Motorcycle Rallies and Events
There's probably a motorcycle rally going on someplace every weekend. Whether the shindig is just a gathering of a few clubs to toss back a few drinks and stories in some dusty Texas honky-tonk, or a massive gathering of hundred of thousands in Sturgis, you could spend a lifetime traveling to these events.
Below is a list of a few major rallies to help you plan the year.
When the winter is just about over and you feel like throwing on your chaps and hitting the beach, look into Daytona Bike Week. This event kicks off the start of the major rally season, taking place during the first week of March. Around 500,000 riders thunder in to ride the Loop and attend an overwhelming number of events, most of which involve eating, drinking, riding, and rocking out.
Since 1983, the Laughlin River Run has drawn the wild bunches, with an enticing mix of casinos, concerts, and revelry. Like any event with a volatile mix of leather clad toughs from different "forums," this rally is not without its infamous history. However, the Nevada scenery is a perfect fit for the lonesome rider. Events include a custom bike show, famous poker run, a concert series, and the crowning of Ms. Laughlin.
It is back to the beach (although this time in South Carolina) for a week-long rally in May. Events during the Myrtle Beach Bike Week include a massive trade show with custom bike building, concerts, and a poker run.
The aptly named Rolling Thunder rolls into the nation's capital Memorial Day weekend, and is 110% patriotism. But the mission is ultimately to raise awareness on issues pertaining to prisoners of war and troops missing in action. It is a solemn event with an intense reflecting pool ceremony, but is heavily attended.
New York biker bash Americade holds the claim of largest rally in the world―and with good reason. The list of events is literally mind-boggling: demo rides from more than 10 manufacturers, dozens of tours, poker runs, rodeos, seminars, trade-shows, and boat cruises. Of course, there are plenty of parties. The rally generally takes place in early June.
A small New Hampshire town, the famous Weirs Beach, and the rest of the Lake Winnipesaukee region becomes biker central for a week in June. For more than 80 years Laconia has played host to a wild week of leather and chrome―Laconia Bike Week. Harley Davidson headlines the mayhem and the only thing louder than the patented thunder from the pipes is the daily dose of live music. Events includes a poker run, bikini contests, stunning New England rides, plenty of demos, and a massive trade show.
If the South Dakota town serves as the biker Mecca, maybe the Kentucky version comes in as Medina. Essentially both are once in a lifetime events that every biker with street cred had attended. Of course, Little Sturgis is just a little bit more country to the others rock and roll, although both have plenty of the famous Kentucky bourbon on hand. After a wild few days of racing, riding, dancing, drinking, and pudding wrestling, the event closes with a church service.
Rumor has it that during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in the heat of summer and if the wind is blowing from the southeast, you can hear the roar all the way in Denver. That is some serious decibel destruction. Of course, what would you expect from a couple hundred thousand Harleys in one place? So many in fact, that this speck of a town transforms into a mega metropolis (some say a million bikers show up) that Snake Plissken would definitely call home.
This all happens for at least a few days in August, when the entire town of Sturgis literally turns a shade of black from all the leather. Thus, if you fancy yourself a true hog enthusiast you will want to make at least one pilgrimage to this pinnacle event at least before you ride off on the great road to nowhere in the sky. Events include concerts from numerous big name acts, street races, tons of rides, lots a parties, demos, vendor shows, and plenty of contests involving women and few clothes.
After you get hitched at Sturgis you can ride over to Glendale, California and consummate your first rally together as biker and bride at the Love Ride. Of course, this rally isn't about romance; it is about helping others. The charity event raises more than $1.5 million annually. Plus, while helping others you get to rock out to some of the biggest bands on the biker circuit.
Bikers head back to Daytona for Biketoberfest where they celebrate the German tradition in style by the beach. Traditional biker events (races, demos, runs and rides) are mixed with brats, beer and leather lederhosen.