Bike week in Martinsburg could draw more than 12,000

July 07, 2005|by CANDICE BOSLEY

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Jeff Wilkins isn't surprised that one event amid dozens of others planned for Motorcycle Mania Bike Week seems to pique the most interest and raise the most eyebrows.

Even he admits it's the attraction he is looking forward to more than the others.

"It's a pit that will have 500 pounds of coleslaw in it, with 150 pounds of vegetable oil poured on top," Wilkins said.

"We've been inundated with people trying to get in," Wilkins said of the coleslaw wrestling contest.

A couple even asked if they could get married waist-deep in the coleslaw, Wilkins said.

This is the second year Wilkins, a bailiff for a Circuit Court judge, has organized the motorcycle event. Although last year's event ended up being bookended by tropical storm remnants, good weather next week could mean more than 12,000 people will attend, he said.


Wilkins said he has handed out thousands of fliers, and has heard from people as far away as Montana who plan to attend.

The four-day event will be held on a 169-acre field behind the Nahkeeta Campsite ground on W.Va. 9, east of Martinsburg.

Proceeds will be donated to several charities, including the Martinsburg Boys & Girls Club, a cancer charity and The Wounded Warrior Hospital Fund - which assists wounded soldiers, Wilkins said.

Other events include:

  • A motorcycle ride through scenic southern Berkeley County. Formation begins at Martinsburg Mall on Saturday, July 16 at 5 p.m. All motorcyclists are asked to fly an American flag from their bike.

  • Live music beginning on Friday, July 15 at 3 p.m. Bands performing include Stuck in Kaos.

  • A "Dyno Shootout," in which a machine measures the speed and horsepower of stationary motorcycles. A prize will be awarded for the most powerful bike.

  • Battle of the Bands, beginning next Saturday at 1 p.m.

  • Biker Rodeo Games, beginning next Sunday at noon.

A look-alike contest for the family featured in the popular television show "Orange County Choppers" also is planned, Wilkins said.

"We couldn't afford the real guys," Wilkins said, laughing.

Children will not be allowed into certain areas, but an area designed especially for children will have an inflatable moon bounce and "kid-oriented food," Wilkins said.

About 50 acres will be devoted for campers, who can sleep in either a tent or an RV. A flat rate of $25 will be charged, with first-come first-serve registration beginning next Thursday at 9 a.m.

Although electricity will not be available to campers, water and bathroom facilities will be offered.

Admission for all four days is $10.

Safety is important, Wilkins said.

Guards will patrol the campground, and Wilkins said he hopes all motorcyclists are safe when they ride on area roads.

A bus trip is planned to Charles Town (W.Va.) Races & Slots and shuttle rides will be offered to Rail Days, a weekend event at the Martinsburg Roundhouse Center.

Wilkins joked that cyclists can sunbathe on the Opequon Creek beach. No beach actually exists, but the creek is a border for the property, which Wilkins is leasing.

Early Wednesday evening, Wilkins - a motorcycle enthusiast who rode his first motorcycle when he was in first grade - was at the site, looking over the grounds again and planning.

"We're actually expecting this to look like Woodstock," Wilkins said.

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