Rides, Rallies and Events Recap

Blackhawk Motorcycle Ride ‘N Shine and Bike Show

Written by  July 31, 2004

Travel south from Olathe, Kansas, through the rolling hills of Johnson County on Highway 169, or north from Miami County seat, Paola, and when you come to where the counties meet, don’t blink, or you’ll speed past the exit ramp for the growing little farm community of Spring Hill.

It’s small, but historic downtown, is more than a mile east of the highway in Johnson County. Compared to other communities in bustling Johnson County, Spring Hill is a sleepy farm community, struggling to keep from being swallowed up by the expansion of Olathe from the north and the expected Paola growth from the south.

Just across the border in Miami County, is a new shopping center and housing development called Blackhawk Retail Center. Among some of the businesses, there’s a Price Chopper grocery store, a convenience store/gas station, and Curly Brown’s Grill.

So when rumbling motorcycles began showing up on the morning of June 26th, and bikini-clad young women began posing for photos with people and on choppers, the first ever Blackhawk Motorcycle Ride 'N Shine and Bike Show created quite a stir with the town’s old-timers.

Nearly 50 motorcycles of all models, shapes, and sizes, were entered in the six-class bike show. There were vendors, girls in bikinis, food sales, bands, beer, giveaways, including a weekend trip to Branson, Missouri, motorcycle stunt shows, and did I mention girls in bikinis? And before the day was finished, more than 250 motorcycles had found their way to Spring Hill and the rally.

“I’m very pleased,” said Jason Rogers, owner of Curly Brown’s, who, along with Spring Hill resident and Ruritan member, Larry Sumner, came up with the rally idea just three months ago.

The Ruritans, a civic organization, has an education foundation that funds scholarships each year to select graduating Spring Hill High School seniors. Last year, the Ruritans gave $300 scholarships to four students. This past May, two students each received $600 scholarships, according to Sumner.

“I’m thrilled with how many people have showed up. Everyone I’ve talked to say they are having a great time. “I sent an e-mail to Mikey (Tuettel of Orange County Chopper fame), but I never did get a response. That would have been neat to have him here.” Rogers, who opened Curly Brown’s five months ago, is a motorcycle enthusiast who rides a bobber.

“Larry told me about the education foundation, and I wanted to help with that,” Rogers said. “I was hoping for at least this many people; you just never know when you do something like this; it’s just a shot in the dark. “I just hope the Ruritans make some money.”

Reece Good, who owns Ultra Craft Customs in Gardner, Kansas, brought three of his creations to the show. He is building a chopper that will be given away next year during the Jamie Moore Poker Run for Cystic Fibrosis in Gardner.

People came from throughout the metropolitan area, such as Beverly Nigriny, who lives in Raymore, Missouri. “I’m an older biker from way back,” she said and then laughed. “There sure are a lot of beautiful motorcycles here today. I just love to see what people ride, and how they make them personal.”

Jay Bogart and his wife Marti, from Spring Hill, also enjoyed the rally and show. “I’ve been riding motorcycles; well, for a lot of years,” he said. “I’ve ridden Hondas, BMWs, trail bikes, and Nortons.” And he should know about motorcycles; Bogart is a technical writer for Clymer.

Two of the more popular females at the show were Amy and Loretta with BabeXtreme, billed as “America’s Favorite Motorsports Models!” Their bikinis were, well, very small, and covered bodies that were, well, very shapely. “Oh yes, we’re having a great time,” Loretta said. “And the people here have been extremely nice.”

With a smile on his face, Rogers said he and other members of the organizing committee will meet early in July and talk about next year’s event. “We’re hoping that a ride will spin off of this next year,” Rogers said. Larry added, “I would like to get more vendors and more bike clubs involved too. I don’t want this to be a Harley-Davidson show, but make this a rally for everyone, no matter what they ride.”

Also in the works is making Curly Brown’s a bike night spot, said Rogers. “That’s the next thing I want to do,” he said. Sounds as though when bikers are riding down Highway 169, they are not going to want to miss the Spring Hill exit where Johnson and Miami counties meet.

With so many great entries, the bike show must have been hard to judge. In the Modified Frame class, Chris Reed took first, Bruce Hart was second, and Sean Bulva was third. In the Domestic Modification class: Chris Gray came in first, Rob Weinland took second, and Rick 'Hollywood' Stalsworth came in third. The Imported Modification class winners included Roger Edwards in first place, Kenny Hamm, second, and Leonard Filly, third. In the Sport Bike class, Doug Marlo took first. In the Classic Bike class, John Wise took first, and Randy Rich came in second. In the Radical Custom class, George Marriott took first place, and Ned Lee took second.

Larry Sumner said the Spring Hill Ruritans made at least $2,000 for the
education foundation, and more money is expected to come in because
Curly Brown's will continue to sell the leftover T-shirts, with proceeds going to the Ruritans.

Story and photos by Chuck Kurtz