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Progressive Laconia Motorcycle Week®: A Long History

June 10th-18th, 2017 – New Hampshire – home to America’s Original Riding Rally®
www.LaconiaMCWeek.com
Jennifer Anderson – info@laconiaMCWeek.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEbikeweek

May 2, 2017 – Laconia, NH –  This June, Laconia Motorcycle Week returns to New Hampshire for its 94th year, leaving some wondering how this popular, time-honored event first came to be.  Don’t try doing the math – because there’s a bit more to it than just counting back 94 years… The rally actually started in 1916, organized by local motorcycle dealers in central and southern New England, with a couple hundred motorcyclists traveling north for a get together (dubbed a “gypsy tour”) at Weirs Beach.  The tour was first sanctioned by the Federation of American Mo-torcyclists in 1917 and when the FAM disbanded in 1919, the Motorcycle and Allied Trades As-sociation (M&ATA) took over the sanction until 1924, when the American Motorcycle Associa-tion (AMA) was formed.  Back then, the weekend event centered around races and hill climbs.  The number of participants grew each year as did the event’s duration.  Over time, the rally blos-somed into a week-long event, eventually suffering in attendance and popularity after getting wrapped up in the upheavals of the 60’s.  The rally reverted to a 3-day weekend and would re-main so until 1991, when organizers revived the week-long event after seeing the success of Sturgis’ 50th Anniversary Rally in 1990.  Laconia Motorcycle Week reclaimed the support of local businesses and the AMA as a week-long rally and the oldest gypsy tour in the country.WelcomeBikers

Today, Laconia Motorcycle Week® is a much-expanded version of the early “gypsy tour” years offering attendees lots of fun, food, music and, of course, a forum to share in their passion (big or small) for riding.  Over 230,000 riders are expected to descend on the Lakes Region for the Ral-ly, holding the honor of the oldest of the three national rallies with Daytona and Sturgis being Laconia’s sister rallies.  Sure, the rev of motorcycles and sight of leather (lots of it) may be overwhelming, but don’t be fooled.  Behind those leather jackets are just regular people; a multi-generational group of enthusiasts, from all walks of life, who all just happen to share in the ex-hilaration and liberation that riding brings.slide01

“It’s a rite of passage,” says organizer Jennifer Anderson, “Many of us grew up hearing about “Laconia” and couldn’t wait to experience what all the buzz was about.  It’s easy to assume that the Rally is just a big party enjoyed by those on two-wheels, but it is so much more than that.  This is the one week of the year when riders get to hang out with thousands of other people, from all around the U.S. and world, who enjoy the very same thing they like – getting out and riding.  The Rally offers us all a chance of camaraderie while still having fun, packing on the miles, and even raising money for much deserved local charities”Laconia2

And its boundaries have expanded, too.  You’ll notice an uptick in motorcycle traffic throughout the state (not just limited to Laconia, Weirs Beach, or Loudon).  Motorcycle enthusiasts come to the state to enjoy the scenic riding as far east as the seacoast and as far north as the picturesque Kancamagus Highway, proving half the fun is getting here.
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So be a part of the continuing history.  Plan a ride to New Hampshire for this year’s Motorcycle Week (June 10 – June 18).  Whether it’s your first or 94th visit, you’ll find the passion for riding, around which this event was founded, has never changed.

Laconia Motorcycle Week® gives great appreciation to all of our sponsors, especially our Pre-senting Sponsors: Progressive, AMSOIL, and Hot Leathers as well as the State of New Hamp-shire for their large financial support of our rally each year.  For more information on visiting the State of NH, check out www.visitnh.gov.

Ride Safe and Keep Away from the Centerline!

 

Inaugural Sons of Speed Race, Boardtracking is back!

5Story by Leah Misch
Photos by Jack McIntryre and Leah Misch

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History of the Race
The Inaugural Sons of Speed race held Saturday, March 18 at New Smyrna Speedway was an epic mark in history for Daytona Bike Week. That was when Billy Lane brought back board track racing; a style of racing in which daring souls laid everything—even their lives—on the line.

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Imagine the pure adrenaline of racers in the early 1900’s riding motorized cycles needing a push start to begin the downward descent on an angled wooden race track. If this isn’t thrilling enough many bikes of this time leaked fluid on the track while riding on thin slick tires. Oh, and if that didn’t seem daring enough; don’t forget these motorcycles did not have brakes!

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In 1912, Eddie Hasha crashed while board track racing, killing himself and 5 others, while injuring 10 spectators. This gave the board tracks the nickname ‘The Murder Drome.

7The sons of speed race emblem on Billy’s bike

Prep for the Race
In preparation for Daytona’s Sons of Speed race builders worked tirelessly to have the pre-1925 motorcycles running. A practice ride left many racers making final adjustments to their motorcycle into the early morning hours of race day.

Billy works tirelessly to get motorcycles ready for race day
Billy works tirelessly to get motorcycles ready for race day

Along with the excitement of bringing back the ‘Murder Drome’, safety needed to be addressed. A well thought out safety plan was reviewed with drivers before the race. A red towel tied to a flag pole was used as a makeshift Red Flag to warn racers of hazards on the track. Xavier Muriel, who is not just the drummer for rock band Buck Cherry but also a motorcycle enthusiast said, “I’m not here to push the limits on winning, I still need two hands to drum afterwards.” No injuries occurred on the asphalt track on race day.

The Race Highlights
Brotherly love graced the track when Billy Lane, the master mind of the Sons of Speed, raced alongside his brother Warren Lane.

Brothers Billy and Warren firing up their pre-1925 motorcycles
Brothers Billy and Warren firing up their pre-1925 motorcycles

Billy commented with a beaming smile, saying the best part of the long-anticipated race was, “RIDING!”
Racers reached speeds of 60 to 70 miles per hour on their bikes. “Moonshiner” Josh Owens gained great speed during the practice round and scampered to a stop. The crowd roared as he safely stood on both feet.
One nail-biting heat saw Buzz Kanter passing Billy Lane to take the lead in a neck-in-neck competition that ended with grins of excitement. 12 “Being out there is a whole new level of racing,” he said.
In a post-race interview, Xavier Muriel who was initially hesitant of going full throttle stated, “Now I need to go home and sell 10 drum sets so I can pay for the work Billy needs to do to my next bike I’m going to race!”
How did the race end? Shelly Rossmeyer finished third on a 1915 Harley. Matt Harris finished 2nd on a 1924 Harley. And Brittany Olsen of 20th Century Racing took home the champion title—as the Daughter of Speed—on a 1923 Harley. Spectator John Marcella commented, “My vote was on Brittany the whole time; she has nerves of steel!”
Stay tuned for more excitement being brought back with board track racing from Iron Trader News! Enjoy the images below from Race Day!
Leah Misch

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DAYTONA BIKEWEEK, SON’S OF SPEED RACING, AND MORE

ABW3_0849Hello All, Jack McIntyre here. It’s Sunday, last day of Bikeweek in Daytona. I’m headed back to snowy Philly this morning so once home, I’ll really start to add coverage from Daytona on the website. If you are into the old board track racing, I have some great imagery for you all to roam through. Plus, Main Street is still the party and the numbers of visitors, in my view, has gone back to the days of old. The crowds in town were off the hook huge.

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Anyway, lots of coverage to come so stay tuned!

 

2016 BIKEWEEK IS ALREADY WELL UNDERWAY!

Can’t go to Bikeweek in Daytona this time around? We we will bring it to you. I will be there shooting starting Monday & my other Photographer has been there since last Thursday. The images are being loaded on Bikernet.com in the Cantina for you all to enjoy, and I don’t mean a few dozen images, I’m talking about thousands of ever event, daily. Here are a few to enjoy for now.

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Doug Danger, Iconic Motorcycle Daredevil Appearance

DougDangerwbDoug Danger will be appearing at Bruce Rossmeyer’s Destination Daytona on Friday, March 11th from 1-4 pm in the Budweiser Lounge. He will have spectacular posters of his World Record jump for sale, which he will be autographing. Doug will also have a video of his triumphs and tragedies. Doug will be wearing the Vanson Leathers that he wore for the World Record Jump, an exact replica of Knievel’s 1974 Sports Illustrated cover photo and will have the Bell Helmet designed for this jump, by Knievel’s painter, George Sedlak.

Doug Danger, professional motorcycle daredevil, recently successfully finished a jump for his hero and mentor, the famed Evel Knievel on Evel’s own 1972 Harley Davidson XR 750. This 22 car Harley Davidson World Record Jump took place at the Legendary Buffalo Chip on August 6, 2015 in front of 35,000 excited fans. Danger was quoted as saying. “Now Evel Knievel and I hold the World Record together.”
Doug’s flight was in excess of 150 feet, landing 21 feet past the last car. The jump was voted “The Most Monumental Moment of the 75th Sturgis Rally. In a terrifying display of courage, motorcycle daredevil Doug Danger pulled off a jump that even the great Evel Knievel could never accomplish. Danger roared down a dirt path between packed campers, under a steel bridge, up an engineered ramp and over 22 cars set along the main street through the center of the Sturgis Buffalo Chip amphitheater. The back tire of the 40-year-old Harley bit the edge of the landing ramp and stuck after a quick bounce. Danger just barely missed the edge of the decking which surrounds the Chip’s famed Top Shelf bar where onlookers gasped at the daring feat from just 20 feet away.
Doug Danger adds this latest accomplishment to his Guinness Book World Record Jump over 42 cars in 1991 on his Honda CR 500. It is still the most cars jumped to this date. Doug is also a Motivational Speaker for youth, colleges and corporations, he has survived Stage IV Cancer, fought his way back from a tragic crash that left him in a coma for a month, and has 36 years experience as a motorcycle daredevil.
At the tender age of 53, Doug has no plans of retiring. He has future aspirations of successfully completing the jumps his idol, Evel Knievel, missed. This includes the 13 bus jump in Wembley Stadium, London, jumping 15 tractor trailers to bring the record back to the Knievel-Danger name and finally, completing a jump at the Grand Canyon.

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