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Americade is back with new offerings

LAKE GEORGE - Tens of thousands of motorcyclists will be rolling into the region this week to enjoy the varied activities of Americade, considered the world's premier touring motorcycle rally.

Whether it's browsing for bike accessories, examining manufacturers' prototypes, test-driving new models, taking a guided two-wheeled tour into the mountains, or socializing with long-time Americade buddies, motorcyclists will be undoubtedly enjoying the six-day event that is now legendary after several decades of success.

This year's edition of the world's largest and most renowned rally of its kind, features a full slate of events, new vendors and a new motorcycle brand represented, event founder Bill Dutcher said.

"Once again, we're going to give these two-wheeled visitors the best time of their lives," he said.

Activities include workshops, demo rides, cruises, excursions, entertainment, concerts, contests, scavenger hunts, equipment clinics - you name it.

One main focus of Americade is its TourExpo trade show, the world's largest marketplace for touring, sport-touring, cruiser products & services. It will again be housed in part at the Lake George Forum - which has reopened for 2010 - as well as the Million Dollar Beach parking lot.

New this year is a lineup of themed cruises, representing a Hawaiian Luau, the King of Rock, the Country Hoedown boat or a Mardi Gras cruise complete with a zydeco band.

They all include themed music, costumes and entertainment, Americade officials said.

New sponsored activities include horseback riding, whitewater rafting and hot-air ballooning, Dutcher said.

Also new is the participation of Royal Enfield Motorcycles, a fabled brand from Great Britain.

Dutcher said Americade has seen almost as many advance reservations this year as in the past, despite the recent economic turbulence. He said his staff has been promoting and marketing more aggressively than ever to keep the attendance robust.

He said the gate will depend on the weather.

"We're hoping for weather as good as last year," he said, noting that Americade Week 2009 was the best weather of the season. "We know we have a tough act to live up to."

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