Street Vibrations Spring Rally, Reno & Virginia City
Story by Dana Lee “Irish Flame” Fruend; Photos by Flame & Kevin Levezu
It is early June and time once again for the Street Vibrations Spring Rally. This year Randy Burke has taken the party to downtown Reno and Chester’s Harley Davidson. Thursday night my hubby Ed and I are off to the Street Vibrations VIP party at the BuBinga Lounge inside the lovely Eldorado Hotel and Casino in the heart of downtown Reno. Burke greets many of his guests at the door with his beautiful Roadshows girls. Everyone loves taking pictures with these leathered and feathered ladies.
As we wind our way into the Lounge we hear the easy rock music of Nigel St. Hubbins. Roadshows has arranged a tasty buffet and cash bar plus, Becky, a Roadshows veteran is hosting a wine tasting table featuring Apothic wines. Nice, because some people are just not beer drinkers. The food is good, the music mellow and people are having a good time. Participants meander about the Silver Legacy and Eldorado enjoying gaming and entertainment and outside we have a spring rain going on. The rain stops for a bit and we head home to Carson City and call it a night!
Friday and Saturday the morning kicked off at Chester’s Reno Harley Davidson with offerings of food from the Sublime food truck, vendors, music, Poker Run registration and of course a cold Coors or Miller High Life beer. Many bands played throughout the weekend and rocked all the riders and participants at Chester’s HD and downtown Reno. The bands playing are all local favorites, like Alias Smith, Adrenaline, Blues Monsters, Lucky Tongue, Boogie Daddies, Rick Hammond Band, Nevada Hazzard, Jason King Band and Local Radio personality Trey Valentine’s band, Valentine Rodeo. Downtown streets were filled with many unique vendors who offered a little something for everyone. The Cal Neva tent had a fun Go Go Bar with beautiful dancers keeping patrons hypnotized with their talents.
This year Roadshows featured a new activity, a Scavenger hunt, taking place in and around the downtown shops and Casinos, I love those kinds of things! Prizes and winners posted at Vendor check in. Reno’s own, very sexy radio personality, Trey Valentine, hosted the people pleasing favorite, slow bike races, where even Reno’s own, Motor Officer Robinson participated with winning results.
Friday and Saturday on the Silver Legacy Stage, there was a beautiful Flag Raising Ceremony by Spanish Springs High School JROTC Color Guard, and the stunning Tamara Evans sang the Star Spangled Banner. The evening continued with music and entertainment in the many downtown businesses. Saturday June 7th the Poker Run to Virginia City and Carson City got underway. What a beautiful ride! First up, Virginia City (or VC to the locals). The mountain ride is up Geiger Grade from the Reno side with a twisting and curvy two lane road, and caution is always needed. VC has a fantastic view, historic buildings from the late 1800’s and is filled with shops, history, mystery, music, gunfighters and soiled doves. A popular, fun bunch to see is, Bad Billy Mayfield and his Outlaw Gang.
While in VC, I had the good fortune to run into the much loved and talked about, Storey County Commissioner, Lance Gilman, who was just putting some final preparations together for his new restaurant the Mustang Ranch Steak House and its new Hunter’s Lounge. The building is a cool two story with the Hunters Lounge on the bottom with access from the upstairs and outside street. It is dedicated to his father who was a former policeman and hunted all over the world. Rare and interesting animals and memorabilia adorn the walls. The upstairs Steakhouse has an old west feel is spacious, has a nice bar area and a basement tour of old bordello items and tribute to a very famous lady of the evening Julia Bulette. There is also a balcony to enjoy your dinner with a view.
Gilman also owns business parks and Master planned communities, but is best known for owning the very famous Mustang Ranch Bordello in Sparks. The Ranch was formerly owned by Joe Conforte who helped legalize prostitution in 1971. Mr. Gilman is an avid rider and motorcycle collector and said, “I love to see these type of events! It is great for Storey County and the Northern Nevada economy!”
Moving on down the hill is Carson City, the Capital of Nevada and worth spending the day and night in. The Capital grounds are open to the public. There are many tours offered downtown like The State Museum, Carson Mint, Capital Building tour and a new evening, Bats in the Belfry Ghost Tour. The charming Downtown is in walking distance and has beautiful antique shops, really good restaurant choices, book stores, pubs, casinos and one fantastic, Artsy Fartsy Art Gallery, filled with one of a kind art, jewelry, silk scarves and truly interesting pieces. A must see. Some riders head up to Lake Tahoe and do the beautiful scenic loop heading back to Reno. Food, music and fun are waiting back at Chester’s H-D.
Sunday the morning starts with a lovely Church Service at the Silver Legacy Stage followed by a final afternoon of vendors, music and slow drag races. As I was wandering about, I met a nice couple,Tom and Betty and their bunch of friends, bikers who came from Idaho and Montana who were here for the first time and said , “This is our first time out to Reno and we had such a good time, we loved the activities downtown, the Poker Run and all of the beautiful places to see. The people are so friendly out here. We are coming back, for the Fall Rally!” said Tom B. There you have it! Three days of Street Vibrations Spring Rally, in the beautiful State of Nevada, good job Randy Burke and Roadshows. See you in September for Fall Rally, and next June again for Spring Rally!