I’m checking my supplies, making signs and getting ready for the Motorcycle Life Expo this coming weekend in Shakopee, Minnesota. I’ve been working closely with Audrey Johnson, the show’s organizer, to get the speakers lined up and press releases sent. I have my own booth and will be selling signed copies of Ride Minnesota. The two-day EXPO showcases vendors who cater to the motorcycle lifestyle. Tourism destinations will be emphasized, as well as aftermarket accessories, motorcycle touring apparel and home décor. In addition to the exhibitors, here’s what’s happening:
Bill Shaffer, state program administrator principal for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, will be the headline speaker. Shaffer will address an estimated crowd of 5,000 motorcyclists about Minnesota’s new Road Guard Certification program, which trains riders how to stop and control traffic for motorcycle groups. He will speak at 11:00 am. Sat.
Owen Riess, author of “La Ropa Sucia”, will speak at 1:00 p.m. Sat. and 11:00 a.m. Sun. about the “Do’s and Don’ts” of riding in Mexico.
Tim Hyma, Executive Director of the Sparta Area Chamber of Commerce/Driftless Destinations, will talk about riding in Wisconsin’s Driftless Area at 2:00 p.m. Sat.
World adventurer Phil Freeman, MotoQuest, will discuss motorcycle travel in “Alaska and Beyond” at 3:00 p.m. Sat. and 2:00 p.m. Sun.
Mary Pagel, Damsel in Defense, will talk about self-defense techniques for women riders at 1:00 p.m. Sun.
Local celebrities will also make an appearance at the EXPO. Brian Zepp, KQRS-Radio, will broadcast live from the EXPO from 3:00-5:00 p.m. Sat. Dave Dahl, KSTP Chief Meteorologist, will be on hand Sunday to meet and greet bikers from noon-2:00 p.m. Sun. He will also kick off Sunday’s noon fashion show. The 93X Girls will also make an appearance.
A fashion show will be held at noon each day, and live bands will perform both days. Bad Girlfriends will play from 4:00-7:00 p.m. Sat. Johntourage will perform both days from 1:00-3:00 p.m. 23rd Hour will play from 10:00 a.m. until noon on Sat. and 11:00-a.m.-1:00 p.m. Sun.
The Motorcycle Life Expo begins at 9:00 a.m. each day. Tickets are $10 if purchased online at www.motorcyclelifeexpo.com, or $13 at the door. Children under 12 are admitted free. See you there!
With temperatures edging up into the 40s and 50s, you can bet that motorcycles will be cruising around the Twin Cities this weekend. I know Ralph will be out in the garage installing new turn signal lights on his Victory cruiser. As for me, I’ll be at the Donnie Smith Bike & Car Show at the River Centre in St. Paul.
I have a case of shiny new copies of Ride Minnesota out in the garage. Today, I’m packing up my “show box”, filling it with more copies of the book, bookmarks for giveaways, extra pens, my cashbox, signs and an easel for displaying a poster-sized version of the book cover. It’s the biggest event I have attended as an exhibitor — more than 18,000 are expected to attend. (Gee, I wonder if I have enough books? Yikes! I’d better pack an order form, too.) I also have to make sure my cell phone’s charged and my card reader is ready to go.
Thanks to Audrey Johnson of Motorcycle Life EXPO for inviting me to share her table. We’ll be at Booth 22 on the main floor of the show.
The streets and highways haven’t been cleaned yet. Watch out for gravel and keep the shiny side up!
I am so sick of this long Minnesota winter I could chew roofing nails! It definitely was a lot more fun when I was a kid and played in the snow and didn’t worry about breaking my bones. Ah, but there are signs of spring, despite below-zero temperatures (at the end of February? Ya gotta be kidding me!).
The first sign is a review of Ride Minnesota in the March issue of Thunder Press, a tabloid that reaches some 60-70-80,000 Harley Davidson owners. I can’t wait to see it.
As a result of that review, I received a call from Audrey Johnson, who organized the Motorcycle Life Expo that Ralph and I attended earlier this month (in a snowstorm). She’s got a booth at the upcoming Donnie Smith Motorcycle Show at the St. Paul River Centre, and asked me if I’d like to join her and sell my book at her booth. Would I! I’m already checking my booth supplies. I think I’ll need to order more books.
The third sign is an invitation to do a reading of Ride Minnesota at Eat My Words Bookstore here in “Nordeast” Minneapolis. I’m so excited that Scott and his son, Peter, are hosting this event. It happens at 3:00 p.m. on March 22. The store already has copies of the book on consignment, but I’ll bring more copies.
There has been some relief on the weekends when the temperature slowly wiggles its way up to 15 degrees. This past Saturday I took time to visit a new bookstore in “Nordeast”, Eat My Words. It’s on 2nd St. and 12th Ave. N.E., across the street from Dangerous Man Brewing (their chocolate beer is wicked) and kitty-corner from St. Cyril & St. Methodius Church. Eat My Words deals in rare and used books and books by local authors. The owner took three copies of Ride Minnesota on consignment, and we talked about doing an event in March.
The days are slowly getting longer, if not warmer. Bikers are definitely thinking about spring. Ralph and I are heading to another motorcycle show this Saturday, the Motorcycle Life Expo, at the National Sports Center in Blaine. I’ll make more book marks this week to hand out as we mingle with the bikers.
Spring’s gotta come sometime!