The shootout at Twin Peaks restaurant has cast a pall on biker-related events this spring and summer, causing some to be scaled back or canceled.
The American Legion Post 121 in Elm Mott is canceling its American Legion Riders state rally that was set for June 5-7, citing tensions after Sunday’s shooting at Waco’s Twin Peaks that left nine dead.
The rally was to have attracted veteran biker groups from around the state that are not affiliated with any of the motorcycle clubs police have blamed for the shootout. The charity event was to have included a dance, karaoke and a Sunday morning “blessing of the bikes.”
But local Legion Riders official Robert Carter said now is the wrong time to hold a large biker event.
“Because of the situation, riders from around the state were concerned they were going to be harassed if they came through riding in groups,” he said. “This is going to give us time to be able to put out more information to police and cities (about) what we’re doing. We’re going to reschedule for the end of August.”
Local veteran riders still will observe Memorial Day by visiting local cemeteries, starting at 8 a.m. at Restland, the county’s pauper cemetery. But they will spread out in small groups to other cemeteries rather than riding en masse.
Meanwhile, a biker party sponsored by the United Clubs of Waco and Bandidos at the American Legion hall set for June 27 has been canceled, Carter said.
The Bandidos, considered by the FBI and Texas Department of Public Safety to be a criminal gang, were key players in Sunday’s melee, along with the rival Cossacks Motorcycle Club, local authorities say. But Bandidos have been involved in broad-based biker coalitions such as the United Clubs of Waco and the Texas Confederations of Clubs and Independents. The COC&I had scheduled a meeting at Twin Peaks on Sunday, but it was pre-empted by the gunbattle.
The shock of the shooting has put a damper on biker events across the state. Some bars and restaurants, including the remaining Twin Peaks locations, are suspending their weekly biker nights.
The Cossacks have canceled their Memorial Day rally in Palo Pinto County under pressure from the local sheriff. The rally has been an annual event for 13 years, but “with what happened in Waco and the beef between those clubs, we felt this was a dangerous situation,” Palo Pinto County Sheriff Ira Mercer told the Associated Press this week.
In Woodway, a car and motorcycle show will go on as planned Saturday as part of the Woodway Roadrunner Festival. So far, no one has signed up a motorcycle for the show, but entries are still welcome, City Manager Yost Zakhary said.
“The Bandidos and Zetas are not going to show up to a festival,” he said. “We are not going to alter our plans. If someone brings a motorcycle, we’re going to let them enter it.”