It’s back. The ROT (Republic of Texas) Rally party in downtown Austin is tomorrow night. Motorcycles by the tens of thousands. Bands playing in the middle of Congress Avenue and Sixth Street. Road closures, traffic jams, wonderfully packed hotels, restaurants and bars. Lots of people come to stroll around and listen to music and see the bikes and bikers. It’s a crazy, crowded, chaotic scene. There are quite a few things that I love about it:
- We are always invited to a nice rooftop party at The Iron Cactus, and get to observe the parade below as it gets started and the bikes all roll in.
- We get to see people that we often only see once a year. Since the years are getting shorter, it’s as if hardly any time at all has passed.
- We have developed a routine over the years, and we always end up being the last ones to leave Manuel’s Restaurant. I guess that makes it a tradition.
- I love walking back to our room and spending the night in a hotel downtown when we’ve had enough.
- Mostly, I love the diversity of bikes, bikers and biker groups.
- There are avid enthusiasts like ourselves. Gay Pride bikers. Bikers for Jesus. Mother Hen bikers. Buddhist bikers. Viet Nam Veteran bikers. Breast cancer support riders. I know that he roughest looking among them do charity rides for a causes close to their hearts. We all ride for the same reason – the pure pleasure of the journey.
Years ago we went to the Exposition Center where the rally itself was being held. It was hot, (mantra: it’s always hot during ROT) it had rained and there was mud everywhere. And in that mud, there were some very crazy goings-on. People misbehaving in spectacular ways. My friend Diane said she thought they should rename it “The Rotten Rally.” Every year I think of that and chuckle as I head out to meet our friends and have a great night. Watch for motorcycles, they’re everywhere! XO Donna