The idyllic quiet of rural Lakeport was shattered Saturday, when over 100 members of a motorcycle gang rumbled and roared their way through town, forcing officials to close streets and call in dozens of law enforcement officers to deter another rival gang from rolling into town for trouble.
It's still unclear why the Vagos motorcycle gang, which is identifed by green insignia on their black leathers -- and sometimes helmets -- chose Lakeport as the host site of its annual meeting on Saturday morning, but when they arrived, they did so in force.
Though Vagos and other gangs have been sighted in Lakeport before, "we have never seen [motorcycle gang] numbers this large,” Lakeport Sgt. Jason Ferguson told the Lake County News. “We have had motorcycle gangs here before, but never this size in numbers.”
A Vagos member, who identified himself as Sarge, estimated that about 70 bikers, including himself, roared into town.
No arrests and no incidents were reported, in part because of the police presence: some 43 officers from multiple agencies, including the state Fish and Game Department, responded to the lakeside town to provide support for local police.
That's a waste of taxpayer money, according to the Vagos member named Sarge. Dollars in a recession shouldn't be spent on over-anxious police, Sarge said, prompting a reply from Lake County Sheriff Frank Rivero.
"I appreciate your concern for our tax dollars," the sheriff told Sarge.
The Bay Area has a rich history of infamous motorcyle outlaws. In the 1960s, the Oakland chapter of the Hell's Angels was the subject of Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson's first book, which catapulted both the Angels and Thompson to international attention.