Archive for Thursday, November 2, 2006

Biker rally pitched to council

November 2, 2006

After two years of ushering the Kansas City March of Dimes Bikers for Babies charity ride through downtown Eudora, DC Custom Crafted Cycles owners Matt Montgomery and Tina Lencioni are revving their engines on a new plan.

Montgomery and Lencioni approached the Eudora City Council Oct. 23 with the possibility of organizing a full-scale biker rally next September.

"The main thing is just the money this could mean for the city," Montgomery said.

The couple brought an information packet to the council members outlining what they would eventually need to get the rally off the ground. Their requests included closure of Main Street during a Friday and Saturday stretch and the possibility of special liquor licenses and a burnout pit.

Montgomery assured the council the event would be developed properly.

"We are going to form an LLC, so it's professionally insured and it's going to be professional ---- a top-notch deal, not just thrown together," Montgomery said.

Montgomery, Lencioni and a third partner will pitch the rally to major companies like Harley Davidson and Big Dog Motorcycles.

Big corporate sponsorship could make the rally be a legitimate stop for bikers across the country, Montgomery said.

"Hopefully, it'll make it a class act and something that is very positive," Montgomery said.

The benefit wouldn't be localized to just Eudora, he said.

"We'd like to see everyone benefit from it, not only us," Montgomery said. "I think this something that could really bring some good business to town. For the small businesses here that struggle every day to stay above water, it could really make an impact."

In addition to citing the possible economic benefits of the rally, Montgomery assured the council the stereotypical image of the biker has changed.

"Years ago, bikers had a bad reputation. Now, 90 percent of them are college graduates earning $100,000 a year," Montgomery said. "It has changed from the people who were wild and crazy. There are still a percentage of those who are that way, but not like it used to be."

Like Bikers for Babies, the rally would have a definite charity element, Montgomery said.

To help provide context, Montgomery provided the council with examples of larger biker rallies so they could start troubleshooting any obvious issues early on.

"It's going to take time, and we just want to keep going until we get some more feedback," Montgomery said. Montgomery said he wants to get questions as soon as possible so he could start working on answers.

City Administrator Cheryl Beatty commended Montgomery and Lencioni for trying to do something for the city.

"We might be gluttons for punishment. We already work a million hours and this adds to it," Montgomery said.

Montgomery's plan thus far garnered council support.

"There's a lot of logistics to work out but you get my support on it," councilman Bill Whitten said. "I think it's a great idea."

Montgomery said he plans to bring more information about the rally back to the council at a future meeting.

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