LAKE GEORGE - Ignoring the prevailing drizzle from above, Randy Littlefield of North Berwick Maine pulled his Harley Electra-Glide into a parking lot at Roaring Brook Ranch, headquarters for Americade touring motorcycle rally last week.
Parking near Ray Jenkins of Columbia Md., he asked Jenkins about a weird plastic case attached to the back of his decked-out Gold Wing.
Jenkins' cherry-red teddy bear with light-up eyes, his spiked handlebars or his "ring-of fire" wheel lighting didn't prompt Littlefield's curiosity; it was the five-foot case attached to a beam jutting out from his motorcycle's axle that sparked his interest.
Jenkins revealed that yes, the case carried his golf clubs, to the smiles of bystanders.
"I get asked this 12 times a day," he said. "I love Americade, and the friendliness of being around others here, whether they're from Alabama or Montreal."
Littlefield agreed with the assessment.
"Americade and Sturgis are my two favorite rallies," he said. "Here in Lake George, you've got a laid-back family-oriented atmosphere, not a 'party crowd' like other rallies."
Littlefield, Jenkins and tens of thousands of other motorcyclists from all over the continent converged on Lake George this past week, participating in area tours, a parade, test rides, and contests - despite rain that didn't let up for most of the annual week-long rally.
Embodying the stamina and resolve that's traditional with long-distance tour motorcycle riders, the legions of Americaders drove through downpours, drizzles, steady rain and fog. This year's edition of Americade, with its ample precipitation, took the world's largest touring rally back to its roots, Americade founder Bill Dutcher said Sunday after the week-long event's conclusion.
Many of the non-Americade bikers that enjoy dressing up and play outlaw or their hell-raising sportbike counterparts stayed home due to the rainy bad weather, while the true motorcyclists attended the rally and enjoyed themselves regardless, Dutcher said.