SPARKS, Nev.- The 18th Annual Street Vibrations Fall Rally is underway and organizers are expecting tens of thousands of bikes in the area through the weekend. Chris Roche came from Honolulu to enjoy a few days on the mainland. He spent part of Wednesday afternoon touring the displays at John Ascuaga's Nugget in Sparks.
“I came for Street Vibrations to catch a little wind, drink a couple of beers, hang out with my friends and try to have a good time,” Roche said. “The weather is really great in this part of the country and I love hanging out with my buddies. I’m going to eat well and the wife’s at home in Honolulu so it’s all good.”
He was here for last year’s event and says the shooting involving rival motorcycle gangs inside the Nugget didn’t deter him from coming back.
“Everybody’s really polite here and most people keep to themselves,” Roche said. “There aren't a lot of people making trouble and you’re able to do your own thing. As long as you lock your bike for peace of mind I think that’s enough.”
The sponsor casinos have stepped up security and this years rally is a “no colors” event. John Ascuaga’s Nugget moved their event from Victorian Square to their fenced parking lot to be able to better enforce the new rules. Vendors along Chrome alley say it was a slower start to the rally than usual.
“A little bit slower than last year, we moved locations from the other side of the highway,” Patrick Garbin of J&P Cycles said. “It’s only Wednesday so it could just be people aren’t out here yet but it’s a little slow compared to the last couple of years.”
This years rally has events scheduled at multiple venues in Reno, Sparks and Virginia City and organizers expect more than 30,000 bikes to roll into town in the coming days.
“You’d be surprised at how many people come back every year to say hello and maybe buy a new set of tires,” David Lee Nissen of Performance Machine said. “It’s always a really friendly atmosphere and a really good time. You have gambling at the casinos, there’s good riding in the area it’s just a great place to have a rally.”