For many years, in the US, likeminded people have gathered together in order to celebrate their favorite sport or activity. As early as 1825, fur trappers and mountain men came together in a pre-designated spot in the American West for an event called The Rendezvous. These fur trappers and mountain men would stay together for a week or more, trading their goods, drinking and participating in all kinds of contests.
Into The Future
Much like those mountain men of yesteryear, motorcyclists from all over the world come together once a year at an event simply called “Sturgis.” It is named for the small town in which it takes place: Sturgis, South Dakota. This larger than life motorcycle rally has been taking place every August since 1938.
Sturgis is probably the biggest motorcycle rally in the world. Every year more than 500,000 motorcyclists are welcomed with open arms as they converge on this little town of less than 7000 residents. And no wonder. The small town’s main street becomes a large parking lot for all the motorcycles, their riders in town for a week of partying, games and sightseeing. The town of Sturgis rakes in an estimated $800 million dollars yearly.
Not So Much a Festival
Now, while Sturgis is definitely number one on everybody’s list. This next event actually came in at number five, but I feel that I should mention it now being as it just took place this past Memorial Day weekend in Washington DC.
The event is called Rolling Thunder. It is not so much a party as the others. This rally is dedicated to veterans of the Vietnam war. Founded by Ray Manzo, a former Marine, the members of Rolling Thunder felt strongly that American Servicemen had been abandoned as prisoners of war at the end of the Vietnam conflict. Today, thousands of former military personnel gather at our nation’s capital on Memorial Day to honor their fallen brethren.
Number two on the list just has to be Daytona Bike Week. This event started in 1937 as a motorcycle race along a sand and road course. The American Motorcycle Association was forced to cancel the race in 1942 because of the war in Europe and Japan.
Even though the race was cancelled, motorcyclists continued to show up for a party that eventually morphed into The Daytona Bike Week of today. The event attracts about 500,000 bikers every year for a party lasting ten days. It has even hosted some weddings over the years.
The Oldest of the Motorcycle Weeks
Number three on our list takes place in a small New Hampshire town. Overall it is a bit smaller in size than Sturgis and Daytona. But Laconia Motorcycle Week is the oldest motorcycle rally in the United States.
The fact that it is along Lake Winnipesaukee with its scenic views is probably enough to attract most bikers. But this rally offers many unique events such as the largest beer belly contest.
And if that isn’t entertainment enough, there are plenty of motorcycle races and scenic roads to ride your motorcycle along. The ride along the Mount Washington Auto Road up to a peak of 6,288 feet is a very popular event at Laconia.
Republic of Texas Biker Rally
Last but certainly not least is the ROT Biker Rally. Although the youngest of the rallies, only being around for the last 18 years. This event is so big that the city of Austin, Texas closes off 50 blocks downtown for a massive parade and party that take place the second weekend in June. Not just really cool motorcycles are attracted to this event, many famous musicians have made the scene at the ROT over the years.
Suit Up and Get Out There Already
I’m sure that you are just “itching” to get out to at least one of these events this year. And this is only a short list of motorcycle rallies across the nation.
And if you are considering attending Daytona or another warm weather event like Myrtle Beach Bike Week, you might want to head on over to Wicked Stock and check out the Mesh biker jackets, or perhaps a 4 Season Motorcycle Jacket to keep you comfortable and safe on your trip.
Whichever you choose and wherever you go, make sure you are equipped with the safest and most comfortable motorcycle gear around. We have a nice selection over at Wicked Stock.
Come on over!