By Steve & Shaunna Wasserman
Touted as the largest motorcycle run in the Pacific Northwest, the legendary Oyster Run held in Anacortes, Washington draws nearly 20,000 enthusiasts each year. Taking place north of Seattle on Fidalgo Island the fourth Sunday of September each year, riders are encouraged to Arrive Early and Stay Late…..
Founded in 1981 by Limp Lee, the Oyster Run ran strong through it’s 38th year, with no end in sight. Thousands upon thousands of motorcyclists rolled in from numerous western states including Oregon, California, Montana, and Idaho (among others); not to mention our fellow riders from north of the border. Limp & the entirely volunteer event staff welcomed the masses with open arms and definitely aim to please. Taking it all in takes a while, hence the “come early” suggestion. That’s precisely what we did, enjoying the weekend in its entirety.
Approaching via The Olympic Peninsula, which offers a bounty of beauty and stunning views, turned out to be even better than expected. Gas up & get to Port Townsend to catch the Whidbey Island Ferry to Coupeville; motorcycles board first. We’ve never had a bike on the ferry; it was a slightly different experience in a good way and we’ll surely repeat the route in 2020.
Deception Pass would be the last pit stop before arriving at our destination, leaving only about twenty miles. Deception Pass is a strait that separates Whidbey Island from Fidalgo Island and connects the Puget sound with the strait of Juan de Fuca. Deception Pass bridge stands 180 feet from the water depending on the tide and is my new favorite place to pull off in Washington. After checking in and catching wind that Hell’s Belles was performing just up Highway 20 at Swinomish Casino; away we went. The all female AC/DC tribute band from Seattle proves to be a suitable match for Those About To Rock (we saluted!).
Sunday Funday and back on the bike; actually back to the room– I forgot my helmet. We live in Montana; where there is no requirement and it’s nice to have a choice. A.B.A.T.E. of Washington is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the Freedom of the Road, keeping bikers and riders informed through a monthly newsletter, media, and of course Quick Throttle Magazine!
A BROTHERHOOD AGAINST TOTALITARIAN ENACTMENTS
Among their goals and purposes are promoting safe riding habits and voter registration to enable favorable legislation for bikers throughout the state.
Brain buckets in place and we’re lookin’ to tour the immediate area before we post up downtown. A weekend doesn’t allow adequate time to visit, view, or adventure in this region. Do yourself a favor and make it a week. Where shall we begin; how about Cap Sante Park? The park offers fabulous views of Mt. Baker, Puget Sound, and the San Juan Islands from its towering vantage point. Ample photo opps as ships enter and depart Fidalgo Bay, docking at the Port of Anacortes, which is a U.S. Customs port of entry. Or perhaps whale watching off Orcas Island, the largest of the San Juan Islands and only a $34 ferry ride away? Fishing charters, golf, hiking, biking, and kayaking; the hits keep a comin’.
It’s about that time to stretch the legs, scope out the vendors, and visit with the numerous Quick Throttle Fans & Ad Partners in attendance. Tens of thousands of bikes equates to tens of thousands of people. After locating a spot to park, we made our way down Commercial Avenue; “a Bloody & a Budweiser please” … Ordering an “Oyster Shooter” (when in Rome) did cross our minds, maybe later.
Motorcyclists; riders, enthusiasts, bikers….All of the above (and then some) made their journeys here and the camaraderie was all too evident. Brotherhood and family seems to be the theme and apparently is a proper fit for the community of Anacortes. Many local businesses which are generally closed on Sundays, open their doors to accommodate visitors and partake in all the activity.
Our first stop, let’s win that brand new bike (Free Drawing!). MaxPower Law are motorcycle accident attorneys with a passion and commitment to helping riders specifically in the Northwest. Entering the drawing for a 2019 Harley-Davidson Iron 883 as part of the firm’s year long promotion was a must. Congrats to Roger Harnack of Sunnyside; you lucky dog you!
Made it about a block when we spotted the CyclPath trailer displaying a plentiful selection of cool shirts…we each purchased one. CyclPath Motorcycle Shop is located in Kirkland, Washington offering customization, maintenance, and parts. Jeff Carney (owner) and his crew may install gear cams in my CVO soon; their reputation is second to none.
Speaking of reputation, the go-to staple of the Oyster Run is the “Oyster Shooter” and is next up on the agenda for these newbies. The Brown Lantern was more than gracious in disclosing their recipe:
Oyster with Cocktail Sauce
(containing: diced cucumbers, capers, & a li’l tequila)
Live music beckoned from a sidestreet stage, figured we better head that direction to listen to some tunes. The JP Falcon Grady Band and The Christian Crusaders were the entertainment for 2019. The rain kicked in a bit so why not take cover in front of a big screen for the Seahawks game.
En route to the nearest tavern, we came across our friends JoAnn & Bob Gerbing, owners/operators of Gordon’s Heated Clothing. We believe in their products, which are reasonably priced and custom made in the USA.
Always a crowd favorite since the 1930’s, The Seattle Cossacks Motorcycle Stunt and Drill Team performed twice and were proudly sponsored by the Law Tigers. The Law Tigers display was situated directly adjacent to Gordon’s, so we wandered over to see what’s up with all the interested folks (& freebies!). Derek Roberts filled us in about Law Tigers; as well as hooking us up with some nice parting gifts such as towels, lipbalm, and registration wallets. Law Tigers are described as America’s Motorcycle Lawyers, supporting All Stripes.
The time was growing near for the Seattle Cossacks’ 1 pm performance so we hustled over to snap photos. Feeling fortunate to have spent a little time with Sam Chester (Captain) & Rob Root (Historian) to discuss the history and future of the team. Read about them in an upcoming feature article in Quick Throttle Magazine. If the 2020 Oyster Run isn’t already on your calendar, certainly consider it. September 27th 2020. Quick Throttle will be there, how about you.!?