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Guide to Local Events

There are lots of rides and events around the Twin Cities.  To help you sort through the options, I will share my thoughts and experiences regarding some of the events I have attended and participated in.  The information that follows is just my opinion.  These are NOT the official descriptions of these events.  Events often change from year to year and your experience may vary.  Visit their websites for the latest info.

Event Descriptions and Reviews (click to jump to that event):

AMCA Vintage Motorcycle Show

Bearded Lady Motorcycle Show

Chopper Art Show

Defrost Your Nuts Run / Frost Your Nuts Run
  • Website: None
  • Location: North Hudson, WI
  • Years attended: 2009 (Defrost), 2011 (Defrost)
  • Review: Around the Twin Cities, the Defrost Your Nuts Run is typically the first organized ride of the year and the Frost Your Nuts Run is typically the last.  The run is also known by the less colorful names, "The Mallalieu Inn Spring Motorcycle Run" and "The Mallalieu Inn Fall Motorcycle Run".  It usually draws a few thousand riders.  A history of the run can be found here.  The Defrost Your Nuts Run is the second Saturday in April and the Frost Your Nuts Run is the second Saturday in October.  This just a ride for fun - it does not benefit a charity or anything.  I have found it's very difficult to find info online about this run and even the location of the Mallalieu Inn (414 Wisconsin St. North Hudson, WI).  When I attended the Defrost Your Nuts Run in 2009, the route was basically a 5-stop bar-hopper (roughly 60 miles or 90 minutes of riding).  It went from North Hudson, WI (Mallalieu Inn) to New Richmond, WI (Gibby's Lanes) to Emerald, WI (Harley & Jude's Inn and Andy's Bar) to Woodville, WI (Hilltop Bar) to Hammond, WI (Doll House).  No, the Doll House is not a strip club even though it has a strip-club-style name.  The path was not a full circle and Hammond is about 30 minutes from North Hudson.  Overall, this is a decent run to kick off or end the riding season but it's definitely more stopping than riding (which isn't necessarily a bad thing depending on the weather).
  • Pics:
2009 Defrost Your Nuts Run:

DicE / CoC / Kung Fu Tap and Taco Party

Donnie Smith Bike Show

Dulono's Pizza Bike Night ("First Thursday")

Flood Run (Spring Flood Run & Fall Flood Run)

Freedom First Riders Bike Show

Full Tilt Chopper Show

Gringo & Micky's Moto Psyco Swap Meets

Harley Davidson / H.O.G. Anniversary Celebrations
  • Website:
  • Location: Milwaukee, WI
  • Years attended: 2009 (Harley 105th, H.O.G. 25th)
  • Review:Where do I start?...  The Harley 105th / H.O.G. 25th was terrible.  I have read other reviews that said it was fun and a good time but I personally disagree.  I will admit that some of my impressions might be skewed because I had just come off a week of camping in Sturgis a few weeks before (which was awesome and tiring).  I had been to Milwaukee once before (in a car, not during a big motorcycle event) and it was a lot more fun.  My advice is to go to Milwaukee, see the H-D Museum, take the Miller brewery tour, and tour the H-D factory, but DO NOT do it during an anniversary celebration.  It wasn't all bad, it was just mostly bad so here's a breakdown...
    • What I liked: The campground was decent overall and had good food and live music including a big concert by Lynryd Skynyrd.  Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's concert at Summerfest was awesome and I guess most people didn't know who they were because they drew a very tiny crowd (better for me).  The last day, I skipped all the "official" events and rode up to Green Bay so that was cool.  The weather was good.  I also liked leaving and going home.
    • What I didn't like: The campground was a little far from downtown and the space they gave you was small and cramped.  The brand new Harley Museum (which I would have loved to have seen) was only open to those who had a special ticket (I did not).  Summerfest grounds was ridiculously packed (wall to wall people).  Beer and water at all the official events was insanely overpriced.  At the H.O.G. 25th event at Miller Park, it was very hot with almost no shade and they ended up running out of food and drinks (so I heard from others, I didn't stay long enough to find out).  The H.O.G. Hospitality tent was a joke - you walk 15 minutes to this tent on the far edge of Summerfest grounds where you can (get this...) buy H.O.G. Merchandise or buy food.  When I think "hospitality tent" I think "free stuff", not another overpriced store.  I guess they were giving away free shade from the sun.  The Springsteen concert was a huge disappointment (yes I know he played for hours and hours and for huge fans it was probably an amazing once-in-a-lifetime event).  It was disappointing because the crowd was so huge I could barely see him on the screens let alone in person and for the first hour or so he played stuff I didn't recognize (essentially, nothing off Born in the USA) so I ended up saying screw it and left after about an hour.  Maybe it's unrealistic to think this event should have felt like a big thank you from the MoCo and be a celebration of the bikes, riders, factory workers, and brand.  To me it just felt like a big scam designed to empty the wallets of those who visited.  There is no way in hell that I will be back for this kind of event again and I have happily let my H.O.G. membership expire.

Hogfeed Pre-Sturgis Party (The Joint)

International Motorcycle Show

Joint Bike Night
  • Website:
  • Location:Minneapolis, MN (The Joint)
  • Years attended: 2010
  • Review: Allegedly, The Joint has a bike night the second Wednesday of each month (it was on their website in 2010).  I tried going twice in 2010 and the place was empty but there are potentially good excuses.  I couldn't go to Sturgis in 2010 and The Joint's Bike Night in August fell during the week of Sturgis.  I tried again in October but it was cold and relatively late in the season.  Don't get me wrong - I really like The Joint.  I just have no idea if 2nd Wednesday is a real bike night.
  • Blog Entries:

Joint Run
  • Website:
  • Location:Minneapolis, MN (The Joint)
  • Years attended: 2009
  • Review: The Joint is my favorite biker bar in the Twin Cities.  The Joint Run is simply a ride from The Joint in Minneapolis, MN to Bootleggers in Mayer, MN.  The ride is about 40 miles or 1 hour.  Once at Bootleggers, there is free chili and live music.  Simple and fun.

Mad Jack's Bike Night ("Jacked Up Bike Night")

Minnesota State H.O.G. Rally
  • Website:
  • Location: Varies
  • Years attended: 2007
  • Review: Yes, I used to belong to H.O.G. (Harley Owners Group).  I attended the 2007 State Rally in Duluth, MN and it was actually a lot of fun.  There were events planned all weekend and the riding around Duluth is just beautiful.  The weather was a surprise so be prepared - it was hot in the Twin Cities when I headed north and didn't bring a jacket which was a huge mistake as it was a lot colder with the wind off Lake Superior.  One of the more unusual things I participated in was the motorcycle parade where hundreds if not thousands of bikes snaked their way through town while people sitting on their front lawns waved.  It was surreal.  In 2009, I headed up to Duluth during the weekend of the State H.O.G. Rally but did not pay/register for the events.  It was still cool to be around a lot of other bikes and it was nice to not have the schedule to adhere to.

O'Reilly World Of Wheels

Rad's Extra Sharp Motorcycle Show

Rally Up North
  • Website:
  • Location: Brainerd, MN
  • Years attended: 2009
  • Review: Rally Up North is a benefit ride for the Patriot Guard.  When I was researching this event online, I found a lot of old and outdated information.  I was under the impression there was camping on site and had packed a tent and bag in anticipation of camping.  There was no camping and I ended up having to get a hotel last-minute in Brainerd.  The Old Waterfall is a bar and grill where there have live music, food, drinks, a bonfire, bike games, a burnout pit, and it's where the ride starts and ends.  The ride itself is multi-stop bar-hop.  Traffic was blocked at intersections so that was a perk.  It was a decent ride through a nice area of Minnesota.  Back at the Old Waterfall, I enjoyed the food, drinks, and music.  I tried the Slow Ride in the bike games (I did not win).  They had a silent auction and I won a sweet Budweiser Sturgis banner.  Overall it was a good event but is not something I think I'll hit up year after year.
  • Pics:
2009 Rally Up North:

Rochester Cycle Show and Swap

Rockers Spring Social

Rumble On The Deck Bike Show

SCVR Chili Feed

SCVR Round Barn Run
  • Website:
  • Location:Ellsworth, WI
  • Years attended: 2010
  • Review: The St. Croix Valley Riders (SCVR) is a motorcycle rights organization and they host a number of events each year including the Round Barn Run.  Admission to the run in 2010 got you 2 nights of camping (Fri & Sat) as well as dinner, live music, and all the beer you can drink on Saturday.  The run itself is a series of guided tours through southwestern Wisconsin to "see" (read: "ride past really fast") historic round barns.  Tours leave every 15-30 minutes from 9am to noon.  Early rides are about 175 miles and later rides are about 100 miles.  Arrive before 10am to get on the long rides.  The rides include a number of stops including lunch, gas, and stops at local bars.  The roads on the route are amazing - both beautiful and challenging.  In my opinion, this ride is not for beginners - you are riding with a group of experienced people on roads they know much better than you.  If you're up for the challenge, I highly recommend it.
  • Blog Entries:

Sturgis / Black Hills Rally
  • Website:
  • Location:Sturgis, SD
  • Years attended: 2007, 2008, 2009
  • Review:  Awesome.  Highly recommended.  An extremely beautiful and fun place to ride regardless of whether or not there is a giant party going on.  I went to Sturgis 3 years in a row and had a great time every year.  I will post a full review and pics eventually.
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