HOPPER CLASS man, I still can't believe those two words have become a reality. How cool is it that. I am able to actually teach in a school that allows me to offer a chopper class! All the years of hard work have definitely paid off and seeing all the support and exposure from all my friends is cooler than I can put into words! I also want to commend Jones, Mazz, Darin, Scott and the others out there busting their butts to keep their projects going!

We are a few weeks into the chopper class this year and the kids are currently working on creating gas tanks and picking away at the unfinished builds from last year. We have been incorporating some new chapter curriculum from the IMBBA and the Chopper Institute. This has been a nice addition to my lessons and will be used as we cover all the different parts of a bike and the steps in building it from scratch.

In addition to the normal donation builds, I again have collected some vintage bike parts to bring in as a side build and show the kids what the old stuff is all about. My vintage bike addiction runs deep from being exposed to Panheads at a very young age through my father and I hope to share the old bike bug with my students. This year I have a 1940 ULH which is a rare 80 inch Flathead motor, paired to a 1948 wishbone frame and some other old parts I have had in my stash. This bike will be built as a rough raw scoot that will eventually get matched up to my 1940 LE sidecar. Nothing beats a tough old Flathead and a sidecar bike to haul the family around in!

As this bike begins to take shape, I'm teaching the students about the needed repairs and how to do them to bring an old frame back to life. The first lesson was to replace the sidecar loops that had been chopped off back in the day. This repair is almost done and we will then move on to some other cosmetic and structural problems the frame has. Hopefully, when we're all done, the frame will look good as new and be a nice stock frame again.

We have a few big events we are looking forward to this year and the first will be the February V-twin Expo in Cincinnati where the class-built 2011 Drag Old Book cover bike will be on display at the Drag Specialties booth. Then March brings the Donnie Smith Bike Show at the Excel Energy Center where we will again line up all the chopper class builds with the students on hand to talk about the bikes. This is a great show and brings in the other schools from around the country with similar programs to display their student-built bikes as well. Then in May, it will once again be time for the Big Mountain Run which is quickly growing into one of the best events of the summer. June 3rd will be the chopper class open house with a Saturday fundraiser party and ride to Wisconsin to visit the S&S facility and spend the night with many cool vintage scoots and great people. The details for the event can be seen at the Knuckle Shuffle Web site (www.theknuckleshuffle.com).

Thanks to Jeremy "Rodeo" Gilbert for his hard work in organizing the event. There will be shirts available as well and the first 200 people who pre-register will get the limited edition Knucklehead zipper pull sent to them. Please come and join in the fun. It's going to be a great weekend!

Lastly, I wanted to thank the Cycle Source community for the honor of being nominated and crowned as the 2010 Motorcycling Man of the Year! There was a truly impressive list of guys this year and in my eyes, we should all split the award as everyone so deserves it; it's hard to pick just one person! This is not why I do what I do but it is an honor to know that so many of you think of my work in this way and for that I THANK YOU!

Times are getting tough and the donations have dropped off significantly but I want to thank all of you for your past support. For anyone who can help us now and in the future, you are what keep this program alive. Without your help and generosity it will fade away and be no more. A special thanks to good friend Buddy Johnson who has been a silent supporter over the last two years now, sending us a monthly donation to help pay for needed supplies and parts used in the class. You rule buddy!

Happy Holidays to all and keep the faith; spring is just around the comer! Respectfully Kevin "TEACH" Baas

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