It’s kind of quiet now, but all around town earlier today, and for the rest of this weekend, there’s a low, healthy, beautiful rumble that penetrates the air, the walls, the windows, and the ground beneath our feet. The [Republic of Texas Bike Rally] has come to town.
And oh. My. God.
Imagine this, if you will: 30- to 40-THOUSAND bikers descend on Austin for a weekend of revelry, relaxation, and showing off their street-pounding machines. Tonight was the first night of the event.
I had made a plan to go down there tonight to check it all out, and I grabbed whoever I could to go along. Managed to get my friends Andrew and Heather to join me (no arm-twisting necessary). We left from Mojo’s, found a decent place to park Heather’s car, and walked into the area to the throng before us.
Roughly 20 thousand bikers, maybe more, made their appearance downtown. Sixth street, all its side streets, and even several blocks of Congress Avenue (a major street) were shut down, blocked-off, and converted into a bike parking lot and showroom. In some places parking was stacked two bikes deep, in most 3 or 4-deep, with some of the finest motorbikes I’ve ever seen. Hell, Congress had bikes parked 3-deep on the sides and 4-deep in the center of the street. A sea, no, an ocean of chrome, steel, aluminum, rubber, lights, and airbrushing. And it was a beautiful thing.
Most of the bikes were Harleys, of course, but every other manufacturer was there. Saw some custom bikes, some matching sets, some with beautiful airbrushing, a lot with top-notch flame-jobs, quite a few with colored lights around the engine compartment, and quite a few with an American theme. What impressed me most, though, and gave me most cause to stop in the throng, and stare gapejawed, were the impressive array of choppers – complete custom jobs with long forks and seats no more than two feet off the ground. Nothing says “Style, class, and power” better than that. Wow.
I managed to snap a lot of film (mostly of the bikes, heh). Couldn’t exactly get far enough away from a bike to take a decent full-bike picture on most of the shots, but I got what I could. When this roll is finished, I’ll be posting those pics here. Hopefully soon.
Heh, and the bikes weren’t the only thing worth shooting. Hoo boy. I think I got a couple of pics of some real bad-ass honies. Make a man cry. The crowd: wow. Couldn’t meet a nicer bunch of beerdrinkers and hellraisers. They come from all over the state and country, so you definitely got your mix, but for once I didn’t see a single fight or argument, which is an accomplishment considering it’s on Sixth Street. Most everyone got along. Lotta cruisin’, lotta boozin’ (yeah, saw a lot of open containers and bottles — illegal in this town, but whatever), lotta “floozin'” – antics on-par with a typical Mardi Gras event. Later on in the evening, as we were making our way back to the car, we stopped at this crowd that was amassing in front of a bar where these four mighty-fine girls were dancing on top of the bar and they were, um, gettin’ real busy. Started daring each other, one-upping each other with their antics as they played to the crowd inside the bar, from dancing really close, to wiggling and gyrating, to bending over, to dropping their pants to show their thongs (or lack thereof), to flashing the crowd. All kinds of crazy shit like that was going on. And damn were we entertained.
Antics. God I love this town.
So, I finally went out on a friday night and had a good time. Saw parts of downtown I’ve not seen without looking through my windshield. Andrew and Heather both appeared to be glad that they went; we had a really good night. And the good part is that this weekend’s not over yet. Well hot-damn.
“Ride it like you stole it,” y’all!