VIDEO: It’s all about the hogs

Published 10:03 am Friday, July 10, 2009

You could hear them from a distance, dozens of them.

Members of the Excelsior-Henderson Riders Club, based in Minnesota, cruised into the Spam Museum parking lot Thursday as part of their 10th annual motorcycle rally.

The motorcyclists kicked off their event in Albert Lea the night before and were eventually headed to Le Sueur where the rally was slated to finish Sunday.

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“I’m a nut,” said Phil Ward, who owns five of the motorcycles and is also the treasurer and road captain of the club. “I love the ride, and I love the style.”

Ward said the Excelsior-Henderson motorcycle, made in Minnesota, was produced for only about nine months in 1999. Roughly 2,000 were made, and the bike was built to compete with the Harley Davidson.

“We estimate a good 1,900 or so are still around, but we don’t know how many are being ridden,” he said.

Well, there’s at least the ones that filled a corner of the Spam Museum parking lot.

Riders Thursday came from all over Minnesota as well as all over the country. There were also members from Sweden.

The group toured the museum and snacked on Spam samples.

“I think it’s a lot of fun,” said Angela McDermott, group tour coordinator/marketing for the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau, about the group’s visit. “The variety of people who come through Austin, the Spam Museum and the restaurants still surprises me.”

Ward, wearing a black leather jacket, said that Excelsior-Henderson motorcycles can still be bought pretty easily, with a cost between $5,000 and $10,000 depending on condition.

“They hold their value pretty well,” he said.

For more information about the Excelsior-Henderson Riders Club, visit