By Dave Gragg
The fascination with Route 66 is a reflection on the nation’s fascination with the vehicles that drove down it, so a celebration of the Mother Road wouldn’t be complete without activities for cars and motorcycles.
This weekend’s activities should fit the bill nicely.
Friday night’s car cruise/poker run starts 5:30 p.m. at the Tucumcari Convention Center. From there, cruisers will head to five parks around town to pick up a playing card, then meet back at the convention center.
The person with the best poker hand wins a Route 66 Road Trip Game.
The original plan was to start at 6 p.m. and end at the Tucumcari High School Auditorium in time for the Route 66 play, said organizer Mike Lucero. Some of the cruisers said they didn’t want to leave their car in the parking lot for that long, so he moved the time up 30 minutes so people could bring their cars home, then come back for the play.
The cruise is free to anyone with a car or truck, he said.
The next morning, the U.S. Veterans Motorcycle Club, Badlands Chapter, will have a poker run of their own. It will begin at the Trails West Bar, then move to the North Dock at Conchas, then come down to Newkirk before hitting Palomas and coming back at the convention center.
“It’s only about a 70-mile ride and we wanted to incorporate part of the old highway (Route 66) with it,” said Lane Bradley.
The poker run will be the first of a number of events the motorcycle club will have at Trails West. Couples can participate for $15, or individuals for $10. Participants can buy extra hands in the poker run for $5.
The run begins at 10 a.m. and should end at 2:30 p.m. at the convention center so riders can look at the cars at the car show going on at the same time.
But at 3:30 p.m., the riders will head back to the Trails West parking lot for motorcycle games and games for kids.
Bradley said there were three motorcycle games planned so far, including a slow race, a keg roll race and a hot dog bite.
The slow race pits two motorcycles against each other. The slowest driver who makes it across the finish line without putting a foot down wins.
In the keg roll race, motorcyclists try to roll a beer keg across the parking lot with the front tire of their motorcycle.
In the hot dog bite, the motorcycle’s passenger will have to reach up to bite a dangling hot dog as the driver moves past it.
Among the kids games planned are a dart throw, sack hop and three-legged race.
The monster truck “Tuff E Nuff” will be on static display Friday and Saturday before crushing a car Saturday evening.
There will also be a mesquite barbecue with the fixings that night. It is also included in the $15 charge.
The money will go toward a mechanics scholarship the club is trying to start, Bradley said.
“We’re trying to do a scholarship fund for mechanics — something that’s not normally covered by the other scholarships available,” he said.