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Lake of the Ozarks Bikefest 2012 – Osage Beach, Missouri

Written by  October 1, 2012

More than 15,000 bikers attended this year’s Lake of the Ozarks Bikefest, which should be considered a testament to the fortitude of the Midwest biker. It takes more than rainy skies and cool temperatures to dampen their spirits.


The Lake of the Ozarks Bike Rally is the largest bike rally in Missouri, and 2012 marked its 6th year. Attendance was down quite a bit considering the untimely cool temperatures and rain, but the enthusiasm was not. This area has some of the most scenic rides in the Midwest, with beautiful lake vistas and the curvy, hilly roads for hundreds of miles.

The Lake of the Ozarks Bikefest is unique in that it is quite spread out – organizers recommend three separate ride routes that show off the wonders of the lake area. As one of the longest lakes in the country, the Lake of the Ozarks claims to have more shoreline than either coast of the United States. This year’s ride maps included an 84-mile, an 88-mile, and a 115-mile run.

The lake community welcomes the bikers with more than 200 biker-friendly bars and restaurants, and plenty of hotels, campgrounds, and entertainment options. This year’s Bikefest boasted almost non-stop live music, good food, and lots of bar and restaurant specials. The “Passport” program encourages the bikers to keep moving, with events, vendors and specials all along the route.

Osage Beach, Missouri is equal distance from both Kansas City and St. Louis (170 miles), and this was evident by the variety of motorcycles and bikers hailing from both those areas. This year’s attendees from those cities found that a three-hour trip in the rain was well worth it. The presence of license plates and people from all over the Midwest proves that it’s not only Missourians who appreciate the lake area’s hospitality and charms. This rally will continue to grow and become a real destination event for years to come.

By Bruce Stimpson with Stimpson Photography.