By Robin Hudson
Anyone who knows me knows that I love going to the beach and I love riding motorcycles with my husband and our friends. So when I heard that there was a new motorcycle event “Bikers at the Beach” taking place in the center of town at Ocean Shores I couldn’t wait to check it out!
We rolled into town on July 29th, it was a beautiful warm Friday afternoon and as we made our way around the roundabout in the center of town my face lit up as I saw that the Ocean Shores Convention Center parking lot was jam packed with bikes, vendors and people! The truth is I wasn’t sure what to expect since this was a new event but it was obvious by the turnout that the motorcycle community had jumped on board to support it.
We decided to check into our room at the Shilo Inn which is across the street from the Convention Center. The staff was great, very friendly and helpful. We made our way to our ocean front room which was very, very nice. I opened the door to the balcony and took in the view for a few minutes before unpacking.
We then headed over to check out the event. One of the things that the organizers did was to create a completely fresh event. It bore no resemblance to the previous event that been held there for many years. When riders pulled in they knew immediately it was a new event. Over 40 vendors lined the main parking lot directly in front of the convention center as well as inside the hall. The beer garden and outdoor stage was set up near the main entrance bordering Chance A La Mer Ave creating a cool visual vibe for riders coming and going throughout the weekend.
The large parking lot to the west served as the arena for the bikes games, stunt team and overflow bike parking.
We spent a few minutes chatting with some of our friends and then walked over to check out the Weenie Bite and Slow Races. Afterwards we left to get some dinner in our bellies before the Friday Night Biker Party was to begin.
We made it back to the Convention Center a little after 8pm and the place was already rocking. The headlining band Mystery Achievement, a Pretenders Tribute Band was on stage putting on a heck of a show! Next to the stage the Pole Vixens were performing pole acrobats. The indoor vendors also stayed open late which was really nice.
After a long fun night we headed back to our hotel looking forward to what the next day would have in store for us.
We woke up bright and early on Saturday and enjoyed a nice breakfast at the hotel restaurant. Afterwards we headed over to the Bikers at the Beach event. By 11am the place was packed with bikes and riders. The registration booth, manned by the hardworking Biker Beach Babes, was busy selling registration wristbands, event shirts and answering any questions the event attendees had. A steady stream of men and women were signing up for the Bike Show too! We decided to walk over and watch the Bike Games for a while. All of game contestants looked like they were truly having a great time.
At noon the Bike Show began in the parking lot right in front of the Convention Center. There were 9 categories plus Best in Show. As we walked around, I couldn’t help but notice that there was a nice mix of bikes, some were chromed out beyond belief, some had amazing paint jobs and a few were down and dirty rat bikes.
After the bike show ended it was time to check out The Swoop Show All Harley Stunt Team. We had never seen these guys perform before so we were looking forward to watching their show. Wow! With tunes thumping in the background these guys put on an unbelievable show! They also drew an enormous crowd that was clearly captivated by their crazy stunts and professional showmanship!
As soon as the stunt team wrapped up their performances we all made our way to the outdoor stage by the beer garden to find out who the bike show winners were. Each of the following winners took home a really cool Bikers at the Beach Bike Show plaque and received a huge round of applause from the crowd: Best Paint – Rick Karamatic, Best Trike – Liz Mays, Best Custom – Steven Kaiser, Best Rat Bike – Ken Youngblood, Best Vintage – Manuel Chavez, Best Sportster – Trisha Gaubatz, Best Sport Bike – Chad Buggey, Best Street Cruiser – David Bush, Best Bagger – Vernon Madison, Best in Show – Chog Greninger.
I still had not had a chance to check out all of the vendor booths so as The Motors Band began to play on the stage next to the beer garden and vendor area I took the next hour to do some shopping and chat with the vendors. Several vendors told me that they had already hit record sales and the event was far from over! They all said they were having a great time and that they planned to be come back and support the Bikers at the Beach motorcycle rally next year!
The Quick Throttle crew met up and went out to get a bite to eat. Afterwards we went back to our hotel room to freshen up before making our way back to the Convention Center for the big Saturday Night Biker Party. Jambone was the opening band and they got the crowd all warmed up and ready to party. After they wrapped up, the Tattoo, Beard & Goatee Contest winners were announced. Shortly after that, Steppenwolf Revisited took the stage and rocked the crowd playing all of their greatest hits! These guys put on an excellent show and were a great fit for a Biker Party! The Pole Vixens were performing next to the stage that night as well. After the band played its final set it was time to watch some Jello wrestling… well actually it was pudding wrestling. Several Biker Beach babes participated along with some event participants. A couple of the ladies didn’t disappoint, they went for it and really threw down! What a great way to end the night!
On Sunday the majority of riders had checked out of their hotel rooms or campsites. Some headed straight for home and others stopped back at the Convention Center to make some last minute purchases from the vendors since the event didn’t conclude until 2pm.
Bikers at the Beach was organized by a great team of local individuals, groups, clubs and businesses who have many years of experience in organizing, assisting and supporting large scale events and motorcycle rallies. Their goal was to create a fun, fresh motorcycle event with an old school vibe in Ocean Shores. It was “an event organized by bikers for bikers”. I’d say that by the looks of the crowds all weekend it was obvious that everyone had a great time and that they accomplished their goal! Event attendance was estimated between 5,000 and 6,000 people! That’s damn good for their first year!
None of this would have been possible without the support of their sponsors who believed in them and were ready to support a fresh event. A huge thank you goes out to Northwest Harley-Davidson, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Pacific Commons, Chrome Horse Promotions, Bent Bike, B.A.C.A North Sound Chapter, The Canterbury Inn, Bennett’s Coastal Restaurants, and At The Beach Vacation Rentals.
A special thank you goes out to the Sands Resort, Quality Inn, Galway Bay Irish Pub Restaurants & Gifts, Arrowood Productions, Harbor Faith Riders Christian Motorcycle Association, and the Ocean Shores Convention Center staff.
The Bikers at the Beach team had this to say to our readers, “We would like to thank all of the riders who came out and enjoyed a gorgeous weekend at the beach and supported our first year. By doing the right thing and registering for this event it enables us to give to our chosen charities – B.A.C.A., Communities in Schools and C.M.A. and it ensures that this event will continue and grow year after year. If you didn’t make it this year, be sure to bring your friends and attend next year’s Bikers at the Beach motorcycle rally which will be held July 28-30, 2017. If you have any questions, or are interested in becoming a 2017 Sponsor or vendor please go to www.BikersAtTheBeach.com”