From speeding Las Vegas attraction 'The Globe of Death' to large tents filled with authentic biker gear, hundreds of people flocked to the Spring Rally in downtown Sparks. Live musical entertainment played throughout the day before bringing things inside the Nugget Celebrity Showroom for headliners The Alan Parson’s Project.
Dale Wells and his crew from Pyrotexxx LED’s have come to Street Vibrations for about eight years, offering installation of LED lights helping bring more color and flare to motorcycles. Wells said the lights offer a combination of “bling bling” and safety so people “can see the bikes better at night.”
Wells said he has spent time at both Spring and Fall rallies and said the two come with some differences.
“I think in the spring we see a lot of the local folks,” Wells said. “Then in the fall we get folks from California, Oregon and sometimes Canada. You see a little bit more mixture of people coming from a further distance.”
Wells doesn’t mind the mix of company at his booth and he always looks forward to having people come up to talk. Whether the conversation is about his lights, or about anything in genera,l he said mingling with the crowd is the best part of the event.
“The think the best part is just the interaction with the people who come out,” Wells said. “I meet great people out here and even though they come up from all over the place we have folks here in Reno that we have done work on their bikes and they are bringing us lunch today to feed us. It is really great to meet these people.
“I also get a chance to talk to a lot of vets. I am still in the Army Reserve myself and I am a retired peace officer, so I can talk to law enforcement people as well.”
Positive interaction with potential customers and motorcycle enthusiasts was a sentiment shared by custom pinstripe artist Josh, who goes by Striper Josh, of Millers Chop Shop. Striper Josh said being able to be out in the community and not stuck inside the garage is one his family’s business has enjoyed for many years.
“So often we are stuck in the garage and building these projects,” he said, “And we don’t get the exposure to all these people. So that is why it is so important to us to make it out to these events and get the traffic in front of our booth and let people know we are here. It is good to get out here, shake hands and hear from the people what they think about what we have going.”
Millers Chop Shop was stationed in Sun Valley for 25 years until recently it made a move to Sparks and is now stationed near Summit Racing on Watson Way. Striper Josh said the major difference he sees in the spring and fall rallies is the type of crowds that attend.
“The difference I would say in the two shows is the rowdiness of the crowd,” he said. “I would say in the Fall Rally, the people are here to party a little bit more. These guys (Spring Rally visitors) just come in to ride and shop and stuff like that. The fall crowd seems to party a little bit more.”
While most vendors and booths were set up to bring in business, some were simply there for informational and assistance purposes. Jim Kelley, of the Reno-Sparks Chapter of the Christian Motorcyclists Association, said the ministry group has been involved in Street Vibrations since its inception. He said the group’s relationship with the event’s promoter, Randy Burke, president of Roadshows Inc., has blossomed during the years and now the group plays a vital role throughout the weekend.
“We have helped him do the poker stops and we also help, if a biker goes down, one of our group goes to the hospital with them,” Kelley said. “It started out with us buying a booth and when we started running the poker stops for (Burke) he doesn't have to worry about it. It takes the pressure off and the integrity is not questioned, and Randy knows it. We will get together and score the sheets, report them to Randy. That’s what we do.”
The Street Vibrations Spring Rally was contained to the Nugget’s west parking lot for the first time since the Spring Rally’s beginning. The fencing and “no colors” policy set up by the Nugget helped support the family aspect of the event, and brought some fringe benefits for vendors.
“It seems to me that it is kind of helping people find us,” Striper Josh said, adding that Millers Chop Shop usually sets up in downtown Reno. “The people that come expecting to see us with everything being more concentrated like this is making it easier for those people.”
Wells agreed that business was aided being housed inside the fences of the Nugget. He felt the exposure and funneling of visitors boosted the amount of people stopping by.
“I find, as far as business goes, we get a lot more traffic,” Wells said of his Pyrotexxx LED’s booth. “Based on the fact when we were on the other side of the freeway a lot of people set their day based on if they are going on a run or seeing a concert, so they usually missed us. But now that they have set it all in the confined area, we get to see everybody.
“For myself, and the rest of the vendors out here, it is all about the numbers. The more people you make contact with, the better chances you have for your product to be fruitful for you and your clientele.”