Laconia Bike Week
Bike Week in Laconia, NH is a yearly tradition for many motorcyclists.
This year, Laconia Motorcycle Week will celebrate its' 95th annual event! Riders of all ages and gather in New Hampshire for this World-Class Rally.
Many riders choose the June Rally in NH because the drive to get to Laconia is so beautiful in every direction! Most Lodging facilities offer specials and packages and restaurants and bars welcome riders to stop and relax a bit!
In fact, NH's back roads and scenic byways make the state a beautiful and welcoming destination for riders during our non-snowy months!
American Motorcycle Association - Gypsy Tours
The American Motorcycle Association was created due to the failing of the two original motorcycle associations; the Federation of American Motorcyclists (FAM) and the Motorcycle and Allied Trades Association (M&ATA).
The FAM was officially formed way back in 1903!
The Federation of American Motorcyclists essentially put motorcyclists on the map. Although the group only existed for 16 years, competition rules and clasifications were developed, restrictive ordinances in large cities were dealt with, and tackled funding and membership problems.
The membership dwindled down significantly due to WWI and closed after 16 years.
The M&ATA was originally formed as a trade organization. When the FAM went out of business savvy folks at the Motorcycle and Allied Trades Association decided to form a membership.
As the Riders Division grew, it was decided that it should be renamed, American Motorcycle Association. So, in 1924 the AMA was born!
The association continued to morph and grow over the next 70 years. In the 1980's and 90's, the focus turned to creating a museum somewhere in the area where it all began - Ohio.
In 1999, in Pickerington, Ohio, the AMA Motorcycle Hall Of Fame Museum opened in a 26,000 square foot facility. Exhibits have included "A Century of Indian" and "Heroes of Harley-Davidson," "Motocross America," and "Motostars: Celebrities + Motorcycles."
The AMA has grown from a national club to become the only club dedicated to serving all motorcyclists in America. It has become the largest motocycle club devoted to advocating the use of motorcycles in the world.
AMA's Role in Gypsy Tours
Before there was Laconia Bike Week there were Gypsy Tours.
The fun began in 1916 with the gypsy Tour in Laconia, NH. A gypsy tour is an organized road ride that included an overnight stay and varied activities that would interest motorcycle enthusiasts in a fun destination.
The term gypsy was used because participants would travel from far and wide and often sleep in tents around campfires along the way. Gypsy Tours took place all over the country and occurred on the same weekend every year.
The intent of the tours was to provide publicity for the sport of motorcycle riding and for the riders to be together and have a great time.
The 1922 edition of the Harley-Davidson Enthusiast wrote the goals of the Gypsy Tours as follows:
First - To promote good fellowship among the riders of all makes of motorcycles and to give them a pleasure tour worth taking about until the time for the next annual tour rolls around.
Second - To give the general public a convincing demonstration of the practical transportation and pleasure possibilities of the motorcycle.
Participants of gatherings in Laconia every year have gone from suit jacket and tie in the early 1900's to bare chests in the early 1970's to a mostly aging population of upper middle class folks that want a quiet, scenic tour with friends.
The American Motorcycle Association is raising awareness of the humble beginnings of the sport of motorcycle riding with planned rides on scenic roads!
Read on for 10 Facts About Bike Week in Laconia That Are BS!
1. Events are ONLY in Laconia! – North Conway hosts “Rally in the Valley” every year during Laconia Bike Week. A $5 wristband gets you into all the events.
2. Laconia Should Be Your Home Base – Not EVEN! North Conway is a great ride from Laconia and the roads are SO scenic. Vacation Rental rates are MUCH lower than Laconia too!
3. Bucket List Is Going To Laconia – Naaah… ahhh… most biker’s bucket list includes riding up Mt Washington! North Conway is a gorgeous 20 mile drive from the Auto Road at Mt Washington.
4. Laconia Is The Best Place To Ride – You haven’t LIVED until you’ve ridden the Kanc, Rt 2, Rt 3 or Rt 16 and lots of other roads I can tell you about!
5. It’s Not Cool To Celebrate In North Conway! – Rally in the Valley attracts a good crowd every year and they’re not just riders! Families, singles and riders alike show up to enjoy the great weather and the sites.
6. Traffic – Stay Away From NH! Ahhh… but not true! Attendance is not what it used to be at Laconia Bike week plus lots of folks stay in North Conway!
7. Crowds! - Vacationers don’t have as much vacation time as they used to. Folks come and go and because of the high rental rates in Laconia they have started staying in neighboring towns.
8. Wild and Crazy – NOPE! This isn’t the 70’s! This society is too litigious for out of hand public gatherings. Laconia is not designed as a family event but it’s NOT like it used to be!
9. Trouble Makers – Attendance was dropping at all Motorcycle Weeks because of the violence and arrests. Laconia has really cracked down and the event has become much more sedate!
10. Only the Young and Reckless – The young and reckless for the most part cannot afford motorcycles! If you look across the biker crowds you will see a majority of gray hair… not brown or blonde!
Drum Roll Please For The Bonus BS....
11. Four Seasons Lodge Is Booked - NOT TRUE! In fact, we have DISCOUNTED and AVAILABLE rentals for most of the first two weeks of June!
Call 603.662.5391 or Email Teena@FourSeasonsLodge.com
We are locals and know the ins and outs of North Conway.
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