Get those motors running: Eagles' 3rd annual 'Leather Up for Lupus' charity ride is Saturday

Though it seems like spring has only just begun, Memorial Day weekend is almost here, bringing with it a plethora of high school graduations, family picnics, fishing, boating, swimming -- and the opportunity for Detroit Lakes area motorcycle enth...

The "Leather Up for Lupus" charity motorcycle ride is hosted by the Eagles Aerie in Detroit Lakes. The ride, which is set to begin at 1 p.m. this Saturday, May 26, takes about five hours. (Meagan Pittelko / Tribune)

Though it seems like spring has only just begun, Memorial Day weekend is almost here, bringing with it a plethora of high school graduations, family picnics, fishing, boating, swimming - and the opportunity for Detroit Lakes area motorcycle enthusiasts to gear up for their first big outing of the season.

The third annual "Leather Up for Lupus" Charity Ride is scheduled to take place this coming Saturday, May 26. Hosted by Detroit Lakes Eagles Aerie 2342, with assistance from ABATE (American Bikers for Awareness, Training and Education), the five-hour ride will begin at 1 p.m., with riders taking off from in front of the local Eagles Club on Holmes Street, which will be partially blocked off for most of the day in order to accommodate all the bikes.

"Registration starts at 11:30 a.m.," says Cylinda Scheiben, who along with fellow Eagles member Earl Skogen, has been involved with the annual ride since its inception. "But Holmes Street will be closed between Lake Avenue and the alley (next to the courthouse) from 6 a.m. to about 7 p.m."

Attendance at the annual event has ranged between 40-50 riders for its first couple of years, but Scheiben would like to see it grow even more.

"We had 44 riders last year, and I'm really hoping for more," she said, adding that while she doesn't expect it to grow to the size of the Ronald McDonald House Ride, she wouldn't mind seeing their numbers double.


Scheiben has a strong interest in the ride because her husband, Sean, was diagnosed with lupus seven years ago - which was what inspired their close friend, Earl Skogen, to organize the event during his tenure as president of the local Eagles aerie.

"I was vice president (of Aerie 2342) when Sean was president," Skogen said. "When I became president, I wanted to do something to bring some awareness of what Sean was going through, and I came up with the idea of hosting a motorcycle ride."

As the name suggests, the ride is intended to raise funds for lupus research and treatment as well as to increase awareness of the disease, which Scheiben says can strike pretty much anyone, though it's much more common among women than men.

"Men can also develop the disease," she said - and its symptoms can sometimes be much worse. "For men, the effect on some organs can be much more severe," Scheiben added.

Fortunately, she added, her husband Sean has been able to continue working and living a pretty normal life - though that doesn't mean a life without pain.

"The symptoms can come and go, and flare-ups can range from mild to severe," Scheiben said. "New symptoms can also appear at any time."

She added that research and treatment have advanced to the point where the anticipated life expectancy has risen from a maximum of about four years back in the 1950s, to the current standard of "a normal lifespan, with disease management."

Cost to participate in this year's event is $20 per rider, with an additional $10 each for passengers. There will also be commemorative t-shirts and jacket patches for sale before the start of the ride, Scheiben added, at a cost of $20 for the t-shirts and $10 for the patches (though those who buy both together will get a $5 discount).


Skogen said that the ride will be slightly over 100 miles in length, beginning and ending at the Eagles Club in Detroit Lakes. There will be two stops along the route, which will venture as far south as Fergus Falls before returning to Detroit Lakes.

"The ride will be followed by a dinner and some door prize giveaways," said Scheiben, "and there will be a silent auction."

Ride participants can place their silent auction bids inside the club before the start of the ride, with the winning bids to be announced at the dinner afterwards.

"There will be about 10-15 items in the silent auction," said Scheiben, noting that this year's ride chairman, Ardean Anderson, has taken charge of that part of the planning.

As they have for the first couple of years of the event, ABATE is also helping to plan and organize the ride itself, Skogen added.

"The first two years have been such a success, and we're really excited for this year," said Scheiben, noting that while the event takes place "rain or shine," they're hoping for good weather, to attract more participants.

For more information about the Leather Up for Lupus Charity Ride, please contact Earl Skogen at 218-850-9178, send an email to or call the Detroit Lakes Eagles Club at 218-847-5267.


A reporter at Detroit Lakes Newspapers since relocating to the community in October 2000, Vicki was promoted to Community News Lead for the Detroit Lakes Tribune and Perham Focus on Jan. 1, 2022. She has covered pretty much every "beat" that a reporter can be assigned, from county board and city council to entertainment, crime and even sports. Born and raised in Madelia, Minnesota, she is a graduate of Hamline University, from which she earned a bachelor's degree in English literature (writing concentration). You can reach her at
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