Bigger and Better Than Ever!
Story by Flame
September is here and that means that the biggest bike show in northern Nevada is here! Motorcycle enthusiasts from near & far, clubs, vendors, entertainers, bike industry and locals all congregate in Reno, Nevada for one unforgettable week of Bikes, Beer and Babes. But it is so much more than that. I swear I needed a clone and a stunt double to see everything that was going on! Thank God for our wonderful photog friends in our area!
The week kicked off at the Reno Ballroom, this was the hub of Street Vibrations this year, filled with Official Street Vibrations merchandise, unique vendors and the always popular “America’s Finest Custom Builders Expo”. This year was a special treat as celebrity bike builder, Mondo Porras was there showcasing several award winning creations. Mondo has a very cool shop here in Reno. The Reno Ballroom was where the Tattoo Expo was held as well. Folks could see live tattooing going on from top tattoo artists.
Meanwhile downtown, the crowd pleasing “Slow Bike” races were starting; these were held all week. On a side note, it is such a pleasure to see how the Reno Police Department gets involved and competes every year; the crowd really cheers them on and supports them. With these activities going on let’s not forget that down every block fantastic bands are playing, all day and into the evening. This year seems bigger, as I notice that there are 15 top factory rigs and 250 vendors and about 50,000 bikes visiting Reno and are thundering through our beautiful Northern Nevada.
One of the many things I enjoy about Street Vibrations is seeing the latest and greatest gadgets, products and services offered in the industry, all in one area, pretty exciting! It really takes several days to see and do everything that Street Vibrations has to offer. Bikes are being fitted, polished, repaired, bought and sold.
Every day at 5:45 on Thursday, Friday and Saturday a very special flag raising ceremony and singing of the Star Spangled Banner, was held at the Jagermeister Super Stage, hosted by the Spanish Springs High School JROTC World War II uniformed Color Guard. I love that Randy Burke and Roadshows is so very patriotic.
On Thursday two of our Quick Throttle photographer friends, Kevin LeVezu and Laura Main met up with me to shoot the very exciting Rascal Flatts concert at the Reno Event Center, with opening guest artist Ashley Monroe. I sure love having my socks rocked off, what a great show.
Later that night inside the Eldorado’s nightclub called Novi, Dallas Smith hosted an exciting Rascal Flatts after party. Novi also featured over the weekend the very fun “Mini Kiss” in concert; at the Eldorado, Brew Brothers had the hard rock music of Audioboxx. Friday and Saturday Night the Sands Regency hosted the ever popular Bikers, Babes and Beer ”Wet T-Shirt Contest” for a $250 cash prize.
The Sands Regency also hosted one of several International Bikini Team Model Search Semi-Finals, with the Finals & Winner chosen Saturday at the Jagermeister stage.
On Saturday morning I was fortunate to have my business partner, Lisa Onorato go with me to help me cover all of the day’s events, which was a lot! First up, we headed over to Chester’s Reno Harley Davidson, where there were great vendors, food, music and sign-ups were starting for the famous “Cathouse Poker Run”. Celebrity Kelly Quinn of Throttle Girl was there visiting with the crowd. As we were taking pictures we ran into our friend & actor, Jack Waggon who was out enjoying all the festivities. Jack said, “I have been riding bikes for years, I love Street Vibrations and seeing all the different bikes, vendors and really good concerts, nothing but a good time!” Waggon is a much loved, Carson City based actor who has been cast in several upcoming movie projects that are being filmed in 2016. Projects include: a crime drama “Perpetual Nexus,” an epic western “What Child is This,” and the much anticipated frontier western TV series, “Big Sky.” Waggon is also the 2015 Nevada Day Grand Marshal.
Roadshows and its many sponsors really work to find that perfect blend of local bands, headliners and main attractions. Even the Roadshows crew gets into the act with a huge flash mob dance routine right under the Reno arch! Some of my favorites were here this weekend– the Fryed Brothers Band, Skynnyn Lynnyrd Tribute Band, Buddy Emmer Band, Beatles Flashback, the Boogie Daddies, Valentine Rodeo and Mo’z Motley Blues. Every venue rocked! From the downtown outside stages to the Casinos inside over to Chester’s Reno Harley Davidson, and Reno Cycles and Gear who hosted a big party during Street Vibrations weekend, celebrating Indian Motorcycle’s anniversary. Reno area band ‘Determined’ rocked the house.
Let’s talk Reno Cycles and Gear for a moment, what a beautiful shop! They are the only Northern Nevada Indian and Victory dealers. They were also inducted into the Polaris Hall of Fame in 2014. Their shop is versatile and carries street, off road bikes, ATV’s, snowmobiles and even a $25,000, 2016 Slingshot SL. They are a full service motorcycle shop. When you visit, make sure you stop in and say hello to the very charming and humble shop Owner, ESPN Off-Road Radio personality, champion motorcycle and off-road racer himself, Bill Hermant and his daughter & right arm, Kim. Oh and the Indian merchandise, amazing! You cannot walk out of there without finding something wonderful! Thank you Bill for showing me around your wonderful Chrome Candy store!
A sister company to Reno Cycles & Gear is, Black Hills Billet in Sparks, Nv., for 25 years so far, making aftermarket billet motorcycle aluminum, steel & lighting for all makes & models, showing off their products at their downtown Street Vibrations display.
Ok now, let’s ride! Of course a visit to northern Nevada is not complete without hitting the road! The scenery is breathtaking! From Reno, within 30 minutes you can head up to Lake Tahoe and cruise around the Lake. Then, take Nevada State route 207 aka, Kingsbury Grade and visit the oldest continuously operated Thirst Parlor in Nevada, the Genoa Bar, located in you guessed it Genoa! Next, head north to visit the State Capital, Carson City. Stop in and visit the Nevada Day Store and Trading post and the Carson City Visitors Bureau, both have information and great gift shops.
Now lets head east on Hwy 50 towards Virginia City and the famous Comstock Lode. Yes! There is still gold in them thar hills. VC to the locals is a favorite place which tourists have also discovered, full of great shops, wonderful historic buildings, and is home to the famous “Bats in the Belfry Ghost Tours” and the Old Washoe Hotel, one of the most haunted places to visit in the United States! On your way there on the twisted pass known as Geiger Grade, heading into VC look for real Comstock descendant Fritz Beckert shooting photos of passing riders available the same day in his downtown VC Champagne Photography booth.
Back on the bikes and let’s head northwest back through Geiger Grade. We will then go north over to Sparks off exit 28 and make a wee visit to one of the Cathouse Poker run stops. I got a few cheesecake shots out at the very pretty, Mustang Ranch Brothel. Another old and unique business here in Nevada. They were very gracious to give us permission to take pictures of several of the lovely ladies during the Poker Run.
After all the running around to the different venues, we settled back downtown to catch more great music and grab a bite to eat. We ate at Brew Brothers at the Eldorado, oh so good food and fast and attentive service, love this place! Ok, maybe we stopped at Rum Bullions in the Silver Legacy too for a cold one. All refreshed we are back on the street in downtown Reno looking at the many vendors and ended up rocking out to some unexpected super coolness at the “Reno Rock Camp” stage, where young and talented rockers were given instruction, placed in a Rock Camp band, practiced a lot and then performed on stage as a real Rock Band, it was AWESOME to watch these kids rock!
As evening rolled in, huge crowds gathered to hear the amazing Fryed Brothers band and Skynnyn Lynnyrd, we think the best Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute band performing today. What great concerts, but wait there was more, as Lisa and I were getting ready to call it a night, we were treated to a surprise sidewalk mini concert by the amazingly talented, self taught blues guitarist, 15 year old Kory Gibbs. He performed last year at Chester’s Harley-Davidson. The young guitarist nicknamed “Lighting Boy” (due to the speed of his fingers on his guitar) and his Thundering Blues Band have opened for such bands as Kansas, Pat Travers and Johnny Winter to name a few.
What an incredible weekend! This Street Vibrations was bigger and even better than last year. Congratulations Randy Burke and your incredible Roadshows team, it was a fantastic good time! See you all next year! Slain te, Flame
Photo Credits : Flame, Kevin LeVezu, Chris Oggerino, Tad Cornwell (title shot)