Organizers prep for 30K more riders at this year’s spring Harley Rally

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) -Local businesses are gearing up for another bike week as the spring Harley Rally begins Friday.

Area businesses expect more bikers hitting the roads and heading to the Grand Strand this year.

Bikers rode in to town Friday morning from all over the country.

“We drove 1,100 miles for our first bike week,” said a rider from Texas that goes by the name Julian.

“Lots of great bikes, lots of great people some cold beer. It’s on,” said another rider from Texas, Brad Bonhomme.

Brad Bonhomme is with a group of 12  riders who came all the way from Dallas  for their first spring rally

“First time in Myrtle Beach, but not my first rally, and I’m having a great time so far,” said Bonhomme.

“Heard about it for years and years and years and finally got to make the trip,” said Julian.

Sheri Gibson of Myrtle Beach Harley Davidson says they’ll be joined by a lot more first time attendees.

“We’re gonna see an increase in numbers of riders, we’re expecting 200,000 maybe a little bit more,” said Sheri Gibson with Myrtle Beach Harley-Davidson.

That’s 30,000 more than last year.

“I think the economy’s better, I think people are enjoying getting out there.  Sales for motorcycles in general are going up, people are coming back to the beach and embracing the lifestyle of riding a Harley Davidson or motorcycle”

Gibson says she’s already seen more bikers rolling in earlier this year.

“we’re seeing a lot more families come out together, a lot more couples riding their own bikes, we’re also seeing a younger demographic getting on motorcycles and enjoying the lifestyle and the camaraderie that comes along with rallies,” said Gibson.

For Bonhomme, that’s just what visiting bike rallies is all about.

“You meet different people, we all share the same thing, we love to ride,” said Bonhomme.

With more bikers out enjoying the open road, Gibson wants everyone to remember to share it.

“Be aware that there are motorcycles everywhere…and look twice be safe, save a life,” said Gibson.

News13 spoke with South Carolina Highway Patrol who say they prepare for larger crowds each year, and are ready for any increase in numbers.

Troopers started picking up  patrols today and will be more visible on the streets for the duration of the rally which runs through next weekend.