Laconia New Hampshire Bike Week

The Lakes Region of New Hampshire is an active area throughout the year, be it the ice-cold months of winter, the warm, sunny days of summer or any time in between.  In addition to all the typical lakes pastimes, such as fishing, boating, or ice-skating, the Lakes Region hosts the state’s largest weeklong party each year in June, the Laconia Motorcycle Week.

This festival of celebrating the motorcycle lifestyle begins on the weekend before Father’s Day each year and ends on Father’s Day itself.  Though centered in Laconia, NH, the celebration extends to Loudon, Meredith, Gilford and beyond.  Tens of thousands of motorcycles and motorcycle enthusiasts descend upon the area for a full nine days of bikes, fun, sunshine and leather.

If you’d like to join the party, be prepared – it’s difficult to find lodging during Bike Week and even harder to get a car or truck anywhere near the party.  Most areas have shuttle services to bring you back and forth from designated pickup areas near your hotel, motel or rented cottage.  If you have a boat, you can approach the celebration by way of Weirs Beach on Lake Winnipesaukee.  Laconia sits at the edge of the largest lake in New Hampshire, making this weeklong shindig all the more enjoyable.

So what is there to do at Bike Week?  First and foremost, people are there for the atmosphere and to spend time with like-minded individuals who appreciate the form of art that moves on two wheels.  But you don’t need a $50,000 chopper to party at Bike Week - custom motorcycles with stunning paintjobs will park next to bikes that one would assume had to be towed into the parking spot.  The variety of machines that visit Laconia is simply amazing – as are the people who ride them.

Another attraction of Bike Week is the vendors who display their wares in tents throughout the Weirs Beach area.  Leather goods by the thousands, custom bike parts, t-shirts, food and drink, and more chrome than you can shake a stick at are hawked to eager buyers all week long.  There are tents set up specifically for beer drinkers and others offering specialty foods like sausage sandwiches, fried dough or pizza.

Most of the bars in the area set up for the onslaught of bikers during this week as well.  Many host live entertainment, contests of all sorts, specials on food and drink and much more.  There are also live concerts throughout the week at multiple locations.  Another big attraction of Bike Week is the motorcycle race held at the NH International Speedway in Loudon.  Think your bike is fast?  Come down and find out.

Another great activity, usually held midweek, is the motorcycle hill climb hosted at Gunstock Ski Area in Gilford.  Spend the afternoon watching rider after rider try to speed their custom-built hill climbing bike up the steep mountainside – a very entertaining day, to be sure.  For the less crazy, there are organized, sponsored motorcycle tours of New Hampshire’s beautiful countryside.  Head out with a group of up to 300 riders to see Mount Washington, The Flume, The Presidential Range and more.  New Hampshire’s stunning views are unsurpassed in New England.  Don’t have a bike?  Take a tour of Lake Winnipesaukee on the MV Mount Washington and see the towering mountains from a different perspective altogether.  There’s something for everyone in Laconia during Bike Week.

If you’ve been to Daytona or Sturgis during their motorcycle rallies, you have an idea of what to expect in Laconia, but here in New Hampshire, it’s all the more special.  Many riders enjoy the simple fact that NH has no helmet law, so they’re free to let the wind blow through their hair unimpeded.  But the best reason of all is that this is New Hampshire, a state like no other in the nation.  Visit us during bike week and you’ll be back again and again.

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