Lone Star Rally: Over The Top

Article And Photos By: Heather Callen

Originally Published In The April 2018 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine

2017 was a crazy year in the good Ol US of A. Fires, floods, hurricanes; you name it, the US took all that Mother Nature had to throw at us. As we all know Southeast Texas was one of the hardest hit areas, entire communities devastated due to an angry Hurricane Harvey that made landfall in August of 2017. Houston was all but shut down, the smaller surrounding towns without power 2 for days on end. Yet, even with all the devastation and destruction we, as a nation, proved just how strong we are. That we will persevere and overcome adversity. And I’ll be damned Texas was no exception. The people of the Lone Star state stepped up, lent a helping hand to neighbors, strangers, family, and friends. They proved that their hearts are as big as their state. In the aftermath of the horrendous storm, the organizers of Texas’s biggest motorcycle rally wondered if they should proceed as planned or if the area needed more time to heal. After talking to the folks in the city of Galveston, doing some recon work and straight up asking the public what they wanted the answer was a resounding Yes, the rally must go on! And man did it ever, and we were so proud to be a part of the annual Lone Star Rally. The four-day event gave motorcycle enthusiasts of Texas something fun to think about, a way to create good memories amidst so many negatives that had surrounded the area for months prior. It was a brief reprieve for many and a way to support the local economy for others.

Now, I’m not going to lie, the Lone Star Rally is one of my favorite events of the year, not just because it’s a great way to close out our rally season but being from the Northeast and “having to go” to the Gulf of Mexico for “work” in early November doesn’t suck. I also just love Texas! The people that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting are some of the greatest people to have crossed my path, the weather is as close to perfect as it can get, I say this not having been there in July or August yet, which from what I understand could make me change my mind…but I doubt it! Enough about how much I love Texas, psst…Chris Hill Country is still calling to me…let’s get down to business. 2017 Lone Star would be a little different for the Cycle Source crew as we had a new project underway, the In Motion show. I won’t go into too much detail here because you can flip to page 95 of this issue and read all about it. What I will say is that Chris and I rolled into town a few days early with our tiny house and set up camp behind Seawall Park and set to work getting the Devil’s Cut ready for some of the best bikes and builders in the country. Lighting, signage, ambiance all had to be just right for this inaugural event, and I think we pulled it off. Usually, every Thursday of LSR we host a Run Down The Shore for rally attendees. This year we did the run. However, it was the shakedown ride for all the In Motion bikes. You see, not only did they have to be there on time, they had to start and finish the ride with everyone else to qualify for the 10G’s. We started with 14 invited and ended with 11 qualifying. Now, the shakedown was open to rally attendees, but I’ll be honest, it was more about putting the builders to the test, but we did have a few of our regular riders in attendance, and for that we are grateful. Maybe next year we can combine the two a little better, we’ll keep ya posted!

Over the past few years, one of the main attractions on Seawall are the Old Time Bike Games that we host every Friday. Texas takes their games very…very seriously and this year was no different. Contestants and spectators alike lined the streets. Despite the abnormally high temps and humidity that day thousands stayed for hours and cheered, heckled and helped contestants through to the end. As in years past, so many wanted to participate we ended up having to cut out a competition. We couldn’t have people getting heat stroke on account of having too much fun, now could we. Competitors tested their skills in the Slow Race, Barrell Roll, and Weenie Bite. Nothing like a warm saggy weenie hanging from a string on a hot day to get your tummy rumbling! Just kidding, it’s by far the most entertaining challenge there is. For three years running, Scotty Trip has showed up and brought his A-game each and every time; he did the same this year too as he was the overall winner and took home bragging rights for another year and a hand striped kidney belt from our buddy Atomic Bob (www.atomicdice. com).

Friday afternoon on the magnificent grounds of the Hotel Galvez, Mr. Dave Perewitz himself hosted the Perewitz Paint Show. What a scene, the coastal waters glittering in the background as the sun danced off the metal flake of some killer custom paint jobs. The level of artistry displayed that afternoon was staggering, especially for someone like me who can’t even draw a stick figure. The competition was stiff, and I know Dave and Jody had a hard making their picks. Cudos to everyone that showed their stuff, like they always say, “if you’ve got it flaunt it!” Friday night brought the closed judging for In Motion. Each builder had two minutes to tell the panel of judges about their build before the score sheets being filled out. Man, oh man, am I glad all I had to do was the tally for this show. Scoring eleven builders a 1 to 10 in 10 categories, knowing $10,000 was on the line… no thank you…I’ll just do the math. It was great to witness the nerves, energy, and passion they brought to the room, many found it inspiring, and I bet you will too when you visit next year.

Saturday morning rolled around much too quickly and brought with it our annual Free Ride In Bike show. Every year I’m surprised at the diversity that shows up for our little show. With well over 100 bikes entered the judging was tough. We had everything on hand including kick-ass baggers, choppers, bobbers, sport bikes, trikes, vintage, antique and everything in between. We were thrilled to give Eric Scott Vaughan of Destroyer Garage the award for Best of Show. He snuck in by the skin of his teeth with a killer Panhead that you’ll see in an upcoming feature, so be on the lookout. I would be remiss in my duties if I didn’t tell you about all the other cool happenings that take place on Galveston Island during the Lone Star Rally. The event organizers truly try to have something for everyone. They play host to Poker Runs and Scavenger Hunts, a Truck /Jeep Show, and a Drive-In Car Show. The entertainment on multiple stages is always stellar and covers a wide array of genres. The legendary David Allen Coe took to the stage a time or two along with the Bobby Friss Band, Tom Keifer and Sawyer Brown headlined the event on Saturday night. On Sunday as the Lone Star Rally was coming to a close we awarded the $10,000 to one exceptional craftsman while the rally holdouts anxiously awaited the final performance by, a Texan by birth, Vanilla Ice! All in all, Lone Star Rally 2017 was a tremendous success and a testament to the fortitude of our culture and its people. Thank you for letting us be part of your memories.

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