Event revs up downtown

By Gary Mitchell

Sunday’s blessing of the bikes ceremony may not have affected the motorcycle machinery, but motorcyclist and Lighthouse Mission director Richard Gomez said he felt certain it was helpful.
Members of the Christian Motorcycle Association conducted the blessing of the bikes as part of the Badlands Street Party held in downtown Clovis on Saturday and Sunday.
The event, which was praised by participants and organizers alike, concluded Sunday morning with a breakfast, the blessing of the bikes and an 85-mile round-trip motorcycle ride.
“We had a CMA couple, a husband-and-wife team, from Roswell who prayed over our bike,” Gomez said. “I don’t know if it rode any better, but we passed a man in a truck who was swerving all over the road, and none of the bikes got hit. I guess the angels were there to give protection.”
Approximately 50 motorcyclists participated in the 85-mile ride, Gomez said.
“It was good — it was fun,” he said. “We went to Ranchvale, then went to Field and came out at Palla Dairy.”
The blessing of the bikes was a blessing in itself, Gomez said.
“A lot of people got their bikes blessed,” he said. “There was a couple singing Christian songs, and the CMA members prayed over the bikes and gave a shop rag with a Scripture written on it. And you got a sticker for your motorcycle which read, ‘My bike was blessed in 2003 by CMA.’ ”
Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce executive director Ernie Kos said she was pleased with the overall event.
“There were more bikes there than I expected,” she said. “I would say there were close to 100 bikes. It was neat to see all of them take off (Sunday) morning. Overall, it was a very successful event. The committee and myself have had nothing but positive feedback from it. We received lots of encouragement to have it downtown in the future.”
Zala Smith, president of the Downtown Clovis Revitalization Program, said she would like to see the event continue.
“The events Saturday were great,” she said. “I felt the turnout was excellent. The downtown merchants were pleased with the traffic although the sales weren’t what they thought it would be. I think it’ll get better and better each year. We feel it will continue to grow. I thought the street dance was nice. A lot of people brought their children, and they seemed to enjoy it. It appealed to a broad spectrum of people.”
Larry Labourr, chairman of the Badlands Street Party Committee, said, “It was much better than our first two years. I think moving it downtown helped immensely. We don’t have any intentions of moving it from downtown now.”
Jan Hamilton of Clovis said she was glad the event was held on Main Street.
“It kept all the people together in one place,” she said. “There’s more to do. We really enjoyed it. I would like to see other events held downtown.”
Clovis police Sgt. Rich Johnson said he had heard “no complaints” about the event.
“I’m not even aware of a minor incident related to it,” he said. “They were very professional. They took care of their paperwork. Everything was in order. We hope Clovis represented itself well to the bikers.”
Labourr said he estimated more than 1,000 people gathered as spectators and participants in the weekend event.
Brent Capshaw, another event organizer, said there were 330 registered as participants in the rally.
“We had a pretty good party,” he said. “I talked with riders from out of town, and they said they had a good time. I asked what changes would they make to make it better, and they said, ‘Don’t change much, but be sure and do it again.’ ”