After decades of support for the longest running rally in the west, riders are now choosing not to make the ride down. The numbers at the St. Victor Boogie have been chopped significantly over the past decade with less of the older crowd being bothered to put on the kilometers. Traditionally, from the late 90's and into the 00's- the event was taken in by 1200- 1000 riders annually making the pilgrimage. In recent years that number has diminished as low as a few hundred, but seeing a resurgence for the 40th anniversary.
There are still die hard supporters that come out to the signature event year after year, and newer riders have seen the event and are writing it in on their calendars for the next year... so where are the numbers dropping? It is no surprise that after 40 years, that some riders have had their time in the sun and that the event no longer carries anything but nostalgic memories for them. This has left a hole for a new generation of riders to fill the void and carry on the yearly trip south.
Despite changes in the event to keep motorcycles coming through the gates- it appears that the new generation aren't excited for the tradition of the motorcycle rally. Where riders once used to get out on the road with no destination, just a want to ride- that doesn't seem to be the case any longer. The fundamental motorcycle rider is a thing of the past and the next generation are no longer interested in the antiquated thrills that once drew in the kids.
The importance of riding is now a matter of economic transportation. Anyone can look at the sales of Harley-Davidson over the past few years to see this... so with the leather clad riders which once flooded the highway in summer going the way of the dinosaur- what will come of motorcycle rallies? There will likely always be a poker run available to those who cling to the ride- pulling on the charity angle to get people out, but if the trend continues down the path it's on- are rallies doomed too?