The Laughlin River Run 2015

By Perry/Traci Nelson; Photos by Fred Z. & Perry/Traci

Ridin’, Rain & Rollin’ on the River

We arrived at Don Laughlin’s Riverside Resort late Wednesday night – Thursday morning actually.

The first thing Traci and I noticed as we pulled into town, besides the obvious neon lights and LED billboard/movie screens and Las Vegas type signs up the Strip (Casino Drive), was a flashing sign on a trailer that said “Bait Bike in use”?….Ok…we asked… A “Bait Bike” is like a “Bait Car”. They (the police) leave the keys in a bike and monitor it to see if anybody steals it… good to know they are out there for us.

Our room at the Riverside Resort was awesome, I don’t think there is a room in the Riverside that does not have a spectacular view; we could see across the river to Bullhead City, Arizona and up the Strip. This was Traci’s first time and she was floored.

The next morning we met with Mark Slaughter from the band Slaughter. Slaughter has been playing together 25 years. Their most acclaimed song is “Fly with the Angels”. The Band Slaughter limits their tours to weekends so they can spend the week at home with their families. Mark does have a solo CD that releases this month called “Reflections in the Rear View Mirror” Mark was being interviewed by a local radio station and the DJ kind of ran out of questions so Traci and I jumped in… I said what I always say; “Do you ride?” “Ya” he said “a Chopper with a long rake… you know the kind you have to ride through gas stations to make a turn, hahaha …. I’d be turning and the bike would still be going straight” Mark added: “Blandini has several bikes–” AKA: Jeff “Blando” Bland, lead guitar, backing vocals in the band.

Slaughter put on a really great show that night on the 2nd floor at Riverside Resort’s Don’s Celebrity Theatre. Afterward Traci and I grabbed a burger at “Fatburger” downstairs in the huge casino area of the Riverside. I think it was about a pound of meat. We gambled a little …I think a dollar…we lost…a dollar.

Traci n I rode around a bit on the Dyna over to Bullhead city & we shared a pineapple popsicle while riding. Why did I mention that? >Because it was Traci’s favorite part of the trip… women.

Then we hit the Tattoo Convention’s “Ink Mayhem” show at Laughlin River Lodge (formerly the River Palms). If you ever want to get a tattoo your best bet for prices and quality is at a tattoo convention. It really seems like the artistes are trying to outdo each other to the major benefit of the customer. We saw some beautiful work there. We saw our friend Glen from Palace Art. Glen has done work on both me and Traci up in Sturgis.

Traci and I had the honor of being invited to the Southern California Harley-Davidson Dealers Association dinner/party at the Tropicana Pavilion Theatre, The Chicken Cordon Bleu was fabulous and the band rocked the place.

We met up with Michael Brown from Harrah’s. Got our Passes for “ZZ Top” held in Harrah’s outside venue. That night… “ZZ Top” was nothing short of amazing. Don’t those guys age? They sound exactly the same as they did 15 years ago….. One of the guys from ZZ said “We’re pretty good for a couple guys from Texas only playing 3 chords” His voice sounding like he just smoked a carton of Camel Cigarettes.. Loved it!

Saturday: The annual Custom Bike Show was at the Colorado Belle Casino (looks like a river boat) at their Center Circle area in the front parking lot. Although we missed having the Colorado River as a backdrop where the show was in prior years (back in the River Walk/Observation Deck area) this probably was easier access to bring in the bikes and room for display. I also had a Custom Sportster that I built for a customer, to put in the show and had wanted to shoot photos by the River. Then out of what seemed like nowhere it started raining and the temperature dropped 20 degrees. Weren’t we eating popsicles yesterday on the bike? Now we gotta go get our leathers. The Quick Throttle T-shirts we were going to throw didn’t make it there but hold that thought– Joe O’Day/ Dal-Con Promotions did pull off a pretty good bike show considering the weather and location change. Three beautiful bikes took 1st, 2nd and 3rd Prizes. 1st was full of some of the best tooled leather I’ve seen with apes and that So Cal feel, 2nd was Sam Baldi with his immaculate “Lost Angel” tribute bike and third was a beautiful purple/blue bagger with some cool blue LEDs…. The most notable bike was Brent and Tammy Soper’s bike. Tammy used to race snowmobiles and when she retired her snowmobile Brent turned it into a custom chopper, it has to be seen to believe, it has a pull start and he rides it to work everyday. I had to ask him to start it> wing wing wing ba ba ba wing ba wing ba !…crazy.

We took a walk along the river and even though the weather turned on a dime it was still pretty cool.

Last event we hit was the Ms. Laughlin Contest. The Cougrzz (an all girl rock band) played. The Contest got a little crazy, Joe brought our Quick Throttle T-shirts here, and we got to throw them out to the rowdy crowd.

Dirty Tequila let me park my Custom Sportster next to their booth which was not far from the Ms. Laughlin Cougrzz stage, worked out good because the girls in the show and the Cougrzz band all posed by my bike so I got some great shots for my customer after all. I’ve been building bikes before working for QT and I love both my jobs> Building bikes and Covering AWESOME! events like this one for Quick Throttle Magazine.