Sturgis on the River

“Always on Father’s Day weekend, never on Father’s Day” is the tag line. This was number 13 for the event now held in Davenport, Iowa, on the banks of the Mississippi River. From the humble beginnings in the Village of East Davenport the Rally has grown to become the largest gathering of motorcycles in the Midwest. This year’s entertainment was non-stop all 3 days. 3 stages of great music featuring such acts as Kings Kiss they combine two of music’s greatest acts of all-time Elvis & KISS, Jammerz giving Pure Rock that ROCKS, The Gibbs Brothers, Blue Fuzzy Monkey, Sugar Nipples, Corporate Rock and several more for a total of 33 bands. Mark Brenny as always did a great job putting this year’s music together.

Returning for the 2nd year was the Monster Energy Drink sponsored Ball of Steel Show, this group of young riders put on eight shows one of which was an extra performance. They not only have a huge ball of steel they ride around inside 3 at a time, but also use a half pipe to do tricks and jumps and put on a great show of wheel standing and other incredible stunts. Saturday night was time for the Extreme Challenge 79-Premiere Cage-Fighting with special guests Former UFC heavyweight champion TIM SYLVIA and former UFC lightweight Champion JENS PULVER. Filming the action was the production crew from the new reality show Tap Out. Set up next to the huge J&P Cycle mobile showroom was Chopper College the Chopper Building Boot Camp out of Chicago. Headed by Tommy “Clutch” Creal this young group of lifetime builders built an entire motorcycle during Sturgis on the River which Clutch rode home. Chopper College has teamed up with The Ramova Brothers Band to form the Price of Freedom Foundation to provide motorcycles to returning members of our military. Visit for more information about this program.

The Second Annual River Rat Bike Show, sponsored by the great guys at Big River Customs, was held on the Mississippi river’s edge. Judging the show was “Big Schwag”, Randy Simpson from Milwaukee Iron and our own “Little Wally” They had 5 classes with a total of $450 in cash plus the “RAT BIKE” winner also got 5 cans of primer. The Scooter Girl contest was a huge hit again this year with an even dozen girls in the two semifinals going down to 12 for the finals on Saturday night. Sorcia, from the Carriage Haus was this year’s winner. She received $2000.00 in total cash & prizes. “Big Schwag” hosted all three contests. If riding was something you wanted to they had 6 organized rides this year. The Renegade Pigs did a 130 mile run covering the southern part of the Quad Cities. The Blackhawk A.B.A.T.E. chapter held a 110 mile River Fun Run North, benefiting the Children’s Therapy Center of the Quad Cities. A more relaxed run with 75 miles was sponsored by Purgatory’s Pub in Bettendorf, Iowa.

One of the best ideals for a ride was from the Wheels of Freedom Motorcycle Club. They put together a Memorial Ride to benefit a local Veterans Monument. The stops for this ride were all local Veterans Monuments with none being places to get a “refreshment”. The Wheels of Freedom MC showed how much they support the Veterans by helping provide security for the American Veterans Traveling Tribute Wall, which was set up in LeClaire Park just a short distance from the rally grounds. A main goal of the Tribute’s constant visibility is that it shall serve as a continual reminder of America’s veterans’ dedication to freedom and that those who served shall not be forgotten. For more information visit

With over 100 vendors selling just about everything you could ever need or want and a dozen plus food vendors. The selection of food was spread across your taste buds. Funnel cake to JUMBO corndogs and more from US Food King. Mr. O’s was back with its Black N Blue Burger. Thinking Ribs? Local BBQ favorite Jim’s Rib Haven had your answer. Cooking its Patty Melt Thickburger was presenting sponsor Hardee’s Restaurants, all the profits made during the event went to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

From Daytona Beach Florida by way of Pattaya, Thailand John Sanchez better known as John’s Rock N Ride was on hand. He brought along the best stuff from his Daytona Beach store and his great personality & sense of style. He also was signing his limited numbered edition of his book, America Yesterday & Today, a carefully selected collection of photographic icons which offer a panorama of American Life. It didn’t take Johnny long to let his showmanship take over as he engaged most every one that passed by his booth and became part of the action and excitement along the main drag. If you were looking for a tattoo or piercing you had to see Bill and his crew from Davenport’s largest studio the Scorpions Den.

At the main intersection of the wide walkways, from high above the crowd at “Top of the World” was PIPES the rally’s general announcer. His growling cry of “STUURRRRGISS ON THE RIVER” got the attention of everyone as he kept them entertained and informed of all that was going on throughout the entire event. PIPES “Newly Patented” Coldest Beer Contest with Super Soakers kept in the beer tubs of the two main beer tents. It made for the perfect contest for entertaining the crowd on the hot afternoons. The Choppers Tent won both days. He also asked for the oldest riders and who rode the farthest. Ages ranged up to the high 60’s for both male and female riders. One female rode from Nova Scotia. The states of Texas, Georgia, Wisconsin even California, to name just few, had riders in attendance.

The “Top of the World” was the perfect place to throw shirts, hats and all else out to the crowd.

With dozens of official event items, shirts from the Scorpion’s Den and the Iron Horse Bike & Music Festival and merchandise from Custom Cycle Pros. John’s Rock N Ride gave away tons of his cool merchandise. When he brought a huge box of American Flags and started to give them out the crowd went wild. It was quite a site to see the entire crowd holding American Flags. The Big Dogs from Hardee’s Restaurants along with the delicious Hardee’s Hotties, wearing the “Walking Billboard” outfits, joined PIPES several times tossing out beads and coupons. The folks at Indoor Outdoor Productions certainly put on another great rally for the 75,000 plus who attended. Be sure to make your plans to attend next years rally June 12, 13, 14 2008. I know I am going. See you there!

Just remember “Always on Father’s Day weekend, but never on Father’s Day”.

As Always Ride Safe

Gery Schemel

Photos Courtesy of