Bikers rumble into Milwaukee
Robert Geiser, for instance, drove to Janesville from the Milwaukee area just so he could drive back to Milwaukee with a group of riders for the Harley-Davidson 105th anniversary celebration.
Friday morning, he gathered with a group of 75 riders who streamed into the Kutter Harley-Davidson/Buell dealership at 3223 N. Pontiac Drive.
Lead riders would take the bikers into Milwaukee and various stops there.
Geiser, 65, Sussex, traveled about an hour to Janesville rather than the 20 minutes from his home into Milwaukee.
“I like to travel in a group once in a while” but doesn’t often get the opportunity, he said.
“Half the fun is riding to the event, especially in a large group,” said Lucy Anderson, events director/advertising manager at Kutter.
Many of the riders who gathered in the parking lot Friday were from outside Wisconsin.
The thrill is the camaraderie, the sound of the bikes, the smells of the countryside and the feel of the wind, they said.
Bobby Strickland, 61, came from South San Francisco, Calif. For him, the journey was more about the ride than the destination. He was looking forward to rumbling into Milwaukee in a group.
Maurice May, 59, and his brother Rex May, 60, left Missouri on Thursday and are staying in a Janesville motel.
“It’s more the open road, the bikers, the scenery and the smells,” Rex May said. “That’s what you miss when you travel by car.
“The bike gives you all that,” he said.
The brothers ride the back roads and avoid the Interstate as much as possible.
Steve Lake, 62, came from Thailand. He stayed in Rockford, Ill., Thursday night and drove to Kutter on Friday morning to ride into Milwaukee.
His reason was not to drive in with a group, something he normally doesn’t enjoy. Rather, he is unfamiliar with Milwaukee.
Mike Carravetta, 54, Janesville, was driving into Milwaukee “just for fun.”
He enjoys the rumble of riding in a group.
“All the bikes—It’s like riding on a rocket ship,” he said with a smile.
Randy Vandiver, 60, Janesville, enjoys the camaraderie and ease of a group ride.
“People kind of open up for a whole lot of bikes,” he said.
It’s a lot more fun than riding in alone, he said.
Some of Friday morning’s group would return to Janesville and their homes or motels, possibly stopping at Kutter’s celebration.
Robert Geiser figures once in Milwaukee he would check out some of the bikes on display and then head home. He said he probably wouldn’t even hang around for some of the big music acts.
But he already would have had his kick for the day: riding into town with his compadres.