If you are in Texas and have a run, a short anecdote, won a motorcycle, or what have you, you can see it in Two-Wheel Two-Step. You can e-mail me at email@example.com.
In the “There Can Be Only One” department, the Easyriders National Invitational Finals were held on February 10–12 in Columbus, Ohio. A total of 799 bikes had competed in five regional shows with 35 being selected to head to the Greater Columbus Convention Center for the end-all battle royale. Once the smoke cleared, mi amigo Johnny Gil with Johnny’s Custom Shop in McAllen, Texas, took home the coveted 2012 Easyriders Bike of the Year award. While talking with him on the phone after his victory, his normal modest attitude was overshadowed by the pride of this win. No way he could hide how happy he was. “Blondie” is a 1947 FL Panhead that Johnny has owned for years. It had been sitting in the corner of the shop, neglected for a long time before Gil decided to resurrect the old Pan and see how it would stack up against the heavy-hitting competition. I’d say he did a pretty damn good job. Congrats, Johnny… Last year I mentioned GSM Motorent out of Tennessee was providing dual sport bikes during the very early spring in the Big Bend region. And while they just packed up their trailer and are now back in the Smokies for the start of that rental-riding season, they ended up a couple of bikes short on the return trip. In response to numerous customer calls, GSM left two rental bikes in the hands of CycleTek located in the ghost town of Terlingua. So if you’re headed West (the World’s Longest Poker Run being held on April 14 by the Big Bend Buzzzzards is a good excuse) and have a need to get in the dirt, give CycleTek owner Ralph Delmar a call at 432.371.2560… Late Happy Birthday shout-outs go to my Florida friends, Walt and Cindy Lumpkin (March 3 and March 16 respectively). Walt is a frequent contributor to THUNDER PRESS. My daughter Lindsay celebrated her birthday on March 5 while my brother-in-law Larry Mayer (a.k.a. Butch) partied it up on March 9. And no, not a single one is divulging ages. And while I know my daughter’s, I ain’t saying a word other than, “Happy birthday, honey”… There are two other big anniversaries during 2012 including Lucky Devil Metal Works in West Houston celebrating 10 years of operation. Congratulations to Kent and Holly Weeks for hanging in there and setting such a high-quality standard of custom fabrication that is, at times, rare these days. Also getting in on the “we’re one decade old” party is the Frio Canyon Motorcycle Stop in Leakey. Planted smack dab in the middle of some of the best roads in all of Texas, owners Bob and Robin have asked that everyone take a break from riding and stop to help them celebrate this milestone any weekend in April. I highly recommend the burgers at their Bent Rim Grill. Yummm, oh yeah… March 8 was the kickoff for Mancuso Harley-Davidson’s Central location (535 North Loop, Houston) 2012 series of monthly bike nights. It included a bike unveiling by Texas Motorcycle Lawyer (and several TML models signing Texas Throttle calendars), the Houston Roller Derby Girls, food and drink and live music by The Flamin’ Hellcats. Future bike nights are planned for the second Thursday of each month… And on March 10, Horny Toad Harley-Davidson in Temple and Fort Hood Harley-Davidson in Harker Heights joined forces in a joint effort to honor the soldiers at Fort Hood with their Welcome Home Warriors Parade. Everyone met that morning at the Harker Heights Community Park, leaving at 8:30 for an hour-long ride through the outlying community. The parade regrouped at Fort Hood H-D for BBQ and music by SixKiller… Heads up to all you speed-crazy throttle jockeys: Trapster.com recently listed their annual report on the 10 most active cities for speed traps. Not surprising, two Texas cities were in the top 10 mix (as a side note, Texas was the only state listed twice). While our State Capitol of Austin only ranks at 10th place, Houston scored a highly respectable 3rd. So when scooting through the Big “H,” best keep one eye on the speedo and the other on your rear view mirror… A benefit to raise medical funds is on tap for Lone Wolf, who has been recently diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. It will be held on April 21 at Bubba’s Big Deck, 1402 Gruene Road in New Braunsfels. The day will feature live music, $7 barbecue plates, a 50/50 and an auction. So if possible, stop in and drop some bucks to help out this cowboy… The latest word from our friends with the Republic of Texas Biker Rally in Austin (June 7–10) is that they have added Jesse James to this year’s lineup. Part of his duties will be “Jesse’s Pick” where, after the judging of the Ride-In Bike Show is completed at noon on Saturday, the first-place winner in each class will move their bike to the ThunderDome where it will be judged by James. The winner (Jesse’s Pick) will receive a trophy handcrafted by James. He will also be available for a meet and greet (including photos and autographs) in the ThunderDome on Saturday afternoon between 4:00 and 6:00. Later that night, busy Jesse will appear on the Main Stage Amphitheater (right before Ted Nugent) and hand over the keys to the winner of the ROT Military Bike Giveaway. So that’s it for April. Bluebonnets have already been spotted near College Station, the temps are hitting near 80 in a consistent manner and there are a thousand miles of Texas blacktop that have your name on it. Best gear up—gonna be a great year.