Photo - Dave Burnham
Photo – Dave Burnham

Dave Burnham, Connecticut Cruise News, September/October, 2011

The sound of thunder hit Middletown as it was transformed into a two-wheel Mecca on Wednesday, August 10th. Motorcycle Mania 2011, one of the town’s signature events, filled Main Street with thousands of bikes, bikers and spectators.

Now in its sixth year, the City of Middletown, Middlesex Chamber, Hunter Limousines, Hunter’s Ambulance and the Hunter family presented Motorcycle Mania. The event was dedicated to the memory of Dan Hunter, the vice president of Hunter’s Ambulance and Limousine, who was killed in a motorcycle accident in 2008.

Main Street was closed from the South Green to the corner of Washington Street to allow bikers to park their bikes for public display and the chance to win one of the many awards.

Sponsoring companies included Liberty Bank, Gengras Motorcycles, Haymond Law Firm, Charles Computer Services, Coca-Cola, Home Team Supply, Minuteman Press, ServPro, Fabian Associates, Downtown Business District and Stone Depot. Many of the sponsors set up booths alongside numerous food vendors. Local radio stations played music, while live music was performed at several locations.

The main attraction, though, was more than 4,000 motorcycles lined along both sides of Main Street and in rows down the center of the street.

The atmosphere was extremely friendly as moms, dads, and kids mingled with the bike owners. Bike club members greeted each other like old friends as everyone came together to celebrate all things two wheels.

At the end of the evening, the event raised over $8,000, which will benefit the Middletown youth programs. Previous events have raised money for the Middletown Mentor Program and Middletown Park and Recreation’s youth programs.

“We were nervous about the weather forecast leading up to the show, but the rain never came and we were delighted with the outcome. The attendance of more than 8,000 visitors and thousands of bikes was amazing. Everyone had a great time. We’re already planning next year’s event!” said Middlesex Chamber representative Cathy Duncan.

Among the visitors were mother and daughter Carole Culver and Clara Behnen. Both are members of the Women In The Wind Nutmeg Chapter Motorcycle Club, which was founded to unite female motorcyclists. “This is a great event. We love coming here,” said Culver.

Brenda Martin and members of the Twisted Sisters MC made the trip from Bristol for the evening. “We enjoyed the ride to Middletown and are glad to support such a great charitable cause. Twisted Sisters also hold events to support the Prudence Crandall Center in New Britain,” said Martin, the President and Founder of the club.

At the end of the evening, Middletown resident Tony Schiavone, owner of Vindicator Cycles in Cromwell, won the “Best Home Team Motorcycle” presented by Home Team Supply for his beautifully airbrushed Harley Davidson. Rich Greco and Norm LeBlanc, co-chairmen of the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce Motorcycle Mania committee, announced the award winners.

“Big thanks to the City of Middletown and its Public Works, Police, and Fire departments for giving us the event-day support that we needed to make Motorcycle Mania 2011 such a great success,” said Chamber president Larry McHugh.

Photo - Dave Burnham
Photo – Dave Burnham