Michelle and I just got back from the biggest bike rally of the year (for us), Las Vegas BikeFest. This was our 5th trip out and even though we had fun, I’m debating on if I’ll go again next year.
Don’t get me wrong, the rally is fun. The time spent there is mostly riding, which is awesome, and there’s a lot of vendor booths and custom bikes and all sorts of things like that to look at, but other than that we didn’t hit any of the planned events. They just don’t appeal to me. And I think the problem is that the culture itself is growing old.
The average age of the folks at these rallies is probably 50+ these days. There’s just hardly any young people there. Now I’m 42 so I’m no young buck, but I realize that to keep things interesting you have to keep things fresh, and youth brings in the new, fresh ideas. These rallies can’t go on forever featuring music from the 70’s and doing the same old cliche biker contests and stuff. The Harley crowd is aging fast and if the industry doesn’t embrace new blood, it’s going to self destruct.
What I would like to see first off is some new music. For crying out loud if I have to hear some hack do “Born to be Wild” one more time I’m going to freak out! That song sucked when it first came out, it sucks more now! Let’s see some new talent like Hinder, or Black Label Society, or Hell Yeah. There’s plenty of current bands doing original music that will fit with the biker culture, it’s time to leave the 70’s behind.
Secondly, let’s start including sport bikers and other types of riders in these things. Why market the event to mainly cruisers? The young guys are all riding sport bikes, let’s draw in some of that culture (and money) and mix things up a bit. What about adventure bike riders? I’d also like to see them do an event at the Las Vegas speedway. Let us take our bikes down there and run them on the drag strip. Now that would be fun.
The other thing that really bugged me about this year was the amount of guys wearing “Sons of Anarchy” vests. I mean, come on guys! Nothing says “wanna-be” like a dude wearing the colors of a make believe biker gang.
Anyway, despite my dissatisfaction with the status quo of the motorcycle culture, I had a great time hanging with my wife and some fantastic friends.