Easy Riders: Bikers stop in Los Banos during annual run

By Charles Guest / Cguest@losbanosenterprise.comJanuary 3, 2013 

On New Year's Day, calls alerted police to hundreds of motorcyclists, many on Harley-style bikes, rolling into the city.

Initial reports indicated that up to 300 motorcyclists were rolling eastbound on Pacheco Boulevard, some of them allegedly doing wheelies.

The commotion was caused by 200 to 250 motorcyclists from approximately 15 San Joaquin Valley and Bay Area motorcycle clubs in the middle of their annual J1 Run.

According to Slip, a member of the Soul Brothers Motorcycle Club, the annual event is organized by his club as a way to have a little fun on New Year's Day.

"We just get together to have a little camaraderie and brotherhood," said Slip. "We always come here."

Slip said the rally takes the group through Stockton, Tracy, Merced and to the parking lot across from Donut Nation in Los Banos.

The Soul Brothers Motorcycle Club was organized in 1967 in East Palo Alto. The group reportedly has, at times, had a friendly relationship with the Hells Angels and had partied with Sonny Barger, who started the Angels.

"We were the only black and white motorcycle club back then," said Don Washington. The Los Banos man has been a member of the Soul Brothers since 1968.

"We have all kind of members; black, white, we're just folks. We even have some members that were in law enforcement," he said.

Los Banos police respond to the scene after the initial calls came in shortly after 1 p.m. Officer Nathan Bowling, along with Benjamin G., a police explorer, wended their patrol car through the crowd of bikers who had pretty much blocked 13th Street. Sgt. Jesse Ceja also kept a close eye on the group from the Taco Bell across the street.

The bikers' stop lasted for a little under an hour.

Except for the engine noise, some minor traffic blockage, and a small amount of litter left behind when the bikers departed, there was no trouble from the group and no arrests were made.

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