Pikes Peak Bike Week ramps up this week

Skynyrd and War on tap, along with Bristol Brewing

By Dylan Hochstedler

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After a successful first day of iHeartMedia Pikes Peak Bike Week, with bikes and bands in abundance, days two through five are expected to be even bigger - Lynyrd Skynyrd or War, anyone?

Masses of people gathered in the infield of Pikes Peak International Raceway in Fountain on Wednesday evening for the first day of Pikes Peak Bike Week. The event, which runs through June 25, features live music throughout the day and includes a headliner for each evening on the main stage.

Performances on Wednesday included American Idol winner Trent Harmon, followed by Midland, a mood-setting country band from Texas. Day one was headlined by Frankie Ballard, who brought the crowd to life with his breakthrough hit, “Helluva Life.”

“We were very happy with the turnout for the first night,” said Dana Kahlhamer, director of sales for PPIR. “I would say there was about 1,000 people in attendance for the first day and we are expecting around 5,000 people (Thursday),” she said. “Based on the events we have going on, we knew it would totally be a ramp up situation from the start.”

Kahlhamer said is expecting 8,000-10,000 people for the main event on Saturday afternoon and evening when southern rock legends Lynyrd Skynyrd take the stage.

Thursday will feature Torch’s Rock & Roll Inferno, a breathtaking fire and rock & roll show that includes fire eating, fire breathing, fire nunchucks and many more flame-throwing acts. Bands following the rock & roll inferno will be the Mojo Rats, the Gin Blossoms and headliner Blue October.  

Friday will boast a performance by Wheelhouse, a Pueblo-based band that plays a wide variety of covers from the Eagles, Zac Brown Band, Stevie Ray Vaughan and more. Following Wheelhouse will be Wayland, another performance by Torch’s Rock & Roll Inferno and Jackyl, a Georgia-based band that takes a wild, untamed approach to rock & roll.

Saturday will be a day for the record books - literally. The one-mile racetrack will be lined with motorcycles as Pikes Peak Bike Week attempts to hoist its way into the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest simultaneous motorcycle burnout. The current record was set in Thailand in 2015, with more than 300 motorcycles smoking their tires. Kahlhamer says they are expecting around 1,000 bikes to participate in the attempt.

Saturday will also be host to Colorado-based band Exit West, followed by The Rick Lewis Project. Organizers went all out in getting Lynyrd Skynyrd as the headliner for Saturday’s festivities, followed by a fireworks extravaganza directly after the show.

Sunday will be a new atmosphere, as the focus shifts from bikes to Super Latin Sunday. Hundreds of lowrider cars will be present as they compete for prizes including people’s choice, best in class and a hopping contest. Performances by the Carissa Biele Band and War will top off the Sunday festivities.

Doors open at noon each day and local live music in the Bristol Brewing Co. tent starts soon after. The Bristol Brewing tent also serves as a welcoming entrance for the bikers. 3 Hundred Days Distilling, 10th Mountain Whiskey and Spirits, Axe and the Oak Distillery and Cockpit Craft Distillery all have presence in the Lifestyle Pavilion, which will host custom bike builders and a tattoo artist.

iHeartMedia Pikes Peak Bike Week has chosen to donate a portion of their proceeds to a different charity every day of the event. The Wednesday charity of the day was Shield616, an organization that was formed in order to properly equip officers for active-shooter and crowd-control situations. The International Association of Firefighters is Thursday’s charity and Friday’s charity will be USO, an organization dedicated to strengthening America’s military service members. The charity for Saturday will be the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and proceeds from Sunday will support Victory Service Dogs, an organization that provides service dogs to vets in need.

The family friendly event is open to everyone. However, for those hoping to stay out late, the Bristol Brewing tent will host an afterparty that goes until 2 a.m. each morning, with the exception of Sunday. Camping options are available for those who wish to stay overnight.