Depending on whom you ask, there are anywhere from 200,000 to 300,000 motorcycles revving around Arizona at any given time. And it might seem like most of 'em will be either hitting the asphalt roaring up Scottsdale way over the next 10 days or headed to any of the Arizona Bike Week events happening elsewhere around the Valley.
Choppers, sport bikes, cruisers, hawgs, and steel steeds alike will swarm the streets and head to numerous pre-parties, group rides, and other themed shindigs happening at motorcycle-friendly metro Phoenix bars, dealerships, and establishments starting on Friday, March 28. It all builds towards the official Bike Week celebration at WestWorld from Wednesday, April 2, to Sunday, April 6.
Here's our rundown of 10 pre-rally parties and events that bikers can check out during their favorite time of year.
John McCormick, the titular owner of this CenPho bar, is big into motorcycles. Hence all the festivities he puts on at his joint leading up to each year's Bike Week. And 2014 is no exception, as he's planning four nights of celebrations with his patrons, which starts on Friday, March 28, and Saturday, March 29, with the Cadillac Angels performing at 9 p.m. each night. Guns N' Roses tribute band Recipe for Disaster headlines the following evening on Sunday, March 30; and the "Get Ready to Head Out to Westworld Pre-Party" takes place on Monday, April 1, with music from Downward Dog starting at 7 p.m. Promos and giveaways will be available at each event. Admission is free.
Ever wanted to meet the infamous Sonny Barger? Or, at the very least, get his autograph? You can do both on Friday, March 28, when the Hells Angels icon will be signing DVDs of Dead in 5 Heartbeats, the 2012 film based on Barger's novel of the same name, along with the movie's producer and cast members. Five local bands who were featured on the soundtrack, including Glass Heroes and The Moonlight Howlers, will also perform. Doors are at 5 p.m. Pre-sale admission is $10.
Country crooners and musicians will headline a the live entertainment lineup at the annual Back Stage Biker Bash on Friday, March 28. Both Chelsea Bain and the band Parmalee are scheduled to perform at the bash, which will also include games, prizes, food, and other fun. Gates open at 4:30 p.m. General admission is $10 in advance and $15 the box office, while VIP access is $25 in advance and $35 at the box office.
Attendees of the "Bike Week Garage Party" on Saturday, March 29, could score a "Biker Getaway" package that includes a one-night trip to Sedona, a pair of leather jackets, and other perks. The event will also feature a custom bike shop competition, vendors, DJs, food, and more. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free.
A longtime haven for the biker crowd, Scottsdale's Dirty Dogg Saloon will offer seven days of partying in honor of Arizona Bike Week. The Pre-Rally fiestas kick off on Saturday March 29, with beer and shot specials, appearances by promo girls, the ladies of Dirty Dogg dancing atop the bar, and giveaways. Meanwhile, a Bloody Mary bar and $2 O.G. brews like PBR, Old Milwaukee, and Schlitz will be available on Sunday, March 30; followed by 25 percent off deals on select local craft beers and cigars on Monday, March 31; and a tattoo contest and music by Sir Harrison on Tuesday, April 1.
And while CycleFest rages a few miles away, the saloon will host its "Wet & Wild Wet T-Shirt Contest" for cash prizes on Wednesday, April 2; a "Biker or Not Meet & Greet" on Thursday, April 3; and the "Thank Dogg It's Friday" party MC'd by comedian Jack Shit on Friday, April 4.
Finally, the Spring Fling (it's "biggest baddest party of the year") is scheduled for Saturday, April 5, and will involve beer and promo girls, games, merchandise sales, drink specials and live music from Psychobilly Rodeo Band, Whiskey Dogz, Jacob Waltz Band, and Razer. Gates open at 2 p.m.
It's safe to say that the hawg-heads at Buddy Stubbs know a thing or three about motorcycles. As such, Bike Week is one of their favorite times of year and they put on a mammoth bash in its honor. This year's 10th annual event on Saturday, March 29, promises a two-acre beer garden, as well as food and libations like Patron margaritas and Pyrat rum. A Harley Sportster 1200 will also be given away, live music is planned, and vendors will display their wares. Gates open at noon.
A rip-roaring lineup of rock 'n' roll, blues, and country bands -- such as Big Iron, Bourbon Tree, and Struck Match -- will perform over the course of two days during Greasewood Flat's Arizona Bike Week Music Festival on Saturday, March 29, and Sunday, March 30. Also on tap is food and drink specials, raffles, promos, and more. The music starts at 11:30 a.m. each day. Live music and specials will also be offered every day during bike week (times vary). No cover.
We're willing to bet all the autographed dollar bills stapled to The Hideaway's ceiling that it's going to be a major destination for the cycle crowd during both the Pre-Rally Days and Bike Week itself. As such, its owners have a ton of stuff planned during their "Cave Creek Rally," which begins on Friday, March 28. Local blues-rock band Sal and the Stray Hounds will celebrate the release of their latest CD and perform from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
The Arizona Builder's Bash will take over the joint on Saturday, March 28, with custom rides aplenty on display, followed by a Sunday Funday party to wind up the weekend on Sunday, March 30. Both days will include live music and vendors.
Celebrations at the Cave Creek bar also include an "Old Skool Day" with music and an appearance by the Hideaway Girls on Tuesday, April 1; a "Chopper Day" on Wednesday, April 2, featuring more custom bikes and vendors; and "AZ Bagger Day" on Thursday, April 3, with a special ride over to Westgate City Center starting at 6 p.m.
The biggest event of the week, however, goes down on Saturday, April 5, during the Cave Creek Bash. Biker games, tequila luges, giveaways, and other distractions will transpire. And if you're still in the mood to party come Sunday, April 6, a crawfish boil, tattoo contest, and "Customer Appreciation Day" is planned. Admission is free to all events.
A slew of tricked-out rides will be shown off in the parking lot of this North Phoenix bar during the Trifecta Custom Bike Show on Sunday, March 30. Eyeballing gorgeous cycles won't be the only thing to do, however, as there will also be exhibition boxing matches, a frozen T-shirt contest, prizes for the best tattoos, food and drinks, live music, and more. Gates open at 10 a.m. Admission is free.
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One helluva big party will be happening from Wednesday, April 2, to Sunday, April 6, during the CycleFest, the very epicenter of Arizona Bike Week. Anything and everything having to do with motorcycles and motorcycle culture -- from gear and fashion to custom rides and even biker-friendly legal services -- can be had at its massive vendor village.
A huge slate of live entertainment and interesting distractions will transpire, like stunt displays of both a cycling (FMX Freestyle Motocross Extreme) and Jackass (Yo' Face Stunt Show), as well as bikini and tattoo contests, enormous prize giveaways, group rides, and much more. Concerts are scheduled daily, including appearances by Aaron Lewis, Big & Rich, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.
Gates times vary. Daily admission is $15 to $25 and five-day passes are $50.