Thursday, August 26, 2010 | 10:46 p.m. CDT;
updated 10:26 a.m. CDT, Monday, August 30, 2010
COLUMBIA — For the first time, the city will host the 2010 Missouri State H.O.G. Rally from Thursday to Saturday.
About 700 Harley Owners Group members have already registered to attend the rally, Brad Sabol, rally coordinator, said, and 300 to 400 more are expected to register at the rally.
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.
Steve Kleinhans, 42, owner of Liquid Illusions, started riding dirt bikes at age 12. His passion for art and design became his career when he opened his custom paint and fabrication company in 1999. “I do custom paint on everything from bikes to boats,” said Williams, who is the shop’s only employee. “It’s my bread and butter.”
Darren Williams, 42, owner and editor of Full Throttle magazine, a motorcycle enthusiast publication, has been riding for 28 years. A St. Louis native, Kleinhans has been running the magazine for five years. “When the economy hit, the bikers rallied around us,” Kleinhans said. “You can’t beat that.”
Joe Banks, 72, rode to Columbia from Princeton. “I’ve rode my whole life,” said Banks, who started out riding dirt bikes. He now owns a variety of classic bikes that he rode when he was younger, which he enters in various competitions.
Christina Osamtowski, 16, and her mother Tami Osamtowski rode 420 miles from Columbus, Neb. Christina began riding on the back of her mom's bike when she was 6 years old and has had her motorcycle license for less than a year. She was the youngest biker at the last two bike rallies that they attended.
Henry Barchet, 56, stands beside his wife, Debbie, 55, with his custom Harley-Davidson. They came to Columbia from Waterloo, Ill. “You immediately strike up friendships here because you have something in common,” Henry said. “You ride a Harley.” He and his wife have met bikers from Belgium and France in the past. Henry, who has been riding since the 1960s, is more than the "official biker bingo caller" for the 2010 Missouri State H.O.G. Rally; he’s also the 2011 Make a Wish, “Ride for Wishes” chair. “We do a lot of good,” Henry said. “We do things for kids and veterans.”