Correspondent: By Amy Huddleston – Times-News writer | Posted: Saturday, July 10, 2010 1:15 am
The bikes started to roar into Murtaugh Lake Park late Friday afternoon for the fifth annual Rally in the Valley.
More than 500 people are expected to attend the three-day event hosted by the Snake River Bros, a nonprofit dedicated to raising money to help children and families in need of medical assistance. Roger Bolton, Harley-Davidson aficionado and one of the group’s founding members, said the rally is the nonprofit’s biggest fundraiser of the year. Last year $22,000 was raised for their cause. Bolton expects to raise as much through this year’s event, which continues through Sunday.
Friday’s events were set to start after a larger crowd showed up. A biker rodeo, tattoo contest and live music were scheduled to make it a lively night for those sporting leather vests and colorful tattoos. A tour of the Magic Valley was planned for Saturday morning with the finals rodeo following in the evening. The event attracted people from as far as Texas and Salt Lake City.
Larry Herro started touring motorcycle rallies as a vendor in 1966 and said he’s only missed two of the annual rallies in Sturgis, S.D., though this was his first trip to Rally in the Valley. His wife, Lee Annette Herro, installs LED lights on bikes and has even picked up the nickname, “the queen of lights” from Willie G. Davidson, senior vice president of Harley-Davidson Motor Co.
“I only missed one of the rallies because I was in the Army and they couldn’t figure out how to make it emergency leave,” Herro said. “The rallies are always fun — especially the rodeos.”
The couple travel around the U.S. in their RV to as many rallies as they can before settling down for three months in their home in Buckholts, Texas.
While the bikers waited for the night to get started, impromptu competitions started on the grass. The “slow ride” competition started as practice for the rodeo but continued as more participants bellowed into the ring. Contestants were expected to go as slow as possible without putting their feet down to steady them. It was just the start to more competitions ranging from a “plank ride” to the much anticipated “weenie” bite — a competition that requires the biker to ride slowly under a hot dog dangling from a string, while his partner stands up and tries to bite the sausage as close to the string as possible.Krislynn Moser, 18, has attended the event for the last four years and said it gets better every time. “There are always new people and new ideas,” she said. “Everybody works together. We’re like a big happy family.”