Touring motorcyclists wait at a stoplight in downtown Lake George during a prior year’s Americade event. This year’s edition — which starts this next week — is expected to attract tens of thousands of motorcyclists, who will undoubtedly enjoy a variety of new activities and attractions offered.
For decades, Americade has been considered the King Kong of touring motorcycle rallies internationally.
Regardless of this enviable status, the rally’s supersize proportions have expanded even further for this year’s edition.
When tens of thousands of motorcyclists roll into the region this week to enjoy the varied activities of Americade, they’ll find that the rally’s colossal TourExpo trade show has been expanded in scope and duration. But that’s not all — the rally will be offering the most-ever demo rides, as well as featuring new attractions including famous motorcycle stunt shows.
Americade begins Monday June 3 for those who have pre-registered, and the following day for those registering on site. Such open registration begins 8 a.m. Tuesday June 4 at the Lake George Holiday Inn.
Tour Expo extended to 8 days
Tour Expo, renowned as the world’s largest marketplace for touring, sport-touring, cruiser products and services, will engulf two weekends this year instead of one.
TourExpo Beach, the outdoor venue located in Million Dollar Beach parking lot, will be expanded by three days, running from Saturday June 1 through Saturday June 8. The indoor edition of TourExpo will again be housed at the Lake George Forum, Americade spokeswoman Nora Twyman said.
“The extension of TourExpo allows people to have two weekends to attend it, which is convenient particularly if the weather is not cooperating,” she said.
Three new stunt riding shows
Activities annually at Americade include workshops, demo rides, cruises, competitions, excursions, entertainment, parties, concerts, contests, scavenger hunts, equipment clinics, talent and comedy shows — you name it, it will be happening.
The rally, the largest of Warren County’s many annual events, is headquartered at Fort William Henry Resort.
For the first time ever, Americade will be offering three motorcycle stunt shows.
Topping the list is the Smage Brothers, who took America’s Got Talent by storm with their two-wheeled acrobatics. Their shows will be offered Monday June 3 through Wednesday June 5 at the Fort.
Also new this year is the gravity-defying Globe of Death stunt show, in which two motorcyclists drive their bikes in vertical loops inches from each other. Performances will be held at TourExpo Beach at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Tuesday June 4 through Saturday June 8.
Additionally, a freestyle motocross stunt rider will launch off ramps and perform jaw-dropping aerial stunts 30 feet above the ground — in two shows scheduled for 10:50 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. Saturday June 8.
Social events popular at rally
Whether it’s browsing for intriguing bike accessories at TourExpo, examining manufacturers’ prototypes, test-driving new models, taking a guided two-wheeled tour into the mountains, or socializing with long-time Americade buddies, motorcyclists will undoubtedly be enjoying the six-day event that is now legendary after 31 years.
Americade offers a wide variety of parties and social events, including Luau and Mardi Gras cruises, plus a new trip by boat to Paradise Bay, as well as a Pig Roast and Hoedown set for Tuesday. Held under a Big Top tent at the Fort, the event includes dancing to the music of Skeeter Creek band.
Also, Americade’s annual appearance by acclaimed motorcyclist/comedian Alonzo Bodden has been expanded to three shows — on Wednesday and Thursday at Towers Hall at Fort William Henry — to accommodate more Americaders, Twyman said.
“Alonzo is just a riot,” she said.
On Thursday at 9:30 p.m., Americade’s new “Festival of Lights” combines a parade of motorcycles with eye-popping special lighting, a fire juggler performing, and several hot-air balloons lighting up.
Biker men finally ‘wising up’
Wednesday features a fashion show that is beginning to attract male bikers — after 30 years of bypassing it — following their discovery that the event includes door prizes totalling $15,000, Twyman said.
Friday night features the annual lively party at Great Escape complete with a live band and fireworks; and on Saturday, a get-together at Wild West Ranch features a motorcycle acrobatics show, plus skydivers plunging onto the premises.
Most-ever demo rides offered
The rally also offers the most extensive array of motorcycle manufacturer demonstration rides in one location, anywhere in the U.S.. Demo rides will be available from: BMW, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, Kymco, Motor Trike, Roadsmith, Spyder, Star, Suzuki, Thoroughbred Motorsports, Yamaha, and Victory. Americade will also have new models on display from Hannigan Motorsports and Indian.
Whether bikers are interested in seeing motorcycles vying for awards for the most chrome or tricked-out lighting, or just want to swap tales with a veteran cyclist about a cross-country adventure, Americade is the place to be, Twyman said.
“People of all backgrounds come to Americade and experience a friendly, welcoming atmosphere,” she said. “And our staff and volunteers work so hard each year to achieve that goal.”
To register for Americade, or for details on the rally, see: www.americade.com.