It was a very busy weekend around these parts as we in Muskegon hosted a little shindig aptly named Muskegon Bike Time, and what a time it is.
Family Events, an Indianapolis-based company that, for the past three years, has run the show, organized and promoted the event, killed it again this year.
The projected attendance of 90,000 visitors and 35,000 bikes had to be damn close to spot on the money for this year, and that, my friends, is a whole lot of bikes and bikers in one spot.
“Muskegon Bike time definitely is one of the fastest-growing events of its kind,” said Matthew Louck of Family Events. “It’s starting to be considered among the top biking events, some having over 70-80 years of history.”
So how does a small-town motorcycle rally step up and compete with events like the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota, the Daytona Motorcycle Rally in Florida, and Laconia Motorcycle Week in New Hampshire? Because the riding around the Lake Michigan lakeshore and the Muskegon area is among the most scenic and challenging to be found in these United States, that’s how.
The city closes down the main drag through town (such as it is) to every vehicle not a motorcycle or a variant thereof, and all the local merchants welcome riders with open arms. And to add to the biker-friendly ambiance, the local constabulary seem to put away their ticket pads for a long weekend and let riders be riders.
As amazing as it may sound, the result is a relaxed, well-controlled, family-friendly event that brings riders from around the Midwest and damn near every local – biker or not – who enjoys a good show. Everyone gets along and the upshot is that you’d be hard pressed to find a more laid back environment as your destination to hang out with riders of all stripe and some very, very cool locals.