We’ll start this month with a bunch of acronym-loaded news. ROT (the Republic of Texas Biker Rally) is expanding. Terri Sheets, head of Media and Sponsor Relations, sent a notice announcing the creation of a second rally site, the ROT Biker Rally—Downtown, presented by Austin 360, that will be held June 13–14. This family-friendly festival will be located on the grounds of the Austin American Statesman newspaper at the southeast corner of Congress Avenue and the Colorado River in downtown Austin. This is a free event, open to all ages and will include motorcycle demo rides, custom bike builders, a classic car and bike show, food trailers, vendors, a family zone and live music. The original ROT Rally will still held at the Travis County Expo Center where it’s been based for the previous 19 years. That venue will remain a paid-admission event, 18 years and older only. Go to www.rotrally.com for all the details… After the AMCA (Antique Motorcycle Club of America) National Road Run presented by the Cherokee Chapter and held in Kerrville (April 14–16), we received a call from Buck Carson with CCM (Carson Classic Motors). He had been attending the event on his 1936 45 c.i. Harley R model. He was so impressed with the available power that he made the decision to ride the ’36 instead of “Evelyn,” a 1927 BSA 500cc single, in this year’s Motorcycle Cannonball. THUNDER PRESS Editor Robert Filla interviewed Buck and his dad Mike back in our April issue detailing all the work and effort being expended on getting the ’27 Beezer ready. But after three days of motoring the Hill Country on that R model, Buck says it was a no-brainer to make the switch. Mike Carson is still on track to make the Cannonball (4,200 miles) alongside his son while aboard his 1924 Harley JE, the “Black Angel.” At this time, Mike has shown no indications of changing bikes. I wish them and their Texas Team great success during this year’s cross-country adventure… The HOT Rally (Hawgs of Texas Motorcycle Rally) was held April 23–27 at the Colorado County Fairgrounds in Columbus. It featured more than a dozen bands over the five-day period along with vendors, contests and plenty of camping… During that same time period, the TOJ MM (Tribe of Judah Motorcycle Ministries) held their Family Reunion celebrating 30 years of ministry. It was held at their international headquarters, the River of God Church in Humble, with members from across the U.S. and even a few believers from overseas in attendance. Congratulations to founder Ben Priest and his wife Tammy for keeping the faith and supplying this outreach to the outlaw biker world. And we want to extend condolences to the Tribe for the loss of one of their own, Brother Mac Gober, who recently passed away to ride that heavenly highway… And on May 4, MC Creations held their annual Swap Meet in the shop’s parking lot. This is always a great turnout with a ton of parts being traded and bought. Although the shop works on all types of Harleys, owner “Big Greg” Hale has a penchant for vintage iron and it shows during this event. This is also evidenced by the shop’s annual Memorial Day run, Iron Cylinder Sunday, being held this year on May 25. Everyone meets at the shop, 18627 State Hwy 249 in Northwest Houston, for a free breakfast at 10:30 with the bikes pulling out at noon for a ride to Yankee’s Tavern in Carlos. There, Yankee hosts an Iron Cylinder Party with music and drink specials. The ride is free and, although all bikes are welcome to participate, those with iron cylinders (Flatties, Knuckles, Pans and Shovels) will lead the ride. So shine up that old hog and bring it on out… Famed bike builder and owner of Strokers Dallas, Rick Fairless, recently announce that his daughter Lena is with child: “My baby is gonna have a baby of her own.” I recently reported on her engagement to Jordan Lee, co-owner of Horny Toad Harley-Davidson and Fort Hood Harley. The only downside, according to Rick, is that Lena will be relocating to the Temple area (location of the dealerships). We wish Lena and Jordan the best. Oh, and Grandpa Rick too… And finally our old riding buddy Tate called the other day informing us that he was running for mayor of Lajitas, a sleepy resort town in the Big Bend region. He will be running against Clay Henry III. We think. It may be Clay Henry the fourth or maybe even the fifth. Seems Clay Henry comes from a political dynasty with both his father and grandfather being mayor of Lajitas—quite a herd, literally. Clay Henry is a goat. A beer-drinking goat, actually, who is the official mayor of the town. And since generations of the Henry’s have held the office, there have been few challengers over the years. But Tate assures us he stands more than an even chance, especially since he will have an abundance of dancing girls handing out beer to the voters at all his rallies. He even has “Vote for TATE” buttons. Leave it to an old Shovelhead rider to figure out how to sway his constituents. The final casting of the ballots will be held on July 4. How fitting.