Rides, Rallies and Events Recap

ABATE of Kansas 30th Annual National Labor Day Rally

Written by  September 30, 2005

The 30th Annual ABATE of Kansas National Labor Day Rally at Paradise Point, Lake Perry, Kansas was the biggest yet with over 4,000 in attendance. A favorable weather forecast may have contributed to this year's increase in attendance, with the only precipitation being a light shower early Saturday morning.

And speaking of showers...one of the most noticeable improvements this year was the addition of a Porta Kleen Shower Trailer that was conveniently parked in front of the old shower house. Fully self contained, these units feature private and very clean stainless steel shower stalls, a small private dressing area with a bench and an endless supply of hot water, courtesy of an onboard propane-fired boiler system. It cost $5 to take a shower, but it was well worth it!

Nine bands provided non-stop entertainment throughout the weekend, and special stage events were held each night between 11 p.m. and midnight. Nodding Lizard kicked things off on Friday, followed by Eclipse Band and Backfire. Saturday's lineup included Curtis Moore, Black Oak Arkansas and Strut McFearson. On Sunday, Buffalo Alice, Kentucky Headhunters and Shawn Ward rounded out the weekend's entertainment, along with prize drawings the drawing for a 2006 Harley-Davidson Super Glide, courtesy of Doerfliers Harley-Davidson in Hays, Kansas.

Just past the stage, several food and apparel vendors surrounded a large tent, which served as a dining area during the day and at night was magically transformed into an outdoor nightclub, complete with a DJ, dance area and bar. If there was one place at the rally to see and be seen, this was it! Alongside the road on the way to the campground was another new addition to this year’s rally. Powered parachute rides! For those not afraid of heights, you could take a scenic flight over the lake and rally area in a tandem powered parachute. They seemed to be flying overhead all weekend, so I’m guessing business must have been pretty good.

At various times throughout the weekend, the ABATE dunk tank was a flurry of activity as several brave young...and middle-aged ladies climbed onto the plank while guys and girls threw softballs at a target in hopes of dropping them into the water. I also found out about an unwritten rule that if someone hit the target three times in a row, the lady in the tank was 'encouraged' to remove an article of clothes. Most of the participants happily obliged, and before long, one attractive young lady was completely nude! Ya just gotta love those adult carnival games!

The field events were held on Saturday, which drew several participants and even more onlookers. During a break in the activities, Lexie, our August 2005 cover girl, was given a proposition she couldn't refuse when her boyfriend, Boog, borrowed the microphone from the announcer and asked Lexie to come up to the announcer's stand. Lexie had no idea what was going on and thought Boog wanted her to join him and participate in one of the upcoming field events. As soon as she got there, Boog asked Lexie for her hand in marriage. I don't know who was shaking more as Boog slid the engagement ring over her finger. The crowd cheered while Boog and Lexie walked back to the open arms of their friends and family members.

On Sunday morning, the Christian Motorcycle Association (CMA) held services on the stage, and that afternoon a bike show was held, with trophies and ribbons presented to the winners in each class.

At this year's rally I also ran into several friends who I had met the year before, including Gary and Ed with Black Rose Machine Shop in Omaha, Nebraska. This year, they were pulling around a beautifully hand crafted and custom painted coffin trailer behind their bike. I was told that Brian 'Mumbles' Stowell painted the coffin, which also served as a 'pussy wagon,' which they filled with several attractive women and pull around camp while the girls flashed their 'wares.'

I also met Tony and Alan Stiles of Stiles Choppers, who specialize in custom frames, engine rebuilds, motor upgrades, frame modifications and metal fabrication. After being invited to join them and their friends for dinner, I soon found out that Tony also specializes in chicken, ribs, fish and about anything else you can toss on the grill. Alan also told me about a custom chopper he was building, which I couldn't wait to see.

I ran into several good friends from the St. Joseph and Kansas City area. Gregg Lewis, a longtime friend from my hometown of Wathena, Kansas even rode down on Saturday to hang out for a while and join us for a ride around the lake.

On Monday morning I got up, took down my tent, packed the bike and headed back to Kansas City with a big smile on my face. It was a great weekend filled with good friends, good times and unbelievably good weather!

Story & photos by Mike Schweder