Thousands of Harley Riders Parade Through Tyler - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/17/03 - Tyler

Thousands of Harley Riders Parade Through Tyler

Saturday, over six thousand people put on a parade the likes of which Tyler has never seen.

The Harley Owners Group held their statewide rally in Tyler, and the two-wheeled parade drew thousands of onlookers.

"When you're in the middle of the parade, you can actually feel the thunder," rider Carolyn Ericson said. She made the trip up from Gunbarrel City.

"Really the best part of it," said U.S.M.C. Major Richard Hardin of Quantico, Virginia, "I think all the bikers like is to see the kids out there getting all excited and covering their ears up and at the same time getting overwhelmed with the excitement of the engines."

For Chastity Somerville of Lindale, she got to watch her parents in the crowd of Harley riders.

"It was really cool seeing them go by," she said. "I know that they have a lot of fun, and I'm proud of them."

Others showed off their Harleys at the bike show, and got the chance to meet old friends and make new ones.

"If you dropped your bike," explained Hardin, "You'd have a crowd of people coming over to help you pick it up. If they saw anybody over on the side of the road, they'd stop and help, no matter who they are."

From many different roads, this weekend they were all the same.

"When you put on the Harley clothes, you're all the same," Rider John Ericson said. "It doesn't matter if you're a lawyer, or a plumber, or a truck driver, you're just a bunch of guys with a common interest."

"It's a lot like being a nudist, I guess," he said, laughing. "All of a sudden everybody is dressed the same."

Reid Kerr (rkerr@kltv.com) reporting.

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