En route to Sturgis, custom bikes, celebrity builders rally at CasaBlanca

Bikers Against Bullies USA - Sturgis
The motorcycle belonging to Fred "Flash" Van de Perre sports a custom paint job matching the colors, catchphrases and logo of the Bikers Against Bullies USA charity during the first stop of the "Ride to the 75th" event held at the CasaBlanca Resort and Casino, Mesquite, Nevada, July 25, 2015 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

MESQUITE, Nev. – Motorcycle parking only. That was the sign, fittingly displayed in the valet area of the CasaBlanca Resort and Casino, 950 W. Mesquite Boulevard in Mesquite, Nevada, Saturday evening as a large contingent of bike enthusiasts, celebrity bike builders and industry leaders rolled up to their first stop in the 2,400-mile tour known as the “Ride to the 75th.”

"Ride to the 75th" tour makes first stop at the CasaBlanca Resort and Casino, Mesquite, Nevada, July 25, 2015 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News
“Ride to the 75th” tour makes first stop at the CasaBlanca Resort and Casino, Mesquite, Nevada, July 25, 2015 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

The tour, which began in Phoenix, Arizona, Saturday morning will culminate in Sturgis, South Dakota, Friday where motorcycle fanatics will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Along the way, participants of the ride will be raising funds for three charities; Lifescape Children’s Care, Youth and Family Services and Bikers Against Bullies USA.

Bikers Against Bullies USA is a nonprofit anti-bullying awareness group whose mission, according to the group’s Web page, is to educate children and adults on the benefits of living in a society of mutual respect combined with self-empowerment.

The Bikers Against Bullies USA group acted as the host of the ride, road captain and Bikers Against Bullies USA member Ken “Jefe” Hughes said.

It had been a long hot day for the riders by the time they pulled up and parked their bikes against the backdrop of the CasaBlanca’s signature fountain. Over $1 million worth of custom bikes parked show-style for visitors to see.

Turn the Page rocks the CasaBlanca Showroom, Mesquite, Nevada, July 25, 2015 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News
The Sam Morrison Band presents their Bob Seger tribute show “Turn the Page” at the CasaBlanca Showroom, Mesquite, Nevada, July 25, 2015 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

The bikes as well as the promise of meeting their owners drew crowds of people who came to marvel at the custom paint jobs, fancy rims and high tech gear on the motorcycles bound for the ultimate biker rally.

Members of the St. George chapter of Bikers Against Child Abuse rode down from St. George to see the bikes, meet some of the builders including Paul Yaffe, a leader in the industry, and enjoy a free concert.

“It is always fun to look at pretty bikes,” St. George B.A.C.A. president, Twist, said.

"Ride to the 75th" tour makes first stop at the CasaBlanca Resort and Casino, Mesquite, Nevada, July 25, 2015 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News
“Ride to the 75th” tour makes first stop at the CasaBlanca Resort and Casino, Mesquite, Nevada, July 25, 2015 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

As part of the CasaBlanca stop, a free meet-and-greet and concert by the Sam Morrison Band, a Bob Seger tribute band and show, was held in the CasaBlanca showroom where ride participants mingled with fans and guests, signed autographs and collected donations for their charitable causes.

Each of the participating riders contributed $1,000 of their own money to join the ride and each of the sponsor venue stops along the tour pledged money to the fundraising efforts such that, by Saturday night, over $50,000 had been raised,  Hughes, said.

One hundred percent of the money raised goes to the children, Bikers Against Bullies USA founder Fred “Flash” Van de Perre said.

As the night wore on it was standing room only as Van de Perre entertained the crowd, gave away prizes and prepared for the concert.

“It does not suck to be us today,” Van de Perre said.

The ride continues Sunday through Friday with stops in Salt Lake City; Boise and Lewiston, Idaho; Missoula and Billings, Montana; and, finally, Sturgis, South Dakota.

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Resources

Bikers Against Bullies USA | Website

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Email: hreina@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

 

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