Motorcycles line the streets of downtown Baker City for the 19th annual Hells Canyon Motorcycle Rally and final year under its current leadership.
Nonetheless, the rally must go on and organizers have found just the hosts they think will take it to the next level.
High Desert Harley-Davidson of Boise will take over the event and is looking for a permanent Baker City location.
“Our purpose is to move here and make it a home,” said Harley-Davidson Marketing Manager Todd Godfrey. “We have big shoes to fill but the foundation’s there.”
Kurt Miller of Baker City and fellow organizer Steve Folkestad of Portland will still be involved as Godfrey and the Harley team get settled and until they can run it on their own.
“We want to keep Hells Canyon to its roots,” said Godfrey. “We want to keep it a riders rally.”
Miller also spoke of this event as a riders rally, which he called one of the few of its kind in the country as opposed to events that center around a concert of other events that draw bikers.
“We’re not Sturgis and we don’t want to be,” Miller said.
“We want to take it to the next level. It’s a partnership with the city. If the city doesn’t succeed, we don’t succeed,” said Godfrey.
Miller too said the city has been an important player in the survival of the rally.
“The city’s been terrific to work with. It’s never ‘we can’t do that,’ it’s always, ‘how can we help?’ ”
Godfrey said City Manager Fred Warner Jr. took him around the city, including up and down Main Street, to get a feel for the town and look at places to set up shop.
See more in the July 13, 2018 issue of the Baker City Herald