Vrooooomin' down Main Ave.

Fundraisers to build, retrofit homes for injured soldiers

“I went to the office, changed my clothes, jumped on my bike, and headed in this direction,” said Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia who rode all the way from Denver to be a part of the Ignacio Bike Week motorcycle parade Sunday in downtown Durango. Waving to onlookers at left is former U.S. Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell. Enlarge photo

STEVE LEWIS/Durango Herald

“I went to the office, changed my clothes, jumped on my bike, and headed in this direction,” said Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia who rode all the way from Denver to be a part of the Ignacio Bike Week motorcycle parade Sunday in downtown Durango. Waving to onlookers at left is former U.S. Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell.

Lt. Gov. Joseph Garcia led the Ignacio Bike Week motorcycle parade Sunday, with former U.S. Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell at his side and Southern Ute elder and spiritual leader Bennet Thompson behind.

Garcia and Campbell both rode black Harley-Davidson Road Kings; Garcia's with an American flag wrapped around the seat and Campbell's with two flags flying from the back.

“I went to the office, changed my clothes, jumped on my bike and headed in this direction,” said Garcia, who rumbled in from Denver.

While Garcia wore a traditional black leather vest with dark sunglasses and Campbell donned a black button-up shirt with Harley-Davidson logos on the front and a bird design on the back, it was Thompson, the Southern Ute elder, who stood out, wearing a full headdress.

At the dedications before the parade, Thompson said a prayer for all of the riders, noting that it was his 16th year doing so.

Both the dedications as well as the parade breakfast were held as fundraisers for Building Homes for Heroes, a national nonprofit organization founded in 2006.

The organization will use money raised to help build and retrofit homes for severely injured veterans, said Jon Sigillito, a member of the organization's board of directors.

“The turnout was actually not as good as last year, numbers-wise, but some generous donations will hopefully get us close to what we raised last year,” Sigillito said.

This was the second year hosting a breakfast for the organization, which raised $5,000 last year, he said.

While the parade did feel somewhat short this year, there was plenty of horsepower.

In the classic-car portion of the parade, a black-and-red Lamborghini had the crowd yelling as it left some rubber on the road.

A blue Chevy Nova and a black Ford Ranchero were other crowd favorites.

The bikes thundered by, about 35 every 30 seconds, in a streak of metal, leather and smoke.

Two women impressed bystanders, posing with one leg high in the air as they rolled by.

A man on a small motorized bicycle got a few crowd chuckles, and a small boy clung to his father's back on a shiny green bike.

Among the Who's Who of riders, La Plata County Commissioner Wally White was spotted with Garcia and Campbell, riding a two-tone red-and-cream Indian Spirit.

While the parade passed quickly, plenty of bikers and their machines lingered afterward, waving to one another as they revved their engines and cruised back down Main Avenue to enjoy their Labor Day weekend.

Ignacio Bike Week concludes today with a display of antique Indian motorcycles at the Southern Ute Cultural Center and Museum in Ignacio.

scook@durangoherald.com

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