Archive for Thursday, September 14, 2006

Bikers, Eudora good match

Roar of machines at odds with harmony of event

September 14, 2006

It felt like the rumbling lasted for hours.

Walking down Main Street Sunday morning, I witnessed wave after wave of bikers roar through town. It was as if a leather tide flowed down Main Street in five-minute intervals.

They came in regular groups, and many stopped for a bite to eat or to wash away the road dust with a drink. Soon their bikes ---- at least 50 strong ---- lined the sides of the road.

Not a bad showing considering Sunday marked only the second year the Kansas City March of Dime's Bikers for Babies charity ride's route included Eudora.

People came as early as 9 a.m. to watch the chrome-plated parade. It was slow going at first, with a few straggling early birds whizzing by.

The bystanders waved to the bikers and the bikers waved back.

It seemed natural.

At about 10 a.m. the traffic picked up, and as more people stopped for a break ---- an impromptu festival began.

Cutter's Smokehouse and the Beta Sigma Phi provided food in the form of hamburgers and hot dogs.

As more bikers stopped, music filled the air.

Walking by the garage serving as DC Custom Crafted Cycle's main showroom, I heard the band Spindown play a spot-on version of Lynnyrd Skynnyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama."

The smell of the food, the constant thrum of passing bikes and music made the scene seem even more natural.

I won't say Eudora is a biker town. It's nowhere near the next Sturgis, S.D., but something about the event seemed to jive with the city.

The bikers were polite as they ate their food or sipped a beer.

Many went in the cycle shop to check out the newest attire or scope out co-owner Matt Montgomery's first-ever custom made bike ---- a yellow roadster given the heavy metal moniker "Gargoyle edition."

Some bikers were just themselves.

Keith Herold hung out outside the bike shop chatting. On his black leather jacket he had patches that tagged him as a Christian biker and on his back he had the simply stated patch "Crashing sucks."

Other bikers talked about the ride itself ---- which helps raise money for terminally ill babies.

John Bilderbacker said he makes the run annually.

"It's just a good ride for a good cause," he said.

As the bikers got a taste for Eudora, locals got a taste for the riders and the bikes.

Choppers, roadsters and rice burners alike filled the road. American flags and other patriotic decals were common both among the bikes and the observers.

Members of the Eudora City Fire Department were on hand for first aid, and watched as the waves of bikes passed.

Eudora volunteer firefighter Jim Clarke kept an eye out for the Harley Davidson firefighter edition.

Eudora Fire Chief Randy Ates was just glad he didn't get any serious calls.

Although the ride withstood several intermittent showers, Eudora tapped into commercial success stemming from a good cause with the Bikers for Babies run.

The ride has received the constant support of the Eudora City Council, and it isn't a stretch to imagine the rumbling starting again in about a year.

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