The Lake News Online
  • Bikefest rumbles to the lake in one week

  • The rumble of rolling thunder in mid-September can mean only one thing at the Lake of the Ozarks — Bikefest. Now in its seventh year, Bikefest 2013, Sept. 12-15, is expected to bring more bikers, more vendors and more events and concerts to the lake.
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  • The rumble of rolling thunder in mid-September can mean only one thing at the Lake of the Ozarks — Bikefest.  Now in its seventh year, Bikefest 2013, Sept. 12-15, is expected to bring more bikers, more vendors and more events and concerts to the lake. 
     When asked what draws people to Bikefest, Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitor Bureau Executive Director Tim Jacobsen immediately said, "The rides.  They show riders the scenic beauty of the Lake of the Ozarks."
    Bikefest's official website — LakeBikefest.com — offers participants printable maps of three recommended rides. 
    An 84-mile ride showcases the beauty of Bennett Spring and Ha Ha Tonka state parks and takes less than two hours.  Roads that are part of historic Route 66 are included in the three-hour, 115-mile ride that includes a stop at Devil's Elbow. 
    A 96-mile ride around the Lake of the Ozarks takes a bit over two hours and shows riders a number of beautiful vistas around the Lake.
      "Motorcycling is about the joy of riding," Jack Fleming of Lake of the Ozarks Harley Davidson said, noting the hills and curves of the roads around the lake are enjoyable for riders.  Fleming and other organizers of Bikefest know riders who come to the Lake of the Ozarks are certain to spread the word that the lake is, in Fleming's words, "a great destination for motorcycle riding year-round."
    However, there are plenty of other reasons approximately 10,000 people travel to the lake for Bikefest each year.  "The Lake is tailor-made for bikers and motorcycle enthusiasts," Jacobsen said.  "With more than 200 bars and restaurants, plus vendors, events and activities brought in just for Bikefest, the Lake gives attendees just what they are looking for."
    This year's Bikefest will feature five vendor villages — at Dog Days Bar & Grill, Camden on the Lake, Lake of the Ozarks Harley-Davidson, Dam Bait Shop, and on the historic Bagnell Dam Strip — as well as two bike giveaways, a bike auction, more than 50 live concerts, extreme motocross events and more.  More details and a complete schedule can be found at the Bikefest website.
    The vendor villages feature all types of vendors, though Fleming notes most everything is motorcycle-related. 
    Visitors can expect to see leathers, custom painting, lights and even bike-builders.  The vendor village at Camden on the Lake will play host to well-known bike builders Strip Club Choppers, Silver Wraiths Choppers, Billy the Kid Custom Cycles and Schaaf's Cycle Garage, plus Curry's Hot Rods.
    Along with the vendor villages, Rhonda Martin from Camden on the Lake credits the weekend's music for drawing people to Bikefest.  "They (attendees) are here to have fun," she said, "and the music is a part of that."  Evening concerts around the Lake will feature tribute bands including: "Dead or Alive," a Bon Jovi tribute; "Silver Bullet," a Bob Seger tribute; "Paradise City," a tribute to Guns and Roses; AC/DC tribute band "Hells Bells"; and "Special Forces," a tribute to 38 Special.  Though she expects the lots around her property will be filled with motorcycles, Martin says there will be overflow parking and shuttle service. "Everybody, and I mean everybody, should feel free to come down (for Bikefest)," she said.
    Page 2 of 2 -  Betsey Browning of The Dam Bait Shop said the village at her location will feature music all day, every day.  Her plans include showcasing "garage bands" of young musicians, giving them the opportunity to play in front of live audiences during the day before bigger name bands take the stage at night. 
     Visitors to the lake, including Bikefest attendees, are invited to join in a special Harvest Meal, served by the Harper Chapel United Methodist Church at 5 p.m. on Sept. 14.  The meal, which will be served outdoors if weather permits, will feature the fresh and delicious fruits of the harvest from the church's community garden, along with oven-roasted chicken and venison.  
    "We are happy to be able to have the Harvest Meal on Bikefest weekend," said Diane Williams, one of the organizers of the Community Garden, "so those from other communities can see how successful a community garden project like this can be." Proceeds from the tickets — $10 for adults and $5 for children — benefit local charities. Tickets for the Harvest Meal must be purchased in advance.  Ticket information is available at harperumc.org/.
     There are plenty of accommodations available around the Lake, from campsites to condominiums to resorts.  Find out more by going to FunLake.com.