Bikers headed to the Big Bend

Ole Crystal Bar owners and dedicated Harley riders Amy and Levi Hardy attended Bike Week in Daytona Beach, Fla., in March. 

Get ready for the roar as bikers from across Texas descend on the Big Bend for a long weekend of West Texas fun.

Bikers themselves, Ole Crystal Bar owners Amy and Levi Hardy recently announced they will host a motorcycle rally based in Alpine for Thursday through Sunday, May 6-9.

With the aim of boosting the economy in the Tri-County, Amy noted, “We’ve invited a bunch of people who love riding to come down and ride the area. We’ll have groups from El Paso and from Odessa for sure. We put flyers up all across Texas, so I’m not sure where they’re all going to come from.”

The couple contacted businesses in Alpine, Marathon, Marfa, Fort Davis, Presidio, and Lajitas to suggest they offer discounts for bikers who visit their establishments.

“We’re trying to help because COVID ruined so many people, and so many events have been canceled,” said Amy. “I contacted local hotels asking them to offer discounts to attract people to their establishments. The Quarter Circle 7 and the Old Gringo Biker Hotel are working with me to offer riders a discount.”

On Friday and Saturday, bikers can have their rides washed at the Jugo Juice Bar parking lot on Holland Avenue in Alpine. On Saturday burgers and drinks will be among the activities at Post Park in Marathon.

A band from Los Angeles will play at the Ole Crystal Friday night, and Saturday at the Ole Crystal will feature a hot dog eating contest, live music, and more.

Throughout the event, vendors will offer their wares in the lot at the corner of Holland Avenue and Fifth Street in Alpine, with some coming from as far as San Angelo. To register as a vendor, call Amy at 915-491-8610.

Said Amy with a chuckle, “We’re expecting anywhere from 100 to 1,000 riders. They will be staying in the area, riding in the area, patronizing gas stations, hotels, restaurants, convenience stores, galleries, shops, and bars. Even if only 100 people come, that’s 100 more who are spending money here.”

And then there are the rides. A short ride might include Alpine to Fort Davis and back. A longer trip might be the River Road run from Terlingua to Presidio, up through Marfa, and on to Alpine. To name just a few more, the road to Kent and back through Balmorhea, Fort Stockton down through Sanderson, and Big Bend National Park up to Marathon are all winners.

“I love my hometown, and I just want to do something good, try to help people out,” Amy said. “COVID devastated a lot of people, and a lot of places shut down. I want people to come and see how pretty it is out here, open everything up, and try to get some normalcy back into people’s lives.”

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