After a year of planning, the 2016 Rocky Point Bike Rally has come to a close. It was deemed a huge success by nearly everyone that attended. Being at the registration area for nearly 3 days, it was so wonderful to hear riders say, “This is one of the best rallies that we ever go to in either the USA or Mexico”. It is estimated that we had nearly 10,000 bikers from as far away as Newfoundland and Calgary, Canada as well as from Florida, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Washington, Minnesota, California, Nevada and Colorado plus a few others. The Mexican bikers came from Tijuana, Mexicali, San Luis Rio Colorado, Ensenada, La Paz, Caborca. Guaymas, Nogales, Agua Prieta, Hermosillo, Juarez and other cities in the states of Sinaloa, Sonora, Chihuahua states to the eastern side of Mexico as well as Baja California Sur.
The 25 volunteers at registration greeted them as they got off their bikes and came to register or just walked out amongst them to say “Welcome to our home”. Some of the volunteers go out onto the shoulder of the road and flag them in with a warm smile. The registration was a mere $20 USD or $350 pesos which included the official patch, pin, bandana and more. All the monies go to our 7 local charities to help sustain them through the year.
On Thursday the parking lot at Barklin Circle K was packed at all times and Friday was the same. The rally team would like to thank all of those that pre-registered and registered on site. It takes a great deal of work to make something of this magnitude in a city of about 50,000 people run smoothly. Those that registered were given a ticket for a free ice cold Tecate beer as well as fish tacos cooked by the Culinary School of Puerto Peñasco. The students did an outstanding job of keeping up with the hungry riders and received lots of praise. We also had Barb’s Dog Rescue bring some puppies out and one lucky little girl got adopted by Rick Busa. Her name is Sadie and after only having her for 2 nights, she has already found the comfort of the human bed.
On Friday morning the riders were treated to a trip to the Pinacate Biosphere lead by local tour guide Russ Black. This is a must see destination for anyone coming to Puerto Peñasco. There were 53 English speaking riders and 10 Spanish speaking riders and they filled the movie theatre. Everyone of them came back with a new respect for the Sonoran Desert. Friday at noon the Pirate Ship El Rey pulled out with over 100 people on board and this is about full capacity. Both events were included in the registration and are crowd pleasers. Saturday brought the City Parade and like in the old days, the beginning almost caught up to the end. The people of Rocky Point line the streets and the riders toss candy to the kids, which is always a hit.
On Saturday the Malecon which is on the water was packed wall to wall with not only riders but people checking the bikes. One wonders how much money is tied up in all those bikes, There were prizes for bikes in several categories and the Bike Show is always a huge draw. All the bars and restaurants were packed and the stores did a brisk business. The local charities cooked up some awesome carne asada tacos, Bloody Mary’s to die for and more.
The final event was a World Class Air Show both Saturday and Sunday, right in front of the Malecon and Playa Bonita Hotel and RV Park. There were 4 planes that are sponsored by Red Bull that do this stunt flying all over the world. The event was sponsored by the local OCV (Office of Conventions and Visitors) in conjunction with the State of Sonora and the Tourism office in Mexico City. It was indeed World Class! We watched from our roof top patio and stood there with our mouths hanging open for the nearly 30 minute show. Our thanks to the sponsors for giving the City of Puerto Peñasco such an event. Hopefully they will come back next year.
For the most part, everything went off without incident. The two main complaints were not enough rooms and the lines coming into Mexico not being staffed properly and long lines and wait times. Sadly these are two things out of the committee’s control.
We hope everyone had a wonderful time and a safe ride back to their homes and certainly look forward to seeing everyone next year. On a personal note, I would encourage everyone from both sides of the border to register as it is for a great cause. We know we only receive a fraction of those attending and would like to see it up to 30% next year. There was also a Toy Drive and it received not only a lot of toys but cash to go and buy more and these will be passed out on King’s Day in February to the children of the various communities who have very little.
Although we have not finished up adding the money that will be given to the 7 charities, we know we are around $20,000 USD.