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Don’t be afraid to get your plugs dirty

Do you crave hot, raw power between your legs? The feeling of absolute freedom and the wind breaking on your face? The ability to forget all the crap you have to deal with on a daily basis?

Well, you’re not alone. There are others out there who want all these things and let nothing stand in their way. They are called the Dirty Plugs, and they are waiting for you.

The Dirty Plugs is a motorcycle club here at Portland State. In addition to providing a forum for motorcycle enthusiasts, members organize and participate in events for riders in and around Oregon.

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The next event is the statewide Shriners Hospital Toy Run. The run takes place in early December, when literally thousands of Oregon bikers meet at the Tri-Met station on 17th and Powell and then caravan across the Willamette and through downtown to deliver toys to the hospital.

Last year, the run was so successful that about 3,000 bikers showed up and provided two busloads of toys to the hospital. The hospital said the run produced enough toys to ensure every child treated at the hospital in the year would get one.

But it’s not all charity. These guys like to ride.

The founding members began an annual spring break run to the Redwood forest and beyond a couple years ago. Last year, the run continued through California and Nevada before the group returned to Oregon. The entire trip was about 3,500 miles.

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This year the Plugs leaders, Cassidy Blackburn and Mike Kowalka, are planning on taking the run to Mexico, a 4,000-mile trip.

Other long runs include the Fossil Run to Eastern Oregon in the summer, sponsored by A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments (a political group of sorts dedicated to researching motorcycle-related bills and defending riders’ interests) and a possible trip to the massive Sturgis rally in South Dakota.

And to fill in the time between the long runs, the Plugs organize smaller events like the Poker Run. The Poker Run is a day event similar to a big Easter egg hunt – only with motorcycles.

Participants pay a small fee and receive a card that they must fill up with stamps from different locations. The rider with the best “hand” at the end of the day wins a prize.

Aside from runs short and long, the Plugs try to get together every couple of weeks. The last meeting was Oct. 24 and was the kick-off meeting for the year, so you haven’t missed much.

The group usually meets at the Lucky Labrador at 915 S.E. Hawthorne at around 6 p.m. The meetings tend to last a couple hours, and the Lucky Lab welcomes minors up until 9 p.m. so all you underage kids can go.

There are 15 members in the club right now, with 30 to 35 on the list for membership. There are no fees to be a member of the Dirty Plugs, and the membership fee for ABATE is $20 for an individual and $25 for a couple.

The club is looking for more members, and for members to step up to fill leadership positions. Blackburn says the Plugs are going to try and become a chapter of ABATE and that the positions need filling before that can happen.

To contact the Dirty Plugs, send an e-mail to [email protected] There could be a meeting tonight, but at press time Blackburn was not positive it would happen.