Catskill Mountain Thunder

East Durham NY
September 13th – 17th, 2017
Story & Photos by Bob Stegmaier

This was the 20th year for this annual motorcycle celebration which was attended by hundreds of bikers and bike enthusiasts. When this event first started in the 1990’s, there were about 100 bikers the first year. This year the weather was great for all 5 days, which made for amazing riding in this beautiful mountain upstate NY region.

The owners of the Blackthorne (Irish walking stick) Resort – Dale, his brother, Rob and his wife Patty, under the watchful eyes of their father, Bob Handel continued the long standing tradition of putting on a great event with lots of activities and great bands. The motel’s 174 rooms (in 14 buildings) were sold out and over 200 attendees were communing with nature in the camping area with tents and campers. The 192 acres of campgrounds is complete with clean showers, bathrooms and laundry facilities. The resort served up hearty breakfast and dinners with some tasty desserts.  Several other area motels were also full with attendees.

The festivities started off on Wednesday evening with a Mystery Bus Ride Pub Crawl to several of the area’s taverns. Ending up at the Blackthorne resorts main bar with Guilty Pleasure performing some good dance music. The vendor field gates opened on Thursday at 3 pm with dozens of vendors displaying their wares, followed by free food and beer at 6 pm under the biker build-off pavilion. Playback rocked the main bar that night. Under a bright sunny sky, the Friday 9 am breakfast run took off with over 100 bikers enjoying a beautiful 2 hour scenic ride through the back roads of the Catskill Mountain area. Throughout the day on Friday and Saturday, there were Wall of Death performances by Rhett Rotten on vintage bikes, stunt shows by Shawn Connors Design with Justin Hicks and Kenny Haskill jumping 75 feet between 2 ramps and reaching heights of 45 feet. Master bike builder, Ron Finch held a meet & greet, posing for photos and kicking for all his longtime supporters and fans.

New to this year’s event were the Urias Family Globe of Death shows. The family started doing these super stunts in a steel ball back in Brazil dating back to their grandfather in 1902. Today Olga, Erwin and Melvin perform on modified Yamaha 150 cc bikes going around the inside of the 16 ft ball pulling 3 to 5 G’s – ouch!! The Friday night music was provided by Quiet Riot on the concert stage and Razorbacks and Bullzeye in the main bar for lots of dancing. Saturday was another great sunny day and perfect for the bike games orchestrated by Dick Cartier, from Laconia NH.  He also organized a great bike build-off contest that was won by Steven Bulkey, C & S Customs placing second, Area 51 coming in third.  All of the bikes started and drove through the downstairs bar to the main awards stage on Saturday night. Also that night was a fireworks display, Aerial Burnouts, body painting, fire eating performances, spaghetti wrestling and great performances by Moonshine Junkies and Back in Black.  Sunday was the best bike contest and a tattoo contest, both events with lots of categories and lots of trophies awarded! As always the grand finale meal was the famous and fabulous pig roast.  I personally enjoyed, the POW/MIA ceremony, it was a very moving and emotional presentation.

Be sure to check the web site – – for next year’s dates usually the 2nd  weekend after labor day –  for next year’s CMT event.  Also learn about other on site yearly activities to attend: concerts, dirt bike races, etc.  To see lots more of this year’s photos – please go to www.SilverFoxStudios.US  and look in the client events tab – CMT 2017.  Ride Safe!