Motorcycles lined up for more than half a mile outside of J&P Cycles June 23, as thousands of motorcyclists poured in for the dealer's 28th annual open house.
More than 11,000 motorcyclists from from as far away as British Columbia, Canada, made the trip to Anamosa, Iowa, to join in the yearly customer appreciation celebration.
"We just can't believe it," said J&P Cycles President John Parham, "We had hoped to match last years number of 10,000 people, but with the not-so-perfect weather we figured people might stay away. So to have an even larger crowd that last year was just amazing."
"John and I were approached by customers throughout the day who buy parts from us and they just wanted to thank us for the great event, and tell us how much they love J&P," said Vice President Jill Parham. "I just can't tell you how good it makes us feel, such a sense of satisfaction for our staff's hard work in building the business over the years. We are very proud."
With over 60 manufacturers and distributors from around the country and record attendance, the open house has become a one-of-a kind event in the Midwest. The Parhams see it as their chance to give back to their loyal customers.
Arlen Ness, Bikers Choice, Drag Specialties, Kuryakyn, Parts Unlimited and S&S Cycle all showed off their semi displays and other companies such as Avon Tyres, Memphis Shades, Mustang, Bassini Exhaust, Performance Machine and Custom Chrome set up booths to display their products and meet customers.
"It is a long trip to Iowa for most of our suppliers and we really appreciate their continued support," said John Parham. "Our event has grown in large part due to their participation and we love it. Plus, it gives us the chance to play host to the suppliers as well, show them a little of our Iowa hospitality for the weekend and let them know how thankful we are for our strong relationships with them."
The day included free food and drinks, more than $4000 in door prizes, a ride-in bike show, a motorcycle rodeo, the Radical Cycles Dyno semi and the Extreme Team Motorcycle Stunt Show, as well as photo and autograph sessions with Michele Smith of Speed Channel's "American Thunder" TV show and builders Cory Ness and Roland Sands.
A silent auction raised $4,600 for the National Motorcycle Museum in downtown Anamosa. Manufacturers and distributors donated more than 60 items to be auctioned off.
Attendees got the chance to see the Joe Teresi Easyrider Streamliner — "The World's Fastest Motorcycle," which holds the Motorcycle World land speed record — and meet its legendary driver Dave Campos. Also on hand was the J&P Cycles Streamliner which now holds the AMA speed record of 179.940 MPH in the 1350cc Pushrod gas class.
"It takes all of our 300 employees to put on this event and we really appreciate their hard work. Having such a great turnout makes everyone's hard work worth while," Jill Parham said.
The 29th annual J&P Cycles Open House is scheduled for June 28, 2008.