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Dear Readers,

Raleigh held a two-day “Bike Fest” for motorcycles a couple of weeks ago.  Mimi spent a Saturday afternoon taking in the sights and sounds of the fest.  Come along with me on a stroll down Fayetteville Street.

It’s a gloomy, cloudy Saturday.  Rain seems ready to fall any minute; but the weather doesn’t seem to dampen the spirits of the hundreds of bikers assembled on the street.

A couple of rows of fancy motorcycles are lined up on Davie Street ready to be judged for various awards.  One bike is painted orange and white and sports an orange crocodile skin seat.  Vintage Harleys with wide, white sidewall tires that look as though they were cleaned with white shoe polish are parked nearby.

Three rows of bikes, one row on each curb and a row down the middle, fill the entire length of Fayetteville Street.  Bikers are happily chatting with each other and surveying all the highly polished and gleaming machines.  Groups of riders cruise down the street to find available parking areas.  The loud roar of the mufflers alerts pedestrians to move out of the way.

No festival is complete without lots of food and there is something for every taste.  Two dollar PBR’s, pizza slices, funnel cakes and hot dogs are just a few of the culinary delights.  The aroma of $5 smoked turkey legs lures me on but since I’m not carrying any cash, I can’t indulge.

Even God is a part of the event.  One booth has a sign that reads “Jesus Loves Bikers”.  Biker blessings are distributed by another booth.  A friendly woman dressed in a denim vest embroidered with the phrase “Bikers for Christ” greets me.

There seems to be a standard uniform for most of the participants.  I see lots of skinny denim jeans and vests, black leather pants, boots and vests and a variety of colorful “do rags”.  A number of people are wearing sunglasses even on a cloudy day.  The preferred hairdo is silver and gray ponytails and that’s for most of the men!  Merchants are doing a brisk business selling black shirts with an orange Harley Davidson logo on the front.

The sound of music beckons me to a large stage set up on Martin Street.  The featured rock band is playing “Knocking On Heaven’s Door”.  Bleachers are set up for the purpose of relaxation and I make full use of them.  Nothing better than sitting outdoors listening to some mighty fine rock  ‘n roll music.

On the way home, I pass a bicycle stunt show complete with sugar-bowl type ramps, an NRA booth and a sign advertising a lawyer who specializes in motorcycle accidents.

It’s time to head home now but there’s a part of me that would love to ride off into the sunset atop a big ole Harley!  Maybe someday.  In the meantime,

Keep smilin’!

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