by: Pauly White
During the week leading up to my ride to Galveston, it seemed like the weather forecast changed a hundred times. I knew that the Lone Star Rally is the last big rally of the year, and that I was going regardless. I left Dallas around 11 am Friday and the weather seemed like I may have timed it perfectly, but after about two and a half hours on the road, I realized that I was wrong. I pulled in a rest area and got geared up in my rain suit and boots just before it started coming down hard. I was happy to only go through about 70 miles or so of rain and by the time I reached Galveston it was dry and warmer than I expected.
As the sun went down Friday evening, the fog rolled in and visibility dropped to a couple hundred yards. After checking out the vendors at the Seawall I walked over to Full Throttle Saloon. The fog and wind didn’t dampen the spirits of the rally goers as they got pumped up to see Jackyl put on the show they are known for around the world. Quick thinking by the Full Throttle staff turned sheets of plywood in to the walkways of Full Throttle, as the ground was soaked and had turned to a muddy mess. Not many bikes were moving about, but the drinks were flowing and the bands were rocking and everyone was having a good time.
I parked my bike at the hotel for the evening and decided to walk the Seawall and check out the night life. You could tell the weather wasn’t the greatest, because everywhere was pretty packed. After a meal and a night-cap, I called it a night so I could be prepared for whatever Saturday had to offer.
With Saturday morning came the rain. The big ride that was to leave from in front of the J&P Cycles booth was cancelled. The Cycle Source magazine show was postponed until later in the day and wasn’t a sure thing that it would even happen. The Baddest Bagger show was cancelled for the day with the promise of going on Sunday. My hopes of getting any good video footage were sinking but around 3 pm bikes started rolling in for the Cycle Source show. Magazine quality bikes were being ridden in, not caring about all the work put in to detailing them.
From Sportsters to Knuckleheads, to Big Wheel Baggers, the bikes ran the gamut and none disappointed. The rain stopped and it remained a constant misty fog, but all the participants stayed the course and seemed to have a blast doing so. I’ve always said that events that go off without a hitch are great, but the ones that are filled with obstacles are the ones that you’ll never forget.
I knew that if the sun was out, the typical slow Sunday of the rally would be action packed. As expected, the bikes were buzzing around the island enjoying the sun. The Baddest Bagger Competition started up and the show bikes just kept rolling in. While I’m more into bikes that are stripped down old school choppers or bikes that are purpose-built for travelling, I have to admit that the level of craftsmanship has drastically improved on the Bagger scene over the past few years. Fit and finish was amazing on so many of the bikes and the over all flow was impressive. Congrats to all the builders involved.
I left the Bagger show and headed over to the Strand in historic downtown Galveston which was packed, especially for a Sunday. I love watching the families that are pulling in to get on a ship to go for a cruise look at all the motorcycles. It made me think of my childhood being at the beach in Daytona and seeing all the bikes. I know that those events changed my life and maybe some of the kids will take home memories of awesome bikes as well as their family vacation.
Music was great at both stages of the rally. David Allan Coe played a couple of shows at the Strand and he always draws a crowd. I headed back over to the Seawall to wrap up the rally as the vendors were starting to tear down. ZZ3 was playing the Full Throttle stage and I have to say, they are probably the best tribute band I’ve ever seen. They not only had the sound down, but they had the look. Some people actually though it was ZZ Top playing.
All and all I would say that the Lone Star Rally was a success. Through good and bad weather, the show went on and the bikers stuck it out to the end. I wrapped up Sunday afternoon by packing up my gear and getting ready for the ride back to Dallas. This was my fourth Lone Star Rally, and I’m already looking forward to next year.