warning to the security at March Air Force base, you are sadly mistaken. If you were to actually of read the disclaimer before the registration process, it clearly stated that March Air Base has full authority to search and or seize and item that they deem necessary to do so to ensure the safety and security of the expected 200,000 people. They dont need you lighting off their bombs for them.

    I understand that many people are unhappy with the parking situation at March Air Base, well, to tell you the honest truth (Skip Fordyce) who I obviously am employed by was also somewhat dissatisfied with that decision as well. The parking situation was originally scheduled to where we would stage and park in front of the show audience. However, by reasoning of national security, and the amount of motorcycles that just "showed up" to the event the motorcycles had to be parked elsewhere. This was not Skip Fordyce's decision. We do not control the air base. I believe that is the job of the federal government.

    For those of you bitching about the measly $30.00 you paid to get into the show, If you attended Phase two of the event, cut your registration in half. Now that's $15.00 each. So lets break down that further. Your patches cost $4.00 each, flags and zip ties are about $1.00? each, So now your down to $10.00 each.

    The WCT Committee just gave the riverside national cemetery $35,000 for this years two phase events. All efforts were to raise as much money for the cemetery for they could build their wall. Thank you for all that paid to go on these events. Don't be so lazy next time at a biker event, where you know you will have to walk. Its a 4 mile airbase, what do you expect, for your lazy ass to be airlifted to your destination?


  8. FAGS. Not HOGS. All you chromed out wanna-be cry babies should just fuck right off. Do you think they enjoy it when you go into their shop, and when they ask if you need help, you say JUST LOOKING? Thats why they don't approach you when you do need help. So Fuck Off with your Willie G, Live to Ride, Heated grip Wanting asses. Doo rags are for fags and every time you show up at any HD shop It's a fact that they are all trying not to Laugh their asses off at you pathetic, Mid-Life crisis yuppies who think a bike is going to get you some small form of respect.

  9. what a cry baby you were not supposed to have a sweet day you were there to pay respect to the brave menand woman who dies fighting for your freedom you had to walk a mile wow i bet there was no bullets flying by your head or IED's in your path

  10. Skip Fordyce is a shit dealer anyway, i took my bike in for a tune up and a back tire and they dropped my bike and wanted to do a half ass fix on my flawless paint(I'm not thinking so!) It ended up being a month and 5200.00 to get it out of the shop. didn't have a choice they had the bike! Then said oh well your 1 biker we really don't care talk about us all you want. I said yeah 1 with a big mouth!! They called begging me to stop talking about them.... i told them i hadn't even started!!! Skip Fordyce Sucks!!!!!



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