With so many events popping up the past few years, it’s important to remember that there are some people who have been doing this sort of thing for decades. Rides like the El Diablo Run, Slab City (RIP), and Gypsy Run are just a few I can think of (I know there are more, but simmer down. I only have so many words I can submit).
Gypsy Run has been happening every September for the past 10 years and is owned and operated by Walter Gemeinhardt of Kickstart Cycles. I would personally describe him as a large teddy bear who sometimes threatens to “crack some skulls if you don’t knock it off” (makes me smile every time I hear him say it). The event gives off a no-frills-plenty-of-thrills kind of vibe that welcomes everyone who feels like escaping into the Catskills for a few days via two wheels. I had gone to the run once before in 2013, and it was actually the first motorcycle event I’ve ever participated in.
I thought it was such a wild idea—hundreds of bikes all going to the same place to camp and hang out. Were people nice? Was I going to make it? Am I prepared? To answer: Yes, yes, and hell no! Everyone was incredibly nice and I made it to each campsite just fine, but holy hell was I not prepared for the cold. However, I survived and the event ended up being one of the most incredible weekends filled with new friends who I’ve stayed in touch with and have ridden with many times in between. To me, this is why these kinds of rides and runs are so great and why I felt the need to be at the last and final Gypsy Run to say goodbye to an event that humbled my ass and taught me some valuable riding lessons in 2013. This event solidified friendships, tested my limits, and created some pretty damn good campfire tales for years to come (most of which are extremely exaggerated over the past three years, which makes them age like a fine wine and just get better).
It was incredible to see more ladies in attendance this year, and even though we didn’t compete in the chopper canoe race, we danced our asses off and felt right at home in the mix of wild and crazy that was Gypsy Run 10. The event ran its course and will not be returning, but I have a feeling Walter isn’t done creating and producing events quite yet. If you are reading this and getting a little bummed out you missed the final Gypsy Run, well, you should be. But there are tons of rides and runs coming up that you can be a part of. Events like these are meant to bring people together from all different walks of life, and even if you go solo, you’ll be surrounded by people you have things in common with, and trust me, they are happy you are there to share the experience and a beer.