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Harley ready to ride Snowmass

Jill Beathard
Snowmass Sun

It’s going to be a loud weekend in Snowmass.

Hundreds of motorcycles will be rumbling through the area this week as the Harley Owners Group rides into town for its Colorado State Rally.

About 600 people from 18 states are participating in the event, which takes place in different locations around Colorado every year. For Harley riders, state rallies are about bonding with others over a shared love of the bikes, said J.T. Hasley, HOG regional manager of events.

“The camaraderie among Harley riders has always been just tremendous,” Hasley said.

After the Harley Owners Group program was created, Harley-Davidson started running state rallies in the late 1980s, Hasley said. The group is Harley-Davidson’s official riding club, but HOG members plan the rallies, which are pretty flexible.

For example, the Snowmass event has times set aside for rides, and the organizers provide a list of suggested routes, but the members can go where they choose. They also have a skills course set up in Town Park and parties in the evening, including the Thursday-night concert, which with HOG’s help is featuring an opening act and Grand Funk Railroad as its headliner.

Colorado HOG members have been holding rallies since 1993. Last year, the 20th anniversary event was held in Greeley.

“(Members) really take pride in showcasing their state,” Hasley said.

Hasley said his company has surveyed participants to find out what aspects of the event are most important to them. About 76 percent of respondents rated the riding in a given area as their priority, Hasley said.

“When you’re at an event, you want to go out and see the area, whether it’s a museum or a scenic ride,” Hasley said. “That’s what’s really neat about these things is it’s going to take people places they have never been to.”

Another important aspect to HOG members is getting to know other owners, Hasley said. People make friends from across the country, people they often visit or reconnect with at rallies in other states.

“It’s an opportunity for people to get out and enjoy their motorcycles with other riders,” Hasley said. “It’s more about just going out, riding together and making friends.”

There will be 38 state rallies in the U.S. this year. There are approximately 1 million Harley Owners Group members in more than 1,400 chapters throughout the world.

The rally is here June 26 through 28.

jbeathard@snowmasssun.com


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