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April 19, 2014

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All biker routes lead to Laughlin

Annual Laughlin River Run a Mecca for motorcyclists

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Cydney Cappello

A man shows off a custom bike at the 27th Annual Laughlin River Run Saturday.

A River Run Through It

Laughlin, NV held the 27th Annual River Run. The motorcycle rally features live music, wet t-shirt contests, thousands of bikers, custom bike builders and hundreds of vendors from around the country, who sell anything ranging from seat warmers to windshield wipers.

Laughlin River Run

Saturday's 27th Annual Laughlin River Run. Launch slideshow »

Beyond the Sun

The 90-mile trek to Laughlin from Las Vegas was made easier Saturday by the fleet of friendly bikers make the drive for the 27th Annual Laughlin River Run.

Nine of the Colorado River fronted casinos entertained the throng of bikers with music groups like Eric Burdon and the Animals, Creedence Clearwater Revisited, The Charlie Daniels Band and Judge Jackson. River Run participants received a commemorative patch and pin celebrating the event.

The leather-clad Harley riders milled through the villages of white tents outside the casinos, each bearing gifts of cushioned bike seats, patches and bandanas, custom bike retailers and of course chap merchants. Inside the casinos, participants had the chance to win a new 2009 Harley-Davidson or $5,000 in cash, catch the Custom Bike Show and a glance at Miss Laughlin River Run.

San Diego native Kelly Novak rode to Laughlin on her 2004 Harley Roadglide for the fourth consecutive year with her husband and said the positive atmosphere is what keeps them coming back.

“This is definitely an adult playground. This is where an adult becomes a child. So they leave the responsibilities, and they do it moderately, it’s not like they’re crazy, and they just have a good time,” she said. “They just let loose.”

While there have been four felony arrests and 20 gross misdemeanor arrests at the event, there were no major problems, according to Metro Sgt. John Loretto.

In 2002, a brawl between rival biker gangs Hell’s Angels and Mongols ended with three deaths and more than a dozen injuries.

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