More Bikes, Fewer Suburbans With Trailers...
Here are a couple of quick observations made by the staff on the way to this year's Laughlin River Run. First, there were more bikes on the road-no matter which way you went-this year than in years past. The lines for fuel at the gas stations right off of I-40 were packed with bikes, bikes and more bikes. But the two-lanes were packed with bikes as well. What were missing were all of the giant SUVs with trailers full of bikes that look more like colorful metal sculptures than motorcycles.
Part of what made the people decide to leave the gas-sucking SUV at home is the ever-increasing price of fuel. At some point, you have to face the fact that you can save a ton of money leaving the 10-mpg SUV and trailer at home and climb aboard the 45-mpg bike. And isn't the ride the real reward anyway?
All of this riding meant that there were long lines at the vendors providing services like oil changes and new tires on the spot. The crew from Klock Werks was installing as many of their new windshields as they could, and you could forget getting near the Kryakyn or FBI booths. And while there were rows that made you feel like the Laughlin River Run of years past because they were packed with people, there were also rows that you could shoot a cannon down and not hit a soul. Those were the rows dominated by people selling cheap Chinese leather jackets, novelty helmets, fringe grips, knockoff designer sunglasses, beef jerky and anything and everything you could think of to put in a deep fat fryer. No offense to the people who were out there trying to make a buck, but everywhere you turned there were racks of the same leather jackets and do-rags-it was kinda ridiculous.
There were three of us who made the trek from Southern California to Laughlin. Toph drew the long straw and got to take mostly two-lane roads through the desert out to and back from Laughlin, Nevada. I drew the medium straw and took interstate all the way. And Jeff drew the short straw and ended up piloting the chase truck with all of the tools and extra fuel for anybody who needed it. Jeff also shot a bunch of riding shots on his way out and on the way home. We came out to walk the show-check. We also wanted to shoot some really cool bikes-check. And we also wanted to do some riding out through Oatman, Arizona, and all of the twisty desert roads that surround that area-check. It took the better part of four days to get everything we wanted to get accomplished, but we had a blast doing it. If you care to join us in next year's festivities, you can log on to http://www.laughlinriverrun.com for all the latest information.