Last year we were given the opportunity to have an event in the heart of an area of Kansas City called the Arts District. The area is somewhere around 30 blocks square and contains art galleries, photography studios, bars, custom jewelry shops, design firms, and dozens of interesting restaurants.  Every First Friday, most of the shops stay open late, musicians play on the street corners, food trucks sell whatever they have to offer, and the crowds descend into the area.  Over the years crowds of over 100,000 have been recorded, however, a typical First Friday will not reach those numbers. The location we hold our event is a very good one and it is in the heart of the event area itself.  At the time of our event Garth Brooks was having a concert in what is called the Sprint Center no more than eight or ten blocks away from where we were located and the crowds for his event were really backed up.  

The 2016 event was a huge success so we asked for and were granted permission to do the event again this year.  The 2017 event was held on Friday May 5th.  Even though people are just riding into a parking lot, there is actually a lot of prep work which has to be done.  People have to show up several hours before the event to keep as many cars out of the lot as is possible.  The lot has to be cleared of vehicles already parked there, cones are put out into the street to create a clear entryway, strips of security tape are placed on the asphalt in the lot so the motorcycles have an idea as to where to go, and we need people to help park motorcycles coming into the lot.  Several others have to remain at the entrance area throughout the event to help riders in and out safely.  Safety is taken very seriously at all of our events and we have yet to have a problem.  We also set up a table to sell T-shirts and place VJMC literature and greet people walking by.
The event was listed as being from 5pm to 8pm.  People typically come and either visit with others riders or hit the streets and see what's going on.  Riders started coming in as early as 4pm however most came during the regular event times.  There was a rock band playing one block north of us and a rap group playing about one block south of our location.  Crowds were large though not quite as large as our event last year.  The weather could not have been better.  This year we had a large number of new people who attended who had never been to a KCVJMC event before.  We are continually surprised at the numbers of new people we meet every year who never knew that we existed.  We love to thank them for coming, invite them to our meetings and other shows, and invite them to join the national club.  

What could be better than sitting in the midst of a group of mostly vintage Japanese bikes sipping on a drink and telling stories which get bigger each year!  Of the 90+ bikes which were there, all but about half a dozen were Japanese motorcycles and of the Japanese bikes, probably 80% were vintage.  Every year we meet new people who have great stories and there will always be a few new people who join us.  Our club continues to grow incrementally, our Yahoo group now has over 1,000 members, and all of our events for the last several years have grown except when we have bad weather.  When Frank and I started the club, there were probably no more than 25 VJMC members in the area and now we have over 130 who call KCVJMC their club.  We have quite a number of VJMC members in areas close by who attend our events on a regular basis.

This event was great fun and was well attended.  We want to thank the Treanor firm for the use of their parking lot (check them out at: www.treanorhl.com), and we thank the KCVJMC members who helped set up and tear down the event.  We hope to be back next year and if we are able, hopefully the weather will be just like it was during this year's event.  We had heard from the 2016 event that attendees had really enjoyed it and there is no doubt that the same will be said of the event held this year.  KCVJMC has several more events coming up this year which can be found at:  www.kcvjmc.org.

Other local and regional events can be found at: http://www.markbayersmotorcyclenews.mysite.com/index_2.html.  On the same site, but on page 3 are events being held by other VJMC Field Representatives in the mid west region.  Check out what Jeff Ecker, Jim Neiurwirth, Hal Johnson, Dennis Murphy, Michael Russum, Bob elly, and Noel Moss are doing on these noted pages.  On these pages there is also contact information for each of these people, check out what they are doing.

We have seen so much more going on in our mid west area within the last two years and hopefully this will continue.  Last but not least, KCVJMC is sponsoring the VJMC Mid West Regional on August 5th. make sure and try to attend.  We are also sponsoring a "2 stroke only" show being the only show of its type in the US apart from the 2 Stroke Extravaganza held in Los Angeles, California.  For most people we would be much closer than L.A..  Information for that will be on the  www.kcvjmc.org  site as well but listed under "regional events."  It is a VJMC event but is sponsored by Wilson Performance rather than KCVJMC. Bill Wilson is a VJMC member who attends many of our events.  If you ever attend any one of our events, please let us know, we will make you feel welcome.

Mark Bayer President KCVJMC
Kansas/Missouri VJMC Field Representative