STORY WRITTEN BY BRIAN BINGAMAN
@brianbingaman on Twitter
As big as Lansdale Bike Night has become over 21 years, it’s hard to believe how it all got started.
“Mayor Mike (former Lansdale mayor Mike DiNunzio) came to (current Blue Comet Motorcycle Club President) Russell Smith and said: ‘Hey, why don’t you get some bikes in town?’ He was a true friend of the club,” said Bike Night chairman Jerry Dewhurst, recalling that there were 300 motorcycles at that first Lansdale Bike Night. These days, if it doesn’t rain, the number of bikes in the borough the second Saturday in September is in the thousands.
Seriously, that’s all it took.
In 2004 “American Motorcyclist,” the official magazine of the American Motorcycle Association, gave Bike Night the high praise of calling it the East Coast’s “king daddy cruise-in of them all.” It gives the Skippack-based Blue Comet Motorcycle Club, which organizes Bike Night each year, something to brag about.
Mary Fuller, the president of Discover Lansdale, said the organization welcomes Bike Night with open arms. “Discover Lansdale’s mission is to promote Lansdale by connecting people, business and fun, and we hit all those pieces through our partnership with Lansdale Bike Night. For the past five years, we’ve been happy to play a part in an event that brings in such a large number of people into our town. We love that this event offers our residents a great night out, but we also love that it draws so many visitors into the borough. This certainly translates into increased foot traffic throughout town as well as extra economic support of our businesses,” she said via email.
Between the socializing, food and vendors, some people miss the motorcycle show in the Madison Lot, which awards first, second and third place trophies in 15 classes. It’s never too late to enter, as long as you have the $25 registration. “I like to tell people even if they don’t plan on winning a trophy, it’s a great place to park,” said Dewhurst, whose ride of choice is a Kawasaki Voyager touring bike.
A friendly reminder to behave yourself — “no alcohol, no attitudes” — always appears on the Bike Night flyer. The bars in the vicinity of West Main Street — including the Round Guys brewpub — should be open if you’re really hankering for a drink. “It’s been reasonably quiet, and we like to keep it that way,” Dewhurst commented.
If the weather is questionable, the decision to move Bike Night to the rain date of Sept. 11 will be made by 10 a.m. Sept. 10. Check www.bluecometmc.com or the Lansdale Bike Night Facebook page.
There will be a third stage of live music on Wood Street, joining the stages at Railroad Plaza and Richardson Avenue. The band schedule is subject to last minute changes, but some of the acts from the area you might see include The Todd Moyer Band, Geezer, ASB, The Fogg, Mike Greer, Building 50, Big Whiskey, Plastered, A.K.A and The Rob Dunleavy Band.
“It’s a pretty good lineup,” Dewhurst commented.
Also, you could appear in a very special video. Blue Bell-based Rival Productions will be shooting a time lapse video showing Lansdale’s transformation between noon and midnight during Bike Night, interspersed with man-on-the-street interviews. “I think it will be a wonderful (promotional video) for Lansdale,” said Dewhurst, promising that the final video would appear on the Blue Comets site and the Bike Night Facebook page (which as of Aug. 25 had 1,000 interested, 456 going and 845 shares).
“Discover Lansdale initially helped Bike Night establish the time-lapse video and it is always amazing to watch,” said Fuller. “The shear number of people involved in set up, participation, break down and clean up is nothing short of stunning. The 12-hour time-lapse video certainly puts this whole endeavor into perspective.”