By Ryn Gargulinski
Biker Don Lenau was visiting Clovis from his home in Muleshoe when the pack of motorcycles outside High Plains Harley-Davidson on Mabry Drive caught his eye.
“I was riding by and saw the other idiots and thought I’d come by and join,” Lenau said with a laugh, indicating the dozens of other motorcycle riders, passengers and enthusiasts who attended Saturday’s Badlands Motorcycle Rally.
Organizers said 250 cycles were pre-registered prior to Friday’s kickoff. That was down about 100 from a year ago.
A lower turnout, however, did not stop the cyclists from jamming to the two live bands — Fun Brothers and Shadow Casters — whooping it up during the fashion show, or putting on their best poker face for the $5,000 cash poker run in which a female rider rode away with the $3,000 grand prize.
But the games are not why they come, said events coordinator Barbara Higgett, who called this year’s rally “very, very successful.”
“They come to be around other motorcyclists,” she said. “It’s a surrounding community event. People come from all over Texas and New Mexico; this year a biker came from Kansas.”
Lenau and his table full of biking buddies all agreed it’s about the community — except, perhaps, H.D. Perry who biked in from Hobbs.
“I come to look at all the pretty women and the motorcycles,” Perry said. When forced to pick which one he preferred, Perry said, “the motorcycles — I’m married.”
Portales’ Kirsten Moss attended the rally with her boyfriend, Larry Archambault, also from Portales.
“The first time I asked her out she said she was anti-motorcycle,” Archambault said of Moss, who admits she had been afraid of the massive machines her whole life.
“Within a week, she was on the back,” Archambault said. Moss, however, said she did not start riding on the bike just because of Archambault.
“I like a challenge and trying new things,” she said. “This is a whole new culture for me. I’m totally conquering that fear. The best part is holding my boyfriend.”
Although Archambault said he does not get claw marks from his gal’s fists clutching his sides, he said “every time we hit a bump, I sure can feel it.”