I REMEMBER LIKE IT WAS YESTERDAY. A GROUP OF US PACKED OUR GEAR FOR A WEEKLONG TWO-WHEELED TREK, AND HEADED TO LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS, TO EMBARK ON WHAT WOULD BE ONE OF THE MOST MEMORABLE JOURNEYS OF MY LIFE. WE HAD NO IDEA WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE INAUGURA
When we arrived in Little Rock and picked up our loaner bikes, we headed straight to downtown to ground zero of the Tour and greeted our guests, the Longriders. I still remember that first encounter vividly. We didn’t know each other, but there was an immediate kinship after that first handshake. We were all in this together. It was comforting, like everything was going to be OK. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to make sure our guests were entertained because, after all, they put their faith in us, and we gladly reciprocated. After spending the rest of the week with the Longriders, it was clear: The Hot Bike Tour was exactly what the people wanted, but something the Hot Bike staff needed too.
There’s something so beautiful about getting back to the fundamentals of riding motorcycles along a beautiful mountain vista, or along a lakefront with thousands of your biker friends. It’s indescribable. That sense of camaraderie is hard to put into words. And I think we really tapped into an element that was missing from the traditional motorcycle rally circuit. We all like to ride, right? So why not do so together?! That’s the Hot Bike Tour.
After that first year of the Hot Bike Tour, we knew we were on to something. Did we get it perfect that first year? Absolutely not. Did we learn a lot from that event? Yes. We knew we’d done something special though. And we knew we had to bring it back for a second year, with some tweaks, and then a third, fourth, and fifth. And each year we learned what worked and what didn’t.
We developed some great relationships with the Longriders through the years. In fact, inaugural Hot Bike Tour Longriders still make the Tour a priority every summer. I met Mike and Leona Johnson in Little Rock on Year One, and I look forward to seeing them every year. They know my life story, and I theirs. And that’s what makes this event so special. The Hot Bike Tour is fun, but it’s really about sharing something larger: Forming those connections and lifelong friendships is pretty hard to beat.
So without further ado, ladies and gents, I’m pleased to share some pretty exciting news. The Hot Bike Tour is coming to the Four Corners area in 2018! Now in its sixth year as the motorcycle rally that rolls, the Hot Bike Tour mixes one part epic riding, two parts nightly shenanigans, and infinite amounts of lasting memories and friendships that last a lifetime.
We’ve been figuring out a few of the logistics to tailor the Hot Bike Tour for this West Coast edition, and it’s been an interesting thing, to say the least. But I can safely say that the Hot Bike Tour is back in its true touring form, running from October 1–7, kicking off in Scottsdale, Arizona, with a loop up to the Four Corners area (Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado areas), and winding down again in Scottsdale. There will be a set starting point and city stops along the way each day, with a final rally stop to celebrate the motorcycle industry and its riders, Hot Bike style. While we’re still locking things down as far as specific location stops, I at least wanted to get you excited to come ride the Four Corners edition of the 2018 Hot Bike Tour with us. Mark your calendars for that first week in October, set aside some dough, and get your bikes primed for some epic riding. We look forward to seeing you again, and to meeting some fresh new faces! Please check for up-to-the-minute updates about everything Hot Bike Tour related at hotbike.com/tour. See you in Arizona! HB