Motosota uses biker rally to unite the Northeast – The Minnesota Daily


People from all walks of life came together over the weekend for bike riding, beer, food and music.

Hundreds of people representing all subsets of Minneapolis’ alternative culture came to Bauhaus Brew Labs in the northeast on Saturday, despite the rainy weather, for the sixth annual Motosota Motorcycle Rally.

Hipsters, craft beer enthusiasts, college students and vendors selling everything from vintage bike rally shirts to freshly brewed coffee came to enjoy the industrial architecture, live music and company of strangers.

Going into the event, it looked exactly like one would expect after reading “Minneapolis motorcycle rally”. There were a few dozen bicycles and mopeds in the center of a parking lot surrounded by sellers of leather jackets and boots. The sounds of motorcycle engines, rap music and the chord of country guitars filled the air.

Moto Collective, which organized the festival, wanted the event to be more than just a chance for Minnesota bikers to show off their rides. Moto Collective founder Aleks Nedich said the annual event is a place to show up with a bike or scooter to come relax and people watch.

Nedich said they’ve partnered with the Minneapolis Vintage Market to bring all types of city dwellers together. It was hard to tell if the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally t-shirts of the 90s were bought more by ironic students or sincere veterans of cycling.

One of the most interesting aspects of the event were the barbers and tattoo artists. Tim Rivard, barber at Barbers Above the Gym, said barbers have been attending the event for five years. He said the relationship between barbers and bikers was “copacetic”, a perfect combination of people who liked slick bikes and slick haircuts. The event was a unique way to meet clients outside of his usual jurisdiction, Rivard said. Sure enough, the contestants wore dreadlocks, pink hair dye, and classic pompadours.

The most common theme of the event was products designed for riders but loved by all. This was certainly the case for Zambezi Kitchen, which sold a high-protein snack for bikers on long road trips. Zambezi Kitchen founder and CEO Mwila Kapungulya described it as “beef jerky without the junk food”.

“[Zambezi Kitchen] would have been here four feet deep in the snow,” Kapungulya said. Kapungulya’s resilience sums up the attitude of sellers to bad weather. A vendor selling clothes with mental health awareness messages offered a customer free clothes after a gust of wind spilled coffee on her.

Nedich called the event “the last hurrah”, capping off the summer of bikers and bringing together people of all races, ages and cycling backgrounds. It was just that, a loud and vibrant send-off that left riders with a feeling that could last well into the next bike season.

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