It’s a fair bet that 50,000 motorcyclists can’t be wrong. Every year, thousands of road riding enthusiasts eagerly throw a leg over their motorcycles in pursuit of some of the finest riding in the Northeast at Americade — the best touring rally in the nation.
Americade, the American Motorcyclist Association’s (AMA) Grand National Rally in 2010, returns to the idyllic town of Lake George, N.Y., June 8-12. The annual week-long event is a longstanding favorite among motorcyclists, and the 2010 event is shaping to be Americade’s best-ever.
With participation from 14 motorcycle manufacturers, the largest TourExpo trade show to date, boat tours on beautiful Lake George, whitewater rafting, hot air balloon rides, a host of informational seminars conducted by top industry people and nearly $100,000 in door prizes up for grabs, the week’s biggest challenge may be narrowing down the choice of things to do.
Those who need even more options can add these additional AMA goodies to the mix. First, there’s an AMA-sponsored Vermont Mini-Tour that awards one prize each day to a lucky rider during the lunch stop.
Or how about prizes for the first-, second- and third-place AMA members participating in the charity poker run?
"We are looking forward to a fantastic, fun-filled, non-stop week," said AMA Road Riding Manager Dave Hembroff.
"We’ll have a special AMA booth in the TourExpo area and we encourage everyone to drop by and learn more about the AMA. We want motorcyclists to understand how being an AMA member helps us all preserve and protect the motorcycling lifestyle for this and future generations."
What is Americade?
Americade has become the world’s largest multi-brand motorcycle touring rally, attracting over 50,000 annually. It’s a convention of riders and passengers who enjoy riding tourers, sport-tourers and cruising motorcycles.
Americade is a gathering of friendly, fun-loving folks, for whom motorcycling is a social hobby, but not some form of rebellion. It’s NOT the place for shows of speed, hostile attitudes, or illegally loud motorcycles. Americade supports the AMA position that "Loud Pipes Risk Rights."
How did it start?
May 1983 marked the first "Cade" in the east. Veteran motorcyclist Bill Dutcher, and a small but able staff, hosted "Aspencade East " at Lake George, NY. Social and demo headquarters were at Roaring Brook Ranch. The TourExpo tradeshow was held at the Glens Falls Civic Center, approximately 10 miles to the south. This first event drew over 2,000.
Why Lake George?
What place could be better? Lake George is a large friendly resort community with many scenic roads, easy access from interstates, and unexcelled natural beauty. As the gateway to The Adirondack Park, the area boasts many winding roads, often leading to mountain summits. This makes for breathtaking riding opportunities and amazing views.
What’s the Adirondack Park?
Riding heaven ! Laced with winding mountain roads, it’s also the largest park in the continental United States. With approximately 6 million acres, The Adirondack Park is larger than Yellowstone, Glacier, Yosemite, and Olympic National Parks all combined. It’s even larger than any of the 7 smallest states in the U.S.!
43 of its mountains have elevations 4,000 feet or higher; Mount Marcy, within sight of Lake Placid, is the highest mountain in NY State at 5,344 feet. The Adirondack Park has 2,800 lakes and ponds, and over 30,000 miles of rivers and streams.
Lake George itself is a beautiful 32 mile-long body of drinking-pure water, surrounded by pine-covered mountains. The Village of the same name, located next to I-87, is the southern gateway to The Adirondack Park.
Why was it originally named "Aspencade" ?
Since 1971, there had been a touring motorcycle rally in Ruidoso, NM bearing this name. The name came from an annual civic festival, which celebrated the changing colors of the aspen (birch) trees. Dutcher arranged with Aspencade organizer, Til Thompson, to use the Aspencade name for the eastern touring rally.
In 1986, "Aspencade East" was changed to "Americade", because the new name better signified the multibrand national-sized rally it had become. By 1986, total attendance at this event was nearly 10,000, making it the largest touring rally in the motorcycle world.
By 1986, the TourExpo tradeshow had been relocated to Lake George Village, to keep it closer to the motels and riding activities. Initially located halfway down Beach Road in a large gravel parking lot, in 1994 TourExpo was relocated to the larger, dust-free quarters, which it now occupies at Million Dollar Beach Parking Lot. This facility is owned by the State of New York, from which Americade and TourExpo rent this property.
In 2004 TourExpo expanded the tradeshow to include The Forum, Lake George’s newly built convention center. Good thing, because Americade’s TourExpo tradeshow needed more space and this second location provided it.
Over 60,000 attended that year (although local estimates placed the crowd figure much larger), once again making Americade the world’s largest organized multibrand motorcycle convention.
2009 figures again showed that Americade Week was the biggest week of business for much of the Lake George Region resort community, and the biggest single boost to the local economy.
Local merchants welcome these smiling motorcyclists not only for the economic boost they provide, but also because of the many lasting friendships which have been developed with Americaders from around the world. Americade also works hard to be a Good Neighbor.
For more Americade info, here’s a website put together by a long-time Americade enthusiast: www.americade.info