MIDDLETOWN, CT – There may be only one number attached to Middletown Motorcycle Mania that can be proven accurate; the rest of the stats are merely guesstimates. This year marked the 13th event, held downtown Wednesday night. The rest of the numbers, such as number of bikes, number of people attending and number of volunteers that helped stage it, are but projections because it’s simply too much of a madhouse to keep an accurate count.
A sunny sky and warm temperatures pulled in approximately 6,000-7,000 motorcycles and 15,000-17,000 attendees, said event coordinator Rich Greco, who hedged his estimates by simply saying that “a ton of vendors, a ton of spectators” came to partake the scene. If downtown seemed less congested, it may have been because the 50-plus volunteers did a better job of wrangling and parking riders, and because the vendors seemed more spread out.
“We tried to get more vendors on Main Street,” Greco said, adding that two gates instead of the previous one gate were used to bring bikers onto the main drag. And many riders parked elsewhere. “They’re all over the side streets,” he said.
As always, Middletown Motorcycle Mania was the place to see colorful bikes and their riders as well rare and custom motorcycles.
The showpiece of Middletown Motorcycle Mania may have been the smallest – a wonderfully restored 1958 Lambretta TV175 Series 1 scooter owned by Joe Loguidice of Old Lyme, CT. “It’s been in my family for 35 years,” Loguidice said, reporting that it originally belonged to his grandfather and that it been sitting in a shed in Rocky Hill up until two years ago.
“I started working on it two years ago,” said Loguidice. Parts were sourced from eBay and other Lambretta ownered. He finished the project a little more than a year ago. “I ride it once a weekend just to keep it going. It’s nice down at the beach.
Another model not often seen was a six-cylinder 1982 Honda CBX that was ridden in by David Block of Plymouth, CT. It was actually snagged by is father, Howard Block, about a month ago. “I grew up with old Hondas,” Block said, recalling that he went to the Rhinebeck Grand National Meet in New York about six years ago and saw his first CBX. “Ever since then, I wanted one,” said.
Jeff Zelek of Newington, CT brought his 1974 BMW R 90 S, one of 16 bikes that he owns. “It needed to be ridden,” he replied when asked why he rode the old Beemer. “It’s been raining. Time to get it out. Brought Japanese (bikes) the last two years. Brought German this year.”
One other certainty about Middletown Motorcycle Mania every year is the variety of bikes on display. While the show areas have the rarities and the customs, it’s always possible to spot some gems that are every day riders.
– Story and photos by Bud Wilkinson