Pulling into the Marshall Mountain Ski Area, you could hear his engine roar. Straddling his machine, his hair blew in the wind as he turned noisy circles in the overgrown parking lot. The notorious Hells Angels biker gang was arriving early at their designated campground, and the air buzzed with anticipation of the annual summer run.
“I’d be mowing the lot even if the Angels weren’t coming,” said Bruce Doering, owner of Marshall Mountain, as he sat on his riding lawnmower Monday afternoon. As Doering spoke, two bikers pulled their V-twins out of the otherwise empty venue.
Doering said his preparations for the weekend rally would be minor, the required chores nearly identical for weddings and biker gangs. He’s happy to host the Angels again after a “positive” visit in the summer of 2000.
“They’re just very cordial,” he says. “Other than providing more bathrooms, this isn’t any different.”
The Independent contacted 11 businesses between downtown Missoula and the Rock Creek Lodge—host of the concurrent Testicle Festival—and all claimed no unusual preparations for what’s expected to be a busy party weekend. Even the Turah Pines Bar, which is hosting its “Annual Luau” at the end of the bikers’ visit, reports business as usual.
“No extra security, no nothin’,” says 20-year bartending veteran Brenda Lightbrun. “I don’t know if they’ll participate in the hula hoop contest or the limbo, but we’ve joked about that.”
Lightbrun has had no trouble with bikers in the past, and doesn’t expect any in the future.
“I actually know quite a few Angels and Banditos,” she says. “They’re all real cool people, and I doubt if it will be an issue with them colliding.”