Don't be alarmed if you hear the thunderous roar of motors and the screeching of rubber against road over the next several days. It's just the sounds generated by the thousands of motorcyclists who are revving up their rides and hitting the streets during Arizona Bike Week and are likely bound for either WestWorld in Scottsdale or any of the cycle-friendly fetes that are scheduled at Valley bars and biker-oriented businesses over the next nine days.
Although the official Bike Weeks events at WestWorld's Cyclefest don't start until Wednesday, April 5, there are countless "pre-rally" parties and events that start today and lead up to the big bash up in North Scottsdale. For instance, the close to a dozen cycle shindigs we've highlighted in the following list.
Baseline Sports Bar AJ Hunter, the wild-child owner of this Tempe neighborhood watering hole, has a major affinity for hawgs, so it's only fitting that her joint will host a Bike Week Kick-Off from 3 to 8 p.m. today. The Baseline Sports Babes will make an appearance, and those wearing the bar's T-shirts get half-price appetizers.
Chopper John's You can partake in biker-friendly adventures every night at this CenPho dive starting today. Bands and musicians will occupy its corner stage on a nightly basis, ranging from Guns 'n' Roses tribute band Recipe 4 Disaster on Saturday, April 6, to the rockabilly kings of The Cadillac Angels on Friday, April 12. The biggest event of Bike Week proper is scheduled for Saturday, April 13, when eight groups perform and a slew of drink specials are offered. Admission is free.
Super Saver Cinemas 8 The independent biker film Dead In 5 Heartbeats -- which was penned by Sonny Barger, filmed here in Arizona, and stars a variety of chopper-lovers from local MCs like The Rollin Knights and The Hooligans -- will be screened at 7:45 p.m. on Friday, April 5, at this North Phoenix theatre. The man himself will be in attendance, as will Sons of Anarchy star Chuck Zito. Admission is $10. Showings will also take place through Sunday, April 7. See the film's website for more info.
Chester's Harley-Davidson The seventh edition of the always entertaining Backstage Biker Bash takes place on today and Saturday, April 6, offering vendors, giveaways, prizes, raffles, food and beer vendors, and plenty of parking for your steel steed. Old-school hair-metal hitmakers Great White and Slaughter are scheduled to perform today. Gates open at 5 p.m. both days. Admission is $15 per day or $20 for the weekend.
Dirty Dogg Saloon Bikers always seem to be present at this North Scottsdale joint almost every night, so it's no surprise that it's a favorite destination during Arizona Bike Week. The Dirty Dogg will host events and revelry every night, starting on Saturday, April 6, as well as offer a variety of drink specials and unique events, to say the least.
For instance, a "punch contest" takes place from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday, April 8, through Friday, April 12, offering a bottle of Fireball Whiskey as a prize. There's also the weekly "Wet & Wild" event on Wednesday, April 10, with scantily dressed lasses dousing themselves with water while dancing on the bar and live music during happy hour from 3 to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays through Fridays. Admission is always free.
Kimmy'z Bikers can score free breakfast until noon on Saturday, April 6, and then get their rides cleaned up during a bikini bike wash starting at 1 p.m. Live music from four bands follows at 3 p.m. Meanwhile, vendors like Assassin Cycle and DP Customs will hawk their wares and such drink specials like $3 dirty tequila and Jäger will be available all day long.
Buddy Stubbs Arizona Harley-Davidson One of the biggest parties of every Bike Week is the Bike Week Bash that goes down at this North Phoenix dealership every year. The 2013 version on Saturday, April 6, should be no exception, as it will offer a two-acre beer garden, tours of Buddy Stubbs museum of vintage cycles, a bikini contest, and more. Local bands The Crown Kings, The James Parks Band, Pete and the Shortcummings, and North will perform throughout the day. Gates open at noon. Admission is free.
Greasewood Flat Hop on your hawg and head for this rollicking roadhouse on the outer edges of Scottsdale on Sunday, April 7, for its annual Arizona Bike Week Music Festival. A musical menu of rock, bluegrass, Americana, and country acts like Hans Olson and Spafford will strum out their hymns all day on the outdoor patio starting at 11:30 a.m. while burgers, steaks, and other grub is served and alcoholic concoctions are poured by the bar staff. Promos from Sierra Nevada, Deep Eddie Vodka, Twisted Tea, and others are planned and both the Jäger and Fireball girls will be in the house. Admission is free.
Brigett's Last Laugh There are three things are guaranteed to be in abundance nightly at Brigett's during Bike Week: Karaoke, drink specials, and plenty of motorcycle fiends. Hit up the place on Thursday, April 11, for $1.75 well drinks until 6 p.m. and $3.50 flavored vodka cocktails until closing time. Come back on Friday, April 12, and snag $3 small domestic pitchers until 6 p.m., followed by $3.50 Bloody Marys on Saturday, April 13.
Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale Sunday is typically supposed to be a day of rest. Not so at this Harley headquarters near Hayden Road and Frank Lloyd Wright in North Scottsdale, which will be whooping it up in a big-time way on Sunday, April 7, during the Bike Week Blast-Off Party. You'll hear the classic tunes "Born to Be Wild" and "Magic Carpet Ride" being blasted through the air, courtesy of John Kay and Steppenwolf, while enjoying adult beverages, giveaways, an appearance by the Go AZ Girls, and plenty or raucous revelry. A 2013 Softail Slim will also be awarded to one lucky patron (more details can be found on this web page). The event runs from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Admission is free for riders, $20 for everyone else.
WestWorld The main event of Arizona Bike Week is undoubtedly the Cyclefest at WestWorld near Pima and Bell roads in North Scottsdale, where the biggest activities and attractions are scheduled to transpire from Wednesday, April 10, to Sunday, April 14. Besides the multitude of vendors selling primo accessories, there will also be a number of beer gardens, food trucks, and, of course, fantastic custom bikes to peruse.
Bikers and attendees also can check out the two-wheeled daredevil feats during daily motocross and stunt shows, participate in several charity runs, get an eyeful of lovely ladies during the Miss Arizona Bike Week Pageant, or attend fashion shows displaying the latest in leather apparel. Big-name rock and alternative bands are scheduled to perform nightly, including Tonic, Blues Traveler, Third Eye Blind, and the Doobie Brothers. Mark Boone Jr. and Ryan Hurst from Sons of Anarchy (natch) will also appear and sign autographs on Sunday.
Gate times vary each day. Admission ranges from $20 to $25. A full rundown and schedule for Cyclefest is available on the Bike Week website.