SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ., APR. 2–6—The Arizona desert, words that make me smile and breathe easier. Toss in motorcycle riding and Arizona Bike Week and it’s instant heaven. Our annual journey was certainly different this year, however, since it included our newly acquired RV. Call us what you want: trailer trash, poser, RUB, whatever. We were going and, in the end, that’s all that mattered.
Instead of a shelling out for a high-priced hotel during a major event, paying to get into the venue, eating out the entire time, abstaining from cocktails (since drinking and riding don’t mix), and maybe not staying out as late as we would like, we wanted to try the RV option at WestWorld. Depending on the site location it was $350–$450 a spot with hookups, full event access for two, concerts, bike shows, demo rides, vendors and stunt shows for the entire event, as well as one huge, constant party. How could we pass it up?
We’ve ridden every year to ABW, so feeling a tad inexperienced in ABW RV protocol we visited old friends Harry and Sheryl and hit them up for insider tips. For 10 years they’ve made this event and love all it has to offer bikers of every stripe. Harry is a veteran and VP of Legion Chapter 200 in Lake Elsinore, California, and has ridden cross-country for Run for the Wall, so he’s no stranger to the road. While loading up and making it look easy, they reminisced about the early RV days of ABW at Rawhide when it was only a dozen or so RV’s and the vendors, but still a rocking party.
We loaded the toy hauler the day before, which was a lot of work loading two touring bikes, clothes and shoes, extra bedding in case friends needed to crash (which they did), food to feed an army because that’s how we roll and, most importantly, an assortment of adult beverages that should have lasted a month, but didn’t. A storm hit the night before, and when we got up early to hit the road the storm was still pounding the California southland. For the first time, we felt relieved to be warm and dry even in the confines of a cage, and we were grateful we loaded up the day before. Crossing the Arizona border, the skies cleared, the sun was shining and we were wishing we were on our bikes flying across the desert with the wind in our face.
Time passed quickly and before we knew it we were at WestWorld finding our spot just above the tent camping area and the new concert stage at Cyclefest. The sweet part is that we were just a minute’s walk to the concerts and vendors. After scoping out the RV area, we rode out to Cave Creek and everything was right with the world again.
Returning to WestWorld the party was gaining momentum, and KimmyZ Bar & Grill was setting up right across from us with a full bar, lounge and dance pole. Other sites had couches, inflatable pools and dolls, decorated RV’s and motorcycles; all while cars were still arriving for the party that was well underway.
The following day marked the official opening for Cyclefest 2014, and with it a dramatic change in weather. Cold wind and rain had moved in, but the bands were playing, vendors were open, and more RV’s and bikers were arriving. I have to say: having the RV right there was a perfect refuge for relaxing, enjoying adult beverages and hanging with friends while staying high and dry right at WestWorld.
Thursday’s weather was beautiful and the festivities continued with a great charity run, benefiting Helping with Horsepower, which funds vocational programs for kids that teach life lessons while building motorcycle projects. Run organizers Diva Amy, Laura Klock and daughter Karlee, Valerie Thompson and Cat Hammes, a.k.a. the “One-Legged Blonde,” did a great job for the kids with over 200 riders and double the money raised from last year.
Thursday night the RV party was in full swing. KimmyZ’s dance pole was a-rockin’ and the bar was jammed. The path to the concert and vendors led right past our RV and we met so many interesting bikers from all over the U.S., as well as some very special Canadians who decided to give the dance pole a whirl, and a not-so-young (nor slim) naked biker dude made an attempt at the dance pole. The next few days were just as crazy as the first, with more rides in the Sonoran Desert, concerts, a badass bagger bike show and a special bike build unveiling by Voodoo Customs for the Biker Battleground show set to air in July.
It’s hard to measure and compare the different ways to experience ABW because everyone has different interests and priorities, but all in all, the Arizona Bike Week RV experience was a great adventure with amazing memories that will hold us over till next year. But we can’t wait to get back to Arizona behind the bars of the Harley.