The bikes were parked on both sides of the street with a double row down the middle and that’s not counting all the ones parked on the side streets. Thousands of them, for NINE BLOCKS!! The picture above doesn’t even come close to the real thing. According to the Anacortes Oyster Run (Facebook Page), the unofficial attendance numbers are somewhere in the 30,000 range. That’s just people!! So that could mean somewhere in the neighbourhood of 10,000 bikes and ours, were parked right in the centre of it all.
We, J and I and our friend Tank, rolled in to Anacortes on Saturday night on some of the last warm air currents of summer. The Marina Inn was our crash pad for the next two nights but when I booked it back in March, I had to call a few hotels before I found one that had any vacancy for that weekend. Sunday September 25th was the 30th Annual Anacortes Oyster Run. Held in Anacortes, Washington, the Oyster Run was started by a couple of guys who got together to go for a ride and eat some oysters. Over the years it grew and grew until it became the monster it is today. This was the first time for J and I, Tank had been there once before, but all of us were in total amazement at the hardware on display. Of course there were the hundreds (probably thousands) of Harleys but there were also custom choppers, a whole range of Japanese, German, and other European bikes, some pretty fantastic custom paint jobs, vintage restorations and recreations and some tricked out, scooters?
For the most part, the Anacortes Oyster Run doesn’t have any fixed schedule but there were two groups of performers that did a couple of shows. One of which was the Seattle Cossacks Motorcycle Stunt Team. This team has been around since the 1930′s and these boys do amazing stunts on 70 year old motorcycles. No ropes or safety gear, they just do it. And all at low speed! They drew a huge crowd and did some pretty impressive stunts.
Next up was the Northwest Wings Honda Drill Team. Before they even got started, they were trying to get the people sitting on the curbs to back up a little. Just as the announcer said “These motorcycles weigh about 1000 pounds, they will squash you like a bug. So please don’t sit on the curb.” one of the motorcycles caught the underside or the kickstand on the curb, the rider lost control and the bike bounced along the gutter and looked like it hit 3 or 4 people. The paramedics treated someone at the scene and later the rumor we heard was that it was a woman that was treated for a panic attack as a result of the accident but wasn’t actually hit. I didn’t take any pictures of the event. I’m not in to things like that, but it looked like, quite understandably, the rider was pretty shaken up. I tried to find out more details for this chapter but could not confirm anything.
So after all the excitement, the three of us spent several hours battling the wind, wandering through the booths and bikes, looking at all the schmancy hardware and stuff for sale and sampling the food that was on offer (never did try an oyster
though). The sun came out for a bit and there was quite a bit of blue sky for a while. Then, around 3:30pm the clouds started piling up, big black ones, heavy with rain. We made for our bikes….but before we could get moving, the clouds opened up and dumped their contents on us. So we rode back to the hotel and joined others, watching the slightly soggy bikers leaving town.
We should have left town when we had the chance. It actually stopped raining on Sunday. I can’t say that happened on Monday. As we made our way back home in the pouring rain and howling wind, we ended up smack dab in some of the worst weather that had been seen since last winter. We were so wet that we were dumping out boots FULL of water by the time we got home.
Now because John had to work Saturday we didn’t get a chance to partake in any of the pre event rides. There is no organized big group ride, (the logistics of that boggle the mind) but there are a couple of routes that were taken when the run was a lot smaller. Somewhere in my surfing around I read that Highway 9 was a favorite, so I am including a map of the route we would have taken had it not been for the job and the rain. Along the way are several “Oyster Run” and year round Biker Friendly establishments that are great places to take a break.
Other than attempting to grow gills on the way home, the weekend was lots of fun. We saw some pretty amazing bikes, met some really fun people and had a great time doing it. We will definitely be back next year.
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