Big Bear Grizzly Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Rally time in Big Bear Valley Summer motorcycle rally planned By Judi Bowers
Bill Davis handed out save the date cards and info to the 20-plus people seated in an upstairs room at The Lodge at Big Bear Lake. He wanted to make sure the Golden State Rally at Big Bear in June was on their radar. Davis is the co-owner and rally coordinator of Hwy 101 Event Co. The firm organizes motorcycle rallies, specifically Harley Davidson events. The Golden State Rally at Big Bear is scheduled for June 15-17. Davis has been organizing events for about 15 years. The Golden State Rally at Big Bear isn’t a rally comparable to Sturgis in South Dakota or even the Laughlin Run in Nevada. This rally encompasses riding, dining, shopping and relaxing, with a big emphasis on relaxation, Davis said. The group of merchants, media members, Big Bear Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau members were invited to the meet and greet to share ideas and concerns and ask questions about the proposed rally. His team can handle the motorcycle event, Davis told the group. He wanted their ideas and to involve the community in the planning, he said. Davis began speaking with Rick Bates of the Events Resource Office last July about bringing a rally to Big Bear. He traditionally plans events for September. “Your September is darn busy,” Davis said. June is a transition month, so “June it is,” he said. The planned Big Bear event is sandwiched between two big motorcycle events, which means Big Bear should see a good turnout, Davis said. Participants usually ride for a day and play for two, Davis said about his rallies. Details are still being ironed out, but there will possibly be a poker run off the mountain, a walking poker run to get the participants into the local businesses and a pub walk, Davis said. The rally will be headquartered at The Lodge at Big Bear Lake with vendor booths and parking in the parking lot. The goal is for the participants to do a lot of walking through the Village, not roaring through on motorcycles, Davis said. Statistics show that participants in the three-day rallies spend between $175 to $250 per day per person, Davis said. With approximately 600 to 700 people expected, that’s a half million dollars for the community, he said. David Yackel, one of the organizing committee members, said this type of rally usually attracts an older, familyoriented crowd. The riders are more often professionals such as doctors and lawyers. Merchants attending the Nov. 18 meet and greet shared a couple of concerns, including the perception of a Harley run and will there be members of Hell’s Angels or other clubs. Yackel said the 1 percenters, as the members of the somewhat notorious type motorcycle clubs such as the Hell’s Angels are referred to, are usually not interested in this type of rally. Pat Calceagno, director of the Harley Owners Group Temecula chapter, agreed. Calceango said members of his HOG chapter attend the Run for
the Grizzlies in Big Bear held in the fall to benefit the grizzly bears at the Big Bear Alpine Zoo. “The 1 percenters laugh at us,” Calceango said. “We’re mom and pops.” Davis said an anticipated 500 to 600 riders are expected to attend. He said the Golden State Rally at Big Bear is a “destination rally.” The participants attend a destination rally to stay, not just arrive for a single-day event. That allows time to enjoy the local amenities and spend money with the local businesses, Davis said. Pre-registration is expected to begin in early January. Any motorcycle rider can attend and participate in the events, but he or she will need to pay the registration fee which is anticipated to be in the $45 range, Davis said. Hwy 101 Event Co. is in the final planning stages for the event. Following the event, Davis sent an email to those attending the meeting asking for feedback and ideas. For more on the Golden State Rally at Big Bear visit the rally’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages and feeds at www. facebook.com/goldenstaterally, www. instagram.com/goldenstaterally and twitter.com/goldenstaterally respectively.
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JUDI BOWERS/Big Bear Grizzly
Bill Davis explains the Golden State Rally motorcyle event to a Big Bear audience Nov. 18 at The Lodge.