To those who were there at the beginning, it's hard to believe what the Laughlin River Run has become. Starting as a ride sponsored by the Southern California Dealers Association with just a handful of riders, to this year's 21st annual event, the participants, as well as the city of Laughlin, have seen it all. The run grew in popularity steadily for the first 10 years or so, before skyrocketing into the major event it is today.
Not wanting a repeat of the events of last year, the promoters took every step possible to ensure everybody's safety. Although there were many behind-the-scenes plans in place, the most noticeable was the increased presence of police officers. The plan seemed to work. The crowds had a good time and there were no major problems.
This year's crowd seemed to be a bit smaller than ones of recent memory, according to most seasoned veterans of the event. The silver lining in all of this was definitely a plus, as it provided less traffic congestion and a much easier time navigating all the vendor areas, not to mention shorter lines to donate your hard-earned cash to any of the many casinos.
The weather certainly did its part to warmly welcome all those in attendance. From the opening on Wednesday, April 23, to Sunday, the 27th, the Nevada desert community was treated to clear, warm, sunny skies. This made for perfect riding -- whether you made the journey over the Colorado river to the historic Arizona town of Oatman, a quick blast to the London bridge, a trip to the Avi drags, or just cruised Casino Drive.
As always, there was plenty to keep folks busy. You could spend your time going from booth to booth checking out the latest from motorcycle manufacturers, see the most up-to-date components to make your ride run faster, handle better, and look the coolest. While you were shopping, you could try on every conceivable piece of riding apparel on the planet.
When it was time to take a break from spending your money, you could drop by the Harley-Davidson Traveling Museum, or go for a demo ride on any the many of the '03 models offered up by H-D and Indian. Then, there is always people-watching. No matter what time of day it was, you could park yourself pretty much anywhere and be quite entertained.
It makes no difference if you made it to the 21st, you should definitely plan to be there for the 22nd.