AUSTIN, Texas—May 6, 2015—The Republic of Texas (ROT) Riker Rally, the largest “turnstile” motorcycle rally in the United States, is ready to rock and celebrate its 20th anniversary with thousands of bikers and biker enthusiasts in Austin, June 11-14 at the Travis County Expo Center.
The ROT Rally has grown to one of the largest biker rallies in the U.S. due to its ability to present iconic rock bands and entertainers, and for its picturesque backdrop of the Texas Hill Country. This year is no different with headliners that feature legendary bands Lynyrd Skynyrd, Creedence Clearwater Revisited and Rich Robinson of the Black Crowes.
On Friday, June 12, the ROT Rally will roll into downtown Austin and close off more than 50 city blocks for a motorcycle parade and party in the heart of the Live Music Capital of the World. Grammy-award winning band, Asleep at the Wheel, will play a free concert for the more than 200,000 expected bikers and enthusiasts.
“Over the past 20 years, the ROT Rally has grown to be one the premiere Austin events,” said Jerry Bragg, president of the ROT Rally. “The event continues to grow in scale and excitement and this year will be one of our largest and entertainment-packed. With legendary bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Creedence Clearwater Revisited, Rich Robinson and Asleep at the Wheel, we hope to give all ROT Rally attendees an unforgettable experience, while sharing the love of motorcycles with more than 40,000 of their closest friends.”
The ROT Rally is giving away two motorcycles this year. Each year, the ROT Rally honors American servicemen and women with a Military Bike Giveaway. This year the Military bike is from Rick Fairless of Strokers Dallas, private collection. Jeff Nicklus of Desperado Motorcycles is the builder of the 20th Anniversary Bike.
The ROT Rally has hosted more than 2 million attendees over the past 20 years and has had a remarkable impact to Austin- and Hill Country-area businesses, most notably hotels, restaurants, bars and motorcycle dealerships. When the ROT Rally is in town, the economic impact in Austin is felt. According to Austin city leaders, the ROT Rally is responsible for generating more than $40 million in economic impact for the Austin-area during the four-day event.
The ROT Rally is focused on promoting biker safety and biker awareness during the event, as well as throughout the year. In 2014, the ROT Rally had zero bike-related accident deaths, making it one of the safest Rallies in the country. The ROT Rally leadership credits the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) for its ongoing biker awareness campaigns and support of the Rally for this accomplishment.
The ROT Rally’s reputation as a safe biker rally led Dr. John Bedolla, assistant director of research education and assistant professor at University of Texas at Austin, and in collaboration with Seton Medical Center to conduct research to understand the ROT Rally’s approach to safety. Dr. Bedolla reviewed the use of public awareness campaigns, the separation of motorcycle and regular traffic, police escorts during mass movements, strict enforcement of drinking and driving statutes, and a curfew at the motorcycle campground led lower to incidence of trauma activations, hospitalization, intracranial injuries and deaths. The ROT Rally, TxDOT and the Austin City Police Department implemented these safety activities in 2012. Dr. Bedolla is available to comment and discuss the research and its findings.
The other musical acts performing include Los Lonely Boys, Lukas Nelson, Omar and the Howlers, Barfield The Tyrant of Texas Funk, The Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash, The Wagoneers, Keller Bros, Moeller Bros, Cody Joe Hodges, Broken Teeth, Hunt Sales and Wildwood Four. More information about the bands is online at www.rotrally.com.
Bubba Blackwell “the American Daredevil” will perform his motorcycle stunt show, and will make a special jump to celebrate the ROT Rally’s 20th anniversary.
The Military Ride: This event honors American servicemen and servicewomen and takes place Sunday, June 7.
Thunderdome: This year, the Thunderdome will feature custom bike builders, Eric Contreras of Powerhouse Customers, Rick Fairless of Strokers Dallas, Zach Ness of Arlen Ness Motorcycles, Jeff Nicklus of Desperado Motorcycles and Bronson Willard of Southern Metal Choppers. The Thunderdome will also feature world-class tattoo artists, an antique bike show, trick riders and The Ives Brothers’ Wall of Death.
Biker Games: Keeping with the traditions passed down from generations of Old School Bike rallies, the ROT Rally will host Biker Games by Buda to provide entertainment for those playing, and even more fun for those watching.
ROT Rally Vendor Shopping: This year the ROT Rally expects more than 300 vendors selling everything from motorcycle accessories, parts, clothing and all things motorcycle.
About the Republic of Texas Rally
The Republic of Texas (ROT) Rally will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2015. The ROT Rally has brought bikers and enthusiasts from all 50 States and all over the world to Austin, for the largest “turnstile” (paid ticketed attendees) motorcycle biker rally in the United States. The ROT Rally is held at the Travis County Expo Center, and is known for its downtown Austin bike parade, which closes off more than 50 city blocks and ends on Congress Avenue in front of the Texas State Capitol. Previous distinguished entertainers who have played the ROT Rally include Willie Nelson, Sammy Hagar, Joan Jett, Hank Williams Jr. and Lynyrd Skynyrd. For more information about the ROT Rally visit www.rotrally.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Download the official ROT Rally app on the iTunes App Store and Google Play store for real-time event details.