BACA poker rally

BACA stands for Bikers Against Child Abuse International. This organization, which was formed in 1995, “exists with the intent to create a safer environment for abused children.” (The quote comes from their mission statement.) They held a fundraising poker rally this past Saturday, and to see how it was done, I decided to participate.

The ride started at the local Harley-Davidson dealership (“local” being relative, as it’s about 40 minutes across town from me – there’s a new dealership under construction on my side of town, but it’s not open yet). The staff there graciously provided all participants with breakfast. I happened to arrive late-ish, so I didn’t see them actually *cooking* anything, but there were plenty of scrambled eggs and pancakes left, so I helped myself. Then I wandered inside and found the registration table, where I paid my $20 entry fee and got a sheet of directions for the ride and a sheet on which to record the “cards” I collected. I learned that riders could start out whenever they wanted, instead of waiting in line for their turn, so I decided to wander through the showroom and ogle all the hardware. By the time I got done drooling, I was severely dehydrated. 😉

The parking lot was pretty much emptied out by the time I left, but I had taken my camera with me and collected a few shots of custom machines before I went inside. This particular trike ran a VW Beetle engine and looked *very* comfortable. It was gone when I came back out, but I saw it again at one of the stops.


The rally was open to all kinds of motorcycles. I saw Indians, Harleys (lots of Harleys), Victorys, Hondas (both V-twin and Gold Wing styles), Kawasakis, Yamahas, and even a Ural with a sidecar. Of course, I had to take pix:



The ride circled around the west and south sides of Tucson, stopping at four bars along the way and then ending at a fifth bar, where they had a delicious lunch prepared. At each bar, participants pulled a numbered poker chip from a bag, and the number was marked out on your sheet. (Numbers ranged from 1 to 52, to correspond to a full deck of cards.) Once the number was recorded, the chip went back into the bag for the next person, so everyone had an equal chance of pulling any given chip from each bag.

At the final stop, after the chip’s number had been recorded on our sheets, we gave them to a “proctor” who would hold them until the cards were drawn. The drawing, which would associate each chip’s number with a particular card in the deck, took place about 3:30, with the rally’s winners being announced at 4. I opted not to stay for the drawing / announcement, so I have no idea who won.

It was a fun afternoon. I extended my ride between the Harley dealership and the first bar, because it wasn’t too far from where my Jeep’s frame is being built and I had something to drop off there. After my side trip, I stuck to the printed directions, even though I knew alternate ways to get to some of the locations. I missed one turn, but caught myself before I got too far off course. For those of you who live in Tucson, or know the area, you might be familiar with Benson Highway on the south side of town. It parallels I-10 for several miles, and one of the bars is located on it. It’s also at an odd angle to most of the rest of the city, which is laid out primarily on a north-south / east-west grid. When Benson Highway crosses one of the main streets on this grid, it makes a right curve so that the intersection is square to the cross street. But to *stay* on Benson Highway, you have to make a left onto the cross street (Irvington in this case) and then, a few hundred yards down, make a right turn back onto Benson Highway. If you miss this jog, Benson Highway turns into Tucson Boulevard and you end up at the airport – which several people did. I caught my mistake when I realized that the bar’s address was in the 3300-east block of Benson Highway, and the east-west numbers on the street I was riding weren’t increasing any more (Tucson Boulevard is a north-south street).

To top off the day, that evening I rode the Honda up to Oracle for an event at Oracle State Park with family and friends, after which we went to the Oracle Inn Steakhouse for dinner. I ended up riding just over 200 miles on Saturday.

3 Comments on “BACA poker rally

  1. Stumbled across your blog, and this is an interesting charity that I haven’t heard of before. I’m a Peace Corps Volunteer and am looking for people to help me out with a project for my English class in Mozambique. There’s more info on the Postcard Project tab on my blog. Let me know if you’d be able to help out. Haven’t gotten anything from Arizona yet

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