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Pendleton Bike Week

The Northwest's newest motorcycle rally kicks off with a bang…of sorts

Eric Folkestad is no stranger to motorcycle rallies. He and his brother, Steve, co-founded the Baker City Motorcycle Rally over a decade ago.

But time marches on and things change. Last fall Eric sold his shares in that event and was contacted by the City of Pendleton to create a similar event. Eric cut his deal and has been busy ever since developing rides and events for the week of July 22-26.

While those five days don't actually constitute a week, Folkestad is using it as a jumping-off point for the first year and actually intends to grow the event from a 5 to a 9 day rally that will begin on a Saturday and conclude a week and two days later on a Sunday. But that's for later.

Suggested area rides this year will include the Rattlesnake 400 mile ride, Deadman Pass loop and several shorter loops and dual sport routes as well.

To kick off the event, riders can meet at the Washington State Law Enforcement Memorial in Olympia, or latch on at one of three Harley Davidson dealers in Tacoma, Yakima and Tri-Cities for the Sherriff Til Taylor Memorial Ride. The ride pays tribute to the Umatilla County Sherriff who was shot dead during a jailbreak in 1920, and a 1,000 posse manhunt ensued to capture all the fleeing inmates.

The poker run is self-led and includes several targets that riders must check in at any time during the event. First prize is a .45 caliber pistol. The winner must be over 18 and be able to pass the required background check, otherwise a cash value will be awarded.

Specifics about all the rides are available on the website.

The rally itself will be held at the Pendleton Convention Center with camping and RV parking adjacent the building. Riders will be able to shop the vendors, take in some live music from local bands Too Slim and the Tail Draggers and watch the Xtreme Fury Stunt show. Unlike the Baker City rally, riders will need to be registered to access all the events, vendors and ride information.

Several contests will ensue over the five days including a bike show and a Miss Pendelton Bike Week pageant. If that's not enough eye candy, get your bike filthy on a suggested dual sport ride, then ride it in to the bikini bike wash for a good sudsing.

Speaking of suds, during off-the-bike hours you can imbibe in local spirits from Pendleton Distilling Company and be there when they take the top off a new beer from Oregon's Rogue Ales inside the on-site Hardtail Saloon.

Patrick Thomas/July 2015

For more details and to purchase an all access or VIP pass, visit www.pendletonbikeweek.com.


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