Don't Have a Motorcycle Rally on Mother's Day

Even bikers have moms

2016 Laconia Motorcycle RallyStaff

Everyone knows when it’s time to go to Laconia. Those who don’t know don’t know what Laconia is. So it doesn’t matter. Maybe bring your father, if you’d like. This year, 2016, was the celebration of the 93rd Laconia Motorcycle Rally, also known to some riders as Loudon, and it is the oldest motorcycle rally in the USA.

According to the rally’s official website (, the event’s roots go all the way back to an unofficial Gypsy Tour that gathered in 1916 at Weirs Beach, on Lake Winnipesaukee, located in central New Hampshire. Like all of today’s major rallies, the Laconia event was centered around racing: specifically roadracing and hill-climb racing, though back in its early days “road” was not a synonym for “pavement.”

In 1962 the hill climb was dropped from the event, and the roadracing was soon moved from the Belknap Recreation Area to a purpose-built closed course called Bryar Motorsports Park, near the small town of Loudon, which is why some call the rally that, but most today call it Laconia.

It has had a history reflective of America’s history. It was interrupted by war. In the 1960s it had riots because…well, because it was time for a riot. It was canceled once reportedly because of mayhem unauthorized roadside camping, solved by Animal Hill. And, like all rallies, the racing eventually became unimportant and has all but disappeared. There still is a roadrace that weekend at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, but if you didn’t know that then it doesn’t matter.

The event started in 1916, celebrated its 35th year in 1955, and this year, 2016, is the 93rd annual rally. Don’t ask me to explain the math. Wars, riots, I’ve lost count. I tried figuring it out about 14 years ago during the 75th annual rally and gave up. Maybe I need a new watch.

Managing a yearly event for nearly a century takes effort. The main issue is making sure that everyone knows when the heck to show up. Sometime in June just doesn’t win it. But having the event always on the same nationally recognized day does win it: Father’s Day. See you next year. Everyone knows when to show up and there is nothing left to explain.

Each June this fact gives me a chuckle because I have witnessed that there is another day closely associated with Father’s Day that rather than it also serving as a handy bookmark, it is instead an event’s kiss of death. Do not ever, ever, ever plan an event on Mother’s Day. I mean other than celebrating Mom.

I’m pretty sure that most people have a father and a mother, but there is a huge difference between these conventional parenting people.

Laconia Bike Week
Laconia bike weekStaff

I grew up in a happy family and witnessed my parents’ 50th anniversary. Even so, there was never a must-be-with-father expectation on Father’s Day. I would mail him a card sometime in June or stop by that month to hug him and borrow some money, and all was taken care of. Some fathers, I’ve heard, can’t even be found on Father’s Day. They go off to be alone, interpreting the day’s purpose as a private solace for fishing, drinking, and ignoring humans, particularly those related by birth.

But Mother’s Day is a holy day, and unless she’s dead everyone needs to get their damn ass over to Mom’s. I loved my mom. I miss her. I admit, though, that I don’t have a tattoo anywhere on my body with “MOM” on it.

There was once a big bike event planned in the Los Angeles area on Mother’s Day. The local population of about 14 million people didn’t matter. But my mother was dead at the time so I went. It was all crickets, rodents, two sociopaths who clearly had no life experiences whatsoever with a mom-type person, and me. It totally failed as an event. It showed me that Mother’s Day is sacred. There’s certainly nothing about that to be ashamed of.

Everyone has a mom, for certain…somewhere, somehow. Of course, though, it is true that some have never met their mother. I feel for those people. I worry they might be angry. They might be who rioted at Weirs Beach back in the late 1960s.

Moms are a great idea. A mom is a perfect concept. We might disagree on a lot of things, but I think that humans are pretty much in agreement when it comes to the importance of a mom. She is definitely that one, main, alpha girl who none of us want to disappoint. I’m still trying to impress my mother. She’s been dead for 24 years.

Some adult guys, though, take this a bit too far by calling their wife or girlfriend “mom.” That’s weird. Well, okay, it’s only weird when they do it in public; private weird is private normal, and so it is none of our business. Please don’t make that any of our business.

Anyway, here is the proof that despite what many others believe, even bikers have moms. Some of us were blessed with perfect moms, some with imperfect moms, some of us are trying to find our mom. Please give any of those last ones a hug.

Just remember, if it’s Mother’s Day, go see your mother, and if it’s Father’s Day, I’ll see you in New Hampshire. I’m still pondering that tattoo.