Author Topic: Reports on shows we have been to. 2006 (16 Posts+)  (Read 5902 times)

Offline Sassafras

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Reports on shows we have been to. 2006 (16 Posts+)
« on: October 21, 2006, 11:32:50 AM »
(This was first written on Mar 6, 2006 on our Proboards site.  The posts date to Aug 25, 2006 and includes a total of 16 posts.)

Reports on shows we have been to. 2006 LANSING
? Thread Started on Mar 6, 2006, 8:37am ?   

The first show of the year was in Lansing, January 29th. It was well attended. That is an understatement because the aisles actually got plugged up for a while. We haven't seen that in any show for a couple of years. I hope this is a sign of things to come this year.

Good show. If you are within a 100 miles of Lansing, you should attend this show, always held on the last Sunday of January or the first Sunday of February.


Re: Reports on shows we have been to. 2006 ADRIAN
? Reply #1 on Mar 6, 2006, 8:40am ?   

Adrian, MI Ghost Riders annual swap meet.

This is a small show, with a surprising number of parts vendors. Good club, nice people, cheapest food vending with $.25 coffee, cookies 2 for $.25 and hot dogs $1. And the club ladies serve it with a smile.

Southern Michigan riders should go here if for no other reason than to get out of the house and get around some bikers.


Re: Reports on shows we have been to. 2006 DETROIT
? Reply #2 on Mar 6, 2006, 8:41am ?   

Detroit, last Sunday in February. Big parts show and lots of vendors and buyers. Always active and always a joy to participate in. It is held at the Michigan State Fair Grounds on 8 mile and Woodward. Come early, stay late and enjoy one of the biggest winter swap meets in Michigan.


? Reply #3 on Aug 8, 2006, 2:12pm ?   

So many shows and so little to say about them. I will list them in chronological order starting with March 12: Flint, Muskegon, Kalamazoo, Cadillac, Grand Rapids, Detroit, Birch Run, Midland. The indoor shows were lacking this spring in vendors, customers and enthusiasm. Maybe the war in Iraq is starting to affect us or the higher prices in gas. What ever the reasons, the indoor swap meets were slower and less interesting.

Carl from CC Cycle had his first annual swap meet at the race track and it was a breath of fresh air for a small and fairly new meet. It was well organized, well run and well publicized. Thank you Carl.

I should also note that Gil from Paragon Leather held his first annual swap meet in Cadillac and it was worthy of us to go there. Both the Muskegon and Cadillac meets allowed us to meet people from parts of the state we don't normally do business. I hope they both continue to promote.


? Reply #4 on Aug 8, 2006, 2:17pm ?   

This is a worthy show for you to ride to. The people are nice and the cause is honorable. It could easily be the first ride of the year for many riders in West Michigan. This is not a money show for us, but we will continue to support this group and their efforts by offering our presence.


2006 Ride for the Burns Clio, MI
? Reply #5 on Aug 8, 2006, 2:20pm ?   

Another good ride that is slowly evaporating for who knows why. This is an ABATE and Firemen's effort to support contributions for burn victims. We have done it for a few years and each year participation is getting worse. It should be a great ride, starting in Flint and wandering through communities to eventually end at the Fireman's Park just south of Clio. It is an escorted ride and at one time was well attended. If you're not there, next year, you're square.


2006 Blessing of the Bikes, Baldwin, MI
? Reply #6 on Aug 8, 2006, 2:29pm ?   

What can I say. This show just keeps getting bigger and bigger. Weather doesn't seem to affect it as we have experienced everything from snow to 75 degrees. This year I rode to Baldwin, with Sassafras following, in 42 degree rainy weather. It got better, but not much and, in spite of that, they still came. Thousands of bikers, estimated over 25,000 in fact, arrive every third Sunday in May in this small community and literally take over the highways (US 10 and M 37). If you have never come to this event, then put it on your calendar. The event itself lasts for a few minutes around 1 PM on Sunday at the Baldwin Airport. They start to pile into the airport around 8 AM. But many people arrive on Thursday and Friday to simply hang around or to ride in Michigan's mid-north wilderness.

It's a hoot and there is nothing like it anywhere else in America. Everybody is welcome and for an almost completely unplanned event it is fabulous. There are no activities, little support from the local businesses (restaurants still close at 7PM as if there weren't thousands of visitors), and very few facilities. And yet, we bikers arrive like swallows go to Capistrano. I have said for many years that if Baldwin decided to not have the Blessing, they would still have to put up with 20,000 plus bikers. We would come anyway. It is part of passage of Spring in Michigan.


2006 Jackson, MI Downtown
? Reply #7 on Aug 8, 2006, 2:35pm ?   

This was interesting. We set-up on the main street of downtown Jackson on Friday and wondered if any bikes would come. Saturday a few hundred did (well maybe that is a little exaggeration) and they proceded to line them up in the center of main street (Sturgis style) and took a lot of pictures. We had fun, made a little money (mostly from the local citizens, not bikers) and decided to return next year.

There are many towns that are now having a bike show on their main street. Chambers of Commerces not only recognize the crowd drawer a few hundred motorcycles are, many of the members ride today. My observation though, is that we, the vendors and bikers, simply become entertainment for the rest of the community.

There are many of these sort of events being held across the nation. If your community or a neighboring community has an event, I would suggest you attend it and have a good time.


2006 Freedom Rally, Blaney Park
? Reply #8 on Aug 13, 2006, 1:05pm ?   

Ok, new venue (down the road a mile or two and new owners/promoters) and that was the excuse. What it really turned into was a neighborhood party with some bikers attending. We achieved about 1/3 of the sales that we would have expected from previous shows.

For our own personal enjoyment, though, we managed to meet a bunch of relatives (Zellar) I hadn't met in the past. Billy Zellar and his dad John Zellar actually own the property and promoted the show. Steve Zellar and his dad Louis Zellar were a joy to meet and I hope to see them again. Their were other Zellars I met and will say as a bunch, they are very good people with me never hearing a disparaging about them over the years. In fact, I have always heard they are good people from Yoopers I have met in the past. I agree.

Concerning the event, I hope Billy can put this event together. The facilities are excellent. I would suggest, though, that an Upper Peninsula event should be held in the summer, not in the spring. Summer doesn't happen in the Upper Peninsula until June 20th, remember. I would move it to mid August. Maybe either the weekend before the Midnight Run or the weekend after.


2006 Gaylord, MI WKLT at Beaver Creek
? Reply #9 on Aug 13, 2006, 1:24pm ?   

Beautiful facilities at Beaver Creek Resort, a few bikers, a lot of arrogant radio people that don't know squat about squat and Dave who is one of the owners. I quickly found that Dave was the only one that had his ducks in a row and learned to smile and nod my head as a flock of WKLT staff came by and gave us worthless and contradicting directions.

As a bike show, it was a joke. WKLT didn't recognize it. They thought they had a smash. Well go to their website and they ask you what you think of their website and the only choices are 1. Like it, 2. Awesome, 3 It rules, 4 The site changed? So they are used to self-aggrandizing and wouldn't recognize a bust if it hit them in the face.

Not enough bikes, anyway, to call it a bike show. I thought we may be in trouble when the week before I asked numerous people from Gaylord at the Blaney Park Freedom Rally if they were going to the bike show in Gaylord, and they hadn't heard of it.

Next year?, I don't know yet.


2006 Freedom Rally, Algona, IA
? Reply #10 on Aug 13, 2006, 1:28pm ?   

Great show. We were located in the Harley Davidson/John Deere parking lot again for the fourth straight year. Attendance was good and we were on our way to record sales when we got hit by 80 mph winds that literally collapsed one side of our canopy. 6 tables of sunglasses went into the mud and that ended that days sales. What a mess.

This is a great event sponsored by ABATE. It is the old Humboldt show that was moved to ABATES private property (yes, they are now property owners) outside of Algona. It is a must to come to as a rider, particularly on Saturday as their our tens of thousands of bikers in the town.


Snowshow Mountain Freedom Rally, July, 2006
? Reply #11 on Aug 13, 2006, 1:32pm ?   

Good show that was darn near rained out this year. We had rain all day Thursday and half a day Friday. Effectively, we had a one and a half day show. If you are looking for a point to ride and are from the area, the ride is beautiful in the mountains and worthy of attending.

We don't set-up on the mountain. It has been offered to us, but I didn't like the formula of high winds and fog/clouds and so we set-up in the vendor show at the foot of the mountain next to the Exxon station. For a flat lander, though 3000 plus feet is still quite high.


Hog Rally, W. VA, Canaan Valley, July 2006
? Reply #12 on Aug 13, 2006, 1:36pm ?   

I don't like Hog Rally's. I usually don't do well in them. Hog members are almost non-buyers unless it has something to do with accesorizing their Harley or has Harley printed on it. It is just the way it is. I am not trying to disparage a group, but simply sticking to the facts, folks.

Fortunately, we were setting next to another Exxon station and we had good traffic from tourists and locals and they bought a lot. We also were close to good food and when we left there on Sunday, we went nine miles down the road to the Black River Falls State Park, and stayed a couple of days. That was nice.

Concerning the event, if you go to Hog Rally's, then this is probably one of the better ones simply because of the mountains.


Honda Homecoming, Belle Fontaine, OH, July 2006
? Reply #13 on Aug 13, 2006, 1:49pm ?   

This is a fun show. I would suggest every biker, regardless of what brand they ride, come to this one. The plant in Marysville, OH, opens to the public and you would be able to see how an American made bike is put together.

I have to warn you, though, their aren't any naked ladies or drinking contests. So if you bought your motorcycle simply as a ticket to hedonistic pleasures, then this event would be disappointing. It is interesting and the towns are filled with interesting people that ride motorcycles.


Mt. Garfield Hill Climb, Muskegon, MI August, 2006
? Reply #14 on Aug 13, 2006, 1:56pm ?   

The Hill Climb. I have attended this event since the late 50's and in the West Michigan Area we simply call it "The Hill Climb". It used to be a lot of bikers coming on Friday to put up their tents and party for two days and the National Hill Climb it self was held on Sunday.

For the first time ever, the camping area was not even close to being full. There really weren't many bikers there on Friday and Saturday. There were a lot of drinkers (some truly seemed underage and most weren't bikers, I know, I asked many of them) but motorcycles were scarce and our sales showed it.

Sunday, however, the crowd finally came. The day crowd for the event was good but not huge. The event itself was spectacular. If you never have seen a hill climb at Mt. Garfield, then it's about time. Well, actually, they are only held on the even years, so you'll have to wait a couple of years. The 'Hill' is challenging (they installed a 10 foot berm, 20 feet up the slope that really tested these pro riders). Many went out of control after hitting it. There were spectacular runs and fabulous crashes, with one of them highlighted by having the motorcycle do a one and half flip in the air half way up the hill

Come next time, I am telling you and you won't be disappointed.


Midnight Run, 2006, St. Ignace, MI
? Reply #15 on Aug 25, 2006, 9:26pm ?   

The Midnight Run, sponsored by the GWRAA for Juvenile Diabetes, is truly one of the great rides in America. It starts in Grand Rapids at Midnight and ends in St. Ignace Michigan around 7:30 AM. I have rode in it and I have worked in it. Riding is great. You start with about 2000 bikes and end the ride with about 8 miles of motorcycles. It tests your riding skills, since you are riding all night and for many people this will be the longest single ride they have ever accomplished.

It's a great ride going to a great city/area. If you have never been to Mackinac City, St. Ignace or seen the Mackinac Bridge, then you are in for a treat. It is simply a beautiful area and one that should be experienced. Sass and I got up there on Monday before the event and camped in the Straits State Park until the Thursday after the event. It just don't get better than that. 

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