Lone Star Rally 2012 Preview

October 30, 2012
Bryan Harley
Bryan Harley
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Our resident road warrior has earned his stripes covering the rally circuit, from riding the Black Hills of Sturgis to cruising Main Street in Daytona Beach. Whether it's chopped, bobbed, or bored, metric to 'Merican, he rides 'em all.

Cruising the strip was a popular attraction. The crowd was so thick that barely two motorcycles side-by-side could pass by at a time.
Motorcyclists by the thousands will soon be converging on the streets of The Strand in downtown Galveston for the 2012 Lone Star Rally.
Motorcycles began filling the streets of The Strand Friday afternoon in downtown Galveston.
From the architecture of the buildings to the spirit of the people, the Lone Star Rally has a Mardi Gras feel to it, including the beads!
The Lone Star Rally had a Mardi Gras spirit about it  including beads.

In a state where they claim to do everything big, you’d better go all-out if you’re going to throw a biker party. Organizers of the Lone Star Rally are taking that challenge to heart by amping up the appeal of the 2012 Lone Star Rally presented by Geico Motorcycle with guest appearances, free concerts and more top-notch bike shows than ever before.

It will be a madhouse when Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam arrives on The Strand. “Jax” will be busy this weekend as he’s slated to lead the “Outlaw Dave Ride,” an annual benefit drive, on Saturday morning. Hunnam’s doing a series of VIP “meet & greets” both Friday and Saturday but will be signing autographs for fans Friday night from 7:30 – 10:30 p.m. at the 21st Street Pier. We witnessed the crowd this guy drew at the Easyriders Show in Sacramento a while back and you’d have thought Elvis was in the building, so having “Jax” as a guest of honor is guaranteed to draw out even more people to this year’s rally.

Throwing down for a big free concert at the Seawall Friday night is a smart way to get people down to Galveston Island this weekend, too. Front man Bret Michaels of Poison fame will be rocking the Badlands FM Stage at 21st & Seawall Friday, November 2 at 7:30 p.m. Michaels has accumulated a huge fan base over the years and the fact that he rides will only appeal even more to the Lone Star Rally crowd.

This year’s LSR is ramping up its custom motorcycle presence with the addition of the first-ever Metric Bike Show as well as the First Annual 2012 Baddest Bagger in Texas Competition. All this in addition to Saturday’s big Lone Star All-Star Roundup Bike Show. The Metric Bike Show is scheduled for Friday on Pier 21 from 12 – 7 p.m. and is open to anything that ain’t ‘Merican. The other two shows will be held in conjunction Saturday again out at Pier 21 with Paul Yaffe’s Bagger Nation and American Bagger/Urban Bagger stepping up as presenters of the Baddest Bagger show. That means see some of the best customs in Texas should be representing at this year’s rally. The bike shows have some big-time backing this year as Red Bull Energy Drink has stepped up as a sponsor and will be providing a mobile DJ unit featuring all-star DJs at the shows spinning a mashup of rock, dance and R&B.

“The enthusiasm and attendance that we have experienced since introducing the world’s first “All Bagger” competition four years ago has surpassed our wildest dreams. I’m honored that a world class event like the Lone Star Rally would agree to be the host for the first annual, ‘Baddest Bagger in Texas’ competition. Pier 21 is the perfect location for the event and I can’t wait to see the incredible variety of custom baggers that attends our inaugural event on Saturday,” said Yaffe to Lone Star Rally organizers.

Colorful custom builder Rick Fairless meets some of his youngest fans at the Lone Star Rally. Miss Ratsmate 2010 sits on one of the winning sportbikes at the Rats Hole Custom Bike Show during the Lone Star Rally 2010.A thrash-metal band called The Hectic put on a jammin set at the outdoor Budweiser stage during the first night of the Lone Star Rally.
(L) Colorful custom bike builder Rick Fairless is one of the guests of honor at this year’s Lone Star Rally. (M) The Miss Lone Star Contest is sure to heat up the Budweiser Stage Saturday night. (R) Plenty of live music is on tap for the 2012 Lone Star Rally.

The Bagger Nation chieftain isn’t the only prominent custom bike builder who will be on hand at this year’s Lone Star Rally. Other recognizable names scheduled to appear include Eddie Trotta, Rick Fairless, The Martin Brothers, Brigitte Bourget, and John Shope. Michael Ballard and Angie of the Full Throttle Saloon will be setting up the Full Throttle Lot at 22nd and Harborside where they will be joined by Fairless of Strokers Dallas, Yaffe, Southern Metal Choppers, and RB Customs.

In between free concerts, checking out killer custom bikes, bumping into a celebrity or two and getting your party on in the bars along The Strand, be sure to check out the big head-to-head burnout competition, the Baker Smokedown Show Down hosted by Jay Allen or take part in the annual Poker Run presented by the Fallen Heroes Survivors Foundation. The Lone Star Rally also offers the fun and unique Promenade and Costume Contest, a good ol’ biker parade with everybody dressed up in outrageous outfits that runs right down the middle of The Strand Saturday afternoon. Later that night, costumes of another kind will take over the Budweiser Stage – Saengerfest for the finals of the Miss Lone Star Contest from 10 – 11 p.m. hosted by Outlaw Dave.

One of the inspirational stories coming out of this year’s Lone Star Rally is the newly restored Seawall. It took a pounding during Hurricane Ike and the area’s been out of commission since, but this year plenty of action has been

A true Texas longhorn is all smiles as he makes his way down The Strand during the Lone Star Rally.
The Biker Promenade runs through The Strand Saturday afternoon, the event guaranteed to bring out the smiles.
Riders dressed up in their best attire to take part in the Biker Promenade down The Strand.

booked at 21st and Seawall. This region knows too well the plight of people on the East Coast currently getting pounded by Hurricane Sandy and are testament to what perseverance and determination can do to restore an area after a natural calamity.

“Everyone from the rally staff to the customers and vendors really missed not having the Seawall area so we are all so thrilled to be back on the beautiful Gulf front. It’s such a perfect place for the big rig vendors and additional entertainment. There’s something for everyone now from The Strand to the Seawall. Galveston is an amazing location for a rally of this size and personality,” said Melissa Penland, co-owner of The Lone Star Rally.

A recent press release for the rally states The Badlands 94.7 FM Stage will present “Texas-style country acts performing live, non-stop, kick up your heels music all day into the night at the Seawall beer garden. There will also be plenty of leading motorcycle vendors set up on The Seawall including J&P Cycles, Rinehart, RC Components, Thunder Max, and more.

If that’s not enough things for you to do, then you can always book a fishing trip or a dolphin cruise around Historical Galveston Harbor because you are, after all, on an island in the Gulf of Mexico. While the poor East Coast is getting rocked by Sandy, AccuWeather is forecasting partly sunny skies and 80-degree temperatures for this weekend for Texas’ Gulf region. Motorcycle USA is picking up a 2013 Victory Cross Roads Classic in Austin Thursday for our ride down to Galveston and then will be doing daily reports from the Lone Star Rally this weekend, so check back for stories and pictures from the heart of the party. Hope to see many of you there at what is shaping up to be one of the biggest biker blowouts in Texas.