For the past two months merchants and bike lovers around the Valley have been banning together to create a treasure hunt that they hope may just brighten the economy.

The first ever Bad Economy Buster Bling Bike Hunt sent participants to merchants across the Valley to gather clues and try to win a Sucker Punch Sally motorcycle.

For nine weeks participants gathered codes from participating merchants near them. These codes were then plugged into a website and at the beginning of each week the next clue was revealed.

Julia Hutton, lead sponsor of Bike Hunt, said it was all about getting the community involved. Hutton, an Ahwatukee Foothills resident, is the founder and CEO of Biker Babes and Beyond, a clothing store for men and women in Cottonwood, Ariz. She said when they opened their doors they could see a lot of promise, but they just needed some more foot traffic.

“We really thought we needed to do something and the more we talked about it the more we realized everyone else needed it to,” Hutton said. “So we banned together. We came up with this idea and approached Christian Clayton with it and he loved it. The response has exceeded our wildest expectations.”

Volunteers were sent out all over the Valley to find merchants who wanted to help. Participants were not required to buy anything from the merchants to get their clue, the idea was just to promote them and let participants know about great hangout spots in their neighborhood.

On Tuesday, March 30, the final keys to the motorcycle were found by Shawn Lukin of Scottsdale.

“I was pretty numb,” said Lukin, 36, a motorcycle mechanic and cab driver. “Everything in my body just went numb and I was shaking really bad. Once I calmed down a little bit I just couldn’t believe I had those keys in my hand and that I had won.”

Lukin said he joined the competition because he’s always wanted a Sucker Punch Sally bike. He’s been riding it every day.

Hutton said the group had so much success that they plan to do another Bike Hunt soon.

“We’ve had a lot of merchants approach us and say they’d like to do it so we’ll take a breather for a few weeks and then start planning again,” she said.

Lukin’s advice for anyone wanting to participate is to clear your schedule. “You need to be available to go on a whim,” he said. “Being a cab driver I’m my own boss so I had that freedom. I think that’s the only way I was able to keep up on it and go look for clues.”

The group will be celebrating the Bike Hunt Sunday, April 10, at 2 p.m. at Buffalo Chip Saloon and Steakhouse in Cave Creek. The custom bike won by Lukin will be on display at the celebration.

If you would like to take part in the next Bike Hunt as a merchant or a sponsor, contact Hutton at

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or

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