Bikers get revved up for New Hampshire’s 100th Motorcycle Week

Published: Jun. 9, 2023 at 5:31 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LACONIA, N.H. (WCAX) - It’s billed as “The World’s Oldest Motorcycle Rally.” Laconia Motorcycle Week is the unofficial kick-off to summer in New Hampshire, and this year, it’s celebrating a milestone-- 100 years.

Bike Week is a rally for those who like to ride.

“First time in New Hampshire,” Stephanie Rice said.

Rice and her husband are visiting from Colorado. They rented a bike in Boston and plan to do a lot of sightseeing while they are here.

“We are going to bounce around. We’ll do Conway, Maine, we’ll come back here. We want to go to the top of Mount Washington and see the coast,” Rice said.

For Cynthia Makris, whose grandfather started the Naswa Resort 88 years ago, Motorcycle Week is a way of life.

“Laconia Motorcycle Week has always been a part of our family,” Makris said.

The Naswa Resort is a staple on Lake Winnipesaukee and an integral part of the nine-day event. Not to mention Makris herself is an avid rider.

“My dad didn’t have any sons, asked me if I would learn how to ride. And so I got a fat boy and I was his riding buddy,” she said.

A memorial ride dedicated to her late father, Peter Makris, takes place every year. Saturday’s run will be the 17th annual. The event has raised more than half a million dollars for veterans and other causes.

“He was very instrumental for keeping Motorcycle Week going for about 60 years and I wanted to honor him, he’s a World War II marine,” Cynthia Makris said.

New to the rally this year, to help celebrate the 100th anniversary, is One-Eyed Jacks, the Sturgis-based biker bar that’s known to riders all over the country.

“We hit Sturgis every year,” Rice said. “We’ve seen the 75th, the 80th. Neither one of us have been to the New England area, so we thought, what a better time.”

While the event is a celebration, almost inevitably it comes with tragedy in the form of fatal crashes. All motorists are urged to be alert and share the road.