The night began mildly enough, though that would change quickly. Motorcycles lined the side-street outside of Lucky 7 Cycles on Haskell Ave; their owners mingled in and out of the garage, pouring beer from a couple kegs, swigging sips of Jager from the bottle.
It was last weekend's celebration of the Pancho Run -- a four day, 800 to 1,000 mile motorcycle ride that conquers a different region of Texas annually. Over 20 men set out on this year's journey through DFW, bearing the scorch of 100-degree heat, riding all day, partying all night, and camping to catch minimal sleep.
As the crowd sipped their first of many drinks, the Greasy Cranks, an Oak Cliff rock band, screamed and pounded music that set the bar for debauchery sky-high as the crowd bobbed along, just beginning to feel the plentiful booze. Then, to the surprise of no one, the lead singer yanked off his pants and ping-ponged through the crowd wearing loose boxer-briefs and black cowboy boots.
And so it began.
"There's a difference between being friends with somebody and spending time on the road with somebody," said Tyler Chamberlain, who founded the Pancho Run four years ago. "It's just a chance for me to hang out with all my friends," he said, summing-up the ride in a single word: "Jackassery." Another participant offered a fairy tale description. "If you had to envision what Pancho is, it's leprechauns and unicorns and everything you want it to be," said Keith Kaminski, who has ridden all four years.
As for specifics, he likened it to Vegas. What happens on the road stays on the road. Another rider offered a bit of detail, recalling a recent memory of one of the guys surfing on a shuffle board table at a bar along their journey. But combing his mind for other antics suitable for sharing, he came up dry. Again, the Vegas thing.
But at Lucky 7 on Saturday, the men weren't in their version of Vegas anymore, and they were joined by plenty of other local motorcyclists who were more than happy to celebrate their homecoming. By 10:30, a mosh pit was in full blast.
While a Dallas punk band, The Scandals, blasted through the garage, dancing took the form of pushing and falling, human bowling balls were knocking over human pins. At one point a desk chair was skating across the floor, bearing a rider who was nearly out of control.
The chair was taken inside, but the pushing continued, shoves becoming hard enough that it seemed one would spark a fight at any moment. Yet even when someone was knocked flat on their ass, the bruising encounter ended in a shoulder hug instead of a punch.
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After 11, one by one the bikers rolled in and out of the garage doing burnouts.
One would drove his bike into the garage and a group of about six other drivers held in place while the driver accelerated, going nowhere but spinning the back wheel and creating a massive cloud of smoke as the crowd cheered. When one finished, another began. People poured any liquid they could find onto the bikes' back tires to create a more dramatic steamy splash.
Full beers were poured over the tires, and at one point, someone dumped melted ice from the keg to create a puddle around a spinning tire.
The grand finale smelled like exhaust and burnt beer, and afterward the party died down as those left standing headed off into the night and to the bar.