It’s a mixed bag this month with some highs and lows, ups and down. So let’s get started. It’s with a heavy heart that I report the tragic death of 25-year-old Conrad Nicklus on July 15. Conrad is the son of Jeff and Cindy Nicklus, owners of Desperado Motorcycles in North Harris County where he had worked with his dad for years. On July 22, a Celebration of Life was held at Forest Park in The Woodlands with more than 500 people in attendance. Texas State Senator Tommy Williams was also present, and offered the family his condolences along with a Texas flag that was flown over the State Capitol on July 20 in Conrad’s honor and memory. The family hopes to establish a scholarship fund in Conrad’s name in the near future. At last word, both Jeff and Cindy were enroute to South Dakota where they would head up Desperado Junction, a collection of vendors and entertainment held in Lead for the second year during the Black Hills Rally. The Nickluses decided to make the trip in honor of Conrad and it will be the first time in 11 years he will not be at his father’s side during the Sturgis Rally. Conrad was a good friend to the THUNDER PRESS crew and will be greatly missed… On a lighter note, EmbraceLive.TV just announced a new weekly webcast will launch in late October. Stompin’ with Bootz will star custom bike builder Nicky Bootz. Bootz has appeared on the Discovery Channel’s Biker Build Off (where he was Billy Lane’s right hand man), Sky TV’s World’s Greatest Bike Buildoff and ITV’s Wright Across America. EmbraceLife.TV promises an unfiltered show where Nicky will have few restraints while he interviews noted professionals from the motorcycle industry, discusses current events and fabricates a few items in his unique style. Stompin’ with Bootz will be filmed on location at Rick Fairless’ Strokers Dallas so that Nicky will be “in close proximity at all times to a hot welding torch, gorgeous girls and cold beer.” A few of the personalities already slated to appear include Roland Sands (Roland Sands Design), Paul Cox (formerly of Indian Larry Motorcycles and now with Paul Cox Industries), Berry Wardlaw (master V-twin motor builder at Accurate Engineering), Bean’re (noted motorcycle vagabond) and even our own Robert Filla (THUNDER PRESS South editor). This should be a blast. Stay tuned… July 21, Fort Hood Harley-Davidson in association with Joker’s Icehouse held a Classic Car & Bike Show at the dealership. The day included a fish fry by Cajun Dano and The Boys and music by SixKiller… And down in Stafford on the following weekend, July 28, as part of their ongoing Celebrating Christmas in July series, Republic H-D sponsored their Ms. Claus and Mr. Paws, Christmas Bikini Fashion Show and Dog Adoption event (a strange combination that seems to have worked pretty well)… And on a happy note, July 29, Denise Garcia, Lead PR developer with the Republic of Texas Biker Rally in Austin, was wed to Jim Eisman during a sunset ceremony at La Villa Vista Resort overlooking Lake Travis outside of Austin. Our congratulations to the happy couple… Over the Labor Day Weekend, September 1–3, the 4th annual Biker Bash Texas will be held at the Historic Granbury Square. Sponsored by the Warriors for Christ and the City of Granbury, the event will feature bike runs, a bike show, live music on three stages and more than 100 vendors. And it’s free. So go to www.bikerbashtx.com for all the details. While a huge section of the nation is currently suffering under a severe heat wave, most of Texas is no longer dealing with the drought conditions we faced last year. But that doesn’t mean it’s not hot, with triple digit heat indexes still common. So ride early, pace yourself, stay hydrated and be safe.