HOG members rumble out of Salisbury
By Sarah Nagem
Del Robideaux, a 52-year-old Fayetteville woman, offered this explanation Saturday about why she has started riding Harley-Davidsons:
“Mid-life crisis,” Robideaux said with a chuckle.
“One of those bucket-list type things you do.”
Robideaux and about two dozen other Harley riders from Fayetteville were among the thousands who descended on Salisbury last week for the annual N.C. State HOG Rally.
The event for the Harley Owners Group attracted nearly 2,000 members and another 3,000 or so enthusiasts, a worker at Tilley Harley-Davidson in Salisbury said.
The event wrapped up Saturday evening with a parade that began in Spencer and made its way to the Tilley store just east of Interstate 85. A celebration followed at the store.
Many riders said their favorite part of the three-day event was going to Lowe’s Motor Speedway.
When participants hopped on their bikes at Tilley Saturday morning, they formed a 10-mile-long chain down the interstate toward Concord, said Lauren Leazer, who works at the Harley store.
Sixty drivers at a time rode their bikes on the speedway.
For Bob Merz of Wilmington, the chance to ride at the speedway was a dream come true.
“We’ve enjoyed this a lot,” Merz said, referring to his girlfriend, Sally Jo Glendenning.
Glendenning said she especially enjoyed the poker runs, where riders go from one stop to the next until they collect five playing cards. At the end, the cards make up a poker hand.
During the runs, riders stopped at local wineries and other spots.
“For me, that’s what I liked best,” Glendenning said.
Riders from at least 25 states and two Canadian provinces came to Salisbury, said Gary Moss, rally coordinator.
The Tilley store featured about 80 vendors and entertainment Saturday night.
“It has been awesome,” Moss said.
Rhonda Norris of Wilmington, who got to the rally Friday afternoon with her husband Greg, said she appreciated how friendly everyone was to her.
Norris said rally volunteers were eager to help people, and everyone was well taken of.
“This was very organized,” Norris said.
She and Greg didn’t venture to last year’s rally in the Outer Banks. But on Friday, they hopped on their bike ó “I’m a professional backwarmer,” Rhonda Norris said ó and rode to Salisbury.
They’re glad they made the trip. Norris loved riding on the speedway.
“Oh my God, that was so much fun,” she said. “I was just squealing when we took off.”