Killington Classic Labor Day Weekend!

If you’ve never heard of the Killington Classic motorcycle rally, don’t worry — you’re not out of the loop. Since its inception in the 90s, the KC was never much more than an informal gathering of a few hundred bikers near the namesake town of the legendary ski resort in the Green Mountains of Vermont. A good time, but no big deal.

In early 2011, however, that all changed. In an effort to take the event to the next level, Killington town officials contacted the folks at Americade in Lake George, New York. They wanted to turn the Classic into a motorcycle destination, and take it from a localized event in the shadow of traditional New England rallies such as Laconia to a large-scale rally attracting motorcyclists from all over New England and Eastern Canada. And who better to accomplish that feat than Bill and Christian Dutcher, the father/son team behind Americade? With their local connections, industry contacts, and experience at building a motorcycle event from the ground up, they were the ideal choice to turn the Killington Classic from a local-yokel event to a world-class motorcycling rally.

But from the beginning, the Dutchers knew they wanted Killington to be special. Rather than simply replicate their success in Lake George — a touring-focused rally in a family-friendly hamlet — they wanted the KC to be distinct. And with the blessing of town officials, that’s exactly what they created. Instead of the Gold Wing and sport-touring set, the new Killington Classic was geared toward all bikes and all riders, particularly American-made V-Twin cruisers and customs. Best of all, as a ski resort that’s no stranger to parties, Killington wasn’t concerned about protecting a family-friendly reputation; it’s a town ready for anything — the ideal attitude for hosting a motorcycle rally. Everything was coming together. And then, disaster struck.

In mid-August, mere weeks before the opening reception, Hurricane Irene ravaged the East Coast. It was downgraded to a tropical storm by the time it plundered its way into New England, but powerful winds and torrential rains still wreaked havoc all over the region. The hardest hit area? Southwestern Vermont, with the towns of Killington and Rutland the epicenter of the storm damage. Roads were washed out, power lines were downed, lives were destroyed, and the inaugural Killington Classic was quickly cancelled.

But the area has bounced back, and the Killington Classic is ready for the spotlight. RoadBike, American Iron Magazine, and Motorcycle Bagger are proud to be presenting sponsors of the inaugural 2012 Killington Classic. From August 30-September 3, join us in the Green Mountains as we get this party started right. On Thursday the 30th, RoadBike is hosting the Killington Kick Start Opening Reception at the Snowshed Lodge at the Killington Resort, with dinner, drinks, and door prizes. On Friday the 31st, take a 12-mile parade to nearby Rutland, where Motorcycle Bagger is hosting the Rutland Block Party downtown. And on Saturday September 1, American Iron Magazine is hosting the blowout of the weekend, the Full Throttle dinner and party followed by fireworks, bike show awards, and prizes.

In between, ride the famous valleys and covered bridges of the Green Mountains or enjoy one of the many Killington Classic-sponsored activities in the area  — such as gondola rides to the top of Killington Mountain to the Vermont State Fair in nearby Rutland, where your KC wristband gets you free admission. You can also take a demo ride, check out the vendor village and the stunt/freestyle show, ride a guided tour, try your luck in a poker run or scavenger hunt, or just hang out at the Vendor Village and People’s Choice Bike Show. Sunday and Monday feature many more events and guided tours, including an instant classic, the Irene Valley ride, a guided tour through many of the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Irene last year.

Because of last year’s natural disaster, the Killington Classic is expected to be a celebration of survival and rejuvenation. Organizers expect a great turnout, including Governor Peter Shumlin and other hometown heroes. (Also at press time, a benefit concert is in the works; among the rumored performers is Aerosmith’s Joe Perry!) Make plans to join your favorite motorcycle magazines in Vermont August 30-September 3. <rb>

Killington Classic, 518/798-7888, KillingtonClassic.com.

 

About Jonny

Jon Langston is the Associate Editor of RoadBike. Originally from Huntington Beach, California, he lives in Brooklyn with his wife Colleen, a fashion designer. He has a Harley, a Mazie, and an '83 KZ1100 LTD that doesn’t run.

Comments

  1. Herbert Dorsey says:

    I was going to come up & check things out but I ride a Gold Wing & it is clear that U do not want [GWs]. there, only Harley`s. I do not understand how the people from the Americade can have a hand in the [KC] after U call AMERICADE a LOCAL-YOKET event. Americade is the most Classic event in the Country BAR none. I would not attend the KC now even if U sent me a free ticket & I will make sure that all my GOLD-WING RIDERS know this.The statement u made is very idiotic.

    • Frankly Herbert, I was blown away when I read your Comment – I would never call Americade a “local-yokel event”! It’s top-notch, and world-class. Everyone who’s been there knows that.
      So I went back & re-read my article, and I hope you do the same! The miscontrued sentence is at the end of the second paragraph, for those of you keeping score at home.

      Speaking to your other point, the Americade folks don’t want “only Harleys” at the Killington Classic – on the contrary, they’re simply trying to give the KC an identity of its own, apart from A’cade.
      You and your fellow Gold-Wingers really should check it out, as you’ll be very welcome, too! Everyone will.
      It’s gonna be a blast!
      Langston

    • Bruce Milo says:

      Herbert,
      I too couldn’t understand where you were coming from with that comment. Jonny was reffering to the KC as being a “local-yokel” event in the past and I did not read it that they wanted to exclude GW riders. If anything we want to welcome ALL riders to our beautiful state and rally. Please reconsider coming because I think you will be glad you did.
      Bruce

  2. I don’t believe the local-yokel comment is the cause of Herbert’s note. If you read the 3rd sentence in the 3rd paragraph, “Instead of the Goldwing and sport-touring set, the Killington Classic was geared towards all bikes and all riders, particularly American-made V-Twins cruisers and customs.

    Although unintended (?), the term “Instead of…” is easily interpreted as we want American made V-Twin cruisers and customs (read Harley+)… not Goldwings and sport-touring!

    Just another Goldwing rider… Dave B from Canada.

    • I thought Herbert’s complaint was crystal clear, Dave – and it was pretty obvious he mis-read the line.
      I think you’d have to be looking for bias in order to find it in that article.

      So I’d like to submit this food for thought:
      This “Us v Them” attitude is precisely what most non-Harley riders detest about the Harley crowd. And it’s disheartening to see that some of us are responding in kind.

      See you all in Killington – whatever you ride ;)
      JonnyL

  3. deb jessup says:

    I have to agree. I read the article twice looking for the no goldwing and local yokal comments. I think you miss read Herbert. I will be there on my Honda Shadow and I am proud to ride my bike. She is very pretty. I even have lipstick to match!! LOL
    Looking forward to the event. I was planning to go last year also, so I was happy to know it was on for this year. Can’t wait!!!

  4. now kids let s get along. i have owned american and metric cruisers and have sold both. i presently ride a flhtc and sell hondas who cares.? let s go out there and enjoy our rides, if you don t like what others are riding park it and your attitude. go buy yourself a miata.

  5. Lets not forget “ITS ABOUT THE RIDE”.. I have been riding for decades and its not what you ride, its how you ride. Be Safe

  6. Let’s face the truth. Almost all motorcycles, motorbikes, scooters, and everything else that is used for transportation is now considered reliable. Reliable is good!
    It seems to me that we only have to work on enjoying our style of riding motorcycles or driving a Miata (I have 2 ) or whatever without feeling that only yours is good enough. IT’S ALL GOOD!
    Good people buy every brand and model machines that are manufactured or home built. Good people buy anything that does not cause harm to other people or themselves without condemning the other people for their choices. Please love and enjoy your choices and accept that other people are entitled to theirs. I find it more rewarding to look for the good in people and, having found it,decide if their way might make an improvement in my life. Let’s Live and Let Live as much as possible and again…Look For The Good…Look For The Good…Look For The Good because hate is usually a bad choice.

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