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Bikers Descend on Cave Creek

How many motorcyclists hell-bent on keeping their good name can you cram into a one-road community of 3,600 residents?

Inspired by accusations that Cave Creek is prejudiced against motorcyclists, thousands of the leather lovers are expected to descend on Cave Creek this weekend for the unsanctioned, nine-day Cave Creek Main Street Rally.

Last month town officials denied promoters a permit over concerns about noise and traffic congestion. Then on Friday, in a last-ditch effort to kill the rally, a judge granted Cave Creek an injunction to prevent promoters from advertising the event.

Cave Creek resident and promoter Jim Zorn called the injunction “ridiculous” since everyone knew about the rally anyway. Her attorneys have contended that a permit was never needed since most of the events would be held at local restaurants.

“Bottom line, merchants will be open and things will go on as planned,” said [Cantor Law Group] attorney.

Cave Creek Town Manager Usama Abujbara has repeatedly said Cave Creek is not prejudiced against motorcyclists and the town would have been more agreeable to the event if it hadn’t been scheduled the same weekend as tonight’s Cave Creek Jazz Festival, which draws 15,000.

“This town can accommodate just so many people at once,” Cave Creek Mayor Vincent Francia said. “If 100,000 bikers show up there will be trouble.”

Maricopa County Sheriff’s Lt. Dave Trombi said 30 to 35 extra deputies will be present during peak periods along with mounted units, canines and motor units. Volunteer Sheriff’s Posse members will direct traffic along the mile and a half section of Cave Creek Road that snakes through town. Trombi said he’s not expecting trouble but will have the sheriff’s command post and air unit available if needed.

Zorn said she has received threatening e-mail from people suggesting she move away. Zorn said if trouble does develop the town is to blame for making this inaugural event an issue originally.

“This town has created something bigger than any of us could have dreamed of,” Zorn said.

According to Zorn, original projections for the event would have brought 100 more people a day to the town. “But now we have no idea what to expect,” Zorn said. “Bikers all over the world have told us they’re coming to Cave Creek. It’s a personal mission.”

One of those bikers will be Harley-Davidson rider Ron Washum of Fountain Hills who rides with a biker club in Mesa. Washum said the word is definitely out for bikers to gather in Cave Creek. He said there is a great deal of resentment among bikers who believe they have been unfairly portrayed as troublemakers.

Arizona Bike Week, April 5-14, is an official proclamation from the Governor’s Office. The Cave Creek Main Street Rally is not part of statewide Bike Week festivities coordinated by promoter Rich Dillman, who has also been feuding with the Cave Creek faction.

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