Unless you've suffered some serious brain fade, you're probably aware of the Hollister Independence Rally. In its 57th incarnation, the rally was one of the first and was immortalized in one of Marlon Brando's early films, The Wild One. We rode out to California's Central Valley, near Gilroy, to check out this year's event held on July 2-4. We were pleasantly surprised to see that it filled more than eight square blocks of downtown Hollister, chock full of custom bikes, stockers, vendors, and happy participants all basking under the sun to attend this annual gathering.
When you needed a break from all the bike appreciation, there were several attractions to keep you occupied, including the Miss Hollister pageant, Motordome Wall of Death Motorcycle Stunt Show, Extreme Trials Riding Show, and a well-used burnout pit, all of which were a lot of fun. More thrills came from the bike show, live music, tons of giveaway prizes, and a raffle for a brand-new Road King and an enclosed trailer to tow it in (although we still don't understand why you'd tow a perfectly good Road King). There were also enough vendors there to fill your closet and garage with the newest apparel and parts for your bike.
More than 150,000 people attended this year's event, which marked a pretty dramatic increase over the 120,000 who attended last year and probably signifies just how much fun the show is. So, if you missed it this year, mark your calendar, because next year's show, held during the first weekend of July, will surely be even bigger. HRB