Bismarck Gang makes strudel runs to the Hague Cafe most Thursdays

By Terri Lang

Lang, Terri. "Bismarck Gang makes strudel runs to Hague Cafe most Thursdays." Emmons County Record, 6 September 2012, 1 & 3.

It was Cliff Naylor’s discovery of the Hague Cafe on his “Off the Beaten Path” on KFYR TV that brought a gang to Hague.

Over 20 years ago, Herman Preszler retired from farming north of Braddock and moved to Bismarck. He always enjoyed the outdoors, the wide open spaces, the blue skies and the sunshine. He wanted to continue reaping the pleasures of living in scenic North Dakota.

“After watching Cliff Naylor’s episode on the Hague Cafe’s strudels, I thought it would be fun to take a trip and see for myself about the great strudels that Cliff talked about. Heck, I grew up on strudels,” Herman said.

Nearly every Thursday during the summer months since 1991, Herman has made that journey. In the past two to three years, he has traveled it in his 2008 Corvette. Years prior to that, he did it on his Harley-Davidson. During the winter months, he traveled in his Suburban.

Herman shared his love for cycling and the North Dakota prairies. He spread the word, and other bikers joined him on his weekly visits to Hague.

“We were up to 19 bikers at one time. We would meet at the Pony Express on Thursdays—bikers from all walks of life and bikes of all kinds,” he said.

Fred Schmidt, who retired in 2003, is one of those bikers. He bought his Harley in December 2002.
“My wife thought I was crazy since I had never rode a motorcycle before,” Fred said.

The salesperson who sold him his Harley suggested he call Herman Preszler as it was known that Herman taught so many the joy of riding.

Fred made that contact and has relished his visits to Hague for strudels since 2004.

“Those Thursdays became a holy day—St. Strudel Day in Hague,” he joked.

Fred said he always informed the several committees he served on that Thursday meetings or appointments were not an option.

He is grateful to Herman for encouraging him to join the gang on their jaunts to Hague.

“Herman is known as the ‘Godfather of the strudel run,’” he said, adding that people appreciate Herman so much.

“Many people don’t actually know Herman’s name. They just know Herman as the guy on the motorcycle,” Fred noted.

Herman has a history of riding motorcycles. He bought his first bike in 1946 and attended the Sturgis Rally in 1947.

“Back then, there were about 500-600 people who attended the rally,” he remembered.

In 1951, Herman joined the service during the Korean War and sold his bike. When he returned from the war, he began farming and did not find the time for biking.

In 1976, he bought a bike again but had limited time as farming kept him very busy.

Herman has owned 16 Harleys over the years. Since 1991, he put on 40,000 to 50,000 miles per year on his Harley.

Three years ago, at 80 years young, he still put on 50,000 miles that year. Over the years, that brought his total miles on his cycles to nearly 800,000.

Herman now enjoys most of his road trips in his Corvette and already has put 154,000 miles on that.
Herman’s and Fred’s travels take them to several eateries across the state. Both agree though the strudels at the Hague Cafe are their favorite.

“The strudels are great, and the employees are even better,” they both said.

They shared the fact that employees come and go, and they treasure so many of the gals who always took the time to visit with them and made their trips to Hague so special.

The gang does not make the jaunt to Hague as frequently as they used to, but they still enjoy the pleasure of visiting with folks and, of course, feasting on the awesome strudels.

Herman said years ago if he missed Thursday strudels in Hague, the cooks would call him to check if he was OK.

Next time you are in Hague on Thursdays for strudels, and you notice a gray Corvette and a bike or two, stop in and visit with the gang.

Herman Preszler, The Godfather of the Strudel Run, sits behind the wheel of his 2008 Corvette. Part of his gang is in the background.
Left to right are John Weibel, Fred Schmidt, Ed Billing and Herman Preszler. John is 68 years old, retired from the U.S. Air Force, has been riding for 20 years and puts 8,000 to 10,000 miles on his motorcycle each year. Fred is 64, a retired stockbroker and seems to be the strudel run spokesperson. Ed is 76, a retired trucker, has put on four million miles on his trucks during his 35-year trucking career, has been biking since 1998 and puts on 40,000 miles per year on his bike. Godfather Herman is 83 years old, retired from farming and has put nearly 800,000 miles on his bikes over the years.
Left to right are Norman Delzer, Lowell Jensen and Jens Traeholt. Norman is 70 years old, retired from Bobcat and a charter member of Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.). Lowell is 73, retired Bismarck Superintendent of Schools, been riding for 17 years and puts on 10,000 miles per year on his motorcycle. Jens is 77 years old, had an engineering business and is now retired and also puts many miles on his bike.
The gang and Godfather of the Strudel Run arrive for the feast. Gang members are, left to right, Norman Delzer, Lowell Jensen, Jens Traeholt, John Weibel, Fred Schmidt, Ed Billing and Godfather Herman Preszler.
Gang members share their stories and, of course, feast on the strudels. Left to right are Norman Delzer, Lowell Jensen, John Weibel and Jens Traeholt.
The Hague Cafe brings in a crowd for its Thursday strudel lunch.
A few years ago, the gang presented this trophy to Hague Cafe: “Hague Cafe—North Dakota’s best strudel stop.” It was given by the Freewheelers and Retreats Motorcycle Club.
Enjoying the strudels at the Hague Cafe are, left to right, Fred Schmidt, Herman Preszler and Ed Billing.

Our appreciation is express to the Emmons County Record to print this article.

Permission to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested by contacting Michael M. Miller