The Arizona Centennial Copper Chopper built by Paul Yaffe.
The year 2011 marks the 15th running of Arizona Bike Week aligned with Cyclefest at Westworld of Scottsdale, Arizona. Dubbed as the rally put on “by bikers for bikers,” AZ Bike Week was nothing short of a good time and had more than enough entertainment to fulfill any biker’s appetite. On the menu for the week were the T-Bar Trail Ride, custom bike shows like the Baddest Bagger in AZ, bikini contests, factory demo rides, live concerts from rock bands like Warrant, destination rides to biker bars such as The Hideaway Grill, bike competitions and plenty of shopping from both small local vendors and large name brand retailers. All these attractions taking place over the course of a week and under the warm Arizona sun.
With the warm weather came crowds flooding in over a five day period to be a part of the action at Cyclefest in Westworld of Scottsdale. The facility is set up similar to that of a large fair but instead of amusement park rides, there are factory demo rides offered from manufacturers like Vulcan
, Boss Hoss and Can-Am
Spyder. Once inside the venue there was a biker’s shopping paradise available offering everything from specialized parts to creature comforts considered to be part of the biker lifestyle.
Some of the products that shined over others were unique in many ways. Howling helmets offered some over-the-top lids like a stuffed badger that looked like it was ready to pounce. Everything from a stuffed animal to medieval Viking-themed helmets was available. Certainly not cheap but something that would surely stand out in the crowd as you ride down Main Street. Standing out in this crowd seemed to be the norm, not only with your attire but with your ride. Trask Performance offered a Turbo V-Rod Kit that looked lean and mean. The turbo system featured fully ceramic coated exhaust pipes, polished compressor housing, oversized intake plenum and custom built race tuner maps all for five thousand bucks. One nice thing about the show is retailers offered full service installs on site and if there was some accessory you had to have, you could get it installed right there on vendor row while you shop or party it up at one of the many beer gardens.
There was no lack of fun times at AZ Bike Week this year and once again the promoters delivered with a full schedule of music and entertainment. Cyclefest offered three stages, two smaller stages at the East and West entrances along with a large stage located in a huge airplane hangar-style tent called the Handlebar Saloon. Each day and night presented a full schedule of bands rocking the stages with headliners such as Skid Row, Warrant, Heart and Buckcherry. Thursday night showcased Warrant on the main stage bringing back memories with songs like Cherry Pie. Drinks were flowing, cigars were smoking and the Jager girls were on site to push the party even further. Dressed in orange skin tight outfits and leather chaps, these girls were ready to party. Mixed in with the late night festivities came the 2011 Miss Arizona Bike Week Pageant. Fourteen girls battled on stage in their scantily clad bikinis with dreams of claiming the crown and title. Contestant Number Four, Shena St. Vincent, a smoking hot blonde bombshell dressed in a tiny red bikini ended up getting my vote but in the end Miss Arizona Bike Week 2011 went to contestant Number Two, Janae Gargano from Phoenix, AZ. Other attractions included in the night life was a sportbike stunt show where riders performed wheelies and stoppies, only if they could do those stunts on a Harley, that would be a show to see!
Greg LeBlanc's 2011 Harley-Davidson won the Baddest Bagger in Arizona contest sponsored by Paul Yaffe's Bagger Nation and American Bagger Magazine.
The Hideaway Grill located in Cave Creek, AZ is a popular destination for bikers offering good entertainment all week.
During the daytime there was still plenty to do, highlighted by the Baddest Bagger in Arizona Bike Show sponsored by Paul Yaffe’s Bagger Nation and American Bagger Magazine. About 20 bikes were entered in the contest and the winning custom motorcycle was a 2011 Harley-Davidson FLHX in black with orange highlights owned by Greg LeBlanc of Arizona.
LeBlanc said it was great to be a part of the show and to take home the win. “We put about a month or more of work into it and Steve with Chandler Harley-Davidson has really spent some time making it a great ride. We got 126 horsepower at the rear wheel by putting in a 120R motor in it and then added a Screamin’ Eagle Performance clutch and DynoJet quick shifter which all you have to do is put it in gear and she moves,” said Greg.
One noticeable thing with Arizona Bike Week is the event is not limited to just Cyclefest at Westworld, but in fact has plenty of other destinations throughout the city to ride to. It’s nice to have options at a bike week and get some riding in while you’re hanging out with friends or family. One popular place to ride to which has become a staple destination during bike week is The Hideaway Grill located in Cave Creek, AZ. Only a 20 minute ride from Westworld, The Hideaway is a happening place and offers beer, bikes, girls, music and vendors. Trask Performance and Bad Ass Baggers are big sponsors of the Hideaway and showcased many of their custom bikes at this cozy little biker bar. When you roll into the city of Cave Creek, it’s kind of like going back in time to a western outpost. There are small boutique shops and one main highway that meanders through town. Like a desert oasis, it has a friendly feel with a welcoming staff ready to serve up a good time. The Hideaway Grill owner Mark Bradshaw opened the bar 17 years ago to create a place for Phoenix bikers to ride to on the weekends. An avid motorcyclist himself and big supporter of AZ Bike Week, Bradshaw is pleased how the Hideaway Grill has become a part of the annual AZ Bike Week.
“AZ Bike Week has now been going for years now and each year it only gets better. The Cyclefest promoters have done a great job on growing the event providing more attractions that make it a really fun event and offering bikers places to go and rides to get involved with. I’m just happy to provide a fun place with great entertainment for all of us bikers,” said Bradshaw.
The Trask Performance girls were the center of attention offering photo opportunities during the weekend's bike shows.
When Bradshaw mentioned rides to get involved with he’s speaking of poker runs, club rides and charity runs that have become part of the fabric that is AZ Bike Week. The Annual T-Bar Trail Ride, Hamsters Charity “Dry Heat” Poker Run and Wednesday Riding for Kids Charity Run are just a few of the more popular rides. Charity is a popular reason for bikers to get together and put some miles in the saddle, and one club that has done this well is the Crusaders for the Children Motorcycle Club. This year the club has not only been involved with the Wednesday Riding for Kids Charity Run but put together a large silent auction benefiting abused children in Arizona. This nonprofit corporation showcased some great autographed sports memorabilia, movie collectibles and musician artifacts in efforts to raise money. Bikers coming together to help the local community is what these events bring and AZ Bike Week has helped create an event that gives back to the community.
The rally may have come and gone, but it has left a positive impression on all that were involved. If you didn’t have time to head out to AZ for Bike Week this year, then be sure to make plans for next. There is plenty to see and even more to be a part of when you arrive. for further information on the event, check out www.azbikeweek.com
and be sure to stop in at the local establishments who support the event if you happen to be cruising through Phoenix, Arizona.