2011 Lone Star Rally. 10 Years and Nearly a Half Million Strong.

In the US where everything is shrinking except the size of our national debt, the November 3-6 Lone Star Rally in Galveston Texas gathered a crowd close to half a million bikers. An outstanding attendance ranking the 4-day event the 3rd largest in the country, almost on par with the Sturgis and Daytona Rallies! At a time when so many rallies have disappeared or are producing dwindling attendance numbers since 2006, how is it possible that a weekend long rally only 10 years old attract so many enthusiasts? I asked to observers and happy participants and vendors why they think the Lone Star Rally is such a success.

First the city location, its warm and very pleasant temperatures at this time of the year, its very appealing downtown neighborhood of historic buildings known as The Strand, and a relatively young population (average age is 36) with a great sense of tourism and impeccable hospitality. But organizing a perfect rally pleasing both bikers, vendors and residents requires much more than this. A production team able to mirror the production of a blockbuster Broadway musical. `There are many moving parts to this well oiled machine called the Lone Star Rally and lots of details have to be taken care of to pull off such victorious event in a mere single weekend.

Concentrated mostly on the Strand, Harborside and Pier 21, it was a motorcycle-themed Mardi-Gras style party with beads tossed, smiling faces, laughter and dancing in the streets. What makes the Lone Star Rally so very unique is its celebratory nature rooted in both the rally producers’ goal to present a well rounded and entertaining event and the City of Galveston’s welcoming embrace. And this year again the event was well rounded with a treat for everyone. Television stars Tommy “Chibs” Flanagan and Ryan “Opie” Hurst signed autographs for eager fans lined up blocks to meet the Sons of Anarchy television characters. Michael Ballard and Angie of Full Throttle Saloon and TruTV show also greeted a steady stream of admirers. The bike builders’ lot showcased the edgy creations of Rick Fairless, the Martin Bros., Southern Metal Choppers and Bourget Bikes, among others, who were onsite to meet patrons. Fine artist, David Uhl, with illustrator, Danial James, set up an impressive Uhl Studio gallery of high end apparel and fine art at the D’Vine Wine courtyard on the Strand. Pinstriping artist Mark Brodie joined them. Yamaha and Can-Am held demo rides and Progressive Motorcycles created a carnival gaming area just off the Strand. A huge variety of quality merchandisers and food hawkers lined several streets throughout the rally. For the first time there was also  a Star Roundup bike show with over one hundred bike entrants with judging by motorcycle icons Rick Fairless, Jody and Dave Perewitz, and Paul Yaffe, including other experts. “Man, there were some 2 of 3 really bad ass bikes in the show. It was awesome and I’ll be back to judge it again next year,” said Rick Fairless.

Co-produced by Rick “Dakota” Kempf of Motorcycle Cowboys, enthusiasts packed Pier 21 to check out the coolest bikes of all makes and models, including sport bikes and radical backyard builds. “This was one of the best bike shows I’d ever judged. It was excellent. Very well organized and fun,” said judge Puppy, an independent bike builder and Sturgis rally character. Jay Allen, founder of the legendary Broken Spoke Saloon, was the consummate emcee for the rally. He entertained like a one man show hosting the bike show and events and then engaging as master of ceremony at two stages. Time lined to the minute, he dashed from events to stages sometimes arriving on his FXR race bike sponsored by S&S Cycles and Baker Drive Train and rocking a tire burn out to rousing ovation. At the pier stage, concert guests Allen and Jody Perewitz, daughter of celebrity bike builder Dave Perewitz and fastest woman on a V-Twin at the Bonneville Salt Flats, went head-to-head in a burnout, which served as a high octane welcome to the rock group Buck Cherry. The Geico Bike-Giveaway was comedy for the vast crowds when Allen dialed the winner’s home number live to announce the good fortune earned from a raffle pick, and the lady who answered kept hanging up thinking it was a prank call. G.J. Portida of the Dallas area was the lucky winner of a Harley-Davidson Fatboy. He was tracked down far from home lounging in his hotel after a long rally day.

What’s a rally without honoring the military and first responders? Organized by Carrie Rep of R&R Promotions, the Lone Star Rally Freedom Ride attracted several hundred riders. Participants were treated to a country rock concert by motorcycle enthusiast and musician, Jared Blake, finalist on NBC TV’s The Voice, at the Jagermeister stage. Proceeds from the ride benefited Soldiers Angels. Rally superstars Farrell Webber, Ryan Rolando, Big Engine and Jasmine Cain rocked the Budweiser and Jagermeister Stages all day into the night. Houston act Josh Fuller and Dirt & Diesel kept the crowds dancing all the way to the last minute of rally. Other local musicians that appeared were Dimitri’s Rail, Dun Ville, Staci’s Edge, Zach Tate and O.G.R.E., which stands for Older Guys Rocking Excessively and rock excessively they did.

Appropriate to the Lone Star theme, Kolby Gray, a rising country star from Nashville, floored the Strand crowds with an acoustic version of his song, “Texas.” The velvety voice twenty-one-year old also opened for Marshall Tucker and Fuel on Friday night, and the Fabulous Thunderbirds and Buck Cherry on Saturday at a concert on the pier, an event presented by another group, separate from the Lone Star Rally.

Motorcyclists of every race, creed and club came together to celebrate ten years of the Lone Star Rally and pay homage to the motorcycle lifestyle. “From the one percenters to the first timers, all were in harmony. Everyone was respectful to one another. It was righteous and I was very impressed,” added Allen, now in his third year as host of the rally and a veteran motorcycle event producer. Accommodating and gracious certainly described the disposition of both the police department and fire department at the Lone Star Rally. “The secret ingredient to a rally’s success is to embrace it and that is what the City of Galveston does,” said Allen.

The Lone Star Rally producers recently renewed their contract for several more years and will expand back to the Seawall for 2012, providing opportunity for large manufacturers and more vendors. “The City of Galveston, the police, the fire department, the council, the mayor, and all city workers involved to make this rally work as efficiently as possible, including the residents and local businesses, are to be thoroughly thanked and acknowledged. The incredible support of this wonderful city truly contributed to the unprecedented success of this year’s rally.” said Lone Star Rally co-owner and producer Melissa Penland. “Great people, great times. What an outstanding gathering for our island,” commented Galveston Police Chief, Henry Porretto. Lone Star Rally. (Images by Bart Alan and Carrie Repp)

29 Responses to “2011 Lone Star Rally. 10 Years and Nearly a Half Million Strong.”

  1. 1 bigalyts Nov 11th, 2011 at 9:39 am

    With all the Hoopla and action and the Industry events, How come Cyril wasn’t there?

  2. 2 Henry Nov 11th, 2011 at 9:41 am

    I was there and it was great.

  3. 3 DUHL Nov 11th, 2011 at 10:01 am

    I have to say, In all my years of attending these events, I have NEVER seen anything quite as impressive as this all packed into one weekend and one town and really one street. Great job to the promoters,venders and especially the police for letting it unfold the way it did. I will be back

  4. 4 Rider2 Nov 11th, 2011 at 10:49 am

    I cannot stop looking at that picture of this guy with a SOA full back tattoo….. People are soooo stupid.

  5. 5 Rick Peyton Nov 11th, 2011 at 10:54 am

    A fucking SOA tattoo? Really?

  6. 6 Matt Nov 11th, 2011 at 11:11 am

    Rick I hope someday somebody gives him the “fire or blade” ultimatum =).

  7. 7 Tom Nov 11th, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    Looks like another Son’ Of Bundy getting a SOA tattoo.

  8. 8 burnout Nov 11th, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    This rally is on my list. That tattoo………………….tsk tsk. peace

  9. 9 Eric Maurer Nov 11th, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    holy crap on a cracker….. a Sons of Anarchy back peice. WOW…. wonder if fhe is the president of his ummm….. chapter?

    Looks to me like HOG is changing its organization name to SOA cuz I GUARENTEE this dude is a extreme HOG member.

    To quote Brian Fellow….. THAT’S CRAZY!

  10. 10 KAOS Nov 11th, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    Friends don’t let Friends get SOA tattoos. You see what Tequila will do to you.

  11. 11 666 Nov 11th, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    SOA full back tat ????? They really do things bigger in Texas !!!!
    What an idiot

  12. 12 John Y Nov 11th, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    And I thought the SAOa t-shirts were lame!!!

  13. 13 Q-Ball Nov 11th, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    I’ve seen a full set of colors with SOA on the back. Some folks must have a death wish.

  14. 14 Wiz Nov 12th, 2011 at 4:23 am

    Yup, the SOA tat is pretty lame. But, on a different note, the tall ship in the harbor is named “The Elissa”. My daughters name is “Alyssa”. And guess what our last name is….? STRAND!!!! Do ya see a connection anywhere, perhaps? Yuk-Yuk!!! Wiz

  15. 15 Doug. Sick boy Nov 12th, 2011 at 7:33 am

    It was our first time at the rally and we couldn’t be happier. Great people, great promoter!

  16. 16 Omar Nov 12th, 2011 at 10:50 am

    The secret that makes the rally grow every year is the rally is free! Why don’t all the other cities get that. Provide the space, charge the vendors and open it up to everyone free. They will show up and spend, spend, spend! The vendors and the city wins mo money, mo money, mo money!

  17. 17 nicker Nov 12th, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    “….Son of Bundy…”

    Good one Tom………… LOL …… 🙂

    On the other hand if permanently inking up your back with a TV show logo is any indication of how lame the “contemporary biker” scene has gotten, it may be time to take up Golf.

    And so, it could be that there aren’t any more rugged individuals left to take this country into the future.
    Simply too many whiners wanting to be taken care of and protected from Reality……… 🙁


  18. 18 Kirk Perry Nov 13th, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    How about “Son of the Bong-pipe”. 🙂

    Or “Sons of Marijuana” ….. the scythes of predator Christian’s? Because we can see through your bullshit?
    That has a nice ring to it. 🙂

  19. 19 roscoe Nov 13th, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    great post!

  20. 20 Jeff Nicklus Nov 13th, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    nicker …… exactly correct! Good comment.

    Over & Out,


  21. 21 raga Nov 13th, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    please don’t tell me that fool actually got that ridiculous thing tattooed on his back-permanently!

    we can only hope he is from some other country and not an american


  22. 22 reyn mansson Nov 14th, 2011 at 8:49 am

    I was at the first Lone Star Rally in Rosenberg, TX – this is fantastic growth for any event. Now with two major events in Texas [Republic of Texas in Austin & Lone Star] and dozens of mid-sized events Texas may have become the leader in motorcycle events.

  23. 23 Jasmine Cain Nov 14th, 2011 at 9:11 am

    This was my 2nd time in Galveston and this year blew last year out of the water! The weather was beautiful and the shows were packed!

  24. 24 Rick Peyton Nov 14th, 2011 at 9:39 am

    Glad I’m not alone with my SOA thoughts. Rally does look cool though. Will have to get my ass down there one day. I haven’t been to Galveston in over 25 years.

  25. 25 Dakota Nov 14th, 2011 at 10:41 am

    My first time to the rally…. had a great time hangin with friends and seeing everyone that came out to Texas…. quite possibaly my new fav state (or country even……)

    We will definatly be back next year as well as our good friends in the bands that keep it rockin!

    Hope everyone had a good time at the bike show and cant wait till next year ….. its always bigger in Texas.

  26. 26 Jody Perewitz Nov 14th, 2011 at 11:54 am

    Lonestar Rally is definitely one of my favorites!! The promotors do a great job organizing this event! Can’t wait to go back to TX.

  27. 27 Dr, Becky Larson Nov 14th, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    This was our fifth year to make the Rally and I think it was the best. The bike show was twice no three times the size of the one last year and really a great one. I like the idea of expanding back to the seawall. Keep up the good work. Dr. Becky

  28. 28 Dakota Nov 15th, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    Jody – It was great havin ya there, we need to hang out more often…. you rock!

    Dr Becky – Thanks on the respect for the show. Everyone that was there was great! I have never been to Texas before but it is definatly one of my favorate places now… Everyone makes ya feel like home and welcomes ya right in….Long Live Texas!

  29. 29 Bart Mitchell Nov 21st, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    Great Rally, one of the best I attended all year. Police kept a low profile, but where present. Photo credits should read Bart Alan Photography…Bart Mitchell is the photographer.

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Cyril Huze