By Robert Sweeney Photos by Monika & Robert Sweeney
I’m sure most of you will agree that there are few things on this earth tastier than some good BBQ pork ribs. So when the word went out there was to be a “Ribs Run,” you can bet my mouth started watering right then and there. Motorcycles and ribs: what better combination could there be?
Well, I was at first a little disheartened when I learned that R.I.B.S. stood for Ride In Bike Show, but my disappointment was short lived because I soon found out that the menu for the show did in fact include ribs. Now true, these weren’t real, on-the-bone ribs, but rather those strips of pork shoulder meat the butcher euphemistically refers to as “country-style ribs,” but hey, any slab of pork cooked over an open flame and smothered in BBQ sauce is good enough for me!
This was actually the 2nd annual Ride In Bike Show hosted by Bikers For Christ, Rushing Wind Ministries, Black Sheep M/M and One Way Riders M/M to raise money for the Down Syndrome Organization of Southern Nevada. (Just try saying all that 5 times fast) The folks at Skyline Casino were generous enough to provide a large chunk of their parking lot in which to hold the event and a number of local motorcycle shops signed on as sponsors.
While Rushing Wind Ministries was one of the event’s hosts, rushing winds were also an element that threatened to hold down attendance when things got started at 9am. The winds were strong enough to give anyone second thoughts about riding that morning and the show did get off to a slow start. However, the weather settled down a bit by noon and attendance, while not quite up to last year’s total, was still respectable.
The winds didn’t stop the entertainment and the Speaks Brothers and the Victor Manwell Band served up some classic blues and rock that was every bit as tasty as those ribs smokin’ on the grill. “Count” Danny Koker of Count’s Kustoms, who presented all of the raffle prizes and bike show trophies, performed emcee duties. Mickey Jones had also been scheduled to appear, but a last-minute acting gig forced him to bow out.
Sometimes putting bread on the table takes precedence over fun and games and we’ll look forward to seeing him next year. Fortunately, the winds didn’t interfere with the bike games, held toward the end of the day. The slow races proved that few of the riders present know how to ride slow, but then, who buys a bike to go slow? If this had been a DMV test few would have passed, as most everyone put a foot down at least once.
The slow race was followed by “jousting.” Now, when they said there was going to be motorcycle “jousting” I immediately had visions of bikers racing toward each other carrying “lances,” impaled bodies, cops, ambulances and lawyers, but it turned out to be somewhat less dramatic than all that. Biker “jousting” consists of riding your bike toward an upright 2×4 with holes of various size drilled through it and attempting to put your “lance” (a wooden dowel about 3 feet long) through one of the holes. The smaller the hole, the higher the points you score.
Since I can barely walk and chew gum at the same time, this seemed like a dangerous stunt to me, so I was surprised at how many riders actually completed the task without hitting the 2×4 post or dumping their bikes. Obviously most riders are more coordinated than I.
A third game, the “Christian wet t-shirt contest” had to be canceled when someone forgot to bring the t-shirts. This is another event that had my imagination working overtime, but it turns out that it’s not anything like what I was thinking. Here’s how it works: you take a t-shirt with a Christian image or slogan on it, soak it in water and either throw it for distance or try to hit a target with it in order to win a prize.
Very clever. I wonder what they’ll come up with to replace the “Weenie Bite?” With luck, someone will remember the t-shirts next year. And what would a bike show be without a biker wedding? Fortunately, someone did remember to bring the bride and groom, as well as a minister, and we all got to witness the sacred nuptials as Pastor Paulee Curran of Rushing Wind Baptist Church united Connie Frances Miller and Christopher Michael Wilkinson in holy matrimony.
The bike show itself was divided into 5 classes: Street Stock; Street Custom; Choppers; Metric and Rat. Winners were given trophies that were constructed by local bike builders from actual motorcycle parts. The Rat trophy consisted of timing gears and chain that appropriately still had used oil on them! Count’s Kustoms, Boulder Choppers, Vegas Thunder Cycles and Rushing Wind Church supplied the trophies.
There were also plaques awarded to three Pro Builders: 1st Place to D.O.A. Choppers, 2nd Place to Count’s Kustoms and 3rd Place to Vegas Thunder Cycles. Unfortunately, someone mixed up the names of the winners and the number of their entries, so I am unable to give a list of who won what, but congratulations to all and hope to see you again next year.
At the end of the day, despite the less than expected attendance, over $1,400 was raised to support the Down Syndrome Organization and plans are already underway for the 3rd annual Ride In Bike Show. The event organizers want to send their thanks to the show’s sponsors: Count’s Kustoms; Skyline Casino; Boulder Choppers; Sinister Cycles; Action Motorcycle Tires; RSC Cycle; Pat Clark Motorsports; Leather Headquarters; Leo’s Tattoos; Moto Trends; American Motorcycle Iron and Freedom Cycles.