BELEN, N.M. (KRQE) – The upcoming B-Town Bike Rally in Belen will not be happening this year after the city denied a permit to allow the event to take place. This comes after three people were killed and five others were injured during the annual Red River Memorial Day Motorcycle Rally last weekend.
It would have been Belen’s third bike rally taking place the weekend of July 1. However, after recent events in Red River, the city said it’s too dangerous.
“I was very excited for it, but since they canceled it, it’s kind of a bummer,” said Sarajo Griego, a nearby resident.
Some in Belen are sad after hearing this year’s B-Town Bike Rally is canceled.
“It’s kind of hard because I always like coming up here to come and see them drive through and see all the different bikes because they’re really nice people that come through here. I do think it will affect the business,” said Griego.
In a notice from the city, the reason for the denial was due to potential risks associated with the event and the number of resources needed to manage an event of this type safely.
“I can see where they’re coming from as far as being concerned, but would that happen here? Not necessarily. I could look at it from either perspective,” said Tristan Wright with Casa De Pizza in Belen.
Belen Mayor Robert Noblin said, in a statement, that he recused himself from the decision in canceling the upcoming bike rally. He mentioned safety for the citizens of Belen and visitors is a top priority, and information received by their police chief from surrounding agencies and throughout the state led to the decision.
Some business owners in town Saturday said it was a good idea to cancel the rally, while others are disappointed because they look forward to the extra revenue the event brings.
“I think it could partially affect it, as far as for that weekend, but for the most part, I think the business should stay about the same. We have the same regular customers,” said Wright.
Some Belen residents online are encouraging bikers and businesses to attend the Belen city council meeting on Monday to share their opinions and concerns about the cancellation.
There’s no word yet on what next year looks like for the rally in Belen.
As for Red River, the mayor announced, after 41 years, the Red River Motorcycle Rally will no longer be an event the area holds. Instead, the city will plan an event honoring veterans and their families.