Congratulations are in order for Johnny Gil with Johnny’s Custom Cycles in McAllen. You’ve seen his name a lot over the years in this column, and for good reason—he builds some of the most stunning retro Pans and Shovelheads in all of Texas. He recently scored big again, this time taking top honors in the Choppers & Bobbers Class at the Rat’s Hole Show in Sturgis. “La Guera” (a.k.a. Blondie) is a gorgeous 1964 Panhead finished in the classic style of the mid-’60s. We talked with Johnny right after his victory and he told THUNDER PRESS that he will be displaying a selection of his bikes at this year’s South Padre Island BikeFest, October 12–14. We’ll be there and you shouldn’t miss either the event or the chance to meet Johnny and see his craftsmanship firsthand… On August 10–12, the 4B Wild West Bike Rally was held at Coleman Park in Brownfield and featured a poker run and over 400 acres of camping. Now celebrating its 4th year, the 4B Wild West is a BYOB, 18-year-and-older event that lends support to local cancer patients… The Thursday Bike Night at High Five Cycles in Dallas was cut short on August 16 when Mayor Mike Rawlings signed a Declaration of Emergency and approved aerial spraying for mosquitos. Although the planes would be flying 200–400 feet off the ground, concerns were expressed that possible exposure to the chemicals could cause harm to riders’ eyes and respiratory systems… On August 18, Cowboy Harley-Davidson of Beaumont held their first ever Back to Old School Lot Party & Bike Show. THUNDER PRESS editor Robert Filla had been invited to attend by Robin Troy who is in charge of the PR and advertising for all three of the Cowboy dealerships, including those in Austin and San Antonio. Robert accepted the invitation to present the winning trophy, plus—he also volunteered to fabricate it. He rode his 1967 Shovelhead to the event with a somewhat large, and quite artistic, trophy lashed to the bike’s sissybar, arriving just before the rain settled in for the day. Larry Bradford of Beaumont took home first place for his immaculate 1975 Super Glide. Robert took home a very soggy bike after riding back through 120 miles of nasty weather without a front fender… (photo goes here) For those riders that use the Harris County Toll Road system, get ready to dig a little deeper for that pocket change. Starting September 8, rates on the Sam Houston and West Park Tollway, the Hardy Toll Road and a section of the Fort Bend Parkway Extension will increase from $1.50 to $1.75 for cash customers and from $1.30 to $1.40 for those using an EZ Tag… Over the Labor Day Weekend, September 1–2, the crew with Three Sisters Lodging & Event Center in Campwood held their first ever CampWoodStock Music Fest (catchy name). These guys took over the Rocky River Camp back in March, renamed it and shifted their Three Sisters Ride Spring Fling to that location in April. Situated on 14 acres with cabins, RV sites, tent camping and hot showers, part of the property is along the Nueces River and “The Qunice”—a swimming hole listed as one of the Top 25 in the state by Texas Monthly magazine. Their fall Three Sisters Ride will be held November 8–11. Too cold for swimming, but just about perfect for Texas Hill Country camping… During that same time, after 30 years the final Labor Day Weekend All Harley Party Drags were held at the Little River Dragway outside of Temple. It’s a great venue and the place was packed with many wanting to experience a part of history (look for a full report next month). I cornered organizer Red Roberts and asked him about his future plans. Well, he certainly isn’t sitting still and is presently working on a double-engine Shovelhead to race in the AA/VF vintage drag class. A true Texan, it seems the older Red gets the faster he wants to go. Until next month, ride safe.



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