Las Vegas Bikefest 2005 Report

This was actually my first year at Las Vegas Bikefest. Folks kept telling me it was great in previous years, and that I should go. So, my ...

This was actually my first year at Las Vegas Bikefest. Folks kept telling me it was great in previous years, and that I should go. So, my wife and I went. My wife actually caged it with another gal on Friday, while I rode up with the Iron Horses Riding Club on Thursday morning. We had nine people in all riding on seven bikes.

Our club had other members that rode up separately on different days and times.

Note: click on the links in the report to see photos. You can also see all the photos I took here.

Traffic

Being that we left Temecula, California early on Thursday morning, we seemed to have avoided much of the traffic. I didn't see a whole lot of bikes on the I-15. There were definitely more bikes on the road than what you'd normally see at other times of the year, but still pretty light.

Even as we got into Las Vegas, I still didn't see that many bikes.

The Plaza Hotel, which hosted the registration and event parking, didn't have many folks there by the time we got there. It was probably 2:00pm when we pulled in. We managed to get registered pretty quickly. However, after sitting down for a beer across from the registration windows, we saw folks starting to pour in. By the time we got up to leave, the registration lines grew pretty long.

Las Vegas Bikefest 2005 Events

Many of the events that took place during previous Bikefests were scheduled for this year as well. Vendor Village was still hosted at the Cashman Center, as was the "Artistry in Iron" chopper display. Jello Wrestling was hosted at The Plaza Hotel. They had the usual poker runs and poker walks, which I didn't participate in. Las Vegas Harley Davidson still hosted the wet t-shirt contest.

This year they had "Sinfest 2005" at The Plaza Hotel also. Headlining the concerts was 38 Special. Hogs and Heifers is a new bar that opened up on the beginning of Bikefest, who was one of the major sponsors.

Fremont Street Experience

Fremont Street had historically been the focal point of Las Vegas Bikfest, and was still the focus this year, though as much. This year, they did not allow bikes to park on Fremont Street, and featured no motorcycle vendors. A few of us mentioned that it gave Bikefest a more subdued feeling. You felt like you were just vacationing in Las Vegas more than participating at Bikefest.

The concert stages were set up on Fremont Street as in previous years. When 38 Special played on Friday night, the place was packed solid. Boobies were flashing closer up to the stage, and people were pushing and shoving their way through.

They even had some guy singing Roy Orbison covers the whole weekend long.

The effects of Hurricane Katrina made itself known on Fremont Street in the form of bead shortage. The casinos on Fremont Street typically give away free colored Mardi Gras style plastic beads as a gimmick to get people to come in. But they had signs up saying that because of Hurricane Katrina, they could only give one set of beads per person. When asked why, one of the girls giving away beads said it was because they got their supply of beads from New Orleans. Robyn commented it was crock of shit because everyone knows they get their beads from China!

On Thursday night, Fremont Street hosted a Mexican Independence celebration. The place was packed with Mexicans waving Mexican flags. Mexican folk bands playing "narcocorridos", and speakers rallying the cries of "Viva la Raza", encouring the people not to assimilate into American culture.

I don't know what the Hell the organizers of Fremont Street Experience were thinking by hosting Mexican Independence celebration on the same day of Bikefest. Sounds like they wanted to milk it for more money, and is perhaps one of the main reasons why they didn't allow bikes to park on Fremont Street.

Weather

The weather was actually pretty good being that it was still Summer. From Thursday to Sunday, temperatures seemed to stay in the 90s. It was mostly sunny, and offered great riding weather.

No Colors Policy

This year Las Vegas Metro Police tried to enforce a "No Colors" policy. All of the hotels and event locations had posters up on the doors explaining that people were not allowed to wear their colors indoors. Initially, we all took off our vests. However, we later learned that this policy was not welcomed by the hotels and casinos, and hence their security officers didn't enforce the policy.

I'm not sure the policy was really necessary. In fact, the Metro Police's gang squad was perhaps a victim of its own strategy as they seemed preoccupied by several MCs wearing their patches and standing outside of The Four Queens all weekend long, practically 24 hours a day, while members of a certain 1%er managed to walk around Fremont Street untouched.

Vendor Village

Most of the vendors displaying their wares at Cashman Center were perhaps the same vendors you've seen at just about any other biker rally and festival. Lots of leather goods, Harley parts, chopper builders, and high-priced food. There were lots of Boss Hoss dealers there, including one with a Boss Hoss Dodge Magnum V10.

Hooters was there to give away free buffalo wings. Everyone who registered for Bikefest got a ticket with their registration packet for free buffalo wings. Of course, I forgot to bring my ticket! But it was no loss anways, as the ticket got you only three wings, and they were very small wings at that. In fact, I have my doubts that the Hooters Girls that were there were even "real" Hooters Girls. They seemed awfully young, and not very well endowed.

Security at Vendor Village was a laugh. It looked like they recruited extra hands right off the street. Inside Cashman Center I saw a lady, probably around 70 years of age, dressed in security garb, and guarding a door. But she was sitting down playing her pocket solitaire game. At another location, a security guard was guarding a blocked driveway, that provided convenient access to the Shuttle. He looked like he was still in highschool, maybe weighed only 90 pounds, and had a hairstyle you'd expect from a goth-punk. He wouldn't let us through, but when Dave did his best biker impersonation, he relented and let us through.

Hogs and Heifers

Hogs and Heifers is the name of a new bar that opened up the day Bikefest started. It's located right next to the Lady Luck casino. We walked over there on Thursday night trying to get in, but they were having a private party there.

Some of us ended up going back there Friday night and managed to get in. It was pretty packed as expected. You couldn't stand in that place without having a couple of other folks touching you. That made for a great opportunity to rub up against the chicks trying to walk through!

The bartenders were all young female hotties wearing tight clothes. Every once in a while they'd all jump onto the bar and dance to the music. This encouraged the female customers to jump up on the bar as well and dance. They would end up dancing for a few songs until they got tired and hopped down from the bar. At that point the bartenders would jump back up onto the bar and start the process over again.

Some of customers got pretty wild and flashed their boobs. One gal we saw took off her top and bra and danced topless for a short while causing the crowd to go wild. Then her girlfriend got up on the bar and they did some dirty dancing, squeezing each other's boobs, and licking each other titties to top it off. When they jumped down from the bar, one of the security guards gave her a scolding, and escorted her out of the establishment.

We ended up filtering our way to the very back of the room, and managed to find some breathing space.

Tragedy Strikes

On Friday morning, just before we got underway on our ride to Goodsprings, we learned that a member of our club was killed a couple hours earlier. She was riding tailgun with another club on their way to Bikefest when a driver in a truck hit her and sent her to her death. The driver drove off and has not yet been found.

We spent the rest of Bikefest remembering her and sharing memories. In Goodsprings we stopped at the Pioneer Saloon and drank a toast to her.

Wet T-Shirt Contest

Las Vegas Harley Davidson was hosting the wet t-shirt contest, but we didn't stay to watch. They had some vendors set up in the parking lot but nothing special. The store was filled with new Harleys and used Harleys, and even some used Hondas. The place was packed.

Red Rock Canyon

No motorcycle trip to Las Vegas is complete without a tour of Red Rock Canyon. It goes without saying that the road through the park had no shortage of bikes. The weather was perfect for riding however. There were plenty of cars too, but you could pass them by and get in some good riding.

We rode on to Bonnie Springs Ranch for lunch.

Center Stage Restaurant

Months before the trip, we all planned to have dinner at The Center Stage Restaurant, Saturday night, at The Plaza Hotel. The Center Stage is a fancy restaurant that overlooks Fremont Street Experience. The view from the restaurant was pretty cool, especially when the Experience displays its overhead animation. The Center Stage pipes in the audio feed so patrons can enjoy it too.

I had the Surf n Turf, which was the lobster and top sirloin. The top sirloin was a very good piece of steak. I had them cook it medium rare, and it was soft, juicy and flavorful. The lobster was not as good as the steak, but I still enjoyed the whole dining experience nonetheless.

Sinfest 2005

It's hard to summarize what Sinfest was in one sentence. They had pole dancing contests and live band. They also had some vendors of sex toys and sex wear. There were also carnival-style games with a porno-theme. The whole thing was more humorous than sexual.

Sinfest was located on the 5th floor of The Plaza Hotel, where the pool is located. It's an outdoor area, and you can get a great view of Fremont Street. You could buy drinks here, but you had to buy drink tickets to get them.

You could also get spray-on tattoos for free, and there was a girl who did body-paintings.

The Ride Home

Sunday morning, we decided hit up Vendor Village to see what kind of deals we could get. About 12:00pm, we began the ride home. This time there were only four of us riding back, along with my wife and the other gal caging it. The others began the ride home earlier.

All went well along the I-15 until we hit the big traffic jam near Lake Dolores. Traffic actually started to jam up about 20 miles south of Baker. From there, we had to split lanes for about 10-12 miles until we got up to near the accident.

The accident had a biker sprawled out on the freeway, and another car parked along the shoulder. The dents in the car door suggested the car may have struck the biker on the side. A helicopter flew in and landed on the freeway. We probably stood around for 30 minutes until they got things moving again.

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