ATHENA-WESTON — Trail bike and motorcycle enthusiasts from across the United States are gearing up for their annual pilgrimage to Eastern Oregon for Hodaka Days. While it’s been five decades since Athena’s Pacific Basin Trading Company served as the worldwide distributor of the small, lightweight bikes, love remains strong for the Hodaka brand.
The 50th anniversary event revs up June 23-26. While Athena City Park serves as celebration central, activities take place in and around both Athena and Weston. The festival kicks off June 23, 2 p.m. with the Umatilla County TT and Poker Run starting from Athena Elementary School. According to a press release from Bob Whitman of the Hodaka Club, it’s open to all vintage street-legal bikes up to 250cc. A participant meeting is at 1:30 p.m.
The 50-mile route takes riders through the historic towns of Adams, Helix and Holdman while collecting playing cards. The top five poker hands will receive trophies and prizes. The participation fee is $30/non-members and $25/club members. Advance registration is not required.
Pre-registration ($25/club members, $30/non-members) is required for the Bad Rock Reunion Trail Ride, which is June 24 at 10 a.m. (9:30 a.m. riders’ meeting). The easy 50-mile course departs from the Weston basketball courts.
“This is your chance to ride through some of the backcountry and the actual trails used during the famous Bad Rock ISDT qualifiers of the 1970s,” Whitman said. “This is where Hodaka motorcycles were designed, developed and put to the ultimate test.”
The swap meet and Hodaka Club booth will be open June 24 from noon-4:30 p.m. and June 25 from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. And closing out Friday evening is an ice cream social, 7-9 p.m. at the Gem Theater, 293 E. Main St., Athena. When the restoration project is complete, the historic theater will house the Hodaka Museum.
A full day of activities are planned June 25, including an American Legion pancake breakfast, 6:30-10 a.m. ($8/adults, $6.50/youths) and food and beverage service from Calvert’s Sugar Shack, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Also, they will be open Sunday for breakfast and lunch.
A silent auction and sale runs from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. — bring cash or checks to purchase Hodaka parts and services, tools, riding gear and one-of-a-kind items. The parade gets rolling at 12:30 p.m. (pre-registration, 10-11:30 a.m.; line up at noon) on Athena’s Main Street. And, a bike show runs from 2:30-4:30 p.m. (registration is 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.).
A special celebration of life for Charles “Chuck” Swanson is Saturday, 1:30 p.m., at the park. The former PABATCO general manager and Hodaka legend died Dec. 21, 2021.
A banquet dinner is Saturday, 6:30 p.m., at Athena Elementary School. An awards presentation and special auction follows from 7:30-9 p.m. Dinner tickets, which are $15, must be purchased in advance at the club booth.
The event concludes June 26 with practice and MX racing from 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Diamond Eye Track. Amateurs and experts are welcome. The cost is $25/non-members or $20/members.
For more information, including a full schedule, visit www.hodakadays.org or search www.facebook.com/HodakaClub. To learn more, contact Whitman at 541-954-0101 or email@example.com.
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