The first poker run I ever rode in was quite a drive. We started at the H-D dealership in Glenwood Springs where I met John and shot the shit for a few minutes. We each decided to play 4 hands for $15 and see what we could win. Prizes ranged from a $100 gift certificate, to free car wash, etc., about 5 places. We didn’t get to the dealership until about 10:30 AM (yeah my fault, as I went to breakfast with Kim beforehand) and the run officially left at 10:00 AM. Whoopdie doo… I didn’t want to ride with a bunch of people anyway.
Our first stop was Dotsero, just past the Glenwood Canyon. Another ride down my favorte stretch of I-70 full of potholes, pock marks, patches, gravel and rocks. Yay. We made it in about half-an hour to draw our next card. A couple of guys sitting on a pickup tailgate with a card table and Harley-Davidson banner before them were the official first stop.
Next it was on to Rifle Gap. We drove up I-70 to exit 109 Canyon Creek Road where we rode US-6 up to New Castle, then up to the reservoir. It was a beautiful ride, and although thunderstorms were strewn about the mountain range, we remained dry. I’ve never been that far, always turning off at Rifle Falls in the past. Wed drove past the dam, and onto the truck route which brought us by a small bowling alley to draw our 3rd card.
Then it was off to Parachute. We stayed on US-6 out of Rifle, and drove under and over I-70 on a road that was a lot of fun. We ran through a few short rainshowers, then off to a local watering hole in downtown Parachute for our 4th card. The place was a typical biker bar complete with “Motorcycle Parking Only” sign out front. Inside, a 50 year old biker babe with dark curly hair and fully inked sleeves, and an eighteen year old scene chick with short brunette hair, facial piercings, and an inked backpiece. We got our next card. John was going for 2 pair.. aces and queens whereas I had absolutely nothing.
We ordered a beer a piece and the two chicks told us about the bar, the wall of shame and the meaning of the signed various US currency bills stapled across the roof. There were a couple thousand in various bills, all defaced by big black marker with signatures, tags, drawings, and the like. We shot the shit about 20 minutes or so. The chicks told us that the last bikes on the poker run were in about 30 mins before us. It was about 1:30PM and we had until 3:00PM to draw our last card with quite the ride back. So we were on our way.
The ride back was supposed to take place on I-70, but we figured why waste a great day. We rode back on US-6 as we came, enjoying the curves, straightaways, and country scenery. It took us a little longer, but we made it back to the Glenwood mall in time for our final cards.
I was expecting the hap-hazard tent with two Harley employees when we arived, little did I know it would be a festival. Thirty or more bikes spanned the parking lot, live music, commercial tents from H-D, Moto Guzzi, KTM, and more all with bikes on display. Custom choppers, food, and a bikini bike wash. We walked around a bit, then went for our last card. John drew a queen giving him two pair, aces and queens, and I drew nothing … giving me a hand of nothing. If it were a real game of poker and I hadn’t folded by now, I’d be an idiot losing what I deserve. Luckily it was all in the name of charity. We grabbed a couple of BBQ plates… 2 smoked chicken legs, pulled pork sandwich, beans and slaw for $6. Can’t beat that. Then we sat at the table next to a biker Vet that taunted us with jokes and funny gestures about the folks at hand. John’s wife, Kacie, stopped by on her break from the Harley shop to pay a visit, as we waited in anticipation to hear the band Arch Angel who was about to play.
Arch Angel consisted of about 5 kids, ranging in age from 12 to 15. The skies were darkening and filling with rain as they hurried through the sound check in anticipation of the coming storm. When they finally began to strum a few bars, it was if the heavens opened to drown them out. John and I walked Kacie to her vehicle, then mounted up for a stay at H-D to wait out the rain.
We hung out at the dealership for a good hour, browsing the store and shooting the shit with the employees. When the rain finally let up we decided weweren’t done yet, so went for a quick 4 mile buzz around the bridge and highway, to Dairy Queen where we each had a small snack for the road. All in all it was a great ride and fun day, even with the crappy weather.