COVID-19 strikes again.
With a focus on motorcycle touring and travel, Americade is kind of an opener to the spring/summer motorcycle rally season for many riders in the U.S. The OEMs often use Americade to host demo rides, showing off new models. Americade doesn’t have the outlaw image that some other U.S. rallies have. It’s not as high-profile as Daytona Bike Week or the Sturgis Rally, but the clientele isn’t exactly the same either. It’s mostly about Gold Wings, not choppers.
Originally, the 2020 Americade rally was scheduled for June 2-6 in Lake George, New York. The coronavirus pandemic interrupted that plan. In early May, organizers postponed the rally until July 21-25. The rules and uncertainty around public gatherings in the state of New York meant Americade couldn’t go ahead under the initial scheme. Even if it had run, many motorcyclists would have stayed home anyway, to avoid exposure to COVID-19.
Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic is still raging on, and organizers canceled the 2020 Americade rally as a result.
“When we rescheduled Americade to July, I knew that it was a bit of a long shot,” rally organizer Christian Dutcher says in a statement on the Americade website. “Attempting to create a safe event in the face of a global pandemic was a big challenge and would require numerous changes to ensure everyone's wellbeing.”
It wasn’t about the money, said Dutcher. Organizers figured the rally wouldn’t have been financially worthwhile, but they didn’t want to be one more canceled-for-2020 event. As Dutcher puts it, “there was already enough depressing news.” Despite long hours of work, the organizers felt they couldn’t run a safe event, though, so they had to cancel. The plan is to return in 2021.
With Daytona Bike Week disrupted by COVID-19, and now Americade canceled, what about the other big events in the U.S.? At this point, the Laconia rally is still supposed to be going ahead August 22-30, and Sturgis is still running August 7-16. It’s hard to imagine Sturgis canceling, as riders will just show up anyway, unless law enforcement closes down the highways. As for Laconia, stay tuned.