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Laconia Bike Week R.I.P

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W.R.

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Post Fri Jun 23, 2017 9:47 pm

Laconia Bike Week R.I.P

There's more to life than naked girls, rock & roll and debauchery...wait, who am I kidding ??

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southtexas

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Post Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:24 pm

Re: Laconia Bike Week R.I.P

How many 'official' attendees this year? How many actual attendees? Were figures kept in the 1950's? If so, it would be interesting, for me, to see them. I grew up in Laconia in the 1950's, early 1960's. Thanks.
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southtexas

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Post Thu Jul 06, 2017 12:32 pm

Re: Laconia Bike Week R.I.P

This was posted after the 2014 Rally but it points to the decline. Sad.

Biker bar owner tells city officials Motorcycle Week in decline
July 24, 2014
Published in Local News
LACONIA — "This is the oldest motorcycle rally," said Bill Niland, who owns and operates a biker bar in Seabrook, "and it's the first one I've seen declining."
Niland was speaking to a meeting hosted by officials at City Hall yesterday to solicit comments from property owners, traveling vendors and the general public on the 91st running of Motorcycle Week. For the second year, Niland operated a beer tent with live music at the Weirs Beach Drive-In, noting that he invested $100,000 in the enterprise, but lost $20,000, half as much as he lost the year before. He said that many of the regular patrons of his bar in Seabrook, who have come to Laconia for years, did not spend a day at the rally this year.
With a measure of sarcasm, Niland referred to a report in "The Citizen" newspaper that this year's rally drew a record crowd, prompting Planning Director Shanna Saunders to quip, "I think we have a record maker every year."
"There's nothing really going on up here," Niland continued, adding that he hoped to find side mirrors for his motorcycle, but could not find a single vendor offering them amid the T-shirts and sunglasses. He said there were only two entertainment venues at The Weirs, his own and the Laconia Roadhouse at the Weirs Beach Lobster Pound. "There is no attraction," he said.
Niland acknowledged that he did not know how to reverse the trend, he suggested the organizers of the rally consider a partnership with the Freedom Ride, sponsored by the Northeast POW/MIA Network, which he thought might enhance the rally. Otherwise, he said flatly "I see it declining, declining fast."
By the time Niland spoke, Charlie St. Clair, executive director of the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association, had left the meeting. "Charlie knows what I think," Niland remarked with a smile. However, City Manager Scott Myers asked Niland if the two could speak together about the issues he raised. "Anytime, Niland replied. "Anytime."
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Blaz

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Post Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:55 pm

Re: Laconia Bike Week R.I.P

southtexas There has been a decline in attendance, but all and all it holds it's own. Times are changing and so is Laconia. So will it fade away who knows I think it will keep on going, as long as there is money to be made and people keep coming whether it's 100,000 or more I think they will keep it going. There are very few problems so we will see. The 100 year is coming so I think Laconia has a few good years left in her. Time will tell. It sure an't the old days.
People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both...
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southtexas

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Post Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:45 pm

Re: Laconia Bike Week R.I.P

Thanks Blaz. I appreciate you taking the time to respond. I sure hope it keeps going. I guess nothing is like the old days, or very few things anyway, especially for guys my age. No more hotdog and coke at Landow's counter for $0.25, no more delicious English muffins at Bill's dinner just down from the post office, no more Pacquets bike shop downtown where I got my first three speed Schwinn, no more Woolworth's with great toys and candy, right downtown before Unban Renewal, :( , no more working the VFW sandwich and coffee tent across from Sacred Heart Church with my folks for the bikers heading up to the races, no more coming into town and seeing the canon balls at the train station laying all over after a night when the bikers clearly enjoyed themselves, etc. Times change but thankfully, so far at least, :), great memories remain. Keep it going Laconia; it was the big one and has great history.
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tofeather

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Post Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:29 pm

Re: Laconia Bike Week R.I.P

Yeah, those were the days. I remember going up to Laconia in the late 60's and camping in some ones yard not too far from the race track. The locals were cool than and allowed stuff like that, even joined in the "festivities and shenanagins". I guess they have all passed on or moved to Floriduh.
Coke was still a nickel at Woody's luncheonette and there was a Woolworths in Lexington center, about 2 1/2 miles away, a constant bicycle ride from where I lived, there much for stores in the area where I lived.
Laconia Motorcycle Week Assn. has really lost "focus" on what the RALLY is (was) really about.
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W.R.

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Post Sat Jul 08, 2017 12:19 am

Re: Laconia Bike Week R.I.P

I'm loathe to comment since A] I've said everything I've had to say over the last four or five years and B] I really have finally parted company with the very nice people here. I've never been a "troll" and I'm in no way interested in coming onto a Laconia Bike Week site to trash the event that everyone is here to love. Have to say, though, I've been right every step of the way for years and I wish I could take some pleasure in that. After seeing the whole week, hardly any people {relative to my last FORTY years} and zero traffic/traffic jams, it's just time to let it go for me.

I have the photos, I have the videos - it's gone, dead. "They" have spent 2 million dollars in five years and lost at least 100,000 people {in their own words}. Where is the outcry ? Where is the concern of two years ago ? No Boot Hill .... no Benders .... an empty Funspot .... an empty Drive-In {!} .... half the vendors at the Lobster Pound {Faro's} .... half of what used to be the Broken Spoke .... it's fucking over, kids. Look at my "ambulance" video taken at 8:11 PM om the last Saturday, 80 and balmy. Look at the hill in the background, the hill that would have had a line of motorcycles stretching back AT LEAST a mile - not A ONE. A few hundred people at an intersection where you'd be lucky to push your way through a thousand. I had to stay to get some shots after dark and for the very first time in over 40 years of Bike Week, it was actually depressing. Fuck, even the baby strollers are stayin' home, lol.

It's now become Harley Hospice {NO disrespect to the real, blessed ones}, a place for Laconia to comfortably live out it's final days. But when "they" tell you that all of this is inevitable, DON'T fucking believe it ! You'll hear the same lies, the same stale/lame excuses that have been foisted on you for a few years now ..... an aging demographic, a generational shift, and, my personal favourite, ALL this competition from other rallies and Laconia just can't fend them off.

Well, we really have NO competition in the sense that we are the fucking GODFATHER of motorcycle rallies. Who can compete the ORIGINAL ??? Nobody ... :ban_fu:
And when you hear the excuses, remember this. There are more than a few "newbies", with all the same "threats" that we have, that are doing fine, great ! All bike rallies are NOT on life-support - just this one. Explain to me how Gettysburg Bike Week has FOGHAT !?! Four fucking days and they got FOGHAT ? Nine days and we got a band from where / who ? Ohio Bike Week has Grand Funk Railroad ??? Ok, it's the fake one with Don and Mel and no Mark Farner but still, GFR ??? In fucking Ohio ??? And Thunder In The Valley ? FOUR lousy days and they got 38 Special ??? And The Godfather has 18 fucking bands {and some very good ones ...} that aren't even has-beens 'cos they're never were's ? Oh, never mind, lol.

For the three of you who subjected yourselves to yet another W.R. post, I hope ya had fun, I did. And here's a reward for your patience and sense of humor - we had some fun today in Hooksett blowing up a bridge ! Now if they could just find the headquarters of the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association :ban_083:

Best, W. R. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVdZ3xEfwqg
Last edited by W.R. on Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:17 am, edited 2 times in total.
There's more to life than naked girls, rock & roll and debauchery...wait, who am I kidding ??

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southtexas

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Post Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:35 am

Re: Laconia Bike Week R.I.P

I understand your frustration, W.R. It's all about leadership in any pursuit and it appears that, sadly, Laconia has chosen complacency over leadership. As for that bridge, how did the greenies ever let that happen? I would have thought they would have demanded at least a $100 million diaper under that to 'ensure' that not an ounce of the old bridge contaminated the water. lol I'm glad to see that reason prevailed. Thanks for the video.

Any of you folks headed to Sturgis?
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tofeather

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Post Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:56 am

Re: Laconia Bike Week R.I.P

Thanx for the obituary, W.R., 6 more years to the 100th., maybe a "funeral" event if it goes that far.
No Sturgis for me this year, maybe next year if the "Gods" are willing and I get a job, lol. At least they brought the hill climbs back to Gunstock and used the old ski-jump hill instead of the "terraced golf course".
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W.R.

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Post Sat Jul 08, 2017 2:09 pm

Re: Laconia Bike Week R.I.P

Nice to hear from y'all, I was up late and venting periodically keeps me from getting on the six o'clock news, lol. As for the bridge, ST, you're right, sanity prevailed here {still Live Free or Die, kinda .. }. A few bitched but it's being cut up as we speak so no real problem. And TF, it might theoretically make six more years but A] if it does, it's going to be the saddest thing you've ever seen {can you picture five more years of steady decline from NOW ?} and B] who will give a f*ck ??

Time for some logic ..... While we're all painfully aware of the losses {venues} that I drone on about, let's look at what's left as of today. 1 - The Naswa. 2- The Roadhouse 3- Tower Hill 4 - The Paradise 5 - The Spoke. That is IT, that IS Laconia Bike Week. Sooooo .....

The Naswa is secure, it's a major resort and it's owner, as President of the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association, benefits from tens of thousands of dollars a year in free advertising to her company through the Rally news. The Naswa, COINCIDENTALLY, is the OFFICIAL HOTEL of Laconia Bike Week ! What are the odds of THAT happening, lol ???

I wouldn't be so sure about The Roadhouse. It's down to one row of vendors and shrinking every year. If you take out the tent in the middle, there ain't much left. They fill up every day with my buddy Jack Schit and his great Wet T contest, but it's sparse before and after. A very expensive {and noble} investment for those guys that MAY not pay off much longer. Add to that a five or ten dollar cover charge and a 16 oz. can of beer that's now up to $7.00 {plus the requisite $1 tip} and I just don't see it going much longer. I understand the costs and am happy to pay the prices {no complaints here} but overall, things have a threshold that people just won't support. And with a customer base that is literally plummeting every year, the time will come when there is "no there there".

Tower Hill ? No idea, They brought in really hot pros in barely there clothes, have good bands and time will tell.

The Paradise ? No longer go there, but did stop into the patio, very nice set up, great band {Hott Commodity}. Place has been perpetually for sale for at least five years - will someone finally buy it ? If not, will Bret and Krista want to run it for another half a decade ? ? ?

And The Spoke. If the nice folks who are trying everything to make a go of it year 'round succeed, then it'll prolly survive and Jay Allen will continue to swoop in for his week and half every June. If not, that entire, formerly glorious corner will be gone forever. No disrespect to The 'Bin, but it's not quite at the "anchor" status of the others.

We all view things differently but I, for one, find it impossible to adapt and live in the shadow of what Laconia was. To be at The Spoke and look across the street at shuttered The Boot Hill is no longer doable. To go by Pine Hollow and look at that empty field after decades of tents, music, vendors, beer tub hotties, now gone forever - not doable. It's like living across the street from your burned down birthplace, the home you grew up in, and looking out the window every day at the cellar hole. Nope, I'd have to move. W.R.
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Germ

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Post Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:23 am

Re: Laconia Bike Week R.I.P

I feel the sadness in what was once but never again! It's not only Laconia Bike Week, but every other rally out there. The rallies arn't the only thing affected though, take a look around, Work, the corner store, the local gas station etc. Things just aren't the same but as the younger generation takes over, they don't have the history to look back on. Everything is quick and safe. Pay at the Pump in my day was Full Service...
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tofeather

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Post Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:29 pm

Re: Laconia Bike Week R.I.P

"everything is quick and safe", some things are definitely quicker, but safer??? Look at all the identity thievery going on, that shit didn't happen in the "Old Days", meaning the 50's and 60's, even the 70's. "Everything" is "geared" to "Entertainment", well, almost everything. Not many looking to educate ( improve ) themselves. History is just a word now, the old ways are dying fast. Who wants to know about ( or care about ) their past relatives and their traditions? I do.
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