Harley owners unite for camaraderie and fun

Josh
Josh Pennell
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Convention co-ordinators Roger Butt (left) and Dan Adams (right) chat next to Adams’ 2000 Harley Davidson Rinehart custom racing motorcycle on the parking lot of the Holiday Inn in St. John’s Friday prior to the bikers heading out on a recreational riding tour around Conception Bay and back to St. John’s. — Photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

If you’re an owner of a Harley Davidson, you’re in the right spot this weekend. The 21st regional Harley Owners Group (HOG) Rally is being held this weekend in

St. John’s.

Roger Butt, Harley enthusiast and co-ordinator of the rally, says numbers are down from their last rally, but that doesn’t have anybody’s spirits taking the bypass.

“I think it’s just to do with the way the economy is. People tend to base this around vacations,” says Butt.

This province can also provide its own challenges when it comes to the weather, but as of Friday morning there were still more than 300 people registered, with ample time left for that number to rise.

“Some people like sunshine and don’t like rain and, of course, some people just wanna ride,” Butt says.

One individual who obviously wants to ride is a man who’s come all the way from Australia.

“He’s what we call our furthest distance rider,” Butt says, adding that the biker shipped his ride to Las Vegas and rode up from there.

“I guess you would call him an enthusiast who just likes to ride.”

The Harley Owners Group is worldwide and is all about bringing people together for organized rides and meeting other Harley enthusiasts.

“It’s the whole idea of organizing rides and having fun,” says Butt.

Motorcycles have been getting something of an unwarranted bad rap in the capital city recently. There have been municipal complaints about sound laws and reports of organized crime entering the province via motorcycle gangs.

Butt is quick to point out that they’re not affiliated with any other motorcycle organization.

“It’s not all about gangs and stuff like that,” he says. “Everybody is open to their own opinion with regards to motorcycles. Most of the people you see here today are professional people.”

If anybody has any doubts about this gathering being about having fun, consider the field events that took place Friday afternoon at Jack Byrne Arena. One event has the name of “Bite the wiener.”

“We have a pole system out in place and a wiener on a string. The rider and a passenger will ride underneath and the passenger has to bite the wiener from the string,” Butt says.

Whoever bites the biggest piece wins the prize.

“So it’s all about awards and stuff like that and having fun,” he says.

josh.pennell@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Harley Owners Group, Harley Davidson

Geographic location: Australia, Las Vegas

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