Walter taking in the View from his motorcycle at Americade
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Americade Motorcycle Rally

By Walter F. Kern

The Americade Motorcycle Rally is a June tradition for touring motorcyclists

The resort town of Lake George, NY sees plenty of tourists, conventions, and gatherings during the year. However, its biggest draw is in June when it hosts the biggest motorcycle touring rally in the world, the Americade Motorcycle Rally. The rally is normally held the first full week of June but, for 2020, it's July 21-25. Americade rally

The rally started back in May, 1983 and was then known as Aspencade East. Started by motorcycle racer, Bill Dutcher and his wife Gini, the rally attracted 3000 motorcyclists in its first year. By 1986, the name was changed to Americade and drew in 10,000 registrants. Current attendance is estimated to be nearly 50,000. Counting the people who simply show up without registering just to "hang out" on Canada Street, the total attendance probably exceeds 100,000. Each year the number of people in town increases as the day-of-the-week approaches Saturday when attendance peaks.

In the past, hardly anyone was in town on Monday. Recently there has been heavy attendance on Monday. The prospect of unusually good weather may contribute to the early crowds but the town merchants are quite pleased to have the extra business.

Everyone who attends Americade has a different experience. If you talk to five motorcyclists after they return from the rally, you will get five separate accounts of the rally. The rally is so large and spread out that the rally experience is unique to each individual. It's very hard to tell someone who has never gone to Americade just what the rally is all about. The best advice is to tell them not to try to do everything. It just can't be done. You have to make it a multi-year experience. Do some organized activities the first time out but leave time to ride the scenic roads on-your-own and amble up and down Canada Street at night soaking up the smell of the machines and the kindly conversation that is all around you. Then next year do something different. Decide on a core set of activities that you enjoy doing every year and then add in something you haven't done before. Many people who come every year just park their bikes downtown, sit a respectful distance behind them, watch the street scene, and talk about bikes to passersby.

Everyone seems to have their favorite haunts. Some rally-goers are heard to say, "At Daytona, beer is king but at Americade the ice cream cone rules." That makes for a very friendly family atmosphere on the street where a man and wife might be seen pulling a wagon across the street at 9 p.m. with four young children dangling their legs out on both sides.

Americade rallyOne also finds lots of animals at Americade. One fellow was seen riding down the street on a bike with a board behind the seat whereupon was perched a large dog. A parked Honda Rebel was seen with a small dog carrier on the back. The woman rider was observed trying to make her way through the crowd with people continually stopping her to inquire about the dog. She did make it to her bike but took another 30 minutes getting the dog into the carrier while fielding off comments from dog lovers passing by. Such is the atmosphere at Americade that is a magnet to riders.

Now, find out why Americade is considered the best organized touring rally in the world by clicking Page 2 below.

=> Page 2: Best organized rally: Americade

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