Monday, June 24, 2013

Our Seventh Year of Bikes, Blues and BBQ


By Carla Thompson, Walnut Grove, Missouri

That first year, back in 2007, some friends mentioned to us they were leaving in an hour to Fayetteville, AR., to attend some kind of motorcycle gathering.  They said they would be spending the night and asked if we would like to come along. Intrigued, we said, "Sure!"  Me, being the type to pack and plan things days ahead, went into panic mode and couldn't even think. So, my husband, Mike, grabbed a bag and started shouting out items, and I was grabbing and throwing them to him as he stuffed them in our bag.  That was how we prepared for our very first Bikes, Blues and BBQ Rally!

An hour later, we met our group and away we went. About half day into the trip, one of our friends stated, "We have had reservations for six months, thousands of people attend and I'm not sure if you will be able to find a room?" We thought, “What kind of event are we getting into????”

When we stopped at a light so I could hear on my phone, I called my Mother and asked her to please start trying to find us a room in Fayetteville. Each time we would stop for gas, she would give me an update on what she could or couldn't find on the internet. I just told her we don't care what the cost is because we didn't really have a choice. "When we get to Fayetteville, just tell us where we are staying," I asked. Luckily, she found us a nice room for one night at a decent price.  We had the best time. We did not want to leave the next day.

Two years ago our group went on one of the Firefighter's poker runs. One of our friends, Dave, brought a girl with him who he let draw his cards. She drew an Ace each time at the first three stops, then a King.  We were so excited, it was such a rush!  As we are headed to the last stop, we have 20 minutes left to get there on time when we find ourselves stuck in heavy traffic on College Street. We are all going nuts, knowing we are not going to make it, but we do. Her and I jump off the bikes, go running up AND she draws ANOTHER Ace! Our friend Dave wins best hand and $500.  That was great!

2013 will be our seventh year in a row attending the rally.  Needless to say, we make this a four day annual event and make our reservations almost a year ahead of time. Our group we ride with has grown and we have the best time enjoying the scenic roads, poker runs, the wide range of music, food and of course, Dickson Street, with all the hot bikes and vendors!

I am into funky hats and put one together every year.  This year my hat has a Steampunk theme. Bikes, Blues and BBQ is such a friendly atmosphere to be in. We have never run across a problem with anyone. I know this is a good time to just let loose, but as a Lady, I have peace of mind that I am not going to see half naked women and I am comfortable having my kids (young adults) attend with us.  I wouldn't change anything about the rally, though my husband does complain that there could be more Blues music.  We love Bikes, Blues and BBQ and we recommend this rally to everyone!