Tri-State in the Springs was a success!

Back in September of '18 Rob Gregory announced a world record attempt.  I blogged about it here:

The Gregory 651 (500+) World Record Parade



Well, the first thing we did was create the Flyer which was put on the Forum and the Southwinds FB Group.  Later on, an official flyer was put out for the event, but with the local annual event wrapped around it.  The simple thing to do was create a similar flyer using that one as a template and
distributing it among the IIRA folks.   No harm no foul since it wasn't pushed out there competing against the original flyer.  Out the gate Donnie had secured us a hotel lakeside and we had dozens of folks lock in, but unfortunately it was bought out and being renovated.  We were told it'd be done in time but that turned out to bad Intel.  Donnie then secured us a second location that in hindsight, was a superior choice; the historic Arlington Hotel Resort and Spa.  This was right in the middle of downtown where everything was happening; perfect!  He blocked off a good chunk of rooms for IIRA only and kept on eye on whom was locking in under our name.  We kept that quiet to ensure that our rooms weren't taken by others which was accomplished successfully. Overall it was successful in that most rooms blocked off were filled and we had dozens of IIRA members staying elsewhere throughout the city.  Many of them had no idea of all the IIRA congregation at the hotel.  All I can figure is, not everyone puts them self out there to get communication on these events.

For me personally, this was an incredible weekend.  For all that I spoke to, they had the same experience.   We were here for the riding, the camaraderie and to participate in and support, the Gregory 500+.  I'd said for months, the Saturday ride was the icing on the cake, as we traveled in from all corners of the US for this IIRA regional event.  HarleyNot's rolled in from Cali', Hasbin from his new home of SD, Brother Dick,Tim Neid, Scott Brambilla and many others from MN, Flatlanders in from Omaha, Alan Southerland and my cousin Micahel Driekorn (and his bride) from Florida, Walkers and Smiths from Arkansas.  This list goes on .. and on .. and on.   This is a short ride for me on awesome 2 lane roads, but opted to trailer in my bike due to needing to bring back Brother Dick's Roadmaster to Texas for an event we have later in January (his ass will be snowed in!). So this day, just barreled up the Interstate and by 3pm on Wednesday we're rolling in and cracking the code for where to unload, how to get  your luggage in to the Hotel, etc, when you have a trailer!  We got lucky and found an area right out front (illegally parked), ran up to the Valet area to grab a cart (wasn't obvious), loaded it up, pushed it up the hill, left mama to watch the goods and off we went past Fat Jacks where we had a no cost large parking area within walking distance that we'd all use ( well, those that didn't ride).

We get checked in and up to the 11th floor which will eventually turn out to be the 'party area.'  I intentionally got a "Parlor" room so mama would be smiling, but it eventually turned out to be one of the main areas for congregation due to the large living room it had.  At this point, I made a critical error and shame on me.  I didn't get that room for entertaining, but the minute I realized that it was going to play out that way, I should have picked up an extra case of beer and a few bottles of liquor for 'public consumption'.  Lesson learned.  This would come back to haunt me before the weekend was over.   In any case we're soon checked in, unpacked and realizing Donnie has gotten us 3 rooms side by side and it's game on. After a few colds ones and folks  catching up, we're headed downtown!  Let the fun begin .... The Ohio Club is calling our names are it's walking distance!

Thursday morning; whew that was a wild one last night.  I'm moving slow, but a trip next door to Brother Dicks' and I'm finding some magic medicine ( Bloody Mary).   Soon,  we're all cleaned up off to Mt Magazine for an IIRA ride. But first we detour to Plainview to give our respects to


 Longrider whom we recently lost. After a somber experience, we're headed up to Mt Magazine, the highest point in Arkansas.  The route up 7 , then eventually up the South side of the mountain is great riding and apparently had a few puckered, as Donnie led us at lets say .. a moderate  .. speed.  Soon we're at the top, parked and in the Lodge ordering up food and drinks.  Soon another group our size rolls in and we've taken over the place.  Indians everywhere!  This is the way it'll be all week, with over 700 Indians in Hot Springs. Soon, we're headed South back to the Hotel to get to Phase II of the day; a walk downtown, dinner, drinks and a lil hoopla. See a trend?   First stop; Diablo’s Mezcal.  Everyone seems to have gotten the memo and we quickly take over the place.  Perfect location, perfect weather, awesome folks.   Back to the hotel, and ... well .. you know.

Gonna' Storm!

Friday, I'm ready for some riding!   As we get rallied up near Fat Jacks, we stop to take a picture.  As I'm looking at the group, there's a wall cloud behind them.  Quickly pull up a weather App and it confirms, riders are going to get wet today.  Now, if I'd been alone I'd have headed out. But with mama on the bike... and a few others that preferred to stay dry, we did a 180, parked the bikes, got the hotel van (took some work!) to take us a ways downtown for some partying.  A crazy day was underway.  No sooner had we starting eating, the sky opened up proving we'd made the right decision.  The day was a flurry of stops   Eventually we'd end up at a Cigar Bar for some good smokes and drinks, and eventually at the Porterhouse for an incredible dinner. Back to the hotel, and ... well .. you know.


It's the big day!   The IIRA rallied up about fifty or sixty bikes and we are headed to the main meeting location.   Gotta' tell you it was a beautiful sight.   Too bad everyone didn't get the memo; we'd have easily rolled in with a hundred bikes that morning as a group.  Still, we pulled in 8ish AM, and there had to be 200+ bikes already there.  IIRA had arrived!  Let the Gregory 500 begin.

After the ride .. well.. the second ride (attempt), we pulled to the exit point in the lot and got everyone together.  Not 75 yards down the road was the KOA and the HarleyNots had their RV there.  So, we pulled up, parked them and we're on to the next phase.  But... hold your horses.  Fifteen minutes later I'm getting the word that Rob Gregory is looking for me; crap!.   Jump on the bike, head up the hill, park it and ... he's doing announcements.  Tamara Smith got a well deserved Rock Star award / plaque, so other folks were getting recognition and then ... my name got called.  Gotta' be honest here; didn't see it coming.  Got a plaque for helping promote the event, which really felt good.  Then as I backed up .. .there's more.   Rob pulled out a second plaque for   " First to Register" for the event.  Wow.. didn't know that or see that one coming either.   This one I found interesting.  You have to understand I was NEVER a fan of the first two events back in '16 and  '17.  I drug my feet on this one for '19.  I don't remember if I thought it over for 5 minutes or 5 hours... but I opted for this one due to several reasons.   First, I found all the other attempts to be somewhat of a joke with the low attendance.  Back in '16 I was literally shaking my head, knowing it would be around 250 (265), after a ridiculouos amount of advertising for a year calling it the '500'.  Watched the same thing happen in '17 calling it the '500+'.  But I KNEW this one would hit 500.  Secondly, out of respect for the organizer/promoter, I jumped in and backed it.  Third, I LOVE riding in the Hot Springs area and have close friends there.  Finally .... and I admit it... I viewed this as a kick in the balls with steel toed boots, for the clown up North that did the first two.  And it was :)


We've accomplished our goal and the natives are restless.  We soon departed the area and headed back to the Arlington Hotel for the final night's festivities. But first we do a group ride out to Bubba Brews, take over the top of the joint and it's drinks and grub time!    Beautiful view up here, food was good and the IIRA company ... awesome.  I wasn't there for the finale, but earlier in the day Nan had lost her phone on a ride and some tweaker found it.   HarleyNot was reeling him in with the cops on site and the douche bag wanting $100, then $150 .. to return it.   Busted.  Good job PoPo!  Wish I'd stuck around to see that one.     We're soon back to the hotel, and it's final night!   Let the Craziness begin.   We spent most of the night on the Veranda, then a considerable amount in our Parlor room.   Frederick (Rob Gregory) had paid us a visit and we were in fuill swing.  Up in the Parlor Room I'd finally loaded it up with extra liquor and the cooolers were overflowing with beer (one day too late). I have no idea what time the party ended, but mama kicked 'em all out (go girl!) and the recovery (sleep) was in full throttle.


Sunday.  It's coming to an end. Breakfast with the Brothers and Sisters, grab the Truck/Trailer, back to my illegal parking spot out front and load 'em up.  We'd loaded bikes the night before so this went fairly quick.  Now ..... it's 220 miles home, with an awesome weekend of memories we'll always have.  The Tri-State in the Springs ... SUCCESS!!!!


Great write-up as always Rickkcir ! Thanks for the effort ! Much appreciated! #StayLegendary