After surviving the Mayan calendar meltdown, the fiscal cliff and New Years, I’m ready for a break. So on the good news front, I received a surprise message from Ron Limbock right before Christmas. Ron was the owner/promoter of the Lone Star Rally in Galveston for many years. He sold the event and pretty much dropped out of sight about four years ago with the cause being rumored that he had contracted cancer. After a 14-month battle, Ron came out on top of that challenge and has spent the interim traveling the world scuba diving and securing his Master Scuba Diver Trainer status (not a bad way to celebrate defeating the Big C). A good job well done, Ron. But… there’s more. He’s back in the motorcycle rally business. Slated for April 12–14, Ron’s new company, Family Events of Texas, is presenting the inaugural Hill Country Holler being held at Enchanted Springs Ranch in Boerne. Enchanted Springs is situated on 88 acres and originally built as a circa 1872 movie set. The venue includes an Old West Town, a Mexican Village, an Indian Camp and its own buffalo herd (that may be a first). It’s been endorsed by Oprah Winfrey and the History Channel, and was recently featured on Dream Home Makeover (new hides for the teepee?). The rally will feature trick shooters and western gunslingers, stagecoach rides, a motorcycle rodeo, wildlife tours, camping, vendors, food and drink. Musical talent already signed includes Shooter Jennings, Brian Howe and Bad Company, and Los Lonely Boys. But best of all—it’s located smack dab in the heart of some of the best motorcycling in Texas. Twenty dollars will get you in for a day and $30 for the entire weekend, a bargain these days. So click on www.hillcountryholler.com for additional details. The THUNDER PRESS crew has already reserved a cabin for the weekend… Santa and a sled full of tuckered reindeer were busy during the month of December and didn’t forgot us Texas bikers, whether naughty or nice. On December 6, the jolly guy in the red suit put in an appearance at the State Supported Living Center in Lubbock as a part of the facility’s annual Toys for Tots Run. Our amigo Juan Gandera was instrumental in developing this event. Juan is the owner, operator, head wrench and cashier at Lubbock Custom Motorcycles (www.lubbockcustom.com). Stop by anytime and tell him Shine sent ya… On December 15, the chubby dude with the white beard was spotted putting in an appearance at Cowboy H-D of Beaumont where the shop served up refreshments and Christmas cookies (like ol’ Nick ain’t fat enough). And for those already tiring of the holiday fare, SaltGrass Steak House was on hand to deliver some tasty tidbits more to a Texan’s liking… And then down in Angleton, Señor Papa Noel was busy jotting down Christmas wish lists from all the kiddos at GOE Harley-Davidson on December 22. The shop also gave away a great H-D fire pit and set of collapsible Harley chairs—the perfect accent to any backyard patio… We received an invite from our good buds over at Lucky Devil Metal Works (owners Kent and Holly Weeks) to stop by at noon on January 1 for Bloody Marys and some tempting gumbo. Unfortunately a batch of kids and grandkids showed up at our front door before we could escape, demanding to be fed cabbage, corned beef and black-eyed peas. But we apparently were forgiven since we heard that Kent and Holly had a passel of grandkids at their steps too. So to make up for our absence, put us down on your Lucky Devil calendar for that St. Patty’s Day bash, OK guys?… The Republic of Texas Rally in Austin (June 13–16) has just announced their Friday night music headliners. The original American outlaw country singer David Allen Coe will hit the main stage on June 14, followed by singer/songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard of Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother fame. Go to www.rotrally.com for details and to buy your tickets early. I can hear the crowd singing in harmony already… Making plans yet for Daytona Bike Week, March 10–17? Well, it looks like Jeff Nicklus and Desperado Motorcycles will be making a return engagement. After a six-year hiatus, the Houston-based manufacturer of high-end custom bikes has decided to return to Daytona at the urging of his friend, Johnny Lange owner of Strip Club Choppers. In something loosely dubbed Strip Club-Boot Hill, Nicklus will have a collection of his production motorcycles on display for Bike Week berthed at the Boot Hill Ormond Beach location, across the road from the Iron Horse Saloon. So if you’re out that way, stop in and say hi. Despite his appearance and reputation, Jeff’s actually a pretty nice guy. (Just don’t mention you read that “nice guy” part here. He’s got an image to uphold.)… So the Mayans were wrong and we have another year of excellent riding coming up. Is your calendar of biker festivities complete? If you have some gaps, be sure to check our monthly calendar of events at http://calendar.thunderpressed.wpengine.com. And when you see us at one, make sure to step up and introduce yourself. And be certain to look twice before crossing that next intersection—ride safe in all of 2013.