Four Great Summertime Motorcycle Events
From beach racing vintage bikes in Jersey to camping in the Sierras to killer machines in Venice, there's lots of motorcycle-related fun to be had in the summertime
In most parts of the world—especially in the states—people look forward to “riding season”, the time of year when the weather is great and you don’t have to worry about getting stuck in a hail storm or getting snowed in (Unless you live in Michigan -JM). It’s a time for drinking cold beverages while wading in a cold river and for riding through the mountains letting the cool air flow through your jacket. It also is a great time for motorcycle events where crowds of people get to check out beautiful bikes and the nights are warm enough for racing under the lights outdoors.
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I’m in Southern California and these are what stands out to me as the best events of summer. Most are West Coast based but worth the trek from wherever you might be in the states.
Born Free Motorcycle Show
A buffet of rad bikes and cool people.
Born Free is the event that kicks off the summer in Southern California and in recent years it seems to be a destination for a much wider reach. It happens every year in Orange County at Oak Canyon Ranch. It starts with a flat track race at Industry Hills expo in partnership with Harley-Davidson. The rest of the weekend custom-built bikes there by invitation line the grass along with what seems like a hundred vendors of everything from parts to hip motorcycle shirts. At the end of the event they hold the main raffle during which one lucky winner gets to pick from a batch of pretty epic builder bikes. Brad Pitt even went a couple years ago.
The Sierra Stake Out
Bike camping at its finest.
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Sierra Stake Out is, as the website tells us, "in tents". It seems to be the funnest camp out of the year that I have yet to make it to. It is the brainchild of one of the gals who started Babes Ride Out and her Hubby, and it takes place in one of the most beautiful parts of California. It's planned around scenic rides and trips to swimming holes, which is basically the most important part of summer as I mentioned earlier. The camp festivities are hosted by the legendary bringer of fun Dumptruck, and if you have ever been blessed by his Emcee skills you will understand what I mean.
The Race Of Gentlemen
T.R.O.G. in a nutshell.
The only non-California event on my list, The Race of Gentlemen takes place in the beginning of June in Wildwood, New Jersey. Around 15,000 people crowd the beach to watch what is affectionately called “The greatest race on earth”. All of the motorcycles racing are American-built machines made in 1947 or before, and any car bodies must be 1934 or older. The site for race entry also mentions that all vehicles must be “in the spirit of the event” which is pretty much code for “super cool looking”.
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Venice Vintage Motorcycle Rally
An excellent end to the summer.
The summer in Southern California is finished out by the Venice Vintage Motorcycle Rally in September. This year is their tenth-annual event, and they will be raffling off a CB750 50th anniversary tribute bike. Every year they have a morning ride to kick off the festivities. The ride arrives in Venice where they have vendor booths, live music, food and drink, and a vintage motorcycle show. Venice is a nice place to spend a cool September day and the crowd does not disappoint.
Your town probably has a similar event going on if you do a bit of research. Check out local riding groups and clubs via social media, and look for photos with location tags of riding spots that you know of in your neighborhood. With just a little bit of creativity you can get out there and go meet some new motorcycle friends!
Photos courtesy of their respective events