Here's a writeup on the 1st annual piney woods ride for missing kids, published in "Skunk dots", a biker rag out of houston, tx, written by bagman, one of our fellow southern cruisers!
The 1st Annual Piney Woods Rally
The 1st Annual Piney Woods Rally took place on April 14 - 16 at the "1st Monday" grounds in Canton, Texas. The rally was organized by the East Texas Chapter of the Southern Cruisers Riding Club with much assistance from the CMA and others. It was a "Ride for Missing Kids" with all proceeds going to the Child Alert Foundation.
I packed-up Thursday night, planning on camping near the rally site. Due to work demands (Oh, when can I retire?), I didn't leave downtown Houston until 5:00 PM Friday. There really aren't words to describe how pleasant it is heading north on I-45 at 5:00 on a Friday evening.
||Have you ever noticed that Friday morning traffic is the lightest of the week? There's a whole shit-load of downtown workers who get every-other Friday off and a whole bunch more who, on any given Friday, are on vacation. How is it, then, that leaving Houston on a Friday afternoon puts you in the WORST traffic of the week? Someone 'splain that to me.
Anyway, I drove up I-45 to Buffalo and took 79 to Palestine and 19 up to Canton. The trip started off warm, but after 5 hours of the cold wet air, the idea of setting-up a tent wasn't very appealing. The gang hanging at the Days Inn was looking very content. I grabbed the bottle of Wild Turkey 101 that I picked up at lunchtime from Spec's & found a seat. (Canton is dry - The nearest liquor store is in Terrell, 30 miles west.) After a little "self-medicating", I ended-up "camping" on the floor in Room 221.
The Rally site had already begun buzzing by the time I arrived Saturday morning. Being that this was the 1st Annual Rally, there weren't the huge number of vendors we've seen at some of the more venerable functions. The vendors that were there, however, were doing very well. The Pin Striping Guy did not stop from 8:00 AM to when he lettered my rear fender at 8:00 PM. The dude selling air horns must have made quite a bit of extra cash because he was non-stop installing some very nice air horns on a lot of bikes. And the Patch Lady - "Have Singer, Will Travel" - went through 3 cans of 3-in-1 oil just keeping that thing lubed.
There was a ride/parade around noon, east of Canton. It was a nice ride with over 100 bikes. I think that at one time, there was over 400 people at the rally. That leads to one of the "opportunities for improvement" for next year: Jason "Babyface" Cavazos, the 1st Officer of the East Texas Chapter of the Southern Cruisers Riding Club, told me that only 180 people paid to register. It's a shame, since the proceeds go to help kids, that so many feel like they needed to sneak in. Next year there will be better gate control. Also next year the Poker Run will be held on Saturday instead of Sunday. Otherwise, the rally was a huge success. The CMA ran the Field Events with yours truly (along with CMA's own Glenda; thanks Glenda) taking home two 1st place medals.
For all pre-registered attendees there was a catered catfish dinner by Bob Wright of Carthage, TX. This was serve-yourself and there was enough for even Kirk Dockery to get full. Refreshments like tea and lemonade were provided and other libations brought by some kind souls who made the trip to Terrell. (Thanks for bringing the trailer, Gonzo.)
After dinner and music(?), most retired to the Days Inn parking lot to continue the "Attitude Session" begun Friday night. There was entertainment by a dancing girl (did someone say a Rock-ette?) from Mississippi which quickly led to an abundance of bare skin. I ended up crashing early in the same "camp" I slept the night before (damn that Turkey 101) and headed back to Houston early Sunday morning. It was a much prettier ride in the daylight.
Thanks again to "Babyface" & crew and the The Gospel Riders (CMA of Longview, TX) and the Crossroad Riders (CMA of Dallas) for putting on the first of what is sure to become a very popular April Rally every year. Look for it next April - The Piney Woods Rally.
It's not the destination, it's the journey.