Ohio Bike Week

New Concentrated, Higher Octane Formula For 2018

For years, Ohio Bike Week has been the undisputed LARGEST MOTORCYCLE EVENT IN THE MIDWEST and the unofficial kick-off to the summer riding season. It has evolved into one of the largest rallies in the nation, with events and rides ranging from Toledo to Sandusky. For 2018, rally organizers, however, have decided to make a change and shorten the official length of the program from 10 days to 6 straight days of nonstop ridin’ and rockin!’

Of the major national Rallies, Ohio Bike Week is one of the few that has sought to provide two full weekends – 10 days – of programming. Many of the big rallies don’t even do a full week – instead of focusing on just a single weekend. It takes a lot to put on a large-scale rally and the expenses go far beyond the big-name entertainment on stage. The operational and support staff, emergency services, and all of the logistical considerations and expenses add up for every day that the event is hosted. Many of these expenses add up regardless of the number of people attending or if an event is rained out.

For many, the Rally was just too long. Few people can afford to take a full 10 days off work or away from home, so most riders were forced to choose between one weekend or another. There were also always a few “down days” – usually Monday and Tuesday, where there really wasn’t much going on. By tightening the schedule to a concentrated 6 days – it eliminates the dead days and allows the organizers to focus their energy and resources to really blowing it out in one extended weekend.

"The shortened format removes some of the weekdays that have been slow in past years. It is our hope that we have the same or even more people that have been previously split up over 10 days; now packed into the new six-day format” says Brad Stofcheck of Ohio Bike Week.

While the overall rally has shortened, the Downtown BLOCK PARTY has actually expanded with the addition of Sunday – running Thursday, May 24th through Sunday, May 27th.  "The expanded World-Famous Block Party is gonna be incredible. It's as though we have two "Saturdays" to throw this huge party on - with Monday being a holiday" says Brad Stofcheck of Ohio Bike Week.

Kicking Things Up!

OBW has really worked to create the best possible experience throughout the downtown Block Party and at the Mad River Campus as they kick things up for the single holiday weekend. With the change, the Organizers expect to attract larger vendors, including a motorcycle service center AND have brought back more Street Performers – to include walking magicians and other craziness; as well as more fireworks to add more excitement simply to the rally areas.

For entertainment, Bike Week has gone with a series of headlining National Acts that they can offer FREE OF CHARGE as part of the Block Party – supported by the very best in regional and touring acts. Fuel, Jackyl, Jack Russell’s Great White, Phil Vassar, and the Kentucky Headhunters get top billing – while popular acts such as Mustang Sally, Jasmine Cain, Ekoostik Willy, and Billy Morris – formerly of Warrant, fill out the main stages. Some of the best performers from throughout the Midwest round the schedule – including the Earthquakers, Jessica Hannan, Red Ball Jets, Sunset Strip, Tight Wadd, Whiskey Kings, Michael Weber, Eric Sowers Band, and many more! As always things will rock throughout the rally – but this year, ALL SHOWS ARE FREE! (A limited number of VIP tickets and ALL ACCESS PASSES are available at OhioBikeWeek.com)

Over the years, the Jack Daniel’s Barrel House Saloon located right on the water has evolved into the Official Bar and undisputed PARTY CENTRAL of Bike Week. It’s always a great time with the friendliest staff and a great crowd – with the best views in town from the surrounding patios.

"The Jack Daniel's Barrel House Saloon is proud to be a title sponsor of Ohio Bike Week this year. Each year the Barrel House continues to get better and better - with added permanent restrooms, a huge waterside patio and some of the best live entertainment found at the rally; this is one spot you'll want to stop by and check out!" Says General Manager Carl Coyne

One of the most popular traditions – especially with those that enjoy taking pictures of the bikes – is the Founders Day Parade from Roeders in Monroeville. A seemingly endless line of motorcycles comes rolling into town Saturday afternoon and is certainly a sight to see.

"We try very hard to maintain tradition and loyalty to what has made our rally one of the best in the country. The Founder's Day Parade will once again happen on Saturday afternoon and we hope to make it one of the biggest ever” says Brad Stofcheck of Ohio Bike Week

Over the years, the Jack Daniel’s Barrel House Saloon located right on the water has evolved into the Official Bar and undisputed PARTY CENTRAL of Bike Week. It’s always a great time with the friendliest staff and a great crowd – with the best views in town from the surrounding patios.

"The Jack Daniel's Barrel House Saloon is proud to be a title sponsor of Ohio Bike Week this year. Each year the Barrel House continues to get better and better - with added permanent restrooms, a huge waterside patio and some of the best live entertainment found at the rally; this is one spot you'll want to stop by and check out!" Says General Manager Carl Coyne

One of the most popular traditions – especially with those that enjoy taking pictures of the bikes – is the Founders Day Parade from Roeders in Monroeville. A seemingly endless line of motorcycles comes rolling into town Saturday afternoon and is certainly a sight to see.

"We try very hard to maintain tradition and loyalty to what has made our rally one of the best in the country. The Founder's Day Parade will once again happen on Saturday afternoon and we hope to make it one of the biggest ever” says Brad Stofcheck of Ohio Bike Week

The popular Kelleys Island Ride has moved to Thursday, but still features the Ferry over to the island and then a Dice Run to some popular stops there.

"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

The World Famous OBW Pool Party and Bikini Contest, which we host, has been moved to Friday afternoon, but will still be held at the Comfort Inn – which has proven to be an ideal location for the annual event. This year there will be even more prize money – including more fun for the guys with the Cannonball contest! We’ve also heard that there will be even more going on throughout the week at the Comfort Inn, so stay tuned.

The OBW Bike Show has been moved to Sunday and will be held downtown on the water! Thunder Roads will again be hosting the contest, but Bike Week has committed even more space and resources to this year’s show. Look for more

The popular Kelleys Island Ride has moved to Thursday, but still features the Ferry over to the island and then a Dice Run to some popular stops there.

"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

One of the most popular traditions – especially with those that enjoy taking pictures of the bikes – is the Founders Day Parade from Roeders in Monroeville. A seemingly endless line of motorcycles comes rolling into town Saturday afternoon and is certainly a sight to see.

"We try very hard to maintain tradition and loyalty to what has made our rally one of the best in the country. The Founder's Day Parade will once again happen on Saturday afternoon and we hope to make it one of the biggest ever” says Brad Stofcheck of Ohio Bike Week

even more show bikes as considerable CASH PRIZES are added to the mix – as well as making the show a qualifier for the TRO CHAMPIONSHIP SHOW and the over $10k in prize money there. With the show now downtown along the water and in the midst of everything, there is even more for everyone to do while their bikes are being admired. You can register in advance for the show at ThunderRoadsOhio.com and all pre-registered bike exhibitors get a FREE T-shirt this year!

Accommodations

One clear bonus for those attending the rally in regards to the change in dates is that there are a lot more options for accommodations. The last several years a number of other events have moved onto the second weekend in Sandusky and have competed for rooms with those attending the rally. This has resulted in a shortage of rooms over the Block Party Weekend. This year, with the change, there are a lot more rooms available over the holiday weekend.

One of the most cost-effective means of attending the rally is to avoid the high 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 OhioBikeWeek.com

Stay tuned for more updates on our Facebook page and online blog (ThunderRoadsOhio.com). We will be publishing the full schedule with all the major events in our May Edition which serves as THE OFFICIAL RALLY GUIDE for OHIO BIKE WEEK. This is followed up by our Ohio Bike Week Ride Guide, a pocket-sized guide to the Rally and riding through the surrounding area. You’ll be able to access both of them through our website - ThunderRoadsOhio.com For more information on the Official Ohio Bike Week Rally Guides or how you might get involved in various events across Ohio, you can email ThunderRoadsOhio@gmail.com

Photos courtesy Progressive Insurance, Jen Gore, Doug Taylor, and D. Armstrong, TRO.

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