The Big Weekend is Almost Here!
Surely June 18-20 has been highlighted on your calendar for some time now. Your vacation hours have long been approved. Your journey has been painstakingly mapped and remapped a few times over. We’re sure you’re ready to hit the road this instant, but the time will soon be here. No matter which direction you’re coming from and what sights you will be stopping to see, the final destination for the Reno Rendezvous has been strategically selected with the collective interest of Gold Wing riders from coast to coast in mind. There’s no place quite like Reno and when you’re finally there, be prepared to hunker down for a weekend filled with good friends, even better times and an itinerary that is chock-full of excitement. Welcome, friends. Rendezvous season is officially upon us.
Hopefully, our on-the-road travel stories have helped you plan your ride to Reno from wherever you hang your helmet. The roads and landmarks out there are incredible, and you’ll still have the opportunity when heading home to backtrack and cover ground you may have missed while riding in. The time to focus on the Reno Rendezvous event is now and with a full lineup of events (some starting as early as Wednesday, June 17), you’ll want to make sure to plan the ride accordingly.
For the early birds who don’t want to miss any part of the action, registration and packet pickup will begin on June 17 at Grand Sierra Resort, which will be home base for the Rendezvous all weekend long. The official kickoff party will begin later in the afternoon in Virginia City — a mere 25 miles away. Here at this quaint mining town you can take a walk down authentic board sidewalks with immediate access to museums, old timey shops and charming places to grab a snack. There are lots of great historic buildings and homes here, and it really serves as a perfect backdrop for enjoying a quick little ride to a location loaded with character. And to help celebrate the Rendezvous, the city has reserved plenty of street parking spaces specifically for motorcycles. There will also be live music on-site to help ring in the occasion. And to answer that question on everybody’s mind: the kickoff feast will feature a full-blown barbecue buffet with some of the most savory pulled pork, tri-tip, chicken and sides you’ve tasted in a while. It’s been an extended ride for most of you to reach the Reno area for this event and we’re sure you’ve built up quite an appetite along the way. This first day of Rendezvous will glimpse what to expect during the remainder of your week in Reno.
After a peaceful night’s sleep at Grand Sierra Resort, Thursday will begin with a trade show complete with manufacturer demos for visitors to see the latest and greatest in riding gear and accessories. Now, if you’re lucky, you might be able to squeeze in tons of adventures just as late morning arrives. There is a self-guided tour to Carson City and Lake Tahoe that starts at 11am, which may be just what you need if you felt the itch to get more seat time in. The scenic loop to the North Shore of Lake Tahoe is absolutely stunning. The crystal-clear water and majestic views of the surrounding mountains are definitely awe-inspiring. If you’re on the fence about getting back out on the road so soon, the lake is only 40 miles away and the scenery is absolutely stunning. You’ll want to kick yourself if you don’t take advantage of the ride — trust us on this one.
Now, there are attractions going on all-day long at Grand Sierra Resort Thursday through Saturday. With so much to choose from during the three-day span, you might feel a little torn as to what to next. Whatever you decide to do, you must take the time to see Clint Ewing — Guinness World Record-holding street bike stunt performer. If you’ve never seen Clint’s act before, you need to witness the tricks this guy can pull off. There are tons of videos of him doing his thing online, but luckily, you’ll have multiple viewing opportunities at your disposal throughout the weekend.
To further push the live entertainment envelope, award-winning comedian Gilbert Esquivel will be onstage Thursday evening at 7 p.m. This guy has the jokes that are bound to keep your gut cramped hours after the performance has ended. Don’t fret — the discomfort is totally worth it. Grab some friends, grab some seats and get ready to laugh the night away. This show will be taking place at the Summit Pavilion, and is absolutely free and exclusive to Grand Sierra Package registrants only. If you haven’t already booked a room at Grand Sierra Resort, do so immediately because space is quickly running out and the perks are unbeatable.
Friday is a big day at Reno Rendezvous, which starts with a morning destination ride to Virginia City. The targeted location is the Sawdust Corner Restaurant. You may ask yourself if waking up to ride back to Virginia City again just to eat breakfast is something you really want to do. Simply put, the answer is yes, it is exactly how you want to spend your morning. The food at Sawdust Corner is incredible. Omelets and eggs cooked to order, potatoes, sausage, ham, biscuits and gravy, juice, fruits and, most importantly, bottomless cups of coffee — who could say no to all that? Plus, this organized group breakfast date gives you another opportunity to take in the unique scenery that this old mining town has to offer.
After the refreshing morning breakfast ride, the options ahead of you at Grand Sierra Resort are as plentiful as they were the day before. The trade show and manufacturer demos go on all day until 6pm, so you can put those off for a bit and squeeze in the pool party, which starts at 11 a.m. Yes, you read that correctly — a pool party. And it’s even complete with tunes from a live DJ. Do take advantage of this midday treat because the Grand Sierra Resort pool area is as close to a real oasis as you’ll ever find. Think about going the extra mile by reserving a private cabana where you can lounge around in comfort and style.
Hopefully you’ve rested up enough to entertain the thought of signing up for the bowling tournament from 3-6 p.m. Grand Sierra Resort has a top-tier bowling facility on-site, and for just $15 you get three games, shoe rental and chances to win cash prizes, but that’s only if you bring your A-game. Only bowlers who rank first to fifth place will be walking out with dollars, so maybe think about playing a few practice frames before the tourney starts. But if Friday doesn’t yield you your best score, there is another tournament on Saturday as well. After all the pins have fallen, stay tuned to what is going to be an epic performance at Grand Sierra Resort Theatre from 7-9 p.m. Credence Clearwater Revisited will be playing all your favorite CCR songs live in concert. If you want to spend your Friday night rockin’ and rollin’, definitely plan on reserving your tickets as soon as possible. You’ll more than likely want to kick yourself for missing out on this show.
With Friday night ending on such a high note, Saturday, will come in just as hot as the day before. Cris Baldwin, president of Women on Wheels, will be addressing the importance of female riders and the important fact that they are currently the fastest-growing segment of new motorcyclists on the road today. Baldwin will be speaking twice throughout the weekend and space is limited for both engagements, so act fast. Given her 45 years of riding experience, she is a great motorcycling advocate, not only for women, but also for anyone who considers touring to be a major part of their lives. Also taking place on Saturday is the parade that is tentatively starting at 1pm. There is also a rodeo in town during the same weekend, so this will give those who love to people-watch a perfect opportunity to do just that for a couple hours. Reno is such a vibrant and eclectic city, and taking in as much as you can of it is highly suggested.
As Saturday begins to wind down, there is one last event that just shouldn’t be missed. The wrap-up party and cookout starts at 7 p.m. and represents one last hurrah with friends old and new before everyone scatters into different directions in the morning. It’s a time to relive some of the weekend’s highlights, as well as a time to make plans for the journey back home. The cookout will feature live music from Rustler’s Heat, who will fit the bill nicely as they cover some of the best country, R&B and classic rock tunes that are sure to end the Rendezvous on the highest of notes. If you’ve been running around all weekend trying to see and do everything that Rendezvous has to offer, make this last and final meetup really count. “Relax” is the operative word here. Just kick back and let the good vibes flow.
Well, there you have it — a well-rounded weekend based on riding and everything that encompasses it. The GWRRA has put together another amazing destination event in a location that is sure to please incoming Wingers. Reno is nestled in between some awesome riding roads and the amenities that Grand Sierra Resort offers are really second to none. No matter which direction you plan on coming in and taking out, just know that this weekend has been planned around you and the brand of excitement you prefer, which most definitely revolves around the amazing roads less traveled. Here’s to an amazing journey — may you have the time of your life.
Like what you've read? Share it!