Laconia Motorcycle Week 2012 1st Impressions
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Part bug, part bike - you never know what you're going to see at the Laconia Motorcycle Rally!
Pleasant and mild. Maybe not the words generally associated with a motorcycle rally, but that best describes the start of Laconia Motorcycle Week 2012
so far. Fair weather has brought riders out early. Laconia Police Capt. Clary said Monday was “another uneventful day” in regards to arrests associated with the rally and in that sense the 89th gathering has gotten off to a good start. Chief Erickson of the Laconia Fire Department said they’ve been busier on their end, but not necessarily with motorcycle-related incidents. Which brings up an important point. Don’t call 911 for non-emergency issues as this ties up resources which might be needed for true emergency situations, a scenario which has already played out.
Though we missed the 6th annual Peter Makris Memorial Ride on Saturday, it was a roaring success according to Naswa Resort owner Cynthia Makris, who is also president of the board for Bike Week. About 350 people turned out for a ride around Lake Winnipesaukee, raising $32,000 for the Laconia Fire Department’s dive team and New Hampshire Easter Seals with their efforts.
Motorcycle USA kicked off its Laconia 2012 experience by making a run over to Pembroke to pick up a 2012 Royal Enfield
Classic Chrome. After the helpful crew at National Powersports Distributors
(NPD) gave us the rundown on the nuances of the bike, we couldn’t wait to fire up the spunky little Single. The Classic Chrome lives up to its name with a brilliant shine sparkling off the tidy little tank and fenders. The Royal Enfield, with its timeless styling, left us feeling nostalgic as we cruised around the verdant New Hampshire countryside. In a part of the country rich in history, it is a perfect match for the Laconia rally. We rolled out of National Powersports Distributors with a Cheshire Cat grin, elated to be in the saddle again. We’d love to get back to NPD on Thursday as they are doing their part to celebrate the rally with a Rider Appreciation Day, offering free food and fun like raffle prizes and test rides on Royal Enfields. If you’re in the Pembroke or Concord area Thursday, stop on by as everyone’s invited.
With our ride for the week secured, we shot over to check out the scene at the Lobster Pound, one of the epicenters of the rally. Music spilled out of the Laconia Roadhouse and cigar smoke filled the air from the vendor booth selling stogies just outside its doors. Further up the hill, a big white tent was buzzing as five custom motorcycle shops from around New England worked diligently on their ground-up builds. There’s a lot at stake in the Bud Light Biker Build-Off as $5000 is up for grabs in the winner-take-all competition. To find out who’s duking it out in this year’s event, be sure to check out our Laconia Biker Build-Off 2012 Pits 5 for $5000
And though the rally has been blessed with good weather so far, rain clouds are moving into the area for an overnight dusting. It wouldn’t be Laconia without at least one day of rain, would it?
It's been pretty mellow at Laconia so far this year, but we did encounter this accident in front of the FunSpot yesterday. Have fun out there, people, but always be aware and ride safe.
This should make it even more challenging for the racers scheduled to take part in the annual hillclimbs. The event is a bit different this year. It’s an official AMA-sanctioned event at a new location. The format has been changed to attract the big guns and the venue has been moved about 45 miles away. Instead of amateurs making their usual charge up Gunstock, this year the pros will be bombing up a three-tier, 400-foot section with a 76-degree incline waiting for them at the top over in Canaan. The new gig takes place on Ridge Runner Promotions' property off of Route 118 in Canaan, just north of Route 4. The pros will be competing for a $13,000 purse, so it will be exciting to see the experts gettin’ it as they attack the hill.
As far as Gunstock is concerned, we got wind at the press conference that a Hare Scramble may be in the works for the future. Bring it on, we say. Maybe I’ll drag JC out here with me next year so he can compete in it. Country boy that he is, he’d love the lush forests here.
The rain put the kibosh on Wednesday night’s traditional fireworks display, but fret not, it will take place on Thursday instead.
Stay tuned for more good stuff as we’re just getting started. Until tomorrow…
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