May 27 – June 5, 2022 Sandusky Ohio www.OhioBikeWeek.com
After two years off, we are finally returning to the streets of downtown Sandusky for our annual north coast motorcycle rally – OHIO BIKE WEEK, The Largest Motorcycle Event in the Midwest! And it’s been far, far too long..
Over the past two years, a lot has changed in the world – and not even Sandusky was immune to the winds of change. The empty lot next to Mad River Harley-Davidson is now home to a “chicken place” and downtown Sandusky has undergone several phases of “civic improvements”. New sidewalks, parks, and various redevelopment all over the city has forced a number of changes to things – but as always, the folks at Ohio Bike Week have adapted and come through with 10 days of riding and rockin for riders!
Ohio Bike Week is fairly unique amongst the Nation’s Major Rallies – and yes, it’s one of the big ones! It started as a HOG Rally hosted by community organizers – but then transformed into an open call for riders to come and celebrate the start of riding season on Ohio’s North Coast. The ten days of rides and activities culminate with the “World Famous Block Party” the 2nd weekend on the streets of downtown Sandusky.
With all of the changes going on in downtown Sandusky, OBW really had to change things up and had a lot less space for vendors downtown. They still managed, however, to get numerous stages downtown – and once again, all of these shows are FREE!! Yes, that’s right – the shows are FREE, no ticket needed for you to enjoy the concerts. Ohio Bike Week is once again offering a VIP All-Access Pass which allows you to get upfront and personal with the performers. A limited number of these are available for purchase through OhioBikeWeek.com These always include a lot of bang for the buck – and are a great way to show your support for the Rally.
OHIO BIKE WEEK BIKE SHOW
Thunder Roads Ohio will once again be hosting the Official OBW Bike Show downtown on the water, with registration and bikes exhibited on the Barrel House Pier during the Block Party – Saturday, June 4th. This is an informal, ride-in bike show like no other – with over $2,500 in Cash and Prizes, including trophies and placards for winners across more than a dozen possible classes. All makes and models are welcome, and winners will be chosen through a system of public voting with weighted judges’ ballots. It’s a relatively casual approach that lends itself to a day of fun and camaraderie amongst folks with a love for two wheeled (and three) iron.
Over $2,500 in Cash, Trophies, and Placards will be awarded to participants.
We would strongly encourage everyone to register in advance for this show. Not only will you save a few dollars and get a free show t-shirt, you’ll also have a spot reserved for you on the pier. Space will be a premium and priority will certainly be given to those registering in advance. You can register and find out more on this at ThunderRoadsOhio.com or on the Ohio Bike Week Bike Show Facebook event. (www.Facebook.com/ThunderRoadsOhio)
JACK DANIEL’S BARREL HOUSE SALOON
Certainly, our favorite place to escape to during the Block Party is the back outside deck at the JD Barrel House. No matter what’s going on a few feet behind you in the Saloon – looking out over the water is amazingly relaxing. Then when you’re ready – turn around and step back into the chaos at the undisputed PARTY HQ of OBW!
The Jack Daniel’s Barrel House Saloon is at the end of the Barrel House Pier – which during Bike Week is stocked full of vendors, motorcycles, an occasional stage and bar or two. But as you make your way back, it’s clear you’re making your way “through court” to reach the KING of BIKE WEEK BARS. This is always where the party is – and this year, the entertainment is second to NONE!
RALLY TIP: Many of the HARD-CORE Party Bands are scheduled for the Barrell House this year – including GRUNGE DNA, OLD SCHOOL, SPAZZMATICS, and even the EARTHQUAKERS. If you’ve never seen OLD SCHOOL – they will ROCK the HOUSE on Friday, June 3rd, going late night til 1am. For those still going – this is probably your best bet for late night craziness!
MAD RIVER H-D
With the limited space downtown, most of the vendors will stay out at Mad River Harley-Davidson for all ten days. In the past, many of them came downtown for the Block Party. This year, however, space won’t allow that. In an added twist, though, the field where concerts were held in the past adjacent to Mad River is not longer there. So, there won’t be any big concerts at Mad River this year. Instead, they have focused on more vendors and activities at the dealership itself – rather than the big concerts on the Mad River Campus.
These include the new River Saloon. Located in the back of the Mad River lot, this bar and entertainment center will open daily from 11am until 9pm. (Closed on Tuesday, 5/31). Special activities include:
The other big attraction at Mad River H-D is the Harley-Davidson Factory Demo Trucks. You can stop by and test ride all the new 2022 Harley’s – including the Pan America, the Sportster S, and even ALL THE CVO’s! Demo rides are free and offered 10a-6pm daily, 5/27 – 6/4. They will not be there the last Sunday and will close down if the weather is considered adverse.
RALLY TIP: Pick up a “Rockin’ & Ridin” patch for FREE, when you DEMO RIDE Tuesday 5/31 and Wednesday 6/1 – while supply lasts.
For locals and those “in the know”, Jimmy Bukkett’s has always been a favorite destination for riders in the area. Located in Fremont – 2815 N County Road, Fremont – Jimmy Bukkett’s is an outdoor bar that hopes to offer a feeling of “Key West” island life a little closer to home. It’s a fun atmosphere with swinging chairs, electric palm trees and live music. Please note that it’s all outdoors – so it’s not a place to head for shelter during a storm. They also only accept cash – but there’s an ATM onsite. The area is also 21+ only after 6pm.
OBW ISLAND PARTY! Saturday, May 28th Noon – @ Jimmy Bukkett’s!
One of the apparent casualties of the time away was the OBW Pool Party – a rally favorite for more than 10 years, it apparently had ran its course and could no longer be held at the Comfort Inn. However, the spirit of this event lives on and may become EVEN BIGGER and BETTER as the NEW Ohio Bike Week ISLAND PARTY – hosted by Thunder Roads Ohio and Jimmy Bukkett’s! Sponsored by long time Pool Party partner TWISTED TEA – this party will have a lot of the same elements but with more of an emphasis on the music, dancing, and just having fun. Contests include a CALENDAR GIRL CONTEST for the Ladies, a Limbo Contest for everyone that wants to give it a shot, and other assorted challenges for CASH and PRIZES! Well over $500 in Cash & Prizes will be awarded.
If you are interested in participating in the Calendar Girl Contest – please send an email to BikeShowInfo@gmail.com in advance.
Being one of the most popular Ride Stops in the State – all summer long – and being in Sandusky – OF COURSE, things are hoping at Margaritaville during Bike Week! Vendors return to the lot and Thunder Roads Ohio will be on the deck – for one of our favorite party spots of the week!
OBW TATTOO PARTY! Wednesday, June 1st 6pm – The Original Margaritaville
This is a party for those with ink (canvas) and those create it (the artists) – as well as those with an appreciation for! It’s a fun celebration of the art, as we introduce folks and share a little about the stories behind pieces in some cases. Prizes and recognition for those participating and their artists – including cash prizes, trophies, and placards. Register in advance at ThunderRoadsOhio.com – and receive a FREE T-shirt! Bonus prizes for shops participating, for more information email BikeShowInfo@gmail.com
RALLY TIP: Need a place to stay? Check out the Crystal Rock Campground. It’s right around the corner from Margaritaville and a short ride from Jimmy Bukkett’s and everything else going on! Nice family-owned campground with cabins, hookups, and primitive camping as well. Call 419-684-7177 or visit them online at www.CrystalRockCampground.com