Muskegon, Michigan is the host for what is dubbed as "America's fastest growing bike event!" For three days this past July 17 through 19, the largest city on the eastern shores of Lake Michigan hosted the third annual Muskegon Bike Time. The town, with nicknames such as Lumbertown, Port City, and The Beer Tent Capital of the World, had 35,000 bikes and 90,000 spectators fill the streets. A mile-long stretch of Western Avenue in downtown Muskegon became a motorcycle-only "Steel Horse Alley" buzzing with people, food, vendors, beer tents, music, and the sweet sounds of bikes.
Hot Rod Harley-Davidson of Muskegon sponsored the event and anchored one end of the street filled with all types of baggers, customs, and sport bikes.
On Saturday afternoon the entire Steel Horse Alley, all side streets, and lots were filled to capacity. License plates from a dozen different states were seen among the tightly packed bikes. All day long people rode and strolled along eyeing the thousands of customized bikes for as far as the eye could see. Next up was a round of "howyabeendoin's" that greeted old and new friends alike. Then it was time for the tasty food that was available just about every 20 feet. Vendors lined the street with everything to challenge a snapped up wallet from leathers, toy haulers, bike parts, and even hand-rolled cigars. Budweiser was a primary sponsor of the event and made sure to keep their multiple tents brimming with tubs of icy old beverages.
New for Muskegon Bike Time was a free headline concert on Saturday night featuring Michigan's own classic rocker Mitch Ryder and his band, the Detroit Wheels. By the end of Mitch's set the crowd was dancing like it was the '60s all over again. Also new was the addition of Sergeant Smash, a huge monster truck setup that took passengers for a wild ride on a special lot across from Hot Rod Harley. Making a special Saturday appearance was a replica of the clubhouse from the FX television series, the Sons of Anarchy. The Star Boyz Extreme Stunt Motorcycle team returned to fire up the crowd with six sets of their famous insane wheelies, stoppies, burnouts, donuts, and everything you should probably never try yourself on a bike.
From the ranks of the thousands of hot ladies in town for Bike Time, Jacqueline Bradley a curvaceous 24-year old from Detroit won the bikini contest and the title of Miss Bike Time in her string bikini.
Over at the Dyno Drags, high revs, horsepower, top-end speed, and quick reaction times were tested all weekend. ABATE sponsored a burnout pit to get the crowd really going.
Sunday morning opened with a short Christian concert featuring Erik Bledsoe followed by a blessing of the bikes. Just after that the Mayor's Ride kicked off for a run up and down the Lake Michigan coast that benefitted widows and orphans of war veterans through the Cruising for Kids charity.
In just its third year Muskegon Bike Time set a new benchmark in attendance. Veterans of the event said people came earlier, stayed later, and enjoyed themselves more than ever. Come out to Michigan in 2010 for the fourth Bike Time soiree. Check muskegonbiketime.com for additional info and dates.
3700 W. Juneau Avenue