Rides, Rallies and Events Recap

39th Annual A.B.A.T.E. of Kansas Labor Day Rally - Perry Lake, Kansas

Written by  September 27, 2014

Dates for the 39th Annual National Labor Day Rally hosted by A.B.A.T.E. of Kansas at Perry Lake’s Paradise Point were August 29 through September 1. The gates opened at noon on Friday. Rain was forecast on and off all weekend, but fortunately Friday’s showers were mainly far to the north. Members of A.B.A.T.E. or other motorcycle rights organizations were admitted for $25 and non-members paid $40. An additional $20 was charged for recreational vehicles, campers, and all-terrain vehicles. Members of the military were eligible for a discount.

My Iowa friends who attend the event every year arrived early Friday afternoon having encountered a little rain along the way. They set up camp near the area occupied by A.B.A.T.E. Disctrict 7. Live musical entertainment began Friday evening with Last Chance Band, Deadman’s Flats, Edge of Forever, and Villian’s Dance.

I made the short trip on Saturday morning, arriving in plenty of time for the Saturday field events known as the Motorcycle Olympics. There were plenty of competitors and a large audience for the games including slow ride, keg roll, potato pick-up (using tennis balls rather than spuds), wienie bite, balloon toss, tire toss, barrel race, and tire drags. In addition, there was a non-bike game, the 5-person shuffle. Nice plaques were awarded for first and second place in each event with plaques for both rider and passenger in the couples contests and certificates for each team member in the shuffle. The Olympics kept the competitors and spectators entertained until late afternoon. As always, Tony and the crew from District 5 did a super job of putting on the event.  

There were plenty of vendors with a wide variety of food and merchandise available for purchase. The large beer tent was a popular gathering place, day and night, and the dunk tank provided additional entertainment. Saturday’s live music was provided by Southern Reign, Shyner, Texas Hippie Coalition, and the Mickey Finn Band.

Sunday’s bike show began at noon and featured a good field on entries. Classes were antique, classic, custom, sportster, 3-wheel, rat, touring, metric, and American. There were awards for People’s Choice and Best in Show. The Heritage Softail owned by Addison Willinger from St. John, Kansas, won the People’s Choice award in a very close contest.

Following the bike show, the crowd migrated to an open area north of the showers where snow fences had been set up to mark the area for the dirt drags that began at 2 p.m. and were put on by District 11. This year, the strip was a bit wider and provided a little more room to shut down compared to last year’s setup. First and second place trophies were awarded in classes for street tires, knobbies and paddles, and open.

Scheduled bands for Sunday night were Stoned Ground Rock, Samantha Fish, and Shawn Ward, but the evening’s festivities were cut short by heavy rain. Fortunately, the storm had moved on in time for departure on Labor Day Monday. A.B.A.T.E. of Kansas always throws a great party, and the hard work put in by all of the volunteers is much appreciated. Same time, same place, next year. See you there. In the meantime, we encourage your support of A.B.A.T.E. or your local motorcycle rights organization.



Photojournalist/Account Representative - Kansas City, MO

Dave Baxter, a.k.a. Stripe joined our staff in December, 2003, as a photojournalist. If that road name sounds familiar, you may have seen his photos on the pages of such publications as American Iron, V Twin, VQ, In the Wind, and Easyriders. Stripe attends as many rallies, bike shows, and charity runs as he can and is a major contributor of photos and articles to our magazine. His first assignment was our January, 2004, cover photo, where he snapped the awesome photo of a 1958 Harley-Davidson Duo Glide. A rider since the age of 14, he loves to help and encourage new riders. Stripe enjoys meeting new people and looks forward to catching many of our readers in the viewfinder of his digital camera. Contact Stripe at stripe@cycleconnections.com