93rd running of Laconia Motorcycle Week

LACONIA — Welcome to the 93rd running of Laconia Motorcycle Week, the world's oldest motorcycle rally. The long-term forecast looks great, so, what else do you need to know if it's your first time to Laconia?

 

Where to go

While people who visit Laconia Motorcycle Week will spend time throughout the state, even crossing into Maine or Vermont, the epicenter of activity is Weirs Beach. Lakeside Avenue, and the boardwalk that skirts it, is the place to go to see the greatest concentration of motorcycles in the area. Laconia police will close Lakeside Avenue to four-wheel traffic, and depending on traffic, may also restrict access to the Weirs Bridge, leaving the area accessible to only to motorcycles and pedestrians. The Laconia Roadhouse, which springs up each year in the parking lot of Faro Italian Grill, located across from the intersection of Lakeside Ave and Route 3, hosts hundreds of vendors and entertainment.

Laconia Harley-Davidson, which is actually located in Meredith, also endeavors to host a Motorcycle Week of its own, with vendors, food and entertainment in its parking lot as well as the lot of the neighboring Hart's Turkey Farm.

The New Hampshire Motor Speedway is becoming a third major destination for Motorcycle Week events. The track, in Loudon, will host vintage motorcycle racing with a FIM North America United States Classic Racing Association event on June 11 and 12. From June 13 through 18, the facility will host seven-mile demo rides for the latest products from Harley-Davidson, Can-Am, Yamaha, Ducati, Victory, Indian and Slingshot. More than 26 races will be held June 17-19, and southern rock group Jackyl will perform on Saturday, July 18.

 

Where to park

A multitude of private parking lots in and around The Weirs will be happy to allow you to park your bike or car, for a fee. You shouldn't have to pay more than $5 for motorcycle parking, though parking a car might cost double or even quadruple that price.

Better than searching for a parking lot near Weirs Beach, then walking to the action, is taking the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad. For $15, round-trip, you can park at the Meredith Train Station and ride directly to the Weirs Beach boardwalk. The train runs every hour, from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on July 11 and 12, and from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. June 16-19. Note that there's no train service July 13-15.

The train will also run from Lakeport, near the Elm Street-Union Avenue intersection, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on June 17 and 18.

 

Where to ride

The Lakes Region is an awesome place to ride, due to its plethora of curvy roads with scenic views of lakes and mountains. Head north for the Kancamagus Highway, running from Lincoln to Conway, or the Mount Washington Auto Road. There are many great rides nearby, too. White Oaks Road is a pastoral alternative to Weirs Boulevard. Route 28A in Alton follows the shoreline of Alton Bay. Waukewan Road in Meredith offers great views of Lake Waukewan, and Winona Road (which intersects with Waukewan Road) is a curvy and scenic ride into downtown Ashland.

In fact, it's hard to find a road in the area that isn't either scenic or fun; most are both. Afraid of getting lost? Join one of the many group rides offered during Motorcycle Week. Most of them also raise funds for worthy causes.

 

How to avoid the congestion

With the concentration of Motorcycle Week activities contained to Weirs Beach and the stretch of Route 3 in front of Laconia Harley-Davidson in Meredith, savvy locals know how to bypass these areas if they don't want to get stuck. If heading from Gilford to Meredith, take Route 11 to Union Avenue in Laconia, then take a right on Elm Street, then another right on Parade Road/Route 106. Right after crossing the town line in Meredith, take another left on to Pease Road, which will come to a stoplight at Route 104. Take a right onto Route 104, then a quick left onto Waukewan Street, which will take you right into downtown Meredith, having skipped both the Weirs and the Laconia Harley-Davidson congestion.

 

For scrapes and tears

If you're in need of emergency care, there are hospitals in Laconia (Lakes Region General), Plymouth (Speare Memorial) and Wolfeboro (Huggis). But, if you're ailment isn't of the emergency variety, you can access the walk-in care at LRGHealthcare clinics operated in the Hillside Medical Park, on Maple Street in Gilford, and on the third floor of Laconia Clinic, on Main Street. Hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the week, 8 to 5 on the weekend. For more information, call 603-527-2896.

If it's just your jacket or boot that needs mending, Daub's Cobbler Shop, on Canal Street in downtown Laconia, offers leather repair services. He'll also be happy to sew a patch onto your jacket.

 

Hungry, thirsty?

For breakfast, try Donna Jean's Diner near the Weirs Traffic Circle, Nothin' Fancy on Weirs Boulevard, or Kitchen Cravings on Route 11 in Gilford. For lunch and dinner, Ellacoya Barn and Grill in Gilford serves rustic American cuisine, The Holy Grail in downtown Laconia has the most impressive list of beers on tap, Patrick's Pub and Eatery is the place to go for dinner and entertainment, The Naswa on Weirs Boulevard has both a beach bar and fine dining at Blue Bistro, and the Shang Hai, on South Main Street, is the locals' favorite for Chinese buffet. There's also the China Bistro, which for years has been advertising, without a stitch of irony, that it serves the "Best Crab Rangoons in the Country." We'll let you be the judge.

 

For information about daily events associated with Laconia Motorcycle Week, visit laconiamcweek.com.

 

Man admits he was intruder in woman's Emerald Stret home, will serve 2 to 4

LACONIA — A former Union Avenue man has pleaded guilty to burglarizing an occupied home on Emerald Street on Aug. 23, 2015.

Kevin Gobiel, 21, whose last known address was 322 Union Ave. #2, has been sentenced to serve two to four years in the New Hampshire State Prison for men. He is credited with 35 days of pre-trial incarceration.

The case against his alleged co-defendent, Michael Regan, who police say was arrested with him shortly after the burglary, continues to trial. His jury selection date is Aug. 1.

According to police at the time, the woman woke to find two men in her house and called 911.

The first responding officer said he heard sounds coming from a heavily wooded area about 300 feet from the victim's house. He said he got out of his cruiser and yelled that he was a Laconia Police Officer with a K-9 and ordered who ever it was to come out of the woods. Gobiel came from the woods with his hands up.

Gobiel initially told police he was walking along the street and jumped into the woods when he heard the police coming because he had drugs on him. Affidavits from the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia District said police found a back pack and one white shoe but Gobiel said they weren't his.

Regan was found in the mud by a State Police Officer and a K-9. At the time police said he was wearing one black and one white shoe. He said the back pack was his.

Tilton-store robbery suspect on the run

TILTON — Law enforcement agencies are continuing to search the man suspected of robbing the Tilton Shop Express on Laconia Road at gunpoint around 7:30 p.m. on Thursday evening after recovering his getaway vehicle at a Concord hotel later than same night.

After pursuing an investigation through Thursday night and into Friday morning, Tilton Police obtained an arrest warrant for Ryan Cheney, 40, of Laconia, believed to be the man captured by surveillance cameras, dressed in black clothing and wearing a black baseball cap, leveling a handgun at the store clerk and demanding the cash in the register.

The suspect fled in a 2001 red Ford Expedition, which Tilton Police Chief Bob Cormier said was found to be registered his son. Cormier said that a Concord police officer spotted the vehicle parked at the Residence Inn on Hall Street around 10 p.m. Thursday.

Police from Tilton and Concord, assisted by New Hampshire State Police, established a perimeter around the hotel as well as deployed a Bearcat armored vehicle and K-9 units in mounting a search for Cheney, who was not to be found.

Cormier described Cheney as "definitely a dangerous suspect," adding that he had indicated to others that he would resist arrest rather than return to jail. He said he should be considered "armed and dangerous" and not approached. Cheney is a member of the Latin Kings gang, which originated in Chicago in the 1950s and has had a presence in the northeast, including Lawrence and Lowell, Massachusetts.

ON Monday, three days before the robbery in Tilton, Cheney was arrested in Laconia after threatening several individuals with a knife on Church Street. He was charged with two counts of criminal threatening with a deadly weapon along with breach or default of bail. He was released after posting $2,000 cash bail.

Cormier urged anyone with information about the whereabouts of Cheney to contact the Tilton Police Department at 603-286-4442.