BY LINDSAY MCCOY

Times Bulletin News Writer

lmccoy@timesbulletin.com

VAN WERT - Jim's Harley-Davidson Sales in Mendon, OH, recently expanded its services by sponsoring the Mendon Harley Owner Group, Chapter 3815. The chapter started in November 2012 with an informational meetings and now meets each month at the Old Farm Store in downtown Mendon. A meeting to plan the upcoming motorcycle season has been scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 16, at 10:00 a.m.

"The upcoming motorcycle season will be beginning in April," said Mendon Harley Associate Mark Tompary. "The meeting will be to discuss future events which we are still formulating. This is an opportunity for members to get in on the ground floor of the planning." When meetings began in November, only a handful of members were in attendance but attendance continues to pick up each month.

This chapter is not the start of a new fad as the chapter is a local affiliate of the world wide Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.) motorcycle club, a 30-year-old organization. H.O.G. is the largest manufacturer sponsored motorcycle club with millions of member worldwide. The primary mission of the organization is to ride and have fun with family and friends and share their riding passion with future generations.

Jim's Harley-Davidson Sales was in existence long before the start of H.O.G. In 1961, with a few borrowed dollars, a military veteran moved Harley-Davidson, one of America's greatest icons, to Mercer County. Now 50 years later, Jim's Harley-Davidson Sales Owners Jim and Mary Godwin have begun an active local chapter. The local chapter has been strongly desired by area residents in Western Ohio and Eastern Indiana.

Membership to the new chapter is open to any national H.O.G. member. Anyone who is not yet a member of H.O.G. can go to the website, and then follow up by singing up at the local chapter. It is encouraged that a member own a Harley, but members with other bikes are also a part of the group. Tompary often sees less experienced rides start on smaller bikes and that is often how other brands of motorcycles become part of the group.

"The group contains refreshing and quality people, machines, and rides." said Tompary. "The group is meant to help people and to have a good time. It is also important to be safe. We are also working on putting together safety training." Planned trip events include a ride to southern Ohio, historical tours, and once a week evening rides. Many more events will be scheduled during the upcoming meeting.

The group not only contains men. There are two women members who are members of the chapter. Members wives also ride along as passengers often. The group welcomes all those who are passionate about their bikes and the motorcycle lifestyle.

Anyone interested in joining or has any questions can contact the dealership at (419) 795-4185 or visit the website at www.jimsharley-davidson.com and click on the H.O.G. emblem at the bottom of the page.