ALBERT LEA, MN — The weather is in place and that means it is go-time for motorcycles.
In our area the bikes were out in full force this weekend. They have been all over southern Minnesota and into Iowa to see what the area has to offer.
When you hear it you know exactly what it is.
“Motorcycle is a whole community thing. I’ve been riding, personally I’ve been a passenger all my life, but I just bought my first bike and I’ve been riding for about a year and a half,” said Diane Even.
Along with Diane, her husband is pretty new to the world of motorcycles.
“This is the first motorcycle I’ve ever rode, I bought one at the end of last fall, and they’re just fun to ride and getting to meet people that you can ride and do things together, so it’s just really fun traveling,” said David Even.
The Evens made their way from Sauk Rapids to attend the 2013 Minnesota State Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.) Rally, but their drive was short compared to some.
“Kansas, New Mexico, Texas, North Dakota, Illinois, it’s phenomenal,” said Rally Coordinator Tom Klaras.
Those are just some of the 14 states plus Canada that people are coming from to attend the rally.
They are getting guided tours to places like the Spam Museum in Austin, Clear Lake and Cabella’s in Owatonna.
That is a big change from the first one that Klaras attended 20 years ago.
“I’ve watched it grow, I’ve watched the dedication to the motorcycle and to Harley Owners Group blossom,” Klaras said.
This year, the rally came back to where it all began.
“Albert Lea was actually where the first three state rallies were held in 1990, ‘91 and ‘92 and it’s been 20 years and we’re bringing it back home again,” Klaras said.
While some have their plans laid out for the weekend, those like David are just along for the ride.
“I don’t have the foggiest idea of what’s going on. I’m just following and going. There’s so much I don’t know about motorcycles, I’m just trying to take it all in and learn,” David said.
If you want to hear more of that unique Harley sound, Klaras encourages you to come check out the parade Saturday night at 5 p.m. They will be driving around the lakes in Albert Lea before coming back to the Freeborn County Fairgrounds at 5:45 p.m.
Events will start up again Saturday morning at 8 a.m. and closing ceremonies will wrap up around 8:15 p.m. Saturday night.
Next year’s event will take place in the Brainerd lakes area.