WARRENSBURG On the Warren County Fairgrounds May 30, Ed Zibro wheeled his golf cart around the aisles of the Warrensburg Bike Rally to talk with vendors at the annual event he co-founded in 2001.
A man lurched toward him, extending his arm for a handshake. It was Kevin Roach of Daytona
Beach Fla., a vendor of motorcycle apparel.
“I want to thank you — the crowd here is unreal,” he said about attendance at what’s been called the “renegade” motorcycle rally which has become successful on the coattails of Americade. “People are just rolling in — it’s been non-stop all day.”
Driving past several of his 40 vendors, Zibro talked about the growth of the rally he co-founded with Gary Verhulst, a motorcycle tire vendor from Georgia.
“We have vendors from the Florida Keys to California,” Zibro said. “It’s turned out to be a home run.”
With 30,000 or more motorcyclists expected to register at this week’s colossal Americade touring motorcycle rally in Lake George — and that many or more dropping into the village unregistered — the attendance at Zibro’s rival rally is expected to grow substantially in the next few days.
Zibro said his vendors have doubled from 20 to 40 this year, and his attendance has multiplied by the same factor.
Driving past vendors, Verhulst speculated on the reason for the growth. He said that the Warrensburg rally’s vendor fees are far lower than Americade’s, which ranges from several thousand dollars to eight thousand at their TourExpo. Vendors who spend several thousand dollars just on fuel to haul their booth and merchandise from Florida, Arizona or California can’t afford to pay the Americade fees and still make a profit, he added, but they can at the Warrensburg rally — which he predicted would double in size and attendance again in 2015.