Rides, Rallies and Events Recap

2nd Annual MLB & SOB First Ride - Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Written by  April 30, 2012

The start of the riding season party in Eureka Springs, Arkansas that was founded a year ago by myself, Doc Lonnie (photographer here at Cycle Connections and leader of the MLB biker group), had its second edition on the weekend of April 13-15. We knew the event was growing and was going to be even bigger than the first one last year when the headquarters resort, The Rodeway Inn Swiss Holiday Resort, was completely booked with every room reserved by a member of our group as soon as the dates were posted last fall. We ended up with the 1876 Inn next door filled as well and a few in other surrounding motels. The Cathouse Lounge/Pied Piper Pub in downtown Eureka Springs again welcomed us with open arms, libations, and good food! They had welcome banners and an information table with maps of the town as members of our group filtered into town on Friday the 13th.

For many of us, the great ride started with our trip to Eureka Springs on Friday. We met members from farther north in Nebraska at Gail’s H-D parking lot, then met up with more people and the leader of the SOB group in Jasper, Missouri. We then picked up more folks at Neosho. After having a large group gathered up, we rode some of the old moonshine runners’ routes out of Pineville down towards our destination. The resorts, bars, and restaurants of Eureka Springs filled quickly with members of our group on Friday afternoon and evening until we had members of our two groups from five different states in town.

We had an informal gathering around a bonfire and outdoor hot tub at the headquarters resort until the early morning hours of Saturday morning. At 10 a.m., we held a riders meeting in the front parking lot of the resort to go over plans for the day’s riding through northern Arkansas. A change made from last year to create smaller safer riding groups and also give more choices was to divide the group into three riding groups to take different length routes in different directions from Eureka Springs. This helped solve some of the problems with keeping a very large group together and safe on the curvy roads. We planned all three routes to include some less commonly ridden areas on small county roads and lots of scenery.

The three riding groups all made it back into Eureka at different times in the afternoon for shopping, hanging out at local establishments, naps, etc. One of our members who is a BBQ competitor cooked brisket and pulled pork both for a big group picnic on Saturday night at the headquarters resort followed by another night of partying with friends around the bonfire and hot tub. As everyone gathered to head home on Sunday morning, the weather became a factor and a few of us became rather damp while riding home on Sunday, but it was a small price to pay for all the great riding and companionship enjoyed over the rest of the weekend.

Everyone seems to already be asking when the next time is going to be, so a 3rd Annual First Ride Party is in the plans for next April.

Article b By Doc Lonnie Blum with Explorer Photography

Photos by Doc Lonnie Blum and others.