The Thunder in the Hill Country rally returned to Mansfield Park in Bandera on April 4-7, featuring a bike show, tattoo contest, three concerts, motorcycle games and a great selection of vendors. And it was the first time we ran into Biker Rally Camps, a turnkey operation that furnishes a cabin-style tent, a double-stack air mattress bed (with blanket), two camp chairs, a lantern and cooler. They drag it out to the campsite, set it up and then break it all back down after the rally. With the motto “Why pack your gear when you can ride as free as the wind,” they can be reached at… G.J. Reyna is one of the main promoters for the Corpus Christi BikeFest (formerly known as the South Padre Island BikeFest). Sixteen years ago, G.J.’s son was born. And on April 8, G.J. surprised his boy, Little G, with the most unique gift ever devised. Presented with a crate and crowbar and told to open his birthday present, there’s no way Little G could have ever guessed what was inside. For 16 years the crate had sat in the storage loft in G.J.’s place of business waiting for this day. Inside was a brand-new 1997 883 Sportster. Reports vary as to who shed the most tears, Little G or Dad… We recently received a call from Rick Fairless informing us of his latest successful Spring Fling held April 12-14. More than 10,000 people came through the doors at his Strokers Dallas establishment over the three-day event that featured pole dancing on Friday (a first-time venture), a wet T-shirt contest on Saturday (with a packed house) and a bikini and hula hoop contest on Sunday (while Strokers has offered the bikini contest for years, Rick thought it “cool” to toss in the hula hoop addition. The crowd apparently had NO objections). Leave it to a native Texan to invent some new wholesome, family-styled entertainment… Running from April 15 through July 27, the 2013 Texas Independents Tour challenges riders to visit all 43 participating Harley-Davidson dealers in Texas to collect passport stamps for the chance to win some great prizes. How great? How about a 2013 H-D Electra Glide Ultra Limited 110th Anniversary Edition for the grand-prize winner? There will also be weekly giveaways, 43 $100 H-D gift cards and 2013 Tour pins for riders who visit at least 20 dealers. And best of all—no purchase is necessary. That’s right, it’s free. Go to for registration details and a list of Texas dealerships… On April 19-21 the 2013 Texas State Rally was held at Bryant’s Icehouse in Katy. This yearly event concentrates on upcoming legislation that impacts Texas motorcyclists. Those in attendance included the Confederation of Clubs, the U.S. Defenders, C.O.I.R., the Texas Motorcycle Rights Association (TMRA 2), ABATE and a good deal of independents… That same weekend over in Austin, there was multiple two-wheel action scheduled. First, the inaugural running of the Austin MotoGP was held at the Circuit of Americas track (it was rumored that Jesse James had a booth at the track featuring several of his West Coast Choppers on display)… And then in downtown Austin, the One Motorcycle Show was held on Friday and Saturday on East 5th Street. Free and open to the public, the work of Revival Cycles, Roland Sands, Deus Ex Machina, Shinya Kimura and See See Motorcycles was showcased. As part of the One Motorcycle Show, the 21 Helmets exhibit spotlighted the work of 21 Austin artists who used motorcycle helmets for their canvas. And since it was Austin, there was plenty of music and beer… Both the O’Reiley Spring Nationals at the Royal Purple Raceway in Baytown and the Iron Spirit Ride leaving from Mancuso’s Crossroads Harley-Davidson suffered attack by a major rainstorm that ripped across southeast Texas on Saturday, April 27, dumping upwards of 6” of rain in just a few hours. Luckily the following day was calm, and under beautiful skies the finals at the dragstrip were completed… A few items to put on the riding calendar should include the 3rd annual Iron Cylinder Sunday on May 26. It’s a yearly gathering of Knuckleheads, Flatties, Shovels and Panheads that meet first at MC Creations, 18627 Hwy 249 in NW Houston for breakfast followed by a ride to Yankee’s Tavern in Carlos. There is no charge for the ride that has turned into quite a social event for anyone interested in vintage motorcycles. All years, makes and models are welcome but the old bikes will lead the ride. The promoters are also inviting any hot rods and rat rods out for the day… And then I heard from David Barber up in NE Texas who wanted to invite everyone out to Jacksonville on June 8 for the town’s Tomato Fest and Motorcycle Show. The bike show will feature eight classes and there is no cost to enter. Claiming to be the “Home of the World’s Largest Bowl of Salsa,” Jacksonville is known as the Tomato Capital of the World and the Fest will also include a tomato eating contest, a tomato mashing contest and a tomato peeling contest. They sure seem mighty proud of them ’maters up there…

That’s it for this month. So ride safe until next time.


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