Indiana Bike Week begins in earnest today at the Bill Monroe Music Park & Campground in southern Indiana, a quick ride north from nearby Nashville, IN. A soft-opening started Monday for early-birders but today is when activities really rev up to showcase the state's rich motorcycle heritage.
Dubbed a state fair for motorcyclists, those who love riding on two wheels can expect daily tours through Brown County, a custom bike show and an antique motorcycle show. The AMA sanctioned MAXC Championship Racing Series is hosting UTV, ATV and dirt bike racing and a hill climb for children and adults.
"There has never been an Indiana Bike Week or anything like it in Indiana and this one is different from other bike weeks because we are catering to families," said Holly Farabaugh, event spokeswoman. "We have children's activities and we have entertainment that anyone should enjoy, not just motorcyclists."
Designed to be truly family-friendly in an almost summer camp type atmosphere, participants can expect an all-day affair starting from 8 a.m. to midnight everyday through Saturday. Activities include hayrides, family field events, children's motorcycle experience and of course bike shows, bike rides, a ladies only ride, and a motorcycle stunt show. Bonfires and live music every night help close each day's festivities.
"Brown County is a beautiful tourist community and we feel this area alone should draw in motorcyclists," Farabaugh said. "There are many curvy, hilly, wooded roads to ride, Indiana's largest state park, a town filled with shops, restaurants, lodging and the ever present good 'ole Hoosier hospitality."
Check out the Indiana Bike Week website for more information and for a complete schedule of events and activities. Register online or in person - Adult admission costs $40 and child (ages 11-17) admission costs $20 for the week. Saturday only admission is $30 for adults and $10 for children.
Indiana Bike Week is the brainchild of Michael Farabaugh, a producer, along with his wife Debby, of motorcycle events for more than 40 years including the annual Miracle Ride in Indianapolis. In 50 years of riding the couple has logged more than two million miles and raised $8 million for charity. Their philanthropic success landed both in three motorcycle hall of fames. Michael's contribution to motorcycling also includes writing and photography for 10 motorcycle and travel magazines for 45 years. Former state Gov. Otis Bowen appointed the Farabaughs to bring motorcycle safety to Indiana and in 1979 the duo introduced Indiana's first rider education program.
Other Rides Scheduled this Weekend:
Ride for the Red June 29: The American Red Cross sponsors this annual ride now in its 9th year. Last year more than 700 participants raised $60,000 to help families in South-Central Kansas. The 100-mile run starts at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Red Cross, 1900 E. Douglas in Wichita, KS.
2 Wheels 4 Paws June 29: Kickstands up at 11 a.m. Saturday for this ride that benefits HELP Humane Society, a no-kill animal shelter. Pre-register or day of for $25 at the shelter, 17122 Bel Ray Place in Belton, MO.
Freedom Run June 29: Ohio's first Texas Hold'em ride is in its 24th year and benefits the Readiness and Support Program at Rickenbacker Air Base. Ride starts at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Joe Carson Harley-Davidson, 2930 Helena Dr. in Carroll, OH.
Ride the Coast June 29: This 70-mile charity ride benefits the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Ana and starts at 10 a.m. at the Santa Ana Auto Mall, 500 Auto Mall Dr. in Santa Ana, CA. Register online or in person beginning at 8:30 a.m.
Ride 2 End Breast Cancer June 29: Rock for the Cure Cancer Foundation organizes this ride to help fund a cure for breast cancer and support patients and their families. Register online or in person at 10 a.m. Saturday at Harley-Davidson of Indianapolis, 4146 E. 96th St. in Indianapolis, IN. Last bike out by 12 p.m.
Half Past the Holidays Toy Run June 29: Star Touring and Riding Chapter 104 hosts this toy run for Advocate Children's Hospital, Oak Lawn. No registration fees, just toy donation. Line up at 10 a.m. for the 11 a.m. ride Saturday at Rich's Yamaha, 14354 S. Archer in Lockport, IL.
Cruisin' for Childhood Cancer June 30: This 2nd annual ride takes bikers down the Rio Grande through Los Ranchos and raises funding for the Sierra Rayn Foundation. Register online or in person at 11 a.m. Sunday at Club Rio, 10205 Central Ave. NW in Albuquerque, NM. Kickstands up at noon.
5th Annual Cops Ride June 30: Cops Ride is a non-profit organization and this year their annual ride benefits the Greater Cleveland Peace Officers Memorial Society. Route changes every year! Register in person or get instructions online.
Antique Bike Show June 30: The North Texas Norton Owners Association is hosting an Antique Bike Show for bikes built prior to 1983. Bikes should be in place by 12 p.m. Sunday at Rick Fairless' Strokers Dallas, 9304 Harry Hines Blvd. in Dallas, TX.