The pandemic affected motorcycling in a variety of ways, some negative, some surprising, and some even positive. I'd put the evolution of the annual Progressive IMS Outdoors motorcycle shows in the positive category.
The shows shifted from off-season, mid-winter indoors events featuring static displays of new motorcycles and products to outdoors events that provided thousands of demo rides, featured more activities for children and were more welcoming to new and aspiring riders. That formula continues this year with eight shows in seven states.
The organizers of the shows were already working on reimagining the events when the pandemic hit in 2020, and that just made the change of format necessary instead of desirable.
At the first round of IMS Outdoors events in 2021, more than 35,000 demo rides took place and nearly 1,700 kids rode two-wheel balance bikes and battery-powered bikes, according to the organizers. They added that 44 percent of the attendees were new or prospective riders and the Discover the Ride by IMS program gave more than 1,600 adults and teens their first taste of motorcycling on easy-to-ride Zero electric motorcycles. All of that sounds like a better way to get people exciting about motorcycling than going to sit on a parked motorcycle in an indoor convention center in the middle of a snowstorm.
Tickets for this year's events go on sale March 24. Here's the schedule.
|2022 Progressive IMS shows|
Pingree Grove, Illinois
Uniondale, New York
|Atlanta||TBA||September 30-October 2|
San Mateo County Event Center
San Mateo, California
Westworld of Scottsdale
OC Fair and Event Center
Costa Mesa, California