By Diana Olmstead
The 34th annual Oyster Run took place on Sunday, September 27th. The morning started off a bit overcast and chilly but within a few short hours it became a beautiful sun shiny day in Anacortes, WA.
The Quick Throttle crew actually rolled in the night before and settled into The Fidalgo Country Inn, located at the junction of Hwy 20 and the Hwy 20 spur into Anacortes. We stay here every year as it is located just three miles from the Oyster Run action and there is a bar, restaurant, gas station and convenience store located right next door.
There was no need to set an alarm clock to wake ourselves up on Oyster Run morning as the constant roar of bikes heading into downtown Anacortes woke us up bright and early. After a few cups of coffee we got ourselves ready and hopped on our scoots to go check out all of the action on Commercial Avenue.
I was digging the vibe as we cruised along Commercial Avenue looking for a place to park. Even though the street is only open to motorcycles from 4th Street to 10th Street it was already jam packed with thousands of bikes and it took us awhile to find a couple of spots to park. Once we did, we got off our bikes and locked them up and stood there taking in the sight of so much colorful paint, gleaming chrome, and dirty ridden-hard rat bikes. There was a wide variety of American made bikes, metrics, trikes, and scooters parked “Sturgis style” lining both sides of Commercial Ave as well as up the middle of the street.
The sidewalks were crowded with thousands of bikers who were there to check out the 150 or so interesting vendor booths that lined the side streets selling everything from event shirts, leathers, helmets, pins, patches, custom seats, jewelry, apparel, food and aftermarket accessories. Several local motorcycle dealerships and independent shops had booths as well, and of course there were lots of oysters being served!
As always we ran into many friends from all over the Northwest who attend this event every year. The truth is this event is so well known that it actually draws riders from all over the place including Canada, Alaska, and California and beyond. They come for the event and they come to enjoy this beautiful area which is located in the northern Puget Sound region of Washington State on Fidalgo Island. Anacortes is surrounded by the north Puget Sound and San Juan Islands on three sides, and by the Swinomish Channel and the flats of Skagit Valley to the east. As you can imagine the possibilities are endless for choosing a scenic route to and from the Oyster Run.
That’s the beauty of the Oyster Run; riders from anywhere get to choose their own route from wherever they’re coming from. They can ride solo, or with a few friends or in a larger group; it’s all about what their riding style is and what they want to make of this event. Even though the Oyster Run takes place on Sunday many riders stretch their time away from home to last from Friday through Monday or even longer since there are so many spectacular local roads to check out in the surrounding area.
Every year I meet lots of riders who tell me it is their first time attending the Oyster Run and they are always blown away by the experience. So if you have never attended this event make it a point to check it out next year. The Oyster Run always takes place on the 4th Sunday in September. Next year’s 35th Annual Oyster Run will be Sunday, September 25th. Mark your calendars now and if you plan to get a hotel I suggest making a reservation now as everything books up months in advance.
I’d like to send a heartfelt “Thank You” to Limp Lee and his hardworking crew for putting on another successful Oyster Run. We had such a great time we’re already looking forward to going again next year.
It’s important to note that this year’s 34th Annual Oyster Run was dedicated In Memory of Irish McKinney, a dear friend too many and a dedicated motorcycle rights advocate who spent years working tirelessly to protect the rights of all who ride.