Leesburg Bikefest

Little something for everyone

Leesburg, Fla., Apr. 27–29—This was the 22nd year for the Leesburg Bikefest and it hasn’t slowed down a bit. In my opinion the reason for its popularity and success is that Leesburg Partnership knows how to treat us bikers. They welcome us and do their best to make it a fun weekend. And while the drink prices are inflated and the fast food is just that, we can walk around with a beverage and the police officers working the event are pleasant. Additionally there is something for everyone… biker games, shows, stunt riders, drill teams, hot body contests, music, and refreshments. And as far as the music is concerned, the offerings range from blues to country, heavy metal, to rock and even the new hick-hop (a mixture of country and rap).

By my arrival late Friday morning there were very few parking spaces left on Main Street so I took a side street and found one just down from the Rat’s Hole Bar. The first “Hot Bod” contest was at 1:00 p.m. at the Swamp and I was able to get backstage and snap a couple pictures of the gals. These same contestants are all in hot body contests all weekend—same girls, different stages. This year there were four contests instead of three: Miss Budweiser, Miss Pinup, Miss Ratmate and the new one, Miss Daisy Dukes. While the ladies were on stage, a bike show hosted by Full Throttle was going on outside. This was a much smaller show than the Rat’s Hole competition which is always on Saturday but there were still some nice rides.

Back at the Lucky U stage (sponsored by Lucky U Cycles in Wildwood), the young riders in the Team Extreme stunt show focused on four young ladies standing in the middle of the area while two guys did stunts on their sport bikes while riding around them. One of the guys was quite impressive performing stunts while also maintaining a “stoppie” on his front tire. Amazing or crazy… I’m not sure which. After the show we caught one set of the band called White Buffalo, a local band with a southern rock/country attitude.

Later Friday evening we caught the performances of two of our favorite local bands, Hypersona and Papa Wheelee, not an easy task since both were on two different stages at the same time. Later that night we also caught Jasmine Cain in performance at the Swamp. As usual it was a great show and the audience was in approval from the first song.

After our late Friday night, it wasn’t until Saturday afternoon that we stopped to catch the goings-on at a fairly new bar called Crossroads 44. This little place hasn’t been open very long but the owner is a gem and she is really putting everything into her place. She has food, good service and cold beverages plus she recently got her full liquor license so things are really looking good. And the best part is she’s definitely biker friendly!

After catching the Miss PinUp contest in Canal Street Square, we headed over to the Ride Like a Pro exhibition in the Life Stream Square. And then it was over to the Palace to see my friends Laura and Seven with Dreams the Band. The mercury was in the high 80s by this time so we saddled up and visited some friends at a nearby clubhouse for their celebration to end the day on a fun note.

Downtown Sunday morning was the Rat’s Hole Bike and Diesel Show with some very unique vehicles on display. Most of us are upset when a little spot of rust appears on one of our prized rides—not in this show where rust seemed to be the most popular color. Rat rods and rat bikes were set up by the Lucky U stage for all to admire and photograph. Some utilized boat engines for motors while others featured Halloween-type skeletons of animals in the back windows. Imagination is a wonderful thing in the hands of some builders.

After looking at these displays of pure creative ingenuity we headed to the final hot bod contest, Miss Daisy Dukes on the Town Square Stage, where some of the girls used their own creative ingenuity. (I’ve never seen such small denim shorts in my life!). As the crowd dispersed, we made our way back to the Lucky U stage to enjoy the sounds of Three Forks Road.

The weekend’s headliner, Colt Ford, was scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on the Town Square Stage. Colt grew up with country music but he has since become well established with the new genre of hick-hop. We decided to stick with pure mean-and-green country and pass on his performance.

It was a great weekend with good entertainment, lots of bikes and, being just an hour from my home, I had the chance to see a lot of old friends and make some new ones as well. Leesburg remains one of my favorite rallies and I’m looking forward to the 23rd next year. 

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