Laughlin River Run Rides
Wednesday, 24 April
We (myself, my son Jerry and daughter Wendy) leave Newbury Park for Laughlin at about 9:00am, the sky is very overcast and I'm thinking . . . could mean rain. I'm driving the SUV and towing my bike. We like the safety net of a trailer.
As we hit Pearblossom Hwy it starts to rain . . . should have been a sign. Trying to stay in front of the storm, so we don't stop to switch bikes on the trailer in Victorville and Wendy keeps riding. We gas up in Ludlow and 2 miles later, the trailer gets a flat . . . followed by 22 miles of very slow single lane riding in a construction zone.
When we arrive at Harrah's, we notice a very large number of Mongols hanging out . . . unusual to see gang colors in this number staying at Harrah's. We shrug it off.
Thursday, 25 April
8:00am - Well the bikes look like they were in a mud fight; so off to the bike wash then a ride to Kingman, AR. . . . helmet free.
Friday, 26 April
Saturday, 27 April
2:15am - I wake up to sirens, not that unusual . . . but this is a lot of sirens. I go into the hall and look out the window facing the front of the hotel and there are cops everywhere. A dozen guys spread-eagle on the ground with shotguns at their heads. I go back in the room to let Wendy and Jerry know what was happening . . . so Wendy decides to take a look and is confronted in the hall by a Swat team in fatigues with an AK-47 pointed at her. She was firmly told to get back in her room, she did.
6:00am - over the room PA, we are
told that there was an incident in the casino and the hotel was in
lockdown. Several more of the same over the next several hours. No
coffee, no food, no maid service, no nothing.
The incident was a running gun battle and knife fight between the Hell's Angles and the Mongols . . . 70 or so. Three dead, 10 taken to hospitals, scores arrested.
10:30am - we are allowed to leave the hotel, but only through a specific route. Trying to be clever, we take the stairs and can only get to the 2nd floor . . . told to go to the elevators. Every one is full, so we have to take one up, then ride it down. Only allowed to walk in a taped off area through a mile long line out to the central parking structure.
11:30am - can't get our bikes, they are part of a crime scene . . . no one knows when. We walk into town to drink.
5:30pm - we get back to the hotel and find our bikes liberated . . . we mount up and ride to the Avia hotel to check out the vendors, then down town for dinner.
10:00pm - back at the hotel, the casino is now open . . . we decide to just watch the news. On the local news channel they are showing the scene I watched at 2:15am with the guys lying on the ground and a cop is shown struggling with one of the detainees and his gun goes off. Jerry says Sunday morning he is going to look for the spot where the bullet hit.
Sunday, 28 April
8:00am - Wendy and I go the Jacuzzi and Jerry goes to look for the bullet marks. He comes back in half an hour and has the bullet the cop accidentally fired . . . no kidding. Found it on the ground all smashed, but in tact.
10:00am - we saddle up and head home . . . Wendy trailers. As we gas up, a large group of Mongols (sans colors) are hand loading Harleys into pickups . . . lifting them in two to a truck. Time to quietly leave town.
As we ride home, very little wind and lots of sun. I feel guilty having Wendy ride out in the rain, and I get the sun . . . oh well.
All-in-all, not a bad 5 days.
Laughlin River Run - April 2004
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the picture to view the caption . . .
Laughlin River Run - April 2005
Well another Laughlin River Run has ended . . . Jerry, Wendy and I made the trek almost without incident.
Wednesday morning we head out. Had great weather, very little wind and warm, but not hot . . . in the 70’s. Got to Harrah’s about 1:00pm, checked in, drinks and cigars in the Jacuzzi then out to a great dinner at the Lodge in the River Palms Hotel.
On Thursday, it’s off to Las Vegas. Stop for breakfast in Searchlight, then more drinks and cigars at the Harley Café on the LV strip.
Thursday night we’re back in Laughlin and things go south . . . Jerry and Wendy went into town to party . . . both on Jerry’s bike. 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning they’re back at the bike for the ride back to Harrah’s. Jerry’s clutch won’t disengage . . . oh shit, can’t shift. After an hour trying to fix it, they take a cab back to Harrah’s.
Friday morning, 6:00am Jerry is back at the bike and somehow manages to get it into 1st and ride it back to Harrah’s. He and I try to fix it . . . no luck. Tow truck > bike shop > no parts > can’t fix it > rent a U-Haul > load the bike > park the truck with the bike inside at Harrah’s. The inner bearing in his clutch housing fried . . . took out a couple of other parts with it. They only made this clutch assembly for one year . . . odds of finding the parts are zero. For the balance of the weekend, Jerry rides Wendy’s bike and Wendy is on the back of mine.
We hit Oatman, AZ and the vendors on Saturday then back home Sunday morning.
From Wednesday through most of Saturday we had great weather . . . in the 80’s and little wind. Saturday night very windy, rain, thunder storms, etc. We sat in the Jacuzzi and watched the sky light up over Arizona thinking the ride back on Sunday will be very wet.
Aaaaah, there is a god. Sunday morning is clear . . . although a lot cooler and windy for the ride home . . . at least we didn’t have to get wet.
Just CLICK on a thumbnail to view it . . . then click BACK to return here.
Well another River Run came and went . . . almost uneventful. On I40 about 70 miles from Needles, doing about 70mph and felt a slight wobble that quickly escalated to a severe fishtail. Back tire FLAT. Got it stopped and loaded my bike on the trailer Wendy was pulling . . . thank god she decided not to ride and trailer her 883 (she hates the high wind on Pearblossom Hwy and I40)
Got the bike into Bullhead City, AZ 20 minutes before the shop closed. They had the tire changed in 15 minutes. The tube was ripped in half!!
One item worth mentioning. We were walking the vendors and someone approaches us and asks if I am Marvin Mackey . . . I say yes. His name is Aaron D (do not want to give his last name) and he tells me he was doing a search on the internet for information on the Laughlin River Run and pulled up my website . . . it was their first time at the Run and he said my web site was the reason he came. He actually recognized us in this massive crowd. UNBELIEVABLE ! ! ! We met his buds and ladies and chatted a while about bikes and Laughlin . . . Aaron, you made my day.
I hope they all had a great time . . . I know we did.
Oatman, AZ - April 29, 2006
I had planned to ride to Laughlin on Wednesday, but the forecast continued to show rain on Tues and Wed, so I made the decision to leave on Tuesday and trailer . . . no interest in riding in the rain. Got rained on a little until I hit the top of Hwy 14, then sun and 40-50+mph winds all the way to Laughlin. Glad I decided to trailer the bike.
Wednesday cool and overcast, but no rain. Rode to the Colorado Bell and met up with Steve and Kristin (they rode out on Monday . . . good decision). Walked the vendors, drinks & cigars. Very few bikes in town
Cool, rain on and off most of day on Thursday, so left the bike, took the water taxi, drank, smoked cigars and walked the vendors with Steve and Kristin In the afternoon, 1,000's of bikes started to arrive.
Steve, Kristin and I go to dinner at the Saltgrass Steak House in the Golden Nugget. After dinner Kristin wanted to play craps . . . so she puts on her 'I'm new at this' face and stands at the table. Steve and I stand on the sidelines and don't know her. The guy next to her begins giving her some pointers . . . she starts winning. He is the nephew of "Uncle Joey" playing at the other end of the table with a large stack of $1,000 chips and it's Kristin's turn to roll. Uncle Joey has bets all over the table . . . we're talking $1,000 chips. She's been rolling for 15-20 minutes before craping out and Joey's up about 15 grand. The crowd goes nuts and Joey throws Kristin $200 in chips. It was great to watch.
Friday, off to Oatman and Kingman in AZ and Saturday to Hoover Dam. Perfect weather both days . . . sun, in the high 70's and no wind.
Loaded up on Sunday and headed home . . . lots of bikes and semi's, but great weather no traffic issues. Another great run, but missed my son (Jerry) and daughter (Wendy) this year, they were unable to go. Great to have Steve and Kristin there to ride with.
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Oatman & Kingman, AZ - April
Hoover Dam - April
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This site was last updated 03/27/17 by Marvin Mackey