The Lonestar Rally

Article By: Chris Callen

Photos By:  Jeff Klaum and Cycle Source Staff

Originally Published In The March 2019 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine

Along the Gulf of Mexico, on the southern coast of Texas is a town called Galveston. It’s a sister to the famous Louisiana city known for lavish Mardi Gras celebrations. You’ll find much the of the same landscape around Galveston, the streets put you in mind of New Orleans, but the biggest difference for all of us is that this town does it’s partying on two wheels. Once a year, some 600,000 motorcyclists descend on this otherwise sleepy little city, and for four solid days, it’s on. This is the Lone Star Rally, Galveston, Texas …. Republic Of…. For us at Cycle Source Magazine, the annual pilgrimage to Galveston Texas marks the finish line. This year that was, even more, the case since from The Lone Star Rally last year, around the entire calendar year until the 2018 event, we never really came off the road. None the less, this is where our friends and family get together and damned if we weren’t headed for a hell of a time again.

Like most of this year, for some reason, we were about a day behind, kind of a good thing if you can imagine. The entire town had just endured a series of storms, and as we were heading into town, one last event blew through taking many vendor tents with it. We had Steve Peffer with us from Steel City Choppers who was competing in the In Motion Show, the bikes were with Mark in the Big Trailer, and we managed to miss that final disaster. Except for the fact that we then needed to get everything ready in under a day, we were good. This was not just our story, as the folks that put on the Lone Star also had their work cut out for them. I can’t say enough about the incredible crew that is behind this rally. In record fashion, they set up an entire temporary city, and once the event is over, tear it down just even faster. Anyway, let’s take a look at the rally.

With a few trips to the hardware store on Thursday morning, several of the builders of In Motion helping us out we managed to get Hendley Park on 21St and Strand set up and ready for the bikes to take their place. We had just enough time to make it over to Seawall on the other side of the island to see who would show up to make the shakedown ride. Will is writing an article on In Motion in this issue, so I will let it go at that. Suffice it to say that we made the shakedown ride, did the reception party and by the end of the night, we all collapsed in our beds. Some party animals we are, huh? What we seemed to have missed on Thursday night was Vince Neil of Motley Crue fame. Old Vince was looking a little rough, but hey… to have lived through some of the stories I’ve heard about those guys in their younger years, let’s just say he’s earned a pass. The crowd dug the hell out of him, so all was good.

The next day came early and fast. Friday is a big day for the Cycle Source on Seawall. For the 6th year in a row, we held our old-time bike rodeo and brother I have to tell you that people in Texas do not play games when it comes to the word rodeo, no matter what you ride to compete. Of course, we always have the favorites like the slow race, the barrel roll, and the weenie bite but each year we throw in a ball buster. This year it was the ring toss. Ring toss sounds like it would be stupid easy, but it really takes skill to work all those variables and toss the rings on cones as you pass by. All this happens with the beautiful Pleasure Pier amusement park right over our shoulder. Hours went by as we played games, taking a short break here and there so Chris Tice and his guys could tear it up with the stunt show. I can hardly believe it, although I shouldn’t be surprised by this point, but Scotty Tripp won the overall rodeo champ award again this year, making it an impressive four Lone Star Rally handmade rodeo championship belts he has taken home from these games. Thanks to everyone who played, especially the Pensebene boys who took to the weenie bite like true champions.

That evening, we spent the night getting the lighting working over at park. The scene where the Lone Star promoters had us set up In Motion was beautiful, and we soon saw the fruit of our labor on several local news channels who were also impressed with the builders and their creations. The strand was a zoo, as it always is, and as the hysteria built, Brett Michaels took to the Progressive Stage at Beach Central. You have to give it to this cat, he still kills it and believe it or not is a hell of a nice guy to be around. You can see him there with Todd Matthews of Progressive getting a quick pic. Progressive signed on to Lone Star this year and really helped bring the event to a new level, thanks, guys. Saturday was the day, head to head and side by side the Cycle Source Custom Bike show at Seawall and right across the street the Perewitz Paint Show at the Hotel Galvez. Dave and Jody Perewitz hold an incredible series of shows man, and the Galveston show is off the hook. With some of the most decorated baggers in this part of the country, it was no surprise to see the five-digit paint jobs rolling into that lot. Sponsored by PPG and Sata Spray Guns, the guys who paint the winner’s bikes get some killer prizes right along with the builders.

Across the street, our show was no slouch with some of the greatest full out customs and choppers that Texas had to offer. Everything from old Indians to the Chopper jockeys and all their hardware, Performance custom bikes and the like. We gave out some 24 awards and prizes provided from Lucas Oil, Hot Leathers, Lone Star Rally, JP Cycles, and Progressive. Paughco was set up right next to us and decided to throw in a half dozen or so custom fuel tanks and handlebar sets. Only one would take home the big honor as best in show, and for a second year, that would be Eric Vaughan with his slick 1949 Panhead Chopper. It’s featured in this very issue so go check it out. He also got $500 in cash, well $400; I still owe him a sawbuck since the ATM was out of dough. He can probably just pick it up next year with his annual earnings unless one of you come out to take his streak away. Saturday night was time for The Original Mexican, oh yeah baby, only in Galveston and my favorite. With a killer show in the books, fantastic bike games and finally getting to ride my Shovelhead beside my brother Clinton, this was already a great event, but it wasn’t over by a damn site.

Sunday morning, we had to get all the In Motion bikes over to the main stage for the awards. We were hard at figuring the winners, getting the big check signed and ready. Peffer threw a little freehand custom In Motion logo on it the night before like a champ, so it looked tight. One at a time all the builders got their bikes either fired up and ridden down, or in the case of those who hadn’t made it to stage call yet, some of us helped by pushing them across town. One way or another, we would get the entire thing set to go before the Count, and his band took the stage at 3 pm. As per Texas, it ain’t over til it’s over and the crowd was out in force to squeeze the last drops out of Lone Star ‘18. As we all mulled around, Jay Allen, master of ceremonies, took the stage and began to talk us up. The show, the builders, the effort behind it all. In this part of my article, I would like to take a little space, if you don’t mind, to thank this man, from all of us. You see, a lifetime ago I slept on couches behind and in buildings Jay owned called the Broken Spoke Saloons, many of us did. He was not just an event promoter, not just a bar owner or master of ceremony; he was a steward for the spirit of this industry and our culture, he still is today. I have sat and watched as Jay has been the caretaker for several generations of bike builders, PR guys, manufacturers, entertainers, and just plain old rally goers have come through his establishment. Somehow, he remains able to focus on the good, the promotion not of the individual or for that sake alone but for the thing as a whole. He is a great man without whom many of us would not be in this thing. I celebrate my 22nd year of publishing this magazine next month, and it happens largely on the advice of men like Jay Allen and John Green. Thank you, sir, from all your illegitimate orphans.

So, as you have undoubtedly heard by now, Jeff Cochran of SpeedKing Racing took home the $10,000 prize, but that wasn’t our only prize this year. Steve and Paughco made sure that for his second-place finish Brian Buttera got a wishbone frame, and Clinton Wallace in third got a springer front end. Although, I can’t imagine Clinton building a bike small enough to use that thing, hell man, just send it on over to me! We can’t thank Melissa Penland enough for helping us get In Motion on the map through her Lone Star Rally, Paughco and Lucas for throwing in on it as well and each and every one of the builders who came from all over the country to prove that it still matters if what you build will be a source of enjoyment once the lights from the show fade. With another year of Lone Star Rally in the books, all I can tell you is that you better start making plans for next year. We have some announcements coming up that are going to blow your mind. Until then, keep an eye out for Cycle Source social media channels where we will be posting all the photos from this event. I think we have like 1500 more or so for you to check out.

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