Article Published: May. 31, 2012 | Modified: Jun. 3, 2012

Photo courtesy Boone Bike Rally

On a motorcycle, man leaves limits and is ransomed to the speed of an animal. Set chin, leather skin, and steel-toed boots; eating up the unforgiving open road.

On Friday and Saturday, June 1 and 2, Rock-n-Roar, the second annual spring Boone Bike Rally, will be held at the High County Fairgrounds at 748 Roby Greene Road. Gates open at 1 p.m. on Friday for $15 and 9 a.m. on Saturday for $25.

A weekend pass is $30 with tent passes for $10 and RV passes for $40. Because of limited RV sites, call Kenny Johnson at (828) 733-8060 to reserve a spot.

Coolers will be allowed on premises. This is a BYOB event. No colors, glass bottles or pets are allowed.

The first motorcycle, invented by American Sylvester Howard Roper in 1867, was a two-cylinder steam engine bike powered by coal. William Harley and his friends Arthur and Walter Davidson established the ace of motorcycle companies with the Harley-Davidson Motor Company in 1903. They invited competition from other motorcycle companies like Indian, Pierce, and Merkel.

Over 40 bike rallies are scheduled in North Carolina for the summer of 2012, but Danny Johnston said “at other rallies you have to drive from your hotel to the bar, the club, the restaurants, downtown, any events, and the rally. This is unique because everything is right here. And where else can you camp and get entertainment for that price?”

The Boone Bike Rally will host Brian Howe, former lead vocalist with the group Bad Company, along with classic rock from the likes of D.B. Bryant Band, Night Eagle, Dice, Problem Child and local favorite Strange Ways. Local vendors will be on site, and a wet t-shirt contest will be held.

“We'll have twice as many vendors, twice as many pre-sale campsites, and a bigger venue of games than we did last year,” said Kenny Johnson, promoter of the rally and fairgrounds events for six years. “We've presold tickets in ten different states and we're hoping for about 5,000 people.”

Johnson said that there could be anywhere from 200 to 2,000 bikes on the weekend of the rally.

Some of the bikers have already begun to band around town, and Johnston says that riders from Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, and South Carolina choose this bike rally as a mutual meeting place.

“I've been in every state on my bike,” Johnston said. “The location here is just great because its scenic and on a hot summer day the weather can drop from 90 to cold.”

Guided bike rides through the Blue Ridge Parkway will be held at 1 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. on Saturday. As many as 75 percent of vehicles traveling the 469-mile Parkway are motorcycles, so riders can expect to find an involved biker community in Boone and at the rally.

“I've been riding for forever,” Johnston said. “I can't speak for the younger kids, but I think a lot of people are drawn to motorcycles for the air and the freedom and less gas in this fuel economy.”
He says that local support is appreciated for the rally and bikers alike.

For more information, call Kenny Johnson at (828) 733-8060 or for tickets, visit
“This rally is a cheap easy vacation,” Johnston said. “It's clean, and we stop trouble before it happens.”

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