• Roger Sims, Journal Staff

Thunder on the Street arrives Saturday in Pleasanton

Updated: Jun 8

This Saturday, June 4, Pleasanton’s main drag will be roaring. Literally. This marks the return of Thunder on the Streets, a motorcycle rally sponsored by the Kansas Chapter of the Soldiers for Jesus Motorcycle Club, for the second year.

And while this year’s rally will be on Saturday only, the club is looking to expand it to a three-day event next year, according to city officials.

The rally itself begins with a charity ride at Living Proof Church at 32401 Harmony Road, just off of U.S. Highway 169 across from the car dealership in Paola. On-site registration for the ride begins at 7 a.m., but riders can register in advance at the club’s website.

Registration for the ride, which is suitable for all skill levels, ends at 8:45 a.m., and then after last minute instructions and a prayer, kickstands go up at 9 a.m. and the rally heads toward Pleasanton.

Once rally riders and visitors arrive on Main Street at Pleasanton, they will find the street lined with vendors selling everything from food to gear. More than 50 vendors have signed on for the event.

Dick Carpenter’s Memorial Ol' Iron motorcycle swap meet, where people can buy and sell motorcycle gear and memorabilia, will be there. There will also be a Vintage Bike Corral, where motorcycles made in 1999 or before will be available for sale.

Results of the $7,500 Budget Bike Build-off will also be on display. Six bike builders, with the limit of a $7,500 budget, will create motorcycles that will be on display and available for sale. That event and the Vintage Bike Corral are sponsored by Pleasanton-based Frankenstein Trikes.

A biker rodeo will be held for riders to test their agility, and the Ol’ Iron Motorcycle exhibit at the Main Street will be open.

The rally, which is a smaller version of the Sturgis Rally but with a heavy Christian influence, will be packed tighter this year. The idea is to keep everyone together but also to allow visitors to park closer to the event.

At one end of the street will be the American Motor Drome Company’s Wall of Death, a silo type structure in which bikers ride fast enough around the inside of the cylinder to stay up on the walls.

On the other side will be a stage with bands playing throughout the day. A stunt show, axe throwing and a food court are also on hand. Frankenstein Trikes will also be giving tours of its headquarters which is at the industrial park south of Pleasanton on Tucker Road.

Vendors include biker-oriented company’s like Rawhide Harley Davidson of Olathe, Ol-Skool Ripley’s Pinstriping, Two-Wheel Trash accessories and parts, Better Stuff for Bikers apparel, Purple Rose Tattoos, Law Tigers motorcycle lawyers, and Big Boar Cycles motorcycle repairs and performance.

Religious organizations at the event include Working Men of Christ faith-base re-entry housing for ex-cons, Prison Power Ministries, Living Proof Church, Guardians of the Children educating about child abuse, and Truth Church.

But there will also be the Valley Rangers 4-H Club serving food and drinks, Pleasanton-based Blu-Flamingo selling shaved ice, Pleasanton High School (PHS) cheerleaders selling walking tacos, and the PHS Class of 2023 selling homemade ice cream.

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