It was a busy week that found me in four states, the last of which was South Carolina at the Greenville Easy Riders Bike Show where I spent the day promoting the Asheville Bikefest and Blue Ridge Run coming next spring. This is a difficult post for me to write as I don’t want to get on the wrong side of so many who are involved with motorcycle events, people I need to work with, people who buy my America Rides Maps, and those for whom motorcycling has a different appeal. Please try to forgive me my viewpoint. In general, I don’t do events, it’s not for me.
2 Hours to set up before the doors open. Mark and Yvonne prepare our stall.
For those who are involved, it’s a tremendous amount of work and hassle. I shudder at the tough life of being a vendor, the constant travel, set up and break down, long days spent trying to stand out from the rest of the crowd and reach people, hoping the weather cooperates and people turn out in sufficient numbers to make it worthwhile. I’ve done it a few times and I respect those who either make it their living or spend their efforts doing promotions for products and manufacturers.
Quite the assortment of custom motorcycles at the show - unfortunatley, they're not my cup of tea.
Nor do I go out of my way to attend events – The circus formula always seems the same. Vendors, bike shows, stunt shows, loud music, festival food and (not so cheap) cheap beer, bike games, yadda yadda. Of course the crowds who attend are generally as much a part of the experience as anything else, people and bike watching is one of the best parts, there’s always something that has you shaking your head for one reason or another. I suppose it’s as good an excuse as any to visit new places, a reason to ride somewhere, and for some it seems to be all about chasing the next party.
The detail work on some of these machines is amazing but for me they are just enormous paper weights - too delicate to ride.
Despite this viewpoint, I was up at 4 AM Saturday morning loading my stuff in the truck quite happy to be rendezvousing with Yvonne and Mark Cresswell, promoters of the Asheville Bikefest and Blue Ridge Run for the ride down to Greenville. I was eager to spend the beautiful fall riding day in a booth encouraging people to come to the event next spring. WHY?
Hundred of hours, thousands of dollars to build a bike you don't dare ride. While I appreciate the dedication and effort, I'm still a function beats form guy.
For me, motorcycling is all about the ride. “Go” trumps “show” for me. Function beats form. Give me the bike that best lets me engage the road and relate to the ride. Sure I appreciate the esthetics of my machine, but my days of cleaning chrome, fretting every blemish and speck, washing, waxing, and polishing, and pondering the next piece of bling are long over. I’ve got better things to do with my time, I’d rather be out on the road. The reason I’m so enthusiastic about the Asheville Bikefest and Blue Ridge Run and why I believe in it – it’s about the riding.
Either concept bikes or movie props, I couldn't determine if they actually moved under their own power. I wouldn't want to have to ride one of these very far.
Located just minutes from the Blue Ridge Parkway and hundreds and hundreds of miles of some of the best motorcycle riding found anywhere, the Asheville Bikefest and Blue Ridge Run can’t help but become one of the nations major motorcycle events because it has so much more to offer the motorcycling visitor simply because of its geography. Combine one of the worlds best motorcycle riding locations with the talent and experience to coordinate a major event, throw in the outstanding scenery in a location within easy reach of millions of riders, add the spice of fun and funky Asheville, and you’ve got a recipe for an experience that will satisfy any taste. As the spring rally at Myrtle Beach continues to implode and burn out, this new star is rising thanks to the Cresswells at Worldwide Dynamics. Their legacy of involvement with promoting some of the biggest motorcycle events such as Sturgis, Laconia, Leesburg, and others bring the connections and clout to not only bring in the big dogs from the factories, but be selective in choosing the best of vendors and entertainment.
Halloween themes were timely this late in October.
Last year was the first Asheville Bikefest and Blue Ridge Run and we all wondered if it would go at all. Approvals and commitments did not come in until the last minutes and the opportunities for pre-promotion were scant. Most of the big dogs know better than to invest their time in a first year show. It’s a hurdle you’ve got to clear, a bar to jump to show it can be done. That leap is behind us now and the majors are making their commitments.
Me at the Asheville Bikefest and Blue Ridge Run helping you find the best rides and routes.
I’ll be back again this year acting as “Route Master” (unless we come up with a better title). Let Mark handle the Bikefest end of things. My mission is to get you out to enjoy the riding just as the first warm spring weather breaks and the trees and mountain foliage are in full bloom. There are so many outstanding motorcycle rides nearby you can come back every year for the rest of your life and ride a great new motorcycle route each time, though I suspect you’ll develop a handful of classics that are worth revisiting over and over. I think I did a good job last year giving out 30 local ride maps – trust me, nobody rode them all. I’ll be your resource to help you plan those daily excursions, route you to the best of the best, and help you discover the hidden sights and treasures that abound.
Yvonne on her 2010 Royal Enfield Military Edition motorcycle, a design virtually unchanged since 1955. She really likes it.
Pencil in May 12 – 15, 2011 on your calendar for the Asheville Bikefest and Blue Ridge Run. Kick off your riding season with a bang, get outfitted, test ride that new bike, and discover the undiscovered secrets that make the Smoky Mountains one of the best motorcycling regions in the world. It’s all about the ride.
Asheville Bikefest and Blue Ridge Run
– Wayne Busch lives in Waynesville, NC, where he produces the most detailed and comprehensive and up-to-date motorcycle pocket maps of the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains to help you get the most of your vacation experience. See them here – AmericaRidesMaps.com
- Wayne Busch – Cartographer