July 5th and 6th, 2013
The Hollister rally came back this year after being shut down in 2008. Why is this a big deal? Hollister is "the Birthplace of the American Biker" and this is how the story goes...
Way back in the 1930's, the city of Hollister, California was the location for the annual "4th of July Gypsy Tour Event." This event was a santioned American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) event which was knows as the best place for motorcyclists to meet-up, hang out, race their motorcycles, and party. Today Hollister is a small town... so just imagine what it looked like in the 1930's and 1940's! Back then, the town which employeed 7 police officers hosted a rally whcih drew over 4,000 motorcyclists.
Rumor has it that on July 3, 1947 the popularity of this event grew so dramatically that the attendees almost doubled the population of the small town of Hollister. This infulx of attendance was unexpected and the town folk were not fond of the growing and shifting crowd. In years past, the event was about the motorcycles, races, and social events. But this year, the crowd turned... drunken motorcyclists by the thousands began riding their bikes through the small streets of Hollister and consuming huge amounts of alcohol and rasing havvoc. This lead to unsanctionend racing, to accidents, to fighting, and to plan old ruthlessness.
Due to the population problem, bikers had to sleep on sidewalks, in parks, and and on the townsepople's people's lawns. History shows that by the end of day on July 4th, "the bikers were virtually out of control."
According to Wickopedia: "At the end of the Fourth of July weekend and the informal riot, Hollister was littered with thousands of beer bottles and other debris and there was some minor storefront damage. About 50 people were arrested, most with misdemeanors such as public intoxication, reckless driving, and disturbing the peace. There were around 60 reported injuries of which 3 were serious, including a broken leg and skull fracture. Other than having to witness the chaos of the weekend, no Hollister residents suffered any harm at all. A City-Council member stated, "Luckily, there appears to be no serious damage. These trick riders did more harm to themselves than the town."
The 1947 "riot" at the Hollister Gypsy Tour meet-up gained national coverage and this rally became "the Birthplace of the American Biker." Since this date, bikers have been flocking to Hollister to meet-up and hang out.
This annual event continued until 2008 when the Hollister Rally was shut down.
According to Cyril Huze, "Hollister, the"birthplace of the American biker", doesn't want to welcome a rally as city council members in November canceled the July Hollister Motorcycle Rally. The city wants expenses for the event to be paid up front. The 2008 rally saw the city invest taxpayer money in rally merchandise, ending up losing $125,000 on the deal. The total cost for the rally was $365,000. The question is how many bikers will still show up in Hollister in July if the rally remains officially canceled."
Did bikers show up? Yes they did!
Fast Forward to 2013...
The Rally is Back! Rumor has it that over 50,000 bikers came to town and Crusier Customizing was there meeting, greeting, selling, and handing out Free Rally T-shirts! Follow these links to see our Photo SlideShow as well as the Video Walk Through the Hollister Rally created by Manybikes of Cruiser Customizing.
July 5th and 6th, 2013 bikes roared up and down the streets of Hollister, beer and Jack Daniels were the beverages of chioce, and the large crowd was there "to have a good time." Over the two days the Cruiser Customizing team operated a booth in the Beer Garden downtown from 9am to 9pm and we did not hear a single siren, see a single fight or hear any unrully verbiage. The rally was a great time had by great people!
We can't wait to do it again next year!
Thanks for reading,
Kyle Bradshaw and the CC Team