Speaking of Covington Cycles, during the four-day event, Jerry Covington and his crew built one of their choppers for the True American Hero Custom Bike Giveaway, a tribute to those who've served in the armed forces. The winner was chosen by a panel of judges with military backgrounds who read through stacks of letters sent in by friends and family explaining why their candidate deserved the chopper. In the end the panel selected Captain Kraig Kvalevog (Ret.) as the lucky winner. Meanwhile, Hugh King and the Discovery Channel's Biker Build-Off series rode in and held the voting session for a trike build-off (check www.discoverychannel.com for episode air dates).
One of the most exciting events of the weekend took place on Friday as hundreds (maybe even thousands) of bikers coverged on one of the Expo's side roads for an 11-mile parade of bikes downtown to Congress Avenue with a free party and concert by Vallejo, Omar & The Howlers, and Van Wilks. Word is the R.O.T. Rally organizers were attempting to set the record for the longest motorcycle parade. The Guinness Book of World Records is currently reviewing the ride to verify that an official record was set. However, the fact that people were parking their bikes on Congress while others were still leaving the staging area ought to be a pretty good indication that there may be a new record in the books.
Plans are already in the works to make next year's rally even bigger and better, if that's possible. The next rally is set to take place May 31-June 1, 2007. You can log onto www.rotrally.com to reserve your camping spot, or if you're not into roughing it, the website will help you find the names and numbers for local hotels. If you're thinking about rolling out to Austin, you'd better book your lodging now, as the town sells out pretty quickly.
The R.O.T. Rally was the second leg in the five-stop tour for the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hard Rock Roadhouse Tour (HRRHT). Led by tour organizer Carrie Repp, builders Aaron Greene (Paramount Custom Cycles); Gard Hollinger (LA Choprods); Eric Gorges (VooDoo Choppers); and Paul Cox, Keino, and Bobby Segar Jr. (Indian Larry Legacy) signed autographs and partied with rally attendees all weekend long. The HRRHT entertainment stage was the hot party spot, with performances by the HRRHT dancers and stand-up comedy from Steve Trevino, as well as plenty of drinking games and other contests where partiers won T-shirts and other prizes. Aside from meeting the builders, the other main attraction that drew the crowds to the HRRHT stage was the chance to sign up and win one of the four custom bikes built by the HRRHT builders. The tour's final stop will be held December 8-9, 2006, at the Fort Lauderdale Rally, where a name will be drawn. That very lucky person will get to pick which of the four bikes he or she wants to ride home. If you can't make it to the remaining events to sign up for the giveaway, you can enter online at www.hrroadhouse.com.