KINGMAN - Bike Night is changing locations.
The weekly event, previously hosted by Chuy's on Stockton Hill Road, has moved to the Sonic Drive-In on Andy Devine Avenue after Chuy's instituted a "No Colors" policy that would prohibit motorcycle club members from wearing their patches and other items identifying their club.
Sonic hosted the event for the first time Wednesday. Management reported no problems or disruptions.
Thomas Kelly of Performance Specialists, which sponsors Bike Night, said organizers were looking for a different type of venue and felt that the drive-in offered a family-friendly atmosphere, especially since no alcohol is sold at Sonic. More than 60 bikers attended Wednesday.
"A lot of people don't like change, but it's a good change," Kelly said.
Riders who attend Bike Night have previously complained about what they perceive as harassment after the Arizona State Gang Task Force began surveillance at the event several months ago.
In an e-mail to the clubs after the original article appeared in the Miner, Kingman Police Chief Robert DeVries said police weren't targeting Bike Night but rather individual bikers involved in criminal and gang activity.
He also disputed that police were unfairly targeting Patriot Guard Riders and added that police will provide an escort for military members who have been killed in action.
Two Patriot Guard riders were ticketed by a Kingman Police officer in August for blocking traffic during a funeral procession for a motorcyclist whose final wish was to have his ashes carried in a gas tank for one last ride.
DeVries said the riders had been told a day prior to the incident that they needed to follow all traffic laws during the escort.
He added that the riders had created a significant traffic problem at Stockton Hill and Andy Devine when they were ticketed.
DeVries said police are working with area bars and restaurants to implement a "no colors" policy. Several bars that riders frequent have already made the change.
Police showed up Wednesday night and sat across the street for about 30 minutes before leaving, Kelly said. He's hopeful the new atmosphere will be a positive change.
"We'll try it out and see how it goes," he said.