Midnight Tour 2004
Date: Sunday, August 08 @ 05:02:59 EDT
Topic: Rally News
Posted by Dkalvin
Well The Midnight Tour went great. I don't have a final count but I would estimate well over 500 bikes were there. Well the final count is in and I was off because there was more that 1400 Bikes that made the ride.
The gates opened around 17:00. I got there a little before 19:00. As of that time there were about 130 bikes there.
There was plenty to do while waiting for the scheduled 22:30 start. They had a food vendor. Burgers, Brats, Chips, and soft drinks were available. There was also a Ride-In Bike Show. There were several classes; Antique, Sport, Cruiser, Multi-wheel, Touring, and Custom. Not a whole lot of bikes in the show, there was one '76 CB750F in the sport class. The antique class was a lone ’76 Honda Goldwing. The touring class had two Goldwings and one Harley full dresser. There was one trike in the multi-wheeled class. The cruiser class was the largest with five entries.
There were also plenty of vendors set up to the side. We had a local Honda dealer with a few bikes set out to look at. There was also a dealer that sells choppers and custom bikes who had some bikes on a trailer. Of course we had dealers selling glasses, T-shirts, and all forms of leather. There were also two tents set up with some unique storage solutions. The club running the event had a 50-50 raffle. They had two drawings, first winner got $238 and the second got $418. We also were serenaded by a DJ this evening, and a few brave souls went up to sing Karaoke.
With several hours to kill, my girlfriend and I found us a nice spot to sit and watch all the bikes roll in. I had to make a trip back my bike to get jackets as it was starting to cool off a bit, and imagine my surprise when I couldn't find it. I was looking for that orange cone next to my front tire, and didn't realize that as more and more bikes showed up the cone was moved further away from my bike. It was now about 21:00 and the number of bikes has grown quite a bit and they were still pouring in. If I was to guess I would say we were well over 300 by now. All I know for sure is that they had to close off our lot and start staging the rest in an adjacent lot.
It is now approaching 22:30 and scheduled start time. We make our way back to the bike and got ready for the ride. I did this ride once before about 12 years ago and we rode into downtown Chicago and then along the lakefront. This being the 25th anniversary ride, they had something special up their sleeve. Instead of heading downtown, we were going to ride north to a Wild West themed show/restaurant. Finally about 23:15 the first riders rolled out. It was quite a site seeing/hearing that many bikes fire up and take over the road. We had the local police block off the route to the expressway. Along the surface streets we had plenty of well wishers. It must be the little kid in me, but I loved having the cops blocking the intersections as we all blasted through red lights on the way. We were told that we were to pass through the far right hand toll booths. I am sure that we caused quite a few raised eyebrows as this huge line of bikes roared north. Unfortunately a few confused cars found themselves stuck on entrance ramps as we passed. For the last 20 or so miles we were back on surface roads in "the country". Very quite and peaceful out there, although it was too dark to enjoy the scenery. When we arrived at the Wild West Show the entire staff was waiting for us as there was supposed to be food served at the end of the ride.
It was about 00:30 when we arrived. My girlfriend and I were not going to stay long. So after having a smoke and stretching our legs a bit, we were on our way home. It took us about 15 minutes to get back to the expressway, and we were somewhat surprised to see the last dozen bikes exiting the express way on their way to the show. Finally made it back home about 01:45, and collapsed in bed.
I had a great time and hope that maybe next year some of you can make the ride. I will let everyone know the date as soon as possible, and when I return to work I hope to get a final count of how many bikes were there.