Bucket lists are all the rage these days. We wondered what motorcycle enthusiasts might put on their bucket lists. Here’s what we came up with:
Sturgis first of all. Growing and evolving since 1938, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is famous the world over. Every year tiny Sturgis, South Dakota hosts about half a million motorcycle enthusiasts. It’s a whole week (plus) of races and rides, music and motorcycles held in one of America’s scenic wonders—the Black Hills.
Daytona Bike Week has been around for about 70 years too. A race in Daytona Beach, Florida was cancelled due to World War II, but motorcyclists showed up anyway and a massive party ensued. The rally now lasts for ten days and attracts about half a million people. In addition to the races, concerts, parties, and other festivities (even weddings), you could include a visit to Kennedy Space Center or Silver Springs state park.
Myrtle Beach Bike Week is 70 years young too. Every May about 300,000 people come to enjoy the racing and the over-eighty miles of riding along the coast. In addition to the custom motorcycle shows and the terrific music, you can jaunt out to see a battleship or castles or wildlife reserves—or all three.
Great-granddaddy of them all is Laconia Motorcycle Week, held in June. At 90+, it’s the oldest bike rally in the country. Held on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire’s largest lake, this week-long rally attracts about 300,000 visitors and has unique events like the biggest beer belly contest. You can race, or ride the scenic, tree-lined roads around the lake. Be sure to ride the Mount Washington Auto Road up the highest peak in the northeast.
Rolling Thunder is held every Memorial Day weekend in Washington, D.D. Ray Manzo, a former Marine, founded it to bring attention to the POW and MIA servicepeople of the Vietnam War. In addition to motorcycle enthusiasts, the event attracts thousands of former servicepeople and others who want to honor the fallen and show their patriotism. Nowadays, the event is hosted by Rolling Thunder®, Inc., which strives to increase awareness of American POW/MIA issues and helps veterans, past and present.
Younger and smaller is the Republic of Texas Biker Rally. On the second weekend in June, Austin closes off about fifty downtown blocks for a huge parade and party. About 200,000 visitors are expected at the largest ticketed motorcycle rally in the nation. Austin is known as a music venue, and the Republic of Texas Biker Rally attracts some amazing headliners, such as Willie Nelson, ZZ Top, Joan Jett, and so many more. Visit the event website to see who’s starring and get your tickets.
Bikes, Blues and BBQ, or just BBB, is termed the “Largest U.S. Charity Rally.” About 400,000 motorcycle enthusiasts descend on Fayetteville, Arkansas during the last weekend of September to thrill to the natural beauty of the Ozarks and support underserved people in Northwest Arkansas. In the last 19 years, the rally has raised over two million dollars.
Our own Oyster Run should be on any local motorcycle enthusiasts bucket list. Look for more about the Oyster Run in an upcoming Newsletter.