The Riders’ Family
If you are a motorcycle enthusiast you know that you have a second family. It is a worldwide family of people who have one thing in common, their passion for bikes. This passion exceeds blood and distance and builds a connection that few people united by the same passion have.
Motorcycle rallies are one of the best ways to connect with your soul brothers and enjoy the exciting experience of showing off your motorcycle, admiring special bike designs, making new friends with the same passion as you and changing impressions on your most beloved activity in the world – riding your bike.
As you probably know, the most well-known brand in the world started its activity in the United States. Harley Davidson has a history of over a century – that is why the best motorcycle rallies take place in North America and gather riders from all over the world. Not sure which to attend? Here are some suggestions.
Redwood Run is a famous rally that impresses its participants every time with magnificent views along the Californian coast. Even though California doesn’t have many biker rallies, this one can make you feel like you never want to go home. It is usually held in the summer and has a lot of surprises every year.
It takes place in Richardson Grove Campground in Garberville, California, and welcomes its participants with live music, games, food, beer, cocktails and the opportunity to camp outside and enjoy nature among friends. A lot of great names have performed on their stages, like Zakk Wylde, Uncle Kracker, and Everlast.
Laconia Motorcycle Week
This rally has a lot of history. Hundreds of thousands of bikers attend it every year. It is located in Laconia, New Hampshire. In June, you definitely have to write it down on your calendar. Ending on Father’s Day, it welcomes its participants for nine days every year.
The rally’s history goes back to 1916. There was a small gathering of two-three hundred bikers who gathered here and started what we now know as the oldest motorcycle rally of all times. In 1923 it was recognized as part of the Gypsy Tour by the American Federation of Motorcyclists.
Unfortunately, in 1965 some motorcycle gangs broke into a riot and determined the police to put some restrictions over the rally. Due to this inconvenience, fewer participants attended and they had to reduce its duration to three days. This was until 1990 when the rally got back on track and, since then, it has continued to host thousands of participants every year.
New Hampshire law doesn’t mandate bikers to wear a motorcycle helmet, and that is why a lot of people like to attend this event. But freedom has its downsides – a lot of deaths have occurred during this rally and most of them were due to the fact that the bikers weren’t wearing a helmet. So if you plan to go there, try to think of your safety first.
The rally hosts a lot of interesting events for thrill-seekers. It has many hill races, cruises along the largest lake in New Hampshire and you can also enjoy a ride on the highest peak in the north-eastern part of the United States, at an altitude of 6288 feet.
As we’ve said before, motorcyclists all over the world are a big soul family united by the passion for bikes. But Rolling Thunder is a rally that goes beyond that, beyond uniting the bikers’ family. It unites people that pay their respects to the veterans of the Vietnam war. Most of them are bikers, but some of them are not.
Rolling Thunder is actually a group that advocates for the accountability of US service members in all US wars. The Rolling Thunder rally takes place every year on Memorial Day weekend, at the end of May, in Washington D.C.
The rally is among the new ones in the United States and doesn’t have a long history. The first event took place in 1987 and was founded by Ray Manzo, who served in the Marine Corps for several years and, along with three other friends, decided it was a good way to pay their respects to their fellow marines who lost their lives in the Vietnam War.
It started in New Jersey and has smaller events in different other locations, but this is the most important of all because here the attenders visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial every year. So if you want to give meaning to your rally experience, this is the place to be every year in May.
Daytona Beach Bike Week
For those who enjoy the sun and long rides along the beach, Daytona Beach Bike week might just be the perfect Rally. It takes place on Daytona Beach, Florida, and it gathers people from all over the US, entertaining them with games, rides, and concerts held on the beach.
It has a history of over 80 years and it has approximately 500,000 participants every year. Attendees can enjoy parties and street festivals for a prolonged week because this bike week doesn’t last for 7 days as you would expect, but for 10. Organizers chose the first week of March for this special event and, along with the Sturgis Motorcycles Rally, it is considered to be the most popular rally in the United States.
The same as Rolling Thunder, Daytona Week Rally is the host of unfortunate deaths – the highest number recorded took place in 2006 when the death toll reached 20. Since then, security measures were taken and the deaths drop to an average of 3 per year.
Sturgis Motorcycle Rally
Last but not least, The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is what some bikers call the greatest rally in the United States. If not the greatest, it is for sure the largest. If when you read about the 500,000 attendees at Daytona Beach Bike Week you thought ‘Wow!’, you’ll be surprised to find out that in 2015, 739,000 people officially attended the Sturgis rally. Unofficially, there were over 1 million.
In 2015 they celebrated their 25th anniversary and that usually the attendance rate is around 500,000, but that number is still impressive. For ten days, beginning on the first Friday in August, the location is full of motorcycle enthusiasts who wait all year long to attend this magnificent rally.
Known all over the world, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally changed the course of existence for the small town in which it takes place: Sturgis, South Dakota. For a population of around 6,000 people, Sturgis managed to earn over 270,000 dollars from sponsorships only and South Dakota gains an income of over 800 million dollars every year.
The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is also known for The Black Hills Run, a route very loved by riders, that has views of mountains filled with pine forests that have a unique vibe. If you want to know more about it, there are two documentaries made by The Travel Channel, called ‘Sturgis: The Wild Ride’ and ‘Sturgis Cops’.
Nowadays everybody’s dream is to see the world. Some people do it traveling by car, others do it cruising, but only motorcycle riders know the feeling you get when you do it on two wheels. Most of us know the importance of having a family, of knowing that you have a group of people that will always understand you, of having that feeling of belonging.
Rallies are the perfect way to connect to that family. Not because you have to, not because it’s popular, not because you have to show off your beloved motorcycle, but because having someone understand your deepest passion is the most beautiful thing in the world.
You can plan ahead and have your whole year full of rallies to attend to. Not only will you travel a lot, but you will feed your soul the food it needs to be happy. And being happy should be our first goal in life.