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Old 02-27-2006, 06:29 PM   #1
mcdude
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Default A Brief History of "BIKE WEEK"


Photo from the Laconia Motorcycle Week website.

Follow the link below for a .....
BRIEF HISTORY of BIKE WEEK


old mcdude postcard from the 1950s.

click for HISTORIC LACONIA BIKE WEEK PHOTOS
(like the one seen below....a nice gallery)






Photo by Rattlesnake Gal - 2004
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Old 02-28-2006, 10:22 AM   #2
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Ah, thanks mcdude, this is one of my favorite topics and one of my reasons for living at the Weirs, even though I dont ride.

I grew up spending a lot of time at my grandparents house at the Weirs (where I now live with my wife and kids, hence "Weirs Guy"). Fritzie Baer lived in the next house down the street. I can remember watching him when I was a kid tending to his garden, which next to his family and motorcycles was his passion. I never knew how instrumental he was in organizing bike week, and wish I'd had the chance to talk with him about it. When the 75th motorcycle week rally was dedicated in part to him I started organizing tours of bikers down the hill to see Fritzie’s garden. I think I charged a beer a tour, but that was an awful fuzzy weekend.

The gardens still there, but sadly his daughter sold the house last year. Now the secrets all mine and my families, but for a beer a tour I’ll be glad to show any of you around this year!
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Old 02-28-2006, 06:16 PM   #3
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Yeah, thanks McDude! Biking is my other favorite pass time, and I'm itching to ride again. It won't be long, just another 4 or 5 weks until I pull the ole' superglide out of the basement!
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So what have we learned in the past two thousand years?

"The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of Obamunism should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest the Republic become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance."

. . .Evidently nothing.

(Cicero, 55 BC augmented by me, 2010 AD)
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Old 02-28-2006, 06:39 PM   #4
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Thumbs up Thanks McDude.....

That's just plain "cool"....
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Old 03-01-2006, 02:11 PM   #5
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A few weeks ago, we went to the movies at a theater in Clinton MA. Before the movie starts, they run one of those question and answer, "did-you-know?" type games to pass the time. All the questions were about local Clinton history.

One of the questions referred to the origin of the Laconia motorcycle rally. I remember being surprised and wondering why this was in a q&a about Clinton...until the answer showed that Mr. Baer was born there.

More info here,

http://www.motorcyclemuseum.org/hall...page.asp?id=14
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Old 03-01-2006, 02:57 PM   #6
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Great webpage, thanks Merrymeeting! He died when I was 9 or 10, so I never knew how big a supporter of all things bikeweek he was. I'll have to visit his garden tonight and tell him he's got a webpage all his own!
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Old 03-02-2006, 11:16 AM   #7
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Default Bike Week History

Thanks for the post, McDude. You wouldn't happen to know where I could find an article on the incident at the Weirs in the early 60's between the police and a group of Hell's Angels from California? My recollection is that the NH National Guard ended up becoming involved.
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Old 05-15-2008, 11:52 AM   #8
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Default New Book

History of Bike Week
from the citizen
Quote:
New Book Offers Pictorial History of Bike Week

FROM STAFF REPORTS

Article Date: Wednesday, May 14, 2008






Just in time for the 85th running of Laconia Motorcycle Week, the granddaddy of all American motorcycle events, two local residents have written a book richly illustrated with photos from many of the rally's memorable moments.

But Jennifer Anderson and Charlie St. Clair aren't your average authors writing a book about motorcycles and rallying. They are, respectively, the director and executive director of the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association, which since St. Clair was hired in 1991 has worked to promote Bike Week.

"Laconia Motorcycle Week," is the latest in Arcadia Publishing's "Images of America" series. The book, which has a suggested price of $19.99, will become available on May 26 along with a complementary collection of 15 vintage Bike Week postcards for $7.99.

The book and postcards are coming out just shortly before the start of Bike Week, which this year will be held June 14-22.

Drawing photos from both public and private collections, Anderson and St. Clair — the duo also co-host the weekly "Today in Focus" program on Lakes Region Public Access — explores the history of Bike Week from its start in 1916 as a Gypsy Tour through the years of racing and hillclimbs at Gunstock to its evolution as a rally that annually draws some 350,000 visitors to the Lakes Region and increasingly to the Seacoast and White Mountains.

Courtesy Photo A GROUP OF MOTORCYCLISTS is lined up on Main Street just off Veterans Square in this undated photo post card printed in connection with the pictorial history of Laconia Motorcycle Week authored by Charlie St. Clair and Jennifer Anderson.


The 128-page book also looks at how motorcycling has changed since a group of nattily-dressed gentlemen and ladies rode up to The Weirs from Boston, thus beginning Bike Week.

"Laconia Motorcycle Week" will be available at local retailers, online bookstores and through Arcadia's Website at www.arcadiapublishing.com. Anderson said several signing events are planned.

Started in Dover in 1993, Arcadia Publishing of Mount Pleasant, S.C., is the leading publisher of local and regional history in the U.S. and has published numerous books about Laconia and the Lakes Region among its more than 5,000 titles.

"We hope that our book will keep alive the love and passion for motorcycling," said Anderson and St. Clair in a prepared statement from Arcadia. "We hope that our book shares our history of freedom and rights of everyone to pursue their interests and share them with those around them. We hope that people will read our book and walk away with a new appreciation for a history about Laconia Motorcycle Week that maybe they have not previously known."



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Old 05-15-2008, 12:13 PM   #9
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Thanks McDude.Looks interesting.I'll be buying that book.
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Old 06-13-2008, 10:50 AM   #10
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From the Concord Monitor

Quote:
In some ways, Laconia Motorcycle Week hasn't changed that much in its 85 years. It has always been about the bikes, and photographs of the earliest gatherings show the Weirs's main strip lined on both sides with riders proudly showing off their rides.
But not all is the same. In those old photographs, motorcyclists and spectators alike sport ties, buttoned-down shirts - even pearls. There was a time when a teeny
bikini was not an outfit, even at Weirs Beach during motorcycle week.
With the 85th rally starting tomorrow, you can reminisce yourself with a new photo book, Laconia Motorcycle Week, by Charlie St. Clair and Jennifer Anderson from the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association.
They've collected nearly 125 pages of photos from the event's first gypsy tour in 1916 to more recent rallies. Page 66 shows former governor Hugh Gregg (on a bike, in a tie) with Fritzie Baer, the grandfather of the motorcycle races. On Page 94, you can see what the Loudon race track looked like before it became an international speedway.
And in between the photos, St. Clair and Anderson tell the history of the event and how it's grown and changed.
Today, motorcycle week brings nearly 350,000 to Laconia. It started off much smaller. When the first riders stopped in Laconia for a riding tour in 1916, there were only 100 to 150 riders, according to the book. But they came back year after year, spending the week in the Lakes Region.
Read more of this article HERE......


Arcadia Publishing Co. photo
A rider from the 1940s competes in a Bike Week hill climb at Weirs Beach.

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