Live wild. Live free. Live your dreams. This is the feeling I have when riding my bike and feeling the wind rushing through my hair and kissing my face. Just to be clear, I’m referring to the pedaling kinda of biking. Since I’m all about trying new experiences, on a recent Saturday I visited Bert’s Black Widow Harley-Davidson® in Port Charlotte to see what exactly the motorized bike experience is about. What my naive self learned was being a Harley-Davidson rider isn’t about owning a piece of thrusting horsepower you put between your legs, it’s about fulfilling a dream and being part of a community.
Typical of Saturdays and Sundays at Bert’s Black Widow, a band performed on a stage in the back parking lot and under a tent, free food was being grilled up. Inside, music was booming, free beer flowing (yes, free beer) and the showroom was buzzing with folks looking to either buy or trade up. There’s also a nice selection of T-shirts for those looking to expand their wardrobe. No, I didn’t buy anything but you betcha I’ll be back to check out the selection.
On the day of my visit, I met a dashing blonde-haired fellow. His name is Bert King, owner of Bert’s Black Widow Harley-Davidson. He was dressed as Thor, the strong, fierce superhero because it was Superhero Day at the dealership. One of the team members was dressed as Spiderman. I think the Venom Girls, the gals who pour the complimentary draft beer on weekends, were dressed as superheroes, too.
Bert owned car dealerships in Texas and was on the hunt for an HD dealership. He acquired Black Widow in Aug. 2015 and in a short period of time he and his team have been making a big impact in the community. At publication time, the dealership is among the top 10 percent of the company’s dealerships in the U.S. He’s built a community and the dealership is now a popular place for riders to meet up and enjoy the festivities then head out on a ride along Florida’s back roads.
The dealership is also giving back to the community, too. For instance, organizations volunteer their time and take the tips to support their causes. During my visit, a greyhound rescue club was also there that day with hopes of finding homes for retired dogs. Profits from events, such as an MMA fight (Mixed Martial Arts), is donated to a local organization. This particular event is supporting the replica Vietnam Wall being built in Punta Gorda, Fla.
Don’t have a bike but want to go for a ride? In addition to sales, Black Widow offers rentals and what’s really exciting is they’re working on a Harley-Davidson Riding Academy! Yeah, I’ll definitely be checking that out. Don’t ride but looking to hang with cool people and a good vibe? Head to Bert’s Black Widow some weekend. Check their calendar of events to see what’s happening.
So, did I go for a ride or buy a bike that day? Nope. But Bert and Gil Gibson, general manager of the dealership, let me sit on one and planted the seed that maybe riding is for me. Anyone need a gal to fill that back seat? Is that even the right terminology? Maybe someone needs to teach me the lingo before I sit on a bike!
If you live in the area or passing through, stop by Bert’s Black Widow Harley-Davidson. It’s located next to the Charlotte Sports Park.
Bert’s Black Widow Harley-Davidson
2224 El Jobean Rd.
Port Charlotte, Fla. 33948