Archived Story

Local chef sheds light on ‘real’ bikers

Published 12:00am Sunday, August 18, 2013

There isn’t much James “Stubby” Orasco hasn’t seen during his decade as chef at Frog Town USA in Ironton. The biker bar is a top destination for those attending the annual Rally on the River.

“The stereotypical biker that sticks in some people’s minds is a big, tattooed guy looking to cause trouble, and that’s just not true,” he said. “But the real stereotype of bikers I have met in my lifetime is that they are really good people.”

Orasco spoke specifically of two heart surgeons he knows who frequent Frog Town, and of the motorcycle clubs that routinely gather for good causes.

“Look right there across the street, it’s the Bikers for Christ. There’s an example of some bikers who are just all-around good people,” he said. “Sure, there are some bikers who are jerks, but there are jerks in every group of people.”

The abundance of bikers who are ex-military adds to the camaraderie and brotherhood that so many enthusiasts value, Orasco said, as does riding motorcycles being a generational tradition.

“If your parents rode bikes, then there’s a good chance you will and your kids will. It’s just the way it happens,” he said. “Bikers are from all walks of life.”

Supporting causes is another tradition shared by bikers, and Orasco says, from his experiences, it’s the main reason some of them ride at all.

“We get so much support from bikers for every cause we have,” he said. “Bikers support their community, the people in their community and other bikers. Most bikers I know would give you the shirt off their back.”

According to Orasco, local motorcycle clubs are as good as any he has ever seen.

“We have really good clubs around here,” he said. “The Portsmouth Motorcycle Club works wonders when they help us with the wounded warrior project every year. Just because someone has a bunch of tattoos doesn’t mean they are a bad person. It just means they like ink. Whether it’s a ride for leukemia or a cancer ride, whatever event we have here people come from all around to support it.”

Orasco said a ride is set for Aug. 31 to help a biker who is sick. He recently lost his job and his medical insurance.

“He was laid off, has no insurance and the medicine he has to have is an astronomical amount of money,” he said. “So we are doing a ride and getting some money together for him.”

Orasco says it isn’t difficult to determine that being a biker isn’t cheap, and most bikers have no problem loaning a stranger $5.

“These guys spend money like it’s water,” he said. “They do not mind dropping cash on something at all.”

Rally on the River is the busiest time of the year for Orasco and his co-workers at Frog Town, and he thinks he has figured out why what he calls “Little Sturgis” is so popular among bikers.

“Rally on the River is right after Sturgis, (S.D.)” he said. “A lot of people can’t make it to Sturgis because of work or other obligations, and this is their Sturgis. It may not get as crazy here as it does in Sturgis or have as many bikers, but this is still our Sturgis.”

Orasco admits it might get a little loud in Ironton during Rally on the River, but overall the bikers who make Ironton their temporary home this weekend are good people with big hearts.

“If it’s a good cause, they will come out,” he said. “If it’s fun, allows them to spend time with other bikers and enjoy themselves, they’ll come out. That’s all 99 percent of bikers want to do anyway.”

Mark Rutledge, who owns Frog Town, said all proceeds from the campsites around the restaurant are donated to the Ironton Police Department.

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