Bikes Were Not Required to Enjoy Rocky Point’s 13th Annual Biker Rally November 7-10, 2013

Jan 1, 2014 by Joe Houchin

A bundle of tightly scheduled fun activities and entertainment awaited the nearly 6,000 bikers from all around Mexico and from the U.S. as far away as Florida, Minnesota, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Alberta, Canada, California and Arizona, converging on our little slice of paradise by the sea for the weekend of November 7-10, 2013.  With the improving economy and scaled down media sensationalism over Mexico travel safety; we enjoyed double-digit percentage growth in attendance over last year—and many bikers will attest to “breaking the fun meter” again this year as well!

Beginning with the Mystery Poker Run that started in Why, Arizona and continuing through the final Farewell Rally Concert at Bonita Park on Calle 13, the international crowd was treated to sincere Sonoran hospitality for which our grateful seaside village is so highly regarded.

If you ask the attendees who’ve chalked up three or more Rocky Point Rallies why they keep coming back, almost all will credit the hospitality of the destination and the camaraderie with friends they’ve met in previous visits as the reasons they have placed the Rocky Point Rally on their “must attend” rally list. If you ask the first-time participants why they decided to come down this year, most will tell you they’re here because their friends have persisted in telling them this is one rally they should not miss.

This year’s rally boasted a couple of new features; one added to the entertainment factor and another to the safety factor. From all reports, they both accomplished their objectives successfully.

The Puerto Peñasco Police Department, under instructions from Mayor Gerardo Figueroa Zazueta, doubled security throughout the city during the rally weekend with the objective to reduce serious and fatal accidents. This aggressive effort resulted in only five accidents among the estimated 6,000 bikers who attended the rally. Of those, three were serious but not life threatening and there were no fatalities.

On the entertainment front, two nationally acclaimed bands were imported from the U.S. for the weekend, plus our own up and coming musical group, “Agua de Coco” from Puerto Peñasco provided three genres of music and proved to be in top form throughout the weekend as each appeared twice. Playa Bonita brought country rock band “Sour Diesel Trainwreck” from Mesa, Arizona who unleashed many of their original tunes that kept the dance floor full during their shows on Friday and Saturday nights.

From New Mexico, Shandra (Sami) and Plinio Rivero of Rocky Point 360 brought in the uniquely versatile band, “Manzanares”, a band of highly skilled musicians led by brothers David and Michael Manzanares who’ve been playing guitars, singing and entertaining since they were toddlers. The other three members of their band have been performing with them for 16 years. Having watched a live performance on You Tube we expected great music. However, largely due to their extraordinary talent, precision timing and their passion for entertaining, Manzanares mesmerized the audience compelling the listeners to get out on the dance floor and move to the grooves of the percussion-fueled, nuevo Latino influenced, mostly original music from their three albums that include one album of the year and at least one song of the year. Lead guitar is manned by brother Michael and it’s obvious that brother David’s acoustic and flamenco licks have been a part of his repertoire since about kindergarten. If you missed this one of a kind find during the rally, just know that we will be lobbying to get them back down to Rocky Point within the year.

If you haven’t had the occasion to hear “Agua de Coco” somewhere around town, you’re missing a fabulous musical treat full of sensible rhythms from reggae, to Latin to soft and classic rock and nuevo Latino, all capable of instigating dance frenzy.

At least partly because of the diligent efforts of the organizing committee, headed up by rally founder Oscar Palacio Soto, proprietor of the landmark Playa Bonita Hotel and other investments here, there are dozens upon dozens of bikers who travel in groups of 25 or more friends attending several rallies a year together; with an uncanny number who list the Rocky Point Rally as their Number One event of the year. Why? You’ll get almost as many reasons as the number of people you query. That’s because Puerto Peñasco boasts a range of attractions so vast that it’s rare not to have one for everybody, no matter how eclectic, specific, chic or bizarre their preferences.

To expound on the headline for this story, a growing number of Rocky Point lovers are scheduling one of their trips around our popular Rally every year, even though they don’t own a bike themselves. After all, besides the peaceful atmosphere, mesmerizing scenery, hardy partying and unexpected quality of live music, who doesn’t like to gaze in awe at the creativity, detail and craftsmanship expressed through thousands of brilliantly designed motorcycles displayed in neat rows stretching for up to a mile along the famous Malecón seemingly for the exclusive enjoyment of bikeless spectators.

As a final word, it’s worth reiterating from previous blogs that over the last 12 years these rallies have raised over $200,000 dollars for local charities such as the all-volunteer fire department, Red Cross, La School for children with special needs, Cancer Center for Women, the Catholic Home for the Elderly (Asilo de Ancianos) and DIF programs in Puerto Peñasco and Sonoyta. DIF is an important state sponsored social assistance program that provides food, medical services, mental health programs, rehabilitation programs for families and shelter for disadvantaged, abused and abandoned children.

The Rocky Point Rally is one of several events through the year that is best described in imagery under the adage, “A picture is worth a thousand words….” Thus, once again photographer and good friend, Tony Ballesteros along with this blogger, trekked for miles coping with blue skies, a serene sea, and sunshine and near perfect temperatures over the weekend to bring you a full color pictorial of the 13th Rocky Point Biker Rally from beginning to end. Here with are the results, selected from over 1600 photos. (Note: Tony’s photos are identified with the initials “TB”).

If you’ve never participated in a Rocky Point Rally, we hope these photos might just entice you to put the 2014 rally on your calendar to enjoy the beach and the bikes in near perfect weather!

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