Wind and Fire Motorcycle Club ******* Southern Rally

What a party! The 4th Annual WFMC Southern Rally was held June 3rd at Hanover’s in Pflugerville, Texas. Over a hundred members, associates and friends celebrated Texas style.

We actually started our weekend Friday afternoon with a meet and greet at Jackalope’s on historic Sixth Street in Austin. Texas members from Irving, Dallas, Houston, Mid-Cities, Cen-Tex, Lone Star and Los Bomberos greeted out-of-state members from Central-Sierra California: John and Carol Robbins, J.W. Ward, Mike and Mary Walker, Mark and Becky Wahlberg, Rick and Kathy Self, Paul Wilkins, Ken Gilbert and Ed Lake. Special thanks to Joey Ehrenberg from Great Lakes Chapter #93, who has made our rally every year! Then there’s Lee from Missouri. We all shared a cold beer, hot food and some good stories.

Dallas gals Judy, Jennifer, Cindy and Mindy and Irving gal Erlene sent a Helldorado challenge to the California gals, Carol, Mary, Becky and Kathy. They stepped up to the plate, then challenged Houston gals Susan, Dawn and Marlie. By the time the deed was done, after 14 Helldorado’s all around, Houston ruled by downing the last. (It should be noted that Dallas did buy one of the Houston drinks, and Judy and Mindy drank on both Houston and Dallas teams, but it’s not counted against them.) Other helpful team members included Julia, Kitty and Nita from Irving and Karen of Lone Star. Way to go, ladies. Then there was Lee from Missouri. (Don’t ask)

WFMC Southern Rally coincides with the Republic of Texas (ROT) Rally, so we stayed on Sixth Street to watch the parade of bikes that come from the rally site on Friday night. After we made our way back to the host hotel, we sat out on the grass with the Central-Sierra group and heard some California tales about the long, hot ride into Austin. Almost Texas-tall tales. By the way, we are in our third year of a drought, so parts of Texas are not quite as purdy as usual, Mary.

Saturday morning some of our members ran the rally ride out west to Dripping Springs and Marble Falls, then back east to Pflugerville. Other members rode to the ROT at the Travis County Expo Center to see the great custom bikes and vendors then out to Hanover’s. Irving President Rebel Burkhalter opened the rally by welcoming all the members, especially the long distance travelers. He introduced the rally board members and contributors: Mike Dorety, Ron Snyder, Karl Schaeffer, Gary Lovell, Bruce Reibly and Ron Hyde.

Rebel kept the fun going with awards for Longest Distance Ride, Oldest Rider and Best Hard Luck Story. California member Rick Self won for longest distance, over 1100 miles to Austin. California member J.W. Ward won for oldest rider at 67 years. Central-Sierra almost cleaned up on awards, with Carol Robbins vying for best hard luck story. However, Los Bomberos member Johnny Quarles won for a story that was hard to believe. Only in Texas could a biker literally get s-faced just crossing a cattle guard. It’s one of those stories you have to hear in person….. in a Texas accent.

John Robbins took the stage and thanked all the members for their attendance and stated that the Texas chapters probably raised more for charity than any other state, with special recognition to Houston’s run that raised $5600 and the Dallas/Irving run that raised almost $25,000. That sounds like a challenge.

After lots of loud music, talk and laughter, everyone got together for the “big” picture on the stage out back with a good show of rockers. Rebel held the party together at Hanover’s while some of us took the short ride to Austin.

Back at the ROT rally, WFMC President John Robbins and Dallas President Richard Jolly presented the 2006 Honorary Member Award to Rick Fairless. JR gave him the Wind & Fire colors and rocker that read “15th Honorary Member”.

Rick has been an active supporter Wind & Fire Dallas and Irving chapters, firemen in general and the Parkland Burn Camp Run. He has led the parade of bikes through downtown Dallas to Strokers Icehouse. He is a well known custom bike builder and has been featured on Discovery TV Biker Build-off shows. His current TV show is Texas Hardtails on the Speed Channel.

We took lots of pictures and Rick signed posters for us. Then we headed for some shade from the 96 degree heat. We found some water and a cool seat in the Austin Expo Center Arena. Along the way Joey from Great Lakes and Lee from Missouri found a TV crew who interviewed them. They proudly showed the WFMC colors. Lee, from Missouri, was also wearing a cardboard box hat.

The Southern Rally was over and we thank all the members who made the ride. Especially those who came from out-of-state. Especially our California friends.

Ya’ll come back next year!