Cyclerides.com Weekly Update
Well, we had our first blast of "head in the oven" type heat this past weekend. Timing for the dehydration subject in last week's letter couldn't have been much better, especially with the very low humidity combined with high temperatures that can suck the moisture right out of your skin. Hopefully you read that BEFORE you went riding last weekend. Due to the research I did on the subject of dehydration, I have been more cognizant about drinking additional water throughout the day. It really does work. If you missed last week's article, Click Here.
Today I am doing some pre event work and writing this letter in Spokane, WA, but this past weekend Mrs. C. and I flew to Austin, TX to do some work on the OCC show that will be going there the end of October. So to make it a little more interesting of a trip, I decided to coincide the visit with the R.O.T. Rally going on the same weekend. Most of you probably have never heard of the ROT Rally, I hadn't. For some reason, news of this rally doesn't make it much past New Mexico on the West and Mississippi on the East. Interestingly enough, it hasn't been anonymous to everyone. In the last 12 years it has quietly grown to one of the top 5 rallies in the United States bringing in right at 40,000 registered riders this year at $45 per person, plus the many thousands that don't register and just come to Austin to party for the weekend.
I had particular interest in this rally because of my desire to help Arizona become a destination for motorcycle events. I was interested to see first hand what makes a good, fun, well attended event. Well, the answer became very clear in a short while what ingredients it takes to make an exciting, critical mass type of event. The bad news is, we don't have ANY of them. After doing a few events around the Valley, I have a pretty good idea of what I would like to see, and I have a very clear view of the road blocks that keep them from happening. There are 3 things that we don't have, that other successful events do.
1. A Venue conducive to a motorcycle event. The ROT Rally takes place on a 250 acre fair grounds with roads, grass and trees that resides on the outskirts of Austin. It is totally self contained with large exposition buildings, camping, RV Hookups and plenty of space in the trees for tent camping. I'll be the first to say that I am not a camper kind of guy, but according to this rally, there are a whole lot of people that are. There were tents, motorhomes, toy haulers and trailers everywhere. It really looked like a NASCAR event at PIR. Here is a view from the air of just a portion of the venue.
2. An area to cruise. As I have mentioned in the past, motorcycle riders make their own show. We like to participate with the bikes and mingle while cruising or sitting back and enjoying the parade. One way to do that is to have a place to cruise and show off what you've got, even more than just the bike sometimes. You either need to have a few city blocks available for this or an area that would serve the same purpose. The ROT Rally has about a 2 mile loop within the grounds to cruise around. Late in the afternoon thousands of people start lining up with their bikes and lawn chairs along this route to watch the show that will go on until the wee hours of the morning. Thousands of bikes will make their way around this loop and try to impress you any way that they can. It was very high energy and was like nothing I had ever seen before, but all VERY orderly and no problems at all.
3. A city that WANTS to participate and WANTS the 40 million dollar revenue that motorcycle riders bring to Austin every year. The City of Austin is the coolest place I have ever been. They close 11 city blocks in downtown Austin on Friday night. Six blocks for motorcycle parking only, and the other 5 blocks for a band in the street and people. You can ride your bike right down the middle of all the people walking the streets. Sixth street in Austin is full of bars and restaurants with open doors and balconies. Kind of like a Bourbon Street without the seedy side. Austin is known for their live music, so as you might expect, live bands are playing on both sides of the street. It is also the original location of Coyote Ugly, the bar the movie was made about. This is a really neat, high energy evening. I talked to a few of the Police patrolling the area, of which were very few, and they said that there is never any trouble during this event. They said they used to try and control things with more stringent methods and they had more problems. So they decided to lighten up and they said everything runs much more smoothly now. DUH! They were very nice and seemed to be enjoying themselves with everyone else.
So if you have been keeping score, our City, the fifth largest City in the United States is 0 for 3 in the above categories.
1. We have no venue available similar to the ROT Rally Venue for vendors, camping, etc.
2. We have no area to cruise, congregate, create excitement, etc.
3. We have no city Brave enough, Smart enough, or Willing to step up and create any of the above. They just don't get it when it comes to motorcycle riders of 2006. There are millions of dollars being spent at these events and they don't care. But they will bend over backwards for a Marathon!! The City Officials in Austin walk around with huge smiles on their face because 40 million dollars drops in on their City in one weekend with minimal outlay by them. I was told that the ROT Rally is the single biggest revenue producing event in Austin every year. HELLO!!! Their should be at least one person out there in the Phoenix Area of City governments that can connect THESE dots.
With first hand experience, I can tell you that it is almost impossible to have this kind of event in the Valley area. The City governments, through restrictions, heavy security demands and general lack of interest in these types of events, put up so many hoops to jump through and make it almost impossible to ever try and replicate what we experienced in downtown Austin. Just for example, the six figure cost alone for security that Tempe demands, makes it very tough to run a high caliber event with stages, lights, infrastructure, talent, etc., AND keep ticket prices low. It makes it EXTREMELY expensive to produce and almost impossible to make happen. Not to mention all of the other restrictions and "can't do's" they have that pretty much strips any hope of making an event really exciting by combining the bikes and people.
If I sound frustrated...I am. I've been through it. It is very frustrating for me because we have the perfect weather and great riding to create a fantastic Southwest Rally. I would be very skeptical to sink any more of my money into this State until a City would step up and say: "We WANT to work WITH you to make this happen". At this point, I have not seen any indication of this happening. If any City official is reading this that can make it happen, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
The guys that are running AZ Bikeweek are doing the best they can with what they have to work with. I actually ran into them in Austin and discussed it at length. Hopefully they have come back with some ideas that will take AZ Bikeweek to the next level. I'm all for them. I wouldn't even be opposed to seeing it move out of the Phoenix area and shortening it to 4 days, which I think should be done anyway.
So for those of you that are looking for a fun event to participate in at the beginning of Summer next year, I would give Austin, TX and the ROT Rally a try. I think you would enjoy.
Click Here for some photos of the event.
This Week's Bike Night Events
Chesterís Harley Davidson Biker Night at the Tilted Kilt in Tempe! If you are looking for some fun on a Tuesday night, With 2 outdoor patios and plenty of excitement, This place is a good time! The Tilted Kilt is home to the best Scotch-Irish experience in Arizona, with an award-winning menu, classic pub fare, and signature Kilt items sure to please any palateónot to mention twenty four globe-spanning beers on tap! Biker Night Tuesdays also mean $3 Jack Daniels and half-price appetizers. And, with a Tilted Kilt Biker Night Card, you receive 15% OFF your total bill. So what are you waiting for? Come on down and have a craic with Chesterís Harley-Davidson! The Tilted Kilt is located at 660 W. Warner Rd. in Tempe, AZ. Just 1.5 miles East of I-10 on Warner Rd. 480-592-0102. Click Here for Map.
Casey Jones Grill Bike Night. A valley favorite bike night for over 3 years. Ride in and sit out on the patio for what I call the Best Cheesesteak Sandwich in town. This thing melts in your mouth. They have 3 new pool tables, darts and foosball. Located in the Mervyns Shopping Center on the SE corner of 43rd Ave. and Thunderbird Rd. Casey Jones is a great place for a bike night featuring a large outdoor seating and over 150 people inside. And for those of you that want to watch a sporting event they have 50 TV's scattered throughout the restaurant connected to satellite to get any game you can think of. They have a full menu for lunch, dinner and a Happy Hour from 11:00AM - 7:00PM and a reverse happy hour from 10:00PM - 12:00 Midnight. $1.75 domestic bottles and $2.00 Jacks. There are always a lot of bikes showing up for bike night at Casey Jones Thursday night. Join them for open mic night on Wednesdays. Sunday. You can always count on lots of bikes here.
The Bike Night At The Billet Bar. Voted "BEST BIKER BAR IN PHOENIX" by New Times. There is no better place to watch all the Bikes ride down Scottsdale road than from The Billet Bar Patio. The Billet is ALWAYS packed with bikes Every Day. Stop by and take a look at the New Flamed Booths on the Paradise Patio. The new bars front and rear provide spacious seating, fresh air atmosphere, perfect temperature and courteous staff. The food is amazing and always the latest in cold libations await. You can sit at the back bar and watch your favorite TV on any of the seven big inch televisions. Play pool, listen to the latest music and socialize. The front patio seats over 75 people and is perfect for people watching on Scottsdale Rd. The Billet Bar is located right next to Genesis Custom Cycles on 3752 N. Scottsdale Rd. Check it out this Thursday night and all weekend long. Info: at 480-941-1876. Click Here for the New Billet Bar Page with pictures.
Every Saturday and Sunday
The "Hog Pen" at the Roadhouse Bike Weekend. Take a ride and stop by the "Hog Pen" at The Roadhouse, the Hottest New motorcycle patio in Cave Creek where every weekend will be Bike Weekend. Now Featuring a new Breakfast Buffet from 8am - Noon on Saturday! Grab a seat at the new Hog Pen bar rail and watch the bikes ride by. There is plenty of new concrete motorcycle parking right out front. CCR is located on Cave Creek Rd. in the heart of Cave Creek directly across from Harold's. It is a restaurant and bar that focuses on a broad menu of good food and has a large bar for socializing with your riding pals for a good time. It is built to look like something out of the 1800's, but it is brand new. Stop by this weekend for lunch, dinner or just to have a drink and take a look at the place. I can tell you that their hamburgers and steak fries are exceptional. Mrs. C. had the swordfish and said it was very good.
Live Music Every Weekend:
Friday: Live Music with "Easton Ashe" 9pm - 1:30am
Saturday: Live Music with "Tim Sealy" 9pm - 1:30am
Sunday Evening: Live Music with "Danny Rhodes" 3-7pm
Click here for the Cave Creek Roadhouse website. 480-575-3098
Sugar Daddy's Blues Biker Sunday Brunch.
Now is the perfect weather to be sitting out on the Sugar Daddy's patio, listening to Live Music while dining from the Brunch Menu. Live Music from 10am on the patio.
And Sunday Brunch Just Got Better! You now have 3 options to choose from.
Option #1: Eggs Benedict Ė Grilled English muffins, smoked ham, poached eggs and hollandaise sauce.
Served with your chose of fresh fruit or crispy potatoes. ($8) or Sugarís Pancakes Ė You wonít eat pancakes anywhere else. Buttermilk pancakes served with butter and syrup. ($5)
Option #2: Canít decide what to eat? How about an All-You-Can-Eat buffet for ONLY $12.
Option #3: Order off our regular menu.
Our 5,000 sq. ft. temperature controlled patio has six air conditioning units, misters, and plenty of shade. Sugar Daddy's patio, food and entertainment is becoming a regular Sunday stop. If you haven't tried it yet, give them a try. Complimentary coffee is now served. Make Sugar Daddy's Blues your stop on your ride down Scottsdale Rd. for Brunch or Lunch from 10am - 4pm. Enjoy live music from 10am - 2pm Or maybe just relax on the patio with your favorite beverage and enjoy the beautiful weather and watch the bikes roll down Scottsdale Rd. Click here to see the awesome pictures and details of Sugar Daddy's located at 3102 N. Scottsdale Rd. between Indian School and Thomas on the West side of the road. Stop by and check it out. A great place to hang out. Plenty of Bike Parking. If you have suggestions, email them at email@example.com . 480-970-6556.
No scheduled events.
2006 Arizona State H.O.G. Rally.
Come join us for some "Old West" hospitality and flavor at the 2006 Arizona State H.O.G. Rally in Williams, Arizona. Riding Abounds in the Williams Area. The Williams area offers cool summer temperatures due to the 7000-foot elevation - great for riding. Williams is within easy riding distance of Flagstaff, Sedona, Jerome mining town, Indian Ruins and other attractions including the Grand Canyon Railway, a historic steam train that travels to the Grand Canyon daily. The South Rim is a beautiful 66 mile ride through a pine forest with an exceptionally well maintained road with plenty of curves to stimulate your senses. We will be adding more details to the web site in the upcoming months, so be sure to check back. Until then, plan on heading West and joining us at the 2006 Arizona State H.O.G. Rally!
Superstition Harley-Davidson's Father's Day Deals. This Father's Day, Superstition Harley-Davidson has the best list of gifts for him! Bring your dad in on June 17th & 18th to up the ante on his gift. All Weekend save 25% OFF all poker sets, chips, and playing cards. Don't forget at time of purchase to enter-to-win a Harley-Davidson 400 piece Poker Box Set valued at $340! Drawing will be on Father's Day @ 3pm but the fun will be all weekend long! On Saturday, the 17th Play High Card / Low Card with any MotorClothes® purchase of $100 or more for your chance to win a FREE Freezer Mug.
On Sunday, the 18th any MotorClothes® purchase of $100 or more earns you the chance to win 10% 20% - including up to 30% OFF your entire purchase, just by grabbing your lucky poker chip. Forget the tie this year -Superstition Harley-Davidson has your gifts for Father's Day!
If you have emailed classifieds lately and they haven't appeared, I am trying to
catch up with those. I will get them up as soon as possible.