Motorcycle Excitement as Bike Week 2018 Roars into the Lakes Region
By Kathi Caldwell-Hopper
It’s time for the motorcycles and the fun and the events and food and so much more. These are the many reasons that motorcyclists from all over the United States - and other countries - flock to the Lakes Region each June for Laconia Motorcycle Week. This year the event will be held from June 9 to 17 in the Lakes Region. The week is jam-packed with plenty of events, group rides, and entertainment. Rally Headquarters opens daily at 8 am during the week of the event, and is located on the boardwalk on Lakeside Avenue in Weirs Beach. The following is a listing of just some of the highlights of the event that is fondly known as “Bike Week.”
Throughout the week, at the Weirs Beach area, there will be music at the Marketplace every day from noon to 11 pm; special events and live music will be offered all week at Tower Hill Tavern; the M/S Mount Washington will be dockside all week and on June 11, the Big Boat will have a special Countdown to 100 cruise/tour around the lake departing at 4:30 pm; the FIM North American Vintage Championships will take place on June 9 and 10 at NH Motor Speedway in Loudon (www.nhms.com); a burn-out pit, live music, and promo girls will be at the Smokin’ Tire Saloon from June 9 to 16; special events will be featured at Heritage Harley Davidson; the Winnipesaukee Harley Owners group will have a hospitality tent at Laconia Harley Davidson; the H.O.G. Check-In location will be the Weirs Beach Drive-In entrance with Harley demos and displays all week.
Events are scheduled at the Paradise Beach Club; live music daily at the Looney Bin Bar & Grill and the Naswa Resort; the Laconia Roadhouse entertainment tent will be open every day from noon to 1 am with live music and contests daily. The Cornerstone Outreach Ministries will have a Safety Stop on Rt. 9 in Antrim daily from 8 am daily, with food. (Call 603-352-2616.)
Each day also features special events. The week kicks off on Saturday, June 9 with a delicious breakfast at Hart’s Turkey Farm restaurant from 8 to 10:30 am. Also on June 9, riders can support a great cause and participate in the 38th Annual Cystic Fibrosis Northern New England Charity Trial Ride, which starts at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Rt. 106 in Loudon at 8:30 am and finishes at the Speedway the next day at 11:30 pm; bikers will ride approximately 100 miles per day. The 12th Annual Peter Makris Memorial ride runs from 11 am until 1 pm. The ride will feature NH State Police escorting riders around Lake Winnipesaukee, then returning to the Naswa at Weirs Beach for lunch and entertainment all afternoon. The Ride benefits the Laconia Fire Department’s Water Rescue Team, Easter Seals NH Veteran’s Count Program and more. Don’t miss the Big Air Jumps & Stunts Show at the Makris Lobster and Steak House on Sheep Davis Rd. in Loudon from noon to 6 pm.
On Sunday, June 10, take the Gypsy Tour to Bentley’s Saloon in Maine, from 10:30 am to 5 pm. An AMA Gypsy Tour to NHMS for USCRA Vintage Races will leave at 10:30 am and return at 5 pm. Many other events will be taking place at Rally Headquarters and elsewhere; check www.laconiamcweek.com for updates.
Monday, June 11 offers the Pet Run Ride: Mae-West Memorial Ride for the NH Humane Society leaves Rally Headquarters at 10:30 am, returning at 2 pm. Cruise on the M/S Mount Washington boat from 4:30 until 7 pm. Patrick’s Pub in Gilford is having a Team Trivia night, starting at 7 pm. Enter the Best of the Bikers Pool Tournament at Shooter’s on Route 3 in Belmont beginning at 7 pm.
View some beautiful bikes at the Vintage Motorcycle Show on Tuesday, June 12, from 10 am to 4 pm at the Broken Spoke Saloon in Weirs Beach. The Gypsy Tour for the day is a 70-plus mile Scenic Ride from 10:30 am to 5 pm. An exciting Hill Climb Expo will be held on June 12. It takes place up Tower Street in Weirs Beach at 11 am.
Wednesday, June 13 brings lots of special events! From 10 am to 5 pm, the AMA Sanctioned Hill Climb at Gunstock in Gilford will feature motorcycle fun, live music and much more. The 95th Rally Anniversary Celebration kicks off at 5 pm at the Naswa Resort in Weirs Beach with cake on the beach. A Ladies’ Ride, led by the Winnipesaukee H.O.G. Chapter #2529 Ladies of Harley runs from 9 am to 5 pm. A Covered Bridge Gypsy Tour runs from 10:30 am to 5 pm, and offers riders a look at some of the state’s beautiful covered bridges. Later, plan to take in the Fireworks Show beginning at 10 pm at Weirs Beach.
On Thursday, June 14, riders can take a “Ride to the Sky” on the Mt. Washington Auto Road. The ride meets at Rally Headquarters in Weirs Beach at 7 am; there’s another ride up the Auto Road, starting at 10 am from the Mt. Washington parking lot. The “We Love Laconia Motorcycle Week Ride” takes place from 8 am to 5 pm. The Big Air Jumps & Stunts Show at the Makris Lobster and Steak House will be thrilling the audience starting at noon. There’s also a Custom Bike Show from 11 am to 3 pm at the Historic Train Station in downtown Laconia. The 24th Annual POW/MIA Freedom Ride kicks off at 6 pm at Winnipesaukee Crossing; the event honors POW/MIAs and their families.
The 95th Annual Loudon Classic Weekend at the NH Motor Speedway begins on Friday, June 15, from 8 am to 5 pm. The Belknap County Nursing Home Welcomes Motorcycle Week from 11 am to 3 pm. Come to the Swap Meet at Opechee Park in Laconia from 8 am to 1 pm, and while you’re there, have your bike blessed by the Christian Motorcyclist Association at 11 am. The Makris Lobster and Steak House again showcases Big Air Jumps & Stunts from noon to 6 pm.
The 8th Annual “Jesus Ride” begins on Saturday, June 16 at 11 am. Participate in a worthy cause at the Charity Bike Ride and Breakfast to benefit the Lakes Region Children’s Auction at 9 am at Berkshire Hathaway Verani Realty in Belmont. A ‘Tiny House’ will be on site for tours!
Bike Week winds down with the Big Air Jumps & Stunts Show at the Makris Lobster & Steak House from noon to 6 pm on Sunday, June 17. And don’t miss events from 8 am to 5 pm at the NH Motor Speedway in Loudon.
Whether you spend a day or two enjoying all the Bike Week events, ride-ins and excitement, or the whole week, there’s plenty to do at Bike Week 2018.