Bill Dobbins Photography:


John Steinbeck would never recognize Monterey's Cannery Row on Saturday night during motorcycle race weekend. Where once there were working fish canneries, now there are bars, restaurants and shops. On Saturday night, the curbs are for motorcycle parking only, and there are so many bikes crowded into the area that many are forced to park a number of blocks away. This is an eclectic gathering. While sportbikes are in the majority, every other kind of two-wheel machine you can imagine can be found on the streets, alongside them and jammed into restaurant plazas and courtyards. Unlike a Harley-only event, there is a lot less drinking and no topless babes in evidence at all.

Motorcycle cops are on the street in force, but there seems to be little for them to do. Bike riders in civilian life as well as on duty, they are as interested in watching the passing parade of exotic machines. I spoke to one and asked him if there had been much trouble over the weekend. Not much, he said. A pretty well behaved group, all things considered. There had been, he admitted, a number of noise complaints from loud, after-market pipes. "But we don't hear too many loud piples," he said with a grin. "When they see us they ride by like pussycats."

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