‘Great big party:’ Waterford man to ride to Seattle and back for Harley’s 115th anniversary

Peter Jackson

MILWAUKEE -- A Racine County man is riding across the country for Harley-Davidson's 115th anniversary -- taking the trip of a lifetime, again.

Peter Jackson had everything he needs strapped to his bike as the Waterford man geared up to ride west in celebration of Harley's 115th anniversary in Seattle.

"They have this great big party, and then the following day, we all ride back as a group," said Jackson.

The West Coast Kick-Off is one of four rides from both coasts that will end in Milwaukee on Aug. 29 for Harley-Davidson's big birthday bash.

"You're riding with anywhere from 200 to 300 bikes at a time -- and you take over the interstate," said Jackson.

It's a trip he made 15 years ago. Back then, he shipped his bike to Seattle. He's riding round-trip this time, because he can.

"When I had the heart attack is when I bought the bike. I figured, for once in my life, I could have something nice. I've always rode Harleys that were marginal. This is the first really nice one that I've had," said Jackson.

The health scare forced the commercial refrigerator mechanic to appreciate life's little moments, but  it didn't slow him down. Jackson plans to ride 700 to 800 miles a day to make it to Seattle by the end of the weekend.

"Just to get away for five to six days and not think about anything but the road. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance. I'm gonna go for it," said Jackson.

Jackson said he plans to camp under the stars for all but one of the nights of his trip. He even packed cooking gear to make his breakfast by the campfire.

CLICK HERE for everything you need to know about Harley-Davidson's 115th anniversary celebration.