The Hells Angels in Cripple Creek…a True Story – Cat’s Corner -By Catherine Mahrholz

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Last week just about everyone in the Pikes Peak region was anticipating the arrival of the Hells Angels to our little mountain town of Cripple Creek.

Rumors and speculation abounded about what might or might not happen.

I’ve been delivering TMJ to local businesses throughout the Pikes Peak region for about ten years now. I like to tell people I’m the distribution manager only because I deliver more copies of TMJ than anybody else on staff.

Bright and early last Tuesday morning I left my home in Florissant to drive down to Signature Offset Press in Colorado Springs where I pick up a few thousand copies of the latest edition for distribution.

I’ve lived in Teller County since 1989, and as I began driving down Hwy 24 from Florissant, I noticed one state trooper after another parked along the highway. I’ve never seen such a heavy presence of law enforcement in our area!

Is this all about the Hells Angels coming to Cripple Creek, I wondered…by the time I got through Divide there was no doubt that this must be the reason.

I continued down to Signature Offset, picked up the bundled copies of TMJ and headed back up to Woodland Park.

I deliver the Hwy 24 corridor from Woodland Park to Lake George on Tuesdays and it was interesting to hear what the local business owners and residents had to say about the arrival of the legendary Hells Angels. Some folks expressed a certain amount of trepidation and even scorn, while others thought it wouldn’t be a big deal.

Personally, I felt it might very well be much ado about nothing. But I confess that I too, was just a little nervous having seen them out in California back in the late1960s. Truth be told, the three or four I encountered on one occasion when I was 18 were friendly…it was the one girlfriend who glared at me that freaked me out. If looks could kill, I would not be sitting here today writing this story!

Early Wednesday morning I headed up Teller CR 1 to deliver copies of TMJ to Cripple Creek and Victor.

By the time I got to Bennett Avenue to begin delivering to the casinos, it was about midmorning.

I had just paid a visit to Bronco Billy’s and was walking back to my “Fabulous Ravulous” (Toyota RAV4) when I spotted a rather handsome guy, much younger than yours truly. He had his back to me and I noticed it read Santa Cruz on the back of his vest.

“So you’re from Santa Cruz out in California.” I commented to him as he turned around. We carried on a conversation for a few minutes and I asked him if he liked to gamble. He smiled and replied, “I gamble every time I get on my motorcycle.” I kinda smiled back and rolled my eyes at him, so he asked me which casinos I would recommend. I said, “Well, a lot of people like Bronco Billy’s over there and just up the next block is Johnny Nolon’s where they claim to have the loosest slots.” He smiled at me and said, “Sounds like my last girlfriend.”

But when I offered him a copy of TMJ he accepted it and he and his buddy headed up Bennett Avenue.

I grabbed a few hundred copies of TMJ out of the back of my vehicle and started my trek up the other side of Bennett Avenue.

There were Hells Angels and other motorcycle aficionados strolling along in front of the casinos, and so, inspired by my first encounter with the good looking guy, I began to offer copies of TMJ to people I encountered as I walked my route.

I couldn’t hand them out fast enough. And when I began to point out the headline story about the Hells Angels written by our very own Rick Langenberg, people started taking them from me two and three at a time!

Whenever there’s an event in Cripple Creek, I try to engage the tourists, answer questions and generally do my best to welcome them to our little mountain town.

I basically enjoy driving around our scenic little corner of the world every week delivering TMJ. And in the ten plus years that I’ve been handing out our little weekly rural rag, my encounter with the Hells Angels and the other Bikers in Cripple Creek last Wednesday was just a whole lotta fun! It was definitely one of the best times I have ever had on distribution day since I began my association with The Mountain Jackpot newspaper.

Given recent events in these United States and around the world, my faith in humanity was somewhat restored by the warm and friendly guys and gals I met as I delivered copies of TMJ in our beautiful little town of Cripple Creek.