Bainbridge BikeFest draws riders from all over - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Bainbridge BikeFest draws riders from all over

September 13, 2007

Bainbridge --  Bikers from all over the country are rolling in to Bainbridge this week for the 10th annual BikeFest, which raises money for children's charities.

The rally has become a favorite for bikers from near and far. In fact, about 85% who attend are not from the area, and those visitors who come to town have a big impact on Bainbridge's economy.

For the tenth year, Commodore Industrial Park quickly filled up with hundreds, if not thousands of RVS and motorcycles. For many here, its something they look forward to all year long.

"We take vacation," said Biker Wile E.  "I normally work so we take part of our vacation. We get here on Wednesday when it opens and stay until Sunday."

Wile E. is involved in the biker community Daytona and has seen many other motorcycle events. "This one's by far my favorite and the main reason is its all for charity."

"The charities, the children. That's what BikeFest is all about. Its about bringing the people here and raising money for kids," says Cliff Lamb, Promotions Director.

The cost is $30 for the weekend. This year they're hoping for 10,000 to 12,000 people, mostly out-of-towners, so it's a big boost for Bainbridge as well. "We really don't know what the economic impact is, but it is astronomical. We fill up the hotels, the restaurants. It does a lot for the community," lamb said.

And while the place is packed with Harleys,you don't have to be a biker to enjoy the weekend.

"You've got great entertainment. Where can you go for $30 and listen to bands for three nights? It just doesn't happen," Wile E. says.

"Lots of things to do, music, games, biker games. It's all about having a good time and raising money for charity," said Lamb.

A ceremony honoring veterans held in downtown Bainbridge is highlight for many in attendance. "They've got a memorial to all the different soldiers in all the wars, and they have speakers, and music. And it's just a very moving experience," said Wile E.

Bainbridge BikeFest organizers say on just the second day they are already have more people than usual and say it will only grow by the weekend.

This year, the goal is to raise $100,000 for children's charities such as Shriners Children's Hospital and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

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