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38th Annual A.B.A.T.E. of Kansas Labor Day Rally - Perry Lake, Kansas

Written by  October 1, 2013

I arrived at the A.B.A.T.E. of Kansas rally area at Paradise Point, Perry Lake, about mid-afternoon on Friday, August 30. The weekend weather forecast calling for extreme heat proved to be accurate. Free bottled water and a mist tent provided welcome relief for bikers at the end of their ride and the beginning of their party. After getting registered, I joined several friends who had arrived earlier from southeastern Iowa. As usual, they had set up camp near the area always occupied by A.B.A.T.E. District 7 from the Dodge City area, my old stomping grounds. After hanging out in the camping area for a while, we headed over to the vendor area and spent some time at the beer tent. Friday evening’s musical entertainment included Last Chance Flight, Final Drive, and Led Astray.


Clouds moved in during the night and provided some relief from the heat Saturday morning. There was even a light sprinkle of rain shortly after the Motorcycle Olympics field events began at noon. There was a large field of competitors and an enthusiastic audience for the games that included weenie bite, keg push, potato pick up (substitute tennis balls), tire toss, tire drags, slow race, balloon toss, and barrel race. For pedestrians, there was the 5-man shuffle, and a new game was added for golf carts and quads. Imagine pulling a paper bag over your head and trying to weave through a maze of safety cones while being verbally directed by your navigator. The course was tight and few of the teams had much success. The motorcycle competition was keen and provided great fun for contestants and spectators alike throughout the afternoon. The tire drags and barrel races were particularly exciting and resulted in a few riders being thrown from their mounts. Thanks to soft ground, nobody was hurt, and no motorcycles were damaged. Members of A.B.A.T.E. District 5 did their usual great job of running the games. Performing live music on Saturday were Southern Reign, Looks That Kill, and Jeff Lux Band. Laurie Frank’s comedy show was also featured on stage.





A strong cold front roared through the area around 6 a.m. Sunday with torrential rain and winds that left tumbled tents and collapsed awnings in its wake. By the time bike show sign-up began at 11 a.m., the weather had settled down, and the temperature remained much more comfortable for the remainder of the weekend. Bike show classes included antique, classic, custom, Sportster, three-wheel, rat, touring, metric, and American. Awards were also presented for People’s Choice and Best of Show. Lots of great scoots were on display, and we congratulate all of the class winners. The plaque for the touring class went home to Iowa with my friend Bruce.





A.B.A.T.E. District 11 was in charge of a new event at this year’s rally—dirt drags. The competition included bikes with street tires as well as street bikes with knobby tires. Most entertaining were bikes modified for racing with knobbies or paddle tires that kicked up huge rooster tails. Our friend and May, 2010, cover model , Mandy, was selected as the official starter for the races and did a fine job. Sunday’s on-stage entertainers were Sass Monkey, Confederate Railroad, and Shawn Ward with great music and comic Laurie Frank.



Harley-Davidson’s 110th anniversary celebration in Milwaukee also occurred on this Labor Day weekend and combined with the hot weather to negatively impact attendance at the Perry event. There were still plenty of people on hand to enjoy all the activities and entertainment provided by A.B.A.T.E. of Kansas. It’s always a great party and the work of all of the A.B.A.T.E. volunteers is very 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.

Stripe

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