MOTO CAMPING – Muskegon Bike Time/Rebel Road

MOTO CAMPING – Muskegon Bike Time/Rebel Road

BY: BRENDAN FARREN

This is the time of the year when all the bike events are in full swing. There just isn’t enough time for me to get to all the ones I want to check out. As soon as I get back from a weekend outing, I scour Thunder Roads Michigan online event calendar and try to plan for a couple bike nights and, also a bigger weekend event that I can camp at and meet a bunch of new folks. This month it happened to be in my home state of Michigan. Muskegon Bike Time/Rebel Road happened this month and that was all I needed to see. 

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            I did my typical online search for nearby motorcycle friendly campgrounds but was coming up empty on anything with openings for that weekend. My procrastination got me again. Against my better judgement I bit the bullet and started hotel shopping and quickly realized that the prices were going to be way higher than I wanted to spend per night. I weighed some options like my brother Adam’s place an hour north in White Cloud. I noticed online that ABATE of Michigan was hosting the camping on the Bike Time grounds. I immediately shot an email to them seeing if they had any spots available for the weekend. A very short time later I received a call back from Tiny saying they could take care of me. Off I went.

            I requested Friday afternoon off from my “normal” job and was immediately given the time I needed. I thought, “that was easy”. I wondered why my boss was being so cavalier about my time off requests for these bike outings. I like to think he is a great guy and not the alternative which is maybe I am not as valuable of an employee as I like to think. I decided it was because he is a great guy and not the latter.

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            The weather was looking great all the way up until the day of the event when suddenly it called for rain. Pure Michigan. I decided to take the truck to not be caught in the rain and headed up. It was roughly two hours away and easy drive despite some traffic snarls. I found a place to park and found a fair amount of people around and bikes out despite the light but steady rain. As I wandered into the event area, I quickly saw a face that is pretty recognizable all over the state, Hobo Bud the man himself. I was excited for the celebrity sighting and promptly introduced myself.  I chatted with him for a bit and got my picture taken. We spoke a bit about perhaps a collaboration moto-camp article and the possibility of him joining the Thunder Roads family. Stay tuned to see if we can make that happen.

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Moving through the event I came across my second familiar face none other than Shelly and the girls, Connie, Jaycee and Samantha from Michigan Biker Law!! This team is always nice to see and are always in good spirits even this time with the weather being sub-par. Shelly’s Michigan Biker Law was one of, if not THE biggest sponsor of Rebel Road 2022 and their presence was noticed throughout the event! It is really cool to me that they are so active in and also supportive of the Michigan biker community. Shelly had the entire event map memorized and quickly explained where I could find everyone and everything (next time I will even write it down so I can remember). As day one wound down and the weather not improving, I made the decision to drive the two hours home and not set up the tent.

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            Waking up for day tw,o the weather was cooperating, so I chose to take the Street Glide up. I strapped my Thunder Roads Michigan and Reasons to Ride banners down along with a couple hundred free magazines and headed up to Muskegon. What a difference a day makes!

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The attendance and number of motorcycles there on day two was EASILY triple that of day one and grew throughout the day. I contacted Tiny, from ABATE to see where the best place was to leave my motorcycle and packs that I brought. Tiny told me where the group was and that he had a spot for my motorcycle and packs. The ABATE of Michigan group has always been fantastic to me at any event I see them at. (Keep an eye on thunderroadmichigan.com for upcoming events of theirs) I left the stuff there and headed out on foot to see the crowds and events. I quickly ran out of all my magazines as people eagerly grabbed them as I walked along. It’s always great to see anyone enthusiastic about Thunder Roads Michigan. The sun was out pushing the temps up into the upper 80s, as my better looking sidekick and I watched the Michigan Biker Law sponsored stunt show. After it, I decided to take a quick jaunt to Pere Marquette Beach and dip in a cold Lake Michigan. It is an amazing Michigan beach and did the trick to get me cooled off. Back at Rebel Road I started winding my day down taking in a few wrestling matches that were a bit slower than the big league but pretty entertaining, if that’s your thing. I snapped pictures of great people and cool bike builds throughout the rest of the event and was thrilled to see many families out together with very young kids. It is important to teach the kids that will be carrying the torch so to speak.

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I finished my Rebel Road/Bike Time ( Harley needs to be part of Rebel Road and drop the Bike Time in my opinion) experience stopping in and out of local watering holes speaking to folks about rides they loved or what events they thought Thunder Roads should catch and cover. That is my favorite part, meeting the people being out there shaking babies and kissing hands.

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  Until next time….