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2010 Arizona Bike Week Review

Friday, April 23, 2010
The sun was out and the clothes were skimpy at Arizona Bike Week 2010.
Welcome to Arizona Bike Week 2010, where the sun was hot and the outfits were skimpy.
Like most everything else, major motorcycle rallies have been hit by hard times. Numbers are down, people are grumpy and most of us can’t even remember what a leisure dollar is, much less spend one. But somehow, somewhere out in a blooming Arizona desert, somebody threw a party and for a few days in April everyone forgot they weren’t supposed to be having fun.

The 14th annual Arizona Bike Week, held this year from April 9 through April 18, included five warm-up “pre-rally” days that kicked off the event with signature rides, dealer hosted parties and biker queen pageant eliminations. It was a prelude to the main event, Cyclefest, which opened its doors April 14.

Organizers gave up their search for a willing Main Street years ago. No Phoenix-area city wanted the marauding herds of heathen bikers galloping through their peaceful town, disturbing the lawful citizenry and causing mischief, miscarriages and general mayhem.

The event eventually found a home at WestWorld, a 356-acre equestrian and special events facility located in Scottsdale. Cyclefest took root, gradually growing each year. In 2009, some 40,000 enthusiasts passed through the gates. This year’s attendance is still being counted, but an eyeball estimate puts the crowd at officially "bigger."

Motorcycles in the foreground and giant saguro cactus in the background can only mean one thing - its time again for Arizona Bike Week.
Motorcycles in the foreground and giant saguaro cactus in the background can only mean one thing - it's time again for Arizona Bike Week.
This edition offered nearly 200 vendors, factory demo fleets, beer girls, bike games, a silent auction, something naughty called the Jager Games, People’s Choice Bike Show, the Miss Arizona Bike Week Pageant finals and live bands performing daily under the big tent, otherwise known as the HandleBar Saloon. George Thorogood topped the bill this year.

Despite the economic gloom, Arizona Bike Week shined. The event is maturing into something special, bustling with more activity and attracting more merchants and bigger headliners than ever before. Now there is a palpable energy, a vibe that was missing before. Maybe Harley’s “Screw It, Let’s Ride” ad slogan
Cruising around on raked-out choppers at Arizona Bike Week 2010 on a sun-drenched afternoon. Wed call that one fine day.
worked some magic on the unwashed and idling masses, but whatever the reason, it was a good year for one Miss Stacy Lanson, a former international fashion model and 40-year-old motorcycling virgin to catwalk into our world:

Stacy’s Expectations

Motorcycles have always held a strong allure for me. Perhaps it’s the high polish of sculpted chrome, which seems to beckon me like a shiny object to a crow. Or is it the whole bad-boy biker thing? If so, that’s a bit "in theory" too, since my spousal equivalent is a gentleman biker even if he may occasionally look dastardly. It must be my wanderlust that makes motorcycles speak to me. That asphalt ribbon laid before me leading to a colder beer, hotter dance floor and the most scrumptious saddlebag picnic this ol’ girl can pack.

Honestly, this is all rather new to me, and in fact I was off to my very first biker bash with much anticipation, maybe too much. You see, I’ve recently turned "The Big Four Ohhh Shit I’m Getting Old," which turns one to pondering about their bucket list and the big clock inescapably ticking off the time left before said bucket gets my high heel. Arizona Bike Week was on my list.

Contributor Stacy Lanson poses with a wicked custom Harley bagger.
Looks like contributing writer Stacy Lanson isn't having too much difficulty acclimating to the biker lifestyle.
I will meet this adventure with enthusiasm, trepidation, and much curiosity. Visions of motley scoundrels festooned in territorial patches crept into my daydreaming. Would the 1%ers be there? I read one of their fearsome leaders resides in nearby Cave Creek. Aside from what the spousal equivalent says, most of what I know about bikers comes from old Peter Fonda movies. Will these ruffians want to mate with me, maul me, or worse? Will the women try to lure me with tales of the sinful life of motorcycle mamas and seduce me with their titillating tattoos?

My girlfriends jest that it will be a target rich market of single men. I’ll keep my eyes open on their behalf. Would I even get a second glance with all the foxy beer vendor girls about?
A vintage Harley sits ready for restoration.
And good lord, the wet t-shirt contestants!

The spectrum of women attendees will probably be infinitely vast - the girliest of girlie-girls hawking wares for the vendors to the hardcore biker broads. In case you’re wondering, let’s just say lipstick, mascara and high heels are my three amigos.

Stacy's Realities

Absolutely gorgeous bikes, an eclectic cast of characters and beauteous springtime desert weather made for an extraordinary Bike Week. My face is now tanned and my boots are dusty, but I’m left with a big grin. I can’t wait until next year!

All my trepidation was for naught. I was amazed just how family-friendly the primary venue was. We spied strollers full of wee bambinos and leather-clad toddlers looking suspiciously, yet hungrily, upon the myriad of breast augmentations. There were organized rides everywhere, including the Lingerie and Breast (cancer) Awareness Run and a wildly popular T-Bar Trail Ride.
Beer girls work hard during the rallies keeping the thirsty throngs satisfied.
Beer girls work hard during the rallies keeping the thirsty throngs satisfied. Got to keep those lips moisturized, you know.

I wasn’t sure why the T-Bar ride was met with such enthusiasm until I was quietly informed the “T” stood for Tittie. Seems like boobs were all the buzz, and this, I’m told, is de rigueur for bike rallies. So when in Rome...Yes! I went on a tittie bar run, and I liked it!

Outlaw biker types were few and far between. Strangely enough, the most menacing were the aggressive (and quite ordinary, even pasty, in appearance) men attempting to chat me up, even while I’m with my occasionally dastardly looking spousal equivalent! Next year, I’ll wear a ring to ward off the circling sharks. Girls, if you’re looking to hook up, I think you’re at the right place!

The ladies had a much stronger presence than I anticipated. I guess that’s not to be unexpected, though. According to some demo fleet sirens, who were tempting me with silvery, chrome-splashed, sexy motorcycles, women account for about 25% of new bike sales nowadays. This was definitely reflected in the chick apparel, jewelry and paraphernalia at the event. I hold a black belt in shopping and thoroughly enjoyed their offerings, particularly the fluffy Cheeky Chaps.

You go girl. This rider aint sitting on the back of nobodys motorcycle.
More women are taking control and learning to ride than ever before. She's not riding on the back of nobody's motorcycle!
The ladies of ROK (Riders of Kawasaki) spoke of the multi-generational presence in both the Kawasaki biking family, and at the event. I hadn’t really pondered the thought before. But, apropos to the conversation, I came home to find my very own, barely 20-year-old daughter, Scarlett, had borrowed my auxiliary helmet and leathers. Apparently, the new boyfriend made her a convert. The apple just doesn’t fall far from the tree.

A new bucket list item for me - get my MSF course certification. Having spoken with several inspirational bikers, I feel moved to now do so. And, I will heed their advice: "Don’t let a man dictate your ride." I must say, among a countless number of stylish bikes, the Honda Rune caught my fancy the most. It had a way of artfully
An Arizona Bike Week fan does her best to get her four-legged friend to cooperate for a picture on the Diva Harley.
combining masculine and feminine lines, and it was oh-so shiny!

Arizona Bike Week will reconvene next April, dates to be determined. Cyclefest ticket prices are not set, but aren't expected to vary much from this year’s tariff of $20 per day, per person, or $55 for the week. For more information, call 480-644-8191or visit www.azbikeweek.com  
2010 Arizona Bike Week Photo Gallery
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                      Room at the Inn
The Arizona sunset at Hotel Valley Hos Sky Line Rooftop is unbeatable.
Staying one traffic light ahead of the law, we kept on the move while in Scottsdale and environs. I’d like to thank the Scottsdale Resort & Athletic Club, Hotel Valley Ho, the “W,” and the Radisson Fort McDowell. I so joyously partook in pampering, fine dining, and getting my cocktail on at these fine establishments.

Much trekking around Cyclefest and all the alternate venues takes a lot out of you. By the end of the day a little pampering is in order. The Zen-like Eurasia Spa at the Scottsdale Resort & Athletic Club and the facilities at the Radisson Fort McDowell Resort & Casino are most restorative for mind and body. The Scottsdale Resort also sports a full gym, heated pools and a very relaxed atmosphere. Some rooms offer full kitchen facilities, nice if you want to share.
Visit www.scottsdaleresortandathleticclub.com ; call 877-343-0033.

One night we retired to the flirty and upscale W Scottsdale. It was still early in the evening, but people were already jockeying for position amid the cabanas and poolside settees. My powdered sugar coated grapefruit cocktail was the best martini I have ever had. We noshed on their club and Philly cheesesteak sandwiches. D’lish! This is clearly the “in” spot.
Visit www.Whotels.com;  call 480-970-2100.

Hotel Valley Ho, a kitschy throwback to 1956 is a groovy riot of color and form, renovated to its former glory and then some, in 2005. The pool and Sky Line Rooftop are not to be missed. They are “see and be seen” locales worthy of a young ingénue or matinee idol. This hip, retro hotel brings smiles at every turn. We stayed on a Thursday and enjoyed the art walk in the nearby gallery district. The hotel gives a little nod to bikers with a vintage Triumph in the lobby.
Visit www.hotelvalleyho.com;  call 866-882-4484, 480-248-2000.

The Radisson Fort McDowell Resort & Casino is already established as biker friendly, as the long line of motorcycles flanking the entry attests. The staff is warm and professional, the suites well appointed. The cuisine and surroundings have a decidedly Southwestern flair. The Amethyst Spa and Boutique is full of worthy indulgences. Enjoy!
Visit www.radisson.com/ftmcdowellaz
 call 800-333-3333 or 480-789-5300
Biker Friendly
Miss Arizona Bike Week 2010 brings a smile to the face of this lucky man. By the way  nice glasses  dude.
If you’re going to make the trek to Arizona for Bike Week next year and don’t want to waste time looking for the hot spots, consider some these more popular joints in and around town:

The Billet Bar (www.azbilletbar.com)
Dirty Dogg Saloon (www.dirtydoggsaloon.com)  
Greasewood Flat Western Bar (www.greasewoodflat.net)  
The Hideaway (www.hideaway-usa.com)  
The Steel Horse Saloon (www.steelhorsesaloon.com)  
Tailgaters (www.tailgatersaz.com)  
If you dare to look for adventure beyond the edge of town and somehow find yourself in Jerome, AZ like most motorcyclists do sooner or later, check out the Spirit Room (www.spiritroom.com),  the coolest biker bar in northern Arizona.

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Comments
Chris -metric cruisers are Pretenders  May 13, 2010 11:50 AM
At AZ bike week there are sport bikes and golwings but if you want someone to tell you metric cruisers are cool you are wrong! They are second class citizen!
bikerrandy -motorcycle commercial rallies  April 28, 2010 09:10 AM
For the first time we rode to the Laughlin River Run the following weekend in Laughlin, Nev. I wonder how big this Arizona Bike Week is in comparison (35,000). It was the first 98% HD rally we've been to and even though we weren't on a Harley it didn't seem to matter much. We had a good time and went home with some good stuff we couldn't pass up. We'll be back.

I've been to Daytona Bike Week too, but skip Sturgis.
GB -Bob  April 28, 2010 08:51 AM
I'm not HD guy but you have to give them credit, they spend the money on advertising. why else would all the sheep think HD is the best thing on 2 wheels. what ever they pay Madison Ave. is worth every cent to them.
Bob -Yeah. If you owned a Harley.  April 27, 2010 09:32 PM
Your photographs in this article say it all. Just want to remind you: there are other motorcycles than Harley Davidsons out there. One of the reasons these events are being "hit hard" is that they offer minimal support to metric motorcycles and their riders. They all focus on Harley Davidson. It's no wonder attendance, sales, and fun are declining at these events.
GB -women on bikes  April 27, 2010 11:32 AM
does it get any hotter than that?
Nick -That "vintage" Harley  April 25, 2010 06:55 PM
. . . ain't vintage! It's a modern build! Sportster motor, front disc,etc . . .

The builder is super-talented. Sure fooled you.