Ohio Bike Week Feature

Ohio Bike Week kicks off the 2018 Rally on Wednesday, May 23rd – with the Mad River Harley-Davidson area opening up at 5 pm to the public with the Mad River Saloon and Vendor Areas welcoming riders. Inside the dealership there will be a special Welcome Reception for riders and rally participants, all are welcome to join in a special preview of the week’s festivities presented by the OBW honcho’s and United States Warranty Corporation.

Then you’ll want to head downtown for the Jack Daniel’s Barrel House Saloon (A BTR Ride Stop!). The Barrel House Saloon is right on the water and offers live entertainment and fun throughout the rally. It’s the Official Party Headquarters – not just as the home base for the Bike Week Crew – but because it’s THE PLACE to head for sure-fire good times at any point during the Rally. It’s packed every night, but even if you can’t make it into the actual bar – the pier leading up to it is packed with several more outdoor bars and dozens of vendors leading up to it. 

For the opening night of the Rally, the Barrel House kicks things off with Ekoostik Willy – a powerhouse band that brings Steve Sweney and Dave Katz from ekoostik hookah to join the cast of Glostik Willy. The powerhouse, superband delivers a rockin show which is sure to leave fans of both bands and the Grateful Dead, American folk rock genre’ awestruck and gasping for air.

Thursday, May 24th – Ohio Bike Week really ROARS into town with the World Famous Block Party kicking off at 3 pm on the streets of downtown Sandusky. From the edges of the Sandusky Bay and for blocks into the city – the streets are transformed into a biker’s paradise with vendors, live music, and lots – and lots – of bikes! 

It's really a celebration of the lifestyle, more than anything. Good times with great folks! Vendors from across the country come down for the Block Party and their chance to hook up with over 150,000 bikers and enthusiasts as part of the Midwest’s Largest Motorcycle Event!

Out at Mad River, things start early in the day with one the most popular rides of the Rally – the Kelly’s Island Poker Run. This Dice Run takes place on an island – out in Lake Erie! So, to get started you have to take your bike over on a Ferry. Well, technically, you first register at Mad River – then everyone rides over to the Ferry. It’s a great time that is always one of the most popular rides of OBW.

"The Kelleys Island Dice Run goes over to one of the area’s best hidden secrets. Check out the character of the island, win great prizes and hear awesome live music at the final stop - The Casino", says Steve Ernst of Ohio Bike Week

Later in the afternoon, Mad River H-D will host Terry Lee Goffee – as he presents “The Ultimate Johnny Cash Tribute”. To many fans of the Man in Black – this is as close as it gets to seeing him live. 

The Downtown Block Party features FUEL as the Thursday night headliner – and then Red Ball Jets closing things out at the Jack Daniel’s Barrel House Saloon.

On Friday, the Mad River Zone opens up at 9pm – and activities include Harley-Davidson Demo rides and Live Music at the Mad River Saloon all day.

One of our favorite Bike Week events is without a doubt the OBW Pool Party and Bikini Contest which Thunder Roads Ohio hosts at the Comfort Inn Cabana Bar (A BTR Ride Stop!). This year’s party is held on Friday and is once again presented by our friends at Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys and include all kinds of poolside fun in the sun. There is a cannonball contest for the guys, poolside games, and the annual calendar search bikini contest which includes over $2,500 in cash and prizes this year! Live music for the party is provided by none other than Billy Morris – former guitarist for Warrant and lead singer for Sunset Strip! The schedule says the party starts at 2pm, but plan on getting there by noon to get a seat!

Friday Night features two perennial Bike Week favorites – Jackyl and Jasmine Cain. Jackyl will be headlining the Block Party Main Stage – while Jasmine is holding court at the World Famous Jack Daniel’s Barrel House Saloon to close out the night. Last year – Jasmine rocked the Barrel House and actually dove off the stage into the crowd. (Which is quite a dive, if you’ve never been there!)

The Block Party ROCKS on throughout the weekend with Jack Russell’s Great White on Saturday and then Phil Vasser and the Kentucky Headhunters on Sunday. Over 40 other acts perform over the weekend at stages throughout the area, including Reese Dailey and LATTER over at The Original Margaritaville (A BTR Ride Stop!) and Billy Morris from Warrant at Knuckleheads Saloon (A BTR Ride Stop!) in Huron. Check out the OHIO BIKE WEEK Pocket Rally Guide or ThunderRoadsOhio.com for more details on other spots to hit during OHIO BIKE WEEK!

The new Bike Week schedule allows an entire extra day of Block Party Madness, when compared to past years; and basically just cuts out the “dead days” in the middle. You’ll find that just about all of the past major events can be found on the schedule – including favorites such as the Bike Week Parade and the Owen Barker Memorial Dice Run. 

The Owen Barker Memorial Dice Run is hosted by Bikers Against Abused and Neglected Children (BANC) – a local 501c3 organization that actively works to support and protect children within the community. The Run has traditionally been held on Sunday, during the Memorial Weekend – but that had previously fallen on one of the “off-days” of the Rally during the first weekend. Thunder Roads has covered the event the last few years and it’s been a GREAT experience each time. It’s a huge ride organized by an group with an even bigger heart. It’s our hope that more riders can take part with it now falling on the main rally weekend. 


State Championship Ring – to be presented by Vivid Jewelers

This year, Ohio Bike Week and Thunder Roads Ohio have teamed up to present a new and expanded Bike Show that’s worthy of being considered THE STATE CHAMPIONSHIP! To that end, Lenny Strnad of Vivid Jewelers (www.vividjewelers.com) has created a unique custom Championship Ring that will be awarded to the BEST OF SHOW BIKE. Lenny has previously produced the TRO CHAMPIONSHIP RING awarded during the Piston Power Show to the SERIES CHAMPION. This show has drawn competitors from across the country, with it being a national caliber show. It’s our intention to develop the Ohio Bike Week show as the BEST OF OHIO – and a direct qualifier for our National Championship Show being held next March and eligible to take part in over $10,000 in cash and prizes awarded there.

This year’s show will feature a broader range of classes including CUSTOM and RADICAL BAGGERS, GARAGE BUILDS, TRIKES, as well as VINTAGE, CUSTOM PAINT, and IMPORT categories. All will compete on the by the water, as the show is being held once more downtown on Sunday, For more information and to register, visit ThunderRoadsOhio.com. Those that register in advance for the show will receive a FREE t-shirt as a new special incentive for this year’s show.

For shops interested in participating and possibly exhibiting their bikes, a limited number of shop displays are available. To reserve space for group bike displays (ie., shops, clubs, race teams, etc..) email BikeShowInfo@gmail.com


With the new dates, Ohio Bike Week no longer overlaps a number of other events that have tied up a lot of hotel rooms the past several years. Even if you have had no luck in finding rooms in recent years, you may be surprised to find some spots still available at reasonable rates even at this late stage. The Official Ohio Bike Week Hotels can be found at www.SanduskyHotels.com These include the Comfort Inn on Milan Road / 250, where you’ll find the Cabana Bar and poolside fun throughout the rally. We wholeheartedly recommend these hotels as supporters of the Rally that welcome riders!

One of the most cost-effective means of attending the rally is to save on the hotel costs and camp instead. For many, this makes the experience as you’re able to relax with others and really “escape” for the rally. This year primitive and RV camping will again be offered at the Erie County Fairgrounds by Ohio Bike Week as the Official Campground. The fairgrounds will have its own bar with live entertainment and adult contests. Pricing will be competitive with anything else in the area – and it’s the only location with Bike Week events happening on site! You can find out more about the Fairgrounds and reserve your camping spot at www.OhioBikeWeek.com.

BTR Ride Stops!

Win $500 with Digital Check-In’s during OBW!

Make sure that you keep an eye out for Ride Stops while you’re enjoying the sights and sounds of Ohio Bike Week.  Anywhere you see the BTR Ride Stop sign – you can check-in and WIN, by simply taking a picture of yourself and posting it to your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account with the hashtag #TRO.  For Ohio Bike Week, TRO will be awarding a special $500 GRAND PRIZE and at least 50 other prizes specific to Bike Week Check-In’s!

Special Designated Ride Stops in the area include –

  • Comfort Inn Cabana Bar, Sandusky
  • Jack Daniel’s Barrel House Saloon, Downtown Sandusky
  • Knuckleheads Saloon, Huron
  • Original Margaritaville, Sandusky
  • Quaker Steak & Lube, Vermillion
  • The World Famous CheeseHaven, Port Clinton

(Additional BIKE WEEK BTR Ride Stops are featured in the Pocket Rally Guide and can be found at ThunderRoadsOhio.com)

You can check into any of these spots throughout the Rally for your chance to win the special Bike Week Prizes or any of the other Thunder Run Prizes as well.  If you make it to all of these Bike Week Stops, during the Rally – post a picture of you and any riding companions to your Facebook account at your last stop saying that you “hit them all” and include the #TRO hashtag.  We will randomly select one winner from those completing the run – and once verified, they will win a $500 Amazon Gift Card!

Post photos to your facebook with the hashtag #TRO to win $500!

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