Sept. 15, 2006 – Hot Springs was roaring with the Open Rally during my visit – an estimated 30,000 bike owners were here to show off their prized 2 (and sometimes 3) wheelers. On Friday they parade through downtown Hot Springs, lined with people waving and taking pictures.
Jaime Dearden looked so pretty in pink on her beautiful bike, I just had to stop and talk to her. She’s from Hot Springs, and this is her first rally. We laughed as she said, “Yep, I’m a rally virgin!” She’s the proud new owner of a 600 Honda Shadow named “On The Prowl.” That’s what the white writing under the seat says on this picture and the insert shows the tiger on her tank. I asked if her family thought she was nuts the way mine did when I first started RVing, but she said they’re for her 100%. They’re excited and happy for her and were waiting on the parade route to get pics of her and the other riders.
A more experienced solo woman rider, this is Regina Hicklin’s 3rd bike and 5th rally. She just loves her ’97 Harley Sportster 883. When I asked her what’s her favorite thing about it, she laughed and said “chrome!” She really impressed me when she said she’d like to inspire other women to know they can own and ride their own bikes instead of always taking the back seat.
Glen & Sheila Galbavy – another first-time-rallyer local couple. Glen’s been working on his Yamaha V Star 1100 for six months now and figures he has another six months to go before it’ll be how he wants it. Another pink lover, Sheila says that’s her trademark – what a cool boa! She’s holding a bunch of beads on her arms which the riders throw to viewers along the parade route – sorta like a biker’s Mardi Gras.
The huge parking lot at Magic Springs was the staging area where they gathered to get ready for the parade. It took a huge lot to hold just the bikes who were riding in the parade – there were hundreds more lining the route.
Roger & Kelli Jennings, a dad & daughter duo from Hot Springs with his Honda VTX 1300. At 10 years old, this is the first rally that Kelli’s ever rode in. She said she’s excited and not a bit scared – you go girl – pretty soon you’ll be riding your own!
Joyce Wylie has a 3-wheeler because she says she’s not big enough to hold up 2 wheels. Her beloved 2004 Honda Goldwing with CA side car has “everything on it” and she just loves it! What makes it really special to her, though, is that it was a present from her hubby on their 27th anniversary. His only complaint was that she didn’t notice at first when he later added the chrome touches! After I interviewed them and was getting ready to head downtown to watch the parade, she invited me to ride in it with her – what a blast and what a sweet ride!
This was really a fantastic day for me – you can see me in the mirror taking my pics of the crowd taking pics of us!