Durkins join fellow enthusiasts on motorcycle cross-country Victory tour
For Patty and Spike Durkin, motorcycles smell like victory.
This summer, the De Soto couple is joining hundreds of other motorcycle enthusiasts in the fourth annual Victory Highway Relay. The majority of bikes ridden in the relay are Victory motorcycles. The American bikes are manufactured by Polaris, better known for its jet skis, ATVs and snowmobiles.
Although Victory motorcycles have been on the market for only five years, they have become an important part of the Durkins' lives.
"We just love to get out and ride, especially with other Victory owners," Durkin said.
Victory Highway was an historic route that ran from New York to San Francisco, Patty said. Built to commemorate the victory of World War I, it was one of the first coast-to-coast highways.
Each county along the route had to pay for its section of the highway, an arrangement that led to mixed results, Patty said. Some counties paved the roadway, while others could afford only gravel or dirt.
Getting all of the counties involved was a daunting task, and though it was commissioned in 1926 during the term of Calvin Coolidge, the highway was not completed until 1929, Patty said. It runs approximately in the area of I-70. Each town along the highway was expected to erect a memorial to the fallen from their community.
The Victory Relay left Hyde Park, N.Y., June 23. The tour cruised into the metropolitan area on its fifth day Saturday. If all goes as planned, the relay is to end July 4 in Oakland, Calif.
"The reason we do this is to meet other Victory owners, and it's also an excuse to get out and ride -- we'll take any chance we get," Patty said.
That was the sentiment shared by the diverse group of Victory owners who stopped at the Kill Creek Pub and Grill to eat Saturday.
"We chose Kill Creek Pub and Grill because it could accommodate everyone," Durkin said.
The group of riders included people from Tennessee California, and many other states, proving the Victory Highway accomplished its goal of connecting Americans across the country, although probably not in the way the county commissioners of old expected.