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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
From the Erwin Record:

Rune riders headed to Erwin

By Bryan Stevens -- Staff Writer
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Organizers of a motorcycle rally, first thinking of holding their event in Asheville, N.C., have instead decided to hold the debut of the Honda Rune Rally in Erwin in September.

Tim A. Moore, a resident of Titus, Ala., has organized several other motorcycle rallies. He had narrowed his choice for a Rune Rally location to the Asheville area when he heard from Mike Bishop, the director of marketing for Holiday Inn Express in Erwin.

"He approached me and convinced me Erwin would be a dandy location to hold the event," Moore said. "Mike immediately showed me the fine hospitality of folks in Erwin, and all the great roads to ride and things to do."

Bishop, who learned about plans for the rally on the Internet, said he invited Moore and his wife to visit Erwin. The couple took him up on the offer this past February. "They visited for a weekend," Bishop said. "They fell in love with Unicoi County and scrapped plans to hold the rally in Asheville."

The rally will celebrate a renowned motorcycle. "The Rune is a unique bike for Honda," Moore said.

The Rune, Moore explained, marked the first time a major motorcycle manufacturer had attempted to build a custom or "one- of-a-kind" bike for the general public.

The Rune, he said, combines some retro-like features with some very modern/futuristic design aspects.

Very limited numbers of the Rune were made in 2004 and again in 2005.

"The Rune represents the upper end of the cruiser motorcycle market," Bishop said.

"This will be the first rally ever held for Honda's flagship model, the Honda Rune," Moore said. "As such, it will be the largest gathering in the world of Runes to this date."

Because there are so few Rune bikes, however, Moore said there will not be hundreds of Rune riders descending on Erwin. "Probably be more like 30 to 50 riders," he said.

The rally will still feature the most Runes ever assembled in one place, Moore added.

The event will also feature a variety of vendors, including local sponsor Jim's Cycles as well as RIVCO, Honda Direct Line, Ultimate Machining and Ultimate Seats. "These vendors and dealers are supplying us with prizes to be given away at the event," Moore said.

The rally is scheduled to begin on Friday, Sept. 2, with an informal meal at a local eatery in downtown Erwin.

On Saturday, Sept. 3, a group ride is scheduled, beginning in the morning and leaving from the Holiday Inn Express. Bishop will lead the group ride, which will consist of a 150-mile ride taking in such locations as Carver's Gap on Roan Mountain as well as stops in Burnsville and Hot Springs in North Carolina.

In the afternoon, a catered barbecue meal will be served at the Holiday Inn Express. "We will introduce special guests and award prizes," Moore said. "We will be awarding a prize to the long- distance rider to the event.

"We'll also be giving away prizes for things like the coolest custom license plate."

A Honda Rune Motorcycle, Bishop said, can cost about $30,000. "Folks who own a custom bike like this feel they must have a custom license plate, too, which makes some kind of statement," Moore explained.

On Sunday, Sept. 4, riders can take individual rides in the area. Bishop will offer suggested destinations, including Elizabethton, Greeneville, Tusculum and Jonesborough. "I want to give them a feel for the historical significance of the area," he said. The Holiday Inn Express will also host an evening cookout on Sunday for those attending the rally.

Bishop noted that more than 20 rooms have already been booked in a block of 30 reserved for the event. Those making reservations, Bishop said, hail from as far as New York, Florida and Washington. The rally will also draw international participation with individuals expected to attend from Canada and New Zealand.

Some Rune riders also hail from the region.

Lamont Byden, who serves as the site administrator for the official Rune Riders Web site, lives in Mosheim in Greene County.

"Our main focus is to bring people into the area and boost the local tax base," Bishop said. "I am very excited about this event." Bishop said he is hopeful the Rune Motorcycle Rally could grow into an annual event based in Erwin.

For more information about the event, visit

See you there late, late Friday night.


48 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Sorry Tim. Thought I was breaking the story. I've been busy with sooo many other things that I am just now able to allow myself to start getting excited and organized about the rally. I haven't read through all of the posts yet. I'm sure I'll learn a lot of interesting stuff.

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