Matthew Alan Clendennen, McLennan county resident and member of the Scimitars Motorcycle Club, won’t be attending the annual ROT Rally this year. In fact, he’s not allowed to leave his home county, due to a bond restriction that’s left his business hogtied. He was one of the 180 bikers swept up during the police dragnet at the recent Twin Peaks shooting. Clendennen spoke to the Texas Standard about his case.
An estimated 200,000 bikers are expected to attend the annual Republic of Texas biker rally this year. Clendennen can’t go. He’s out on bail now, but he’s still restricted to staying within his own county. He’s filed a civil rights lawsuit alleging his detention and arrest were unlawful and the terms of his bail are hurting his livelihood. He says his landscaping business and leisure time have been negatively affected, and his ex-wife is using his arrest to get full custody of his kids.
“[The bail terms] limited my ability to service some of my territory based on my franchise agreement,” he says. He also didn’t much appreciate the county “dragging [his] name through the mud, with all the negative publicity in the beginning from law enforcement.”
Although Clendennen did get his motorcycle returned to him, he says the travel restrictions make it feel like it’s still impounded: “I did get my bike back not too long ago but the overwhelming feeling of the whole situation has been disheartening. Anybody who rides knows that riding is all about the journey. You’re not jumping on a bike to ride around in town, you’re jumping on a bike to go ride through the winding roads and take trips,” he says. “Being restricted to the area that I am and the times that I am makes it difficult.”