…Against All Odds, Rally Defies Rain & Fires
Story-Irish Flame; Photos- Irish Flame, Kristan Gilpatrick & Kevin Levezu
Despite the downpour of rain and blustery winds that welcomed us all to this year’s rally and forest fires charring the landscape to the West beyond Tahoe, the streets of downtown Reno roared with the sound of loud bikes, great bands, and good times.
Reno Harley Davidson, the Reno Ballroom and downtown on Virginia Street is where all of the events and activities were going on.
Street Vibes kicked off on Thursday with the star of reality TV’s “American Chopper”, Paul Teutul, Sr. Our gal Kristan Gilpatrick was there to get us story and photos about Teutul and Count’s 77 Band’s Danny Koker. Gilpatrick reports, “Mr. Teutul (Senior) was the official Thursday Grand Marshall for Street Vibrations. He was escorted by the Police on Parade who led him to the Jagermeister Stage and the official flag-raising ceremony. Mr. Teutul’s flight was delayed for his first meet and greet at 3:45, but a patient VIP crowd happily waited and welcomed him. He was full of genuine smiles and good laughs for his many fans.”
Gilpatrick went on to say, “Another treat for this year’s event was the Friday arrival of the star of HISTORY’s “Counting Cars,” Danny “Count” Koker and his rockin’ band Count’s 77. With Danny “The Count” Koker on lead vocals, John Zito on lead guitar, harmonica and vocals, Stoney Curtis on lead guitar and vocals, Barry Barnes on bass and vocals and Paul DiSibio on drums. These six powerhouse musicians with their collaboration of 70’s covers as well as their own original songs really rocked the Jägermeister Stage at this year’s rally. On Saturday Danny and his Counting Cars co-star Kevin Mack, gave a special meet-n-greet for VIP participants inside Circus Circus, where they posed for pictures and signed autographs along with Koker’s Count’s 77 band before “The Count’s” appearance as Saturday’s Grand Marshall for the Police on Parade and flag-raising ceremony.” Spanish Springs High School students in authentic WWII uniforms performed the patriotic flag ceremonies with an appreciative crowd’s support.
Each day had fun favorite events like the annual VIP Poker Run, Slow bike races, America’s Finest Custom bike builder’s Expo and Tattoo Expo at the Reno ballroom and several stages of great entertainment. There was the” Big Stage” hosted by Jägermeister in Downtown Reno that showcased many of the awesome performers. Some of the weekend entertainment was the beautiful Nevada Showgirl Dancers, many talented Nevada bands including the Jason King Band, the Rick Hammond Band, Lucky Tongue band, Suspect Zero, tribute band Journey Revisited, Boogie Daddies, Nevada Hazzard and the awesome and powerful Audio Boxx Band. Music and good vibes were everywhere. Plus, the beautiful Silver Legacy Hotel and Casino had headliner Huey Lewis and the News. Harrah’s had the Broadway Showstoppers, which was voted “Show of the Year”. There was something for everybody.
Friday took me to Chester’s Harley-Davidson where hundreds were gathered to enjoy artist Scott Jacobs’ beautiful original artwork and special guest Paul Yaffe and the Baddest Bagger contest. Appearing with Paul Yaffe were his friends and wicked talented, custom bike builders, Len Edmondson, CEO at AZZKIKR Custom Baggers and John Shopes of Dirty Bird Concepts. All three had brought beautiful award winning bikes to show off. Folks, it was chrome candy heaven! Chester’s had the musical talents of awesome tribute band Skynnyn Lynnyrd (see them in our Gallery and Band Page!), Greg Golden Band and 14 year old blues guitarist Kory Gibbs and Boogie Daddies. Chester’s had great vendors for clothes, parts, custom audio and repairs, but I must say I really had fun interviewing Kelly Quinn Of Throttle Girl. She is out promoting women riders and is a great ambassador for the Motorcycle Industry itself. I bought a few clothing items from her for my family and myself. My fave says “Throttle Up” ….love her! As I hung out at Chester’s for a while, tasting food and listening to some great tunes, the winners were announced for the Baddest Bagger Contest. These contests are held at many Bike Shows, always a crowd pleaser.
1st Place, Pro Class, Dirt Bag Cycles with a 2015 Road King, 1st Place Modified went to Shawn Whitney on a 2008 Street Glide, 1st Place Radical went to Jeff Katarzy on a 2004 Road Glide, 1st Place, Stock Class went to Mark Brodie on his Police Road King.
Dirt Bag Cycles won the title of Baddest Bagger in Reno, a 2015 Road Glide built in 12 days!
J & M Audio also hosted the Baddest Bagger Audio Shootout to see who had the loudest stereo system. It was exciting to listen to all of the incredible stereo systems and such a pleasure to admire all of the customizations these bagger bad boys had installed.
Saturday and Sunday continued with more Slow-ride races, final Scavenger Hunt, the Cathouse Poker Run, a wet T-shirt contest at the Sands Regency, (sorry boys did not get pics at that one) and just a whole lot of people from many states just out enjoying the really great music, events, activities and awesome Nevada scenery. From Reno you can be in Lake Take, Virginia City or Carson City the State Capital in 30 minutes. Many riders ventured out to Virginia City for Street Vibrations and Thunder on the Comstock or south to Carson City to enjoy the state Capital and all of the fun shopping, restaurants and weekend entertainment. There was such a huge variety of places to go and things to do– Randy Burke and his awesome Roadshows team did a great job this year to make it bigger and better than ever! There were more great bands, celebrity bike builders, awesome vendors and lots more to do. The City of Reno and all of the Reno downtown Casinos, Hotels and local businesses had great specials and entertainment going on for all of the many visitors and participants to enjoy. Well done!
Looking forward to next year when Street Vibrations Turns 21! Slain te! (Gaelic, “Cheers!”)