From early spring until deep into fall, many motorcycle shops, gear/apparel stores, and restaurant/bars host monthly “bike nights”, inviting riders to come enjoy great food, entertainment, demo rides, door prizes, and of course, interaction with fellow bikers. Cycle Gear is one of those motorcycle stores that hosts monthly bike nights, and Road Dirt recently joined them at their Lawrenceville location. The weather was perfect, the bikes were plentiful, and Cycle Gear just put on a fantastic night. All kinds of riders, from all kinds of backgrounds, on all kinds of motorcycles- all sharing the common bond of a love for riding.
We roamed the rows of bikes and riders, striking up conversations, snapping photos, and passing around RoadDirt.tv info. Earlier in March, Brent Cooper, the manager of Cycle Gear Lawrenceville, had donated a $50.00 gift card we used for our web launch drawing. I’ve known Brent since the 1990s, and have had the pleasure of doing numerous promotionals with the good folks at Cycle Gear over the years. His team always puts on a great bike night, with local food vendors, a local DJ, “bike games” such as slow races and helmet bowling, as well as inviting in local custom shops and clubs to participate. They have even hosted MotoAmerica, Supercross, and American Flat Track riders at different bike nights.
Road Dirt met several brand new riders, ranging from young guys still in their late teens who within the previous week had completed motorcycle safety classes and purchased small, affordable “first rides”, to adult women hopping off the pillion to the handlebars of their own motorcycles. We also talked with old veterans, who have ridden for decades. I found it a wonderful thing to observe long-time riders dialoguing with young and newer riders, offering encouragement, insights, and offering to take them on group rides.
Bike nights are beneficial in many ways- the obvious connections riders make with each other, but also with the local shops and vendors involved. They not only promote and sell their products, they also build relationships with customers and event patrons, which is good for everyone. The men and women of the local establishments that we’ve met at bike nights, we have come to know, trust, frequent and refer others to.
Next time you hear of a local establishment like Cycle Gear putting on a bike night, make plans to ride in. You might make some new friends, behold some beautiful motorcycles, enjoy some tasty biker grub, maybe even win some nice prizes. Our sport is best enjoyed in community, and that’s really what bike nights are all about.
*photos by Phil Gauthier