June 24th, 2012
The Great American Biker Jam was held this weekend in Rockford, Illinois. Quite a few events were held during the annual event, including field events, a poker run, raffles, and a bike show. It was also the 100th anniversary celebration for Kegel Harley Davidson.
I arrived early to participate in the poker run as the vendors were setting up, a 50-some-odd-mile ride through the back roads of Northern Illinois. I chose to ride solo during the event to be able to ride at my own pace. I plunked down the $10 charitable contribution for the Goldie B. Floberg Center that assists children with developmental disabilities and signed the insurance waiver.
The directions were fairly complex, but spelled out on the ride sheet with mileages to each turn. I was told there was a bonus to watch out for somewhere along the route and if I see it and let them know at the next stop, I would get an additional draw at the end of the run.
Sometimes the cards were drawn from a bag, other stops required a game of ring-toss or pick the floating duck to choose a card. I found the bonus, which was a huge banner that really couldn't be missed, but still ended up with only a pair of 10s at the end of the run. Better luck next year.
By the time I was finished with the poker run, more riders had come to the event. The road surrounding the west and north side of the dealership is about ¼ mile long and it was just about parked full of motorcycles on both sides.
I walked over to the bike show area and cast my votes. There were three categories: stock, custom, and antique.
There was a raffle for a new metal-flake orange Fat Boy motorcycle.
I briefly talked to two guys who identified themselves as Paul and Larry.
There was a live band playing.
I checked out a handful of 215-horsepower Harleys.
It was a nice warm day, so I went into the dealership to cool off.
The Biker Jam is a fun way to spend a nice Saturday afternoon. I skipped the ride to the “Country Throwdown” concert that evening, but I'm sure a good time was had by all.