Bike Notes: Memorial rally at Blue Swallow, Toulouse trek, VFW benefit poker run

Holiday rally rides into Tucumcari for birthday
Three Route 66 icons will be hosting the Valkyrie Riders Cruiser Club (VRCC) for a get together BBQ on Route 66 on Memorial weekend.

The Blue Swallow, Motel Safari, and the Pow-Wow Inn are teaming up for three days of festivities for bike riders from around the country.
“We’re having this party to help the town.” said Bill Kinder, owner of the Blue Swallow.

“We should be doing all we can to revive the 6.6 miles of Route 66 that run through our town,” said Kinder, who is also a member of Lodgers Tax Board, which supports tourism activities in Tucumcari.

The event started last year as a birthday party for a member’s daughter who lives in Tucumcari.

As word got around, more riders got involved including some from Colorado, Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Arizona and Kansas. This year some 55 riders are expected in Tucumcari.

The VRCC will have plenty of free time to enjoy the local flavor, Kinder said. Evening barbeques at the Blue Swallow are the only pre-planned events, leaving riders to cruise their agendas, he said.

For more information contact Bill or Terri at the Blue Swallow, (505) 461-9849 or visit the VRCC Web site at

Toulouse trek: Riders traveling Route 66
On a tour of Route 66, several riders from Toulouse, France stopped in Tucumcari last weekend.

“This is like a dream,” group leader Christopher Leitz said. “For a lot of people in Europe, traveling Route 66 is the pinnacle of accomplishments.”
The group’s two-week tour started in Chicago and will go the length of Route 66, finishing in Santa Monica, Calif.

Leitz could not understand why more Americans were not exploring the historic highway, “This is your heritage,” he said.

With French gas prices more than double the local price, and the Euro stronger than the dollar, Europeans have the advantage.
“It is very affordable for us to travel here now,” Leitz said.

After taking pictures by the Route 66 monument at the Convention Center, the riders left on the next leg of their dream vacation.

VFW hosts beneficial benefit poker run

Over 30 riders left the Tucumcari VFW headquarters as part of a poker run in memory of Rose Garcia who died last year.

“I think this is a good thing for Rose,” said participant Frank Gillard.

Garcia, a longtime Tucumcari resident, died from lung cancer. Proceeds from the benefit were donated to the American Cancer Society.

The run traveled from Tucumcari to San Jon, to Logan, and back.

Eddie Gutierrez won the prize for best poker hand and Cris Grady had the worst.

There were other fundraisers, too. Scooter Yocom donated a Harley Davidson cooler to the auction. In fact, most of the raffle winners donated their prizes to the auction, and Frank Gillard, winner of the 50/50 drawing donated his winnings.

“We’re doing this to remember mom and to raise money for the American Cancer Society,” said Juana Sandoval, the daughter of Rose Garcia and organizer of Saturday’s event.

Sandoval is also organizing a June event, Walk for Life, in memory of her mother.

The Walk for Life is for teams, up to 15 people, who will start walking the Tucumcari High School track at 6 p.m. on June 6, and continue until 8 a.m. the next day.
“It’s held at night because cancer never sleeps, and for this night we don’t either,” Sandoval said.

For more information on Walk for Life and how to sign up, call Amy Sandoval at (575) 318-1237.

— Compiled by QCS staff writer Robert Ciolli