A last-minute $5 million insurance policy that caused headaches for organizers of Saturday's motorcycle show wasn't needed, after all.
The show that attracted several hundred motorcyclists to Downtown Lodi went off without a hitch, according to event organizers, merchants and police. As for whether the organizers broke even financially, well, that's another story.
Sponsored by Lodi Beer Company and Valley Harley-Davidson of Stockton, the event started at the motorcycle store in Stockton, wound through the Delta and ended with a bike show and vendors on School Street.
"The turnout was great. We were very, very pleased," said Chris Ranuio of Valley Harley-Davidson.
City officials had expressed concern, as did members of the Downtown Lodi Business Partnership, when they learned the event would be larger than originally planned. DLBP board members worried that the motorcycles and several blocks of closed streets would keep typical Saturday shoppers away from the businesses.
But at Lodi Cooks on the corner of Pine and School streets, business was better than it has been this summer, employee Lonnie Saechao said Sunday. Riders themselves didn't buy a lot of kitchen utensils, but the event attracted plenty of people who simply wanted to check out the bikes.
"A lot of people walked up and down the streets and went in all the shops," Saechao said.
Police made no arrests and the only time they were called was for a domestic dispute, which may not have even been related to the show, Lodi Police Lt. Chet Somera said.
Several officers worked the event on motorcycles, and they were mostly kept busy answering questions from people who stopped to admire their bikes.
Though several hundred motorcycles came through the Downtown area at some point on Saturday, 225 motorcyclists paid $20 to participate in the run from Valley Harley-Davidson. That $4,500 offset the $4,000 needed for a $5 million insurance policy, but the $20 ticket included a meal, coupons, trophies and a live band.
Most events, such as the Street Faire that closes down most streets in Downtown Lodi, require a $1 million insurance policy that costs about $500. But the city required the larger policy, and also made a few changes.
Organizers had planned to close three blocks of School Street between Elm and Walnut streets, but then it was changed to two blocks. Parts of Walnut Street were closed to allow for more parking.
Walnut Street borders the Post Office and other businesses that aren't open on weekends, so it was the ideal parking area, said Roger Rehmke, owner of Lodi Beer Company. Organizers tried to keep city lots open to the public so shopping wouldn't be affected, he said.
"For a first time event, I'd say it was a success," Rehmke said.
Ranuio said he's already planning for next year's event, though insurance costs will determine where the show is held.