Arizona Bike Week 2013

What a kick@$$ time it was!

By Digger Dave

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People from all over the U.S.A poured in to partake of AZBW , and they were ready for a good time, myself included. Riders from Italy, Australia, France and Denmark, Germany, Spain and many other countries.  I met a hell of a lot of them and had a great time swapping stories.  The campgrounds were filled to capacity; RV’s everywhere, even down to as what I call “The back 40”, which is about ½ mile from the main venue. The tent camps (where we were) were at a max also! Between myself,  Rusty Childress and Tracy “Smiles” we tried to visit and hit as many events as we could, it was endless.

Pre-Bike Week started off at Chesters Harley Davidson in Mesa Az.. and they did it right. All of us “locals” always come out for the “Kickoff” and with Slaughter and Great White headlining on a Friday night how can a person go wrong?  After surviving that we got hit again with Night Ranger on Saturday night!

There were 14+ runs starting on the 5th of April…. all of them benefitting various causes.  Now mind you, there were concerts, shows, offsite things happening every 10 miles, it’s hard to pick and choose at times. By Sunday morning the 7th it was basically, “do what you want to do”. Which at that time happened to be STEPPENWOLF… at HD of Scottsdale, performing that evening…. yep ‘tis a kickoff party for sure.

Whew…  At the official start of Bike Week, Tonic hit the stage  Wednesday night after an awesome Miss Arizona Bike Week Pageant…. I’m glad I wasn’t a judge, all the ladies were absolutely gorgeous! Congrats to Shane Grabski for taking the honors of Miss Arizona Bike Week 2013!  What a great group of fun people that was! I can still hear myself speaking to the ladies… ”no worries, there’s only 10,000 people out there, you’ll do well”.  Shelley Martin Miss AZBW 2012 had to pass the crown this year, you did well passing it on with all the enthusiasm you always have!

Thursday day… vendors and vendors, stunt shows, bmx shows…everybody had a smile on their face, my friend “Smiles” and I wandered around visiting  just about everybody. The side stages and main stage were rockin’ it out with Hawg Wild, Whiskey Dogz and numerous other local bands. As the sun started to get low in the sky, people started to pack in to listen to Blues Traveler, John Popper tore it up!

Friday… sheesh, what happened Friday…oh yea got it. It was “visit camps” day. We pretty much just wandered around snapping photos and visiting with everybody that wanted to say hello. Food at darn near every camp (breakfast burritos were on the menu), and of course the proverbial Bloody Mary’s. It was actually a pretty relaxing day, until around 4pm when people started to hit the main venue tent anticipating the night’s concert.  The incoming line of newbie’s  getting their passes for the night was endless and it packed up very quick. The camps were starting to exit and head to the venue as well, a steady stream, 4 abreast at times just kept coming in. What can I say… the Doobie Brothers were staging up!

Those who survived Friday night managed to hit a run or two, or three even on Saturday morning…as I mentioned there were 14 published runs, and who knows how many “sub” runs…there was something for everyone. The Dirty Dogg in Scottsdale was in full swing with Jack Schit hosting that event, that’s always a prime side trip, the Hideaway in Cave Creek was in full swing, Renegade Tap and Kitchen was going strong also, too many places not enough us!

Saturday… Have you ever been on a run and woken up wondering what day it was? Or saying to yourself “I still have a day to go, I can do this” TYFBB…. ”thank you for breakfast burritos”….  again. “Third Eye Blind” was on tap for the concert Saturday night, the camp grounds were in full swing. It was the last party night and there were no holds, surely you’ve done this thing? I’m pretty sure we each partied enough for two people.

Sunday…. This was the day of SOA…yep Sons of Anarchy day. The Child Empowerment Ride left Arrowhead Harley Davidson at 11:30am… Led by Ryan Hurst “Opie” and Mark Boone “Bobby” heading on an escorted ride (Thx Arizona DPS) to the event grounds for an autograph signing, to say the least it was HUGE! Freeways were shut down and side streets blocked and the bikes were never ending rolling into AZBW. Both Ryan and Mark were extremely friendly and gracious dealing with the masses of people lined up to say hello! I don’t know how a person can sign their name a 1000+ times… I’d need a stamp or something. Kudos to both of you, it was great fun!

Once again Arizona Bike Week kicked butt. I look forward to it every year, but I get the same consensus from my friends…I’m glad it only happens once a year. Thousands of bikers mingling, partying, and just hanging out together, meeting new friends and re-uniting riders you haven’t seen in who knows how long. Can it get any better?  Yea, it can…wait until 2014 Arizona Bike Week, we’ll do it again.

Next year’s dates have been set…. go to www.azbikeweek.com  and check it out!

Ride Safe~~Ride Free

Digger

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