With the Reno Air Races recovering after a safe show this year, Street Vibrations is looking to do the same. Event producer Randy Burke says last year's gunfight between two motorcycle gangs that left a Hells Angels leader dead, did take away from Street Vibrations..."Sparks did choose to shorten the event by a day and a half, and we've respected that."
But they don't think it will mean fewer riders this year. Street Vibrations site manager Scott Bergstrom told us, "Honestly, I've had more people say they want to come up, because they know we're going to take the measures to make it safe and be a safe environment for families and motorcycle riders."
One measure came from police, who asked them to move from Victorian Avenue to private land. This year you'll find the Sparks site in the parking lot west of the Nugget parking garage. It will be fenced off: bikers not allowed if they're wearing colors. As Randy put it, "They won't be invited into the property here in Sparks."
The precautions are important, especially for a community like ours so dependent upon tourism…protecting our visitors is vital for our economy. The event is slowly coming back. So far, only about half of the VIP participants have registered. Randy says that's because motorcyclists in Oregon, California and elsewhere out of town are waiting to see the latest weather forecasts. As he put it, "If the weather looks good, they'll jump on their bikes and they'll get here. They're waiting for the sign, but they got it today."
With that good weather forecast, Randy expects at least 35,000 motorcyclists revving their engines here. He told us, "It's going to start off with a purr on Wednesday and it will end up with a roar on Saturday." What's new this year? Free shuttles…for bikers, going from downtown Sparks to downtown Reno and back again.
There is a big financial interest in this event. Along with the many visitors are at least 250 vendors. Organizers say it's the 4th largest motorcycle event in the nation. Their survey reports that half of the visitors have an income of $71,000 or more, and better yet they are risk takers, which makes them ideal gamblers.
-written by John Potter
To see a complete Street Vibrations Fall Rally schedule and a detailed program, click the link below. They have apps now available for Iphones and Ipads here too: