Columbia to host Missouri State HOG Rally for first time

Thursday, August 26, 2010 | 4:44 p.m. CDT; updated 10:27 a.m. CDT, Monday, August 30, 2010
Dave Hagler, 60, has never owned a bike that wasn’t a Harley-Davidson. “Everybody that buys a Harley wants to individualize it,” Hagler said. “I put another $5,000 in mine.” His custom seat alone, which is equipped with memory foam and a gel pad, cost $1,000, he said. He rode the “Ghost,” as he calls it, from his hometown of Trenton with his “LOUDR” license plate. “Ghost” was already taken, he said.

COLUMBIA — Columbia hasn’t seen the last of motorcycle enthusiasts yet. But this time, they will be H.O.G.s.

For the first time, the city will host the 2010 Missouri State H.O.G. Rally. From Thursday through Saturday, Harley Owners Group members will be riding through Columbia.

“We hope to drive out, have some fun, spend some money and hopefully enrich the lives of the people in Columbia,” Brad Sabol, rally coordinator, said.

The rally’s arrival has been a long time coming. In October 2008, Reed Hickam, director of the Columbia H.O.G. chapter, approached the Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau for assistance in securing a bid for the Missouri State H.O.G. Rally to come to the city.

In May 2009, Columbia won the bid for the 2010 rally over St. Joseph and Branson, said Cori Day, the convention sales manager at the Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau.

About 700 H.O.G. members have already registered to attend the rally, Sabol said, and 300 to 400 more are expected to register at the rally.

On average, these rallies attract about 1,500 H.O.G. members, Day said.

The rally will bring in an estimated $250,000 to $500,000 for Columbia, Day said, compared to the $6 million brought in by the estimated 15,000 to 25,000 members of the National Bikers Roundup earlier this month, according to a previous Missourian article.

“This is a much smaller event,” Day said. “It’s more concentrated.”

Many of the rally’s events will take place at the Holiday Inn Select and Convention Center. The rally will hold mapped rides, games and workshops on rider training.

Mid America Harley Davidson will host a dealer party for H.O.G. members from 4 to 9 p.m. Thursday at 5704 Freedom Drive with food, a beer garden and music from 2 Buck Drunk.

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