By Rusty Childress and Karan Jordan
Photos by Rusty Childress
Hon-Dah Resort Casino & Conference Center held their 9th Annual White Mountain Bike Rally on June 22 & 23, 2018 in Pinetop, Arizona. Hon-Dah Resort Casino & Conference Center is owned and operated by the White Mountain Apache Tribe.
With elevations climbing to more than 11,000 feet, the White Mountains of northeastern Arizona are home to the largest stand of Ponderosa pines in the world, making for some of the most picture-perfect riding in Arizona.
If riding in the cool pines with blue skies wasn’t enough incentive for some, maybe the $3,000 in prize money for the Saturday Poker Run and another $3,000 for the Bike Show was the reason nearly 1,500 riders and their families came up from the flatlands to ride in the mountains for the weekend.
For only a $20 registration fee, Hon-Dah Resort offered two dinners, an event t-shirt, beer garden, vendors and entertainment by Tommy James & the Shondells, as well as a performance by the Apache Crown Dancers. Poker Run stops included Greer, Eager, Alpine, Hannagan Meadows, Big Lake and then a return to the casino for a steak dinner and music under the stars.
The event organizer provided further info:
“This year we had a total of 1,282 registered riders (approximately 1,000 bikes) and 24 vendors. Riders came from ten different states to attend: Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Michigan, Florida, Oregon, Texas, California, Utah & South Dakota.
The Poker Run on Saturday was an approximately three and a half hour ride. On the run the riders hit elevations up to 10,000 ft. There were five poker stops and all the vendors graciously gave of their time to help this event. We hear nothing but wonderful things about the people at the stops. The poker stops included: Molly Butler’s in Greer, Trail Riders Restaurant in Eagar, Ye Olde Tavern in Alpine, Hannigan Meadows and the final stop is Big Lake Tackle and Supply. The ride is through beautiful Ponderosa pines, blue spruce trees and the beautiful White Mountain Apache Reservation.
The Poker Run paid $1,000 for High Hand Rider and High Hand Passenger. Those winners were Russell McCoy of St. Johns, AZ and Deborah Katzman of Show Low, AZ. Lower Hand Rider pays $500 for the Rider and Passenger. This year’s winners were: Andrew Armijo of Las Cruces, NM. and Lynda Van Haren of Show Low, AZ.
When the riders returned they got to see the White Mountain Apache Crown Dancers perform. Hon-Dah Resort wanted to show their guests something unique to the White Mountain Apache Tribe that not very many people have had the pleasure to see.
Then we held the Bike Show; the show has five categories including: American, Metric, Vintage, Custom, Trike and the People’s Choice. 1st Place pays $250, 2nd Place $175, 3rd Place $125 and People’s Choice wins $250.
After a grilled ribeye dinner, the riders went to the concert by Tommy James and the Shondells. I have to say they were amazing!
Bike Show Winners:
People’s Choice: Arnold Lehman of Pinetop, AZ
Metic: 1st Brian Waggoner of Safford, AZ.
Vintage: 1st Kevin Bakken of Snowflake, AZ; 2nd Tom Garlow of Eagar, AZ.
American: 1st Jerry Foster of Star Valley, AZ; 2nd Rob Randall of Lakeside, AZ; 3rd Gail Roby of Show Low, AZ.
Trike: 1st Robert Ybarra of Eloy, AZ; 2nd Kevin Bakken of Snowflake, AZ; 3rd Arther Martine of Ramah, NM.
Custom: 1st Tina Deeb of Star Valley, AZ; 2nd Diana Merino of Safford, AZ; 3rd Roy Leon of Eloy, AZ.
Next year’s Rally will be held June 21st & 22nd, 2019. We hope to see you there!
See more photos at
www.QuickThrottle.com in the Gallery.