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Archive for Monday, September 4, 1995

BIKERS RALLY AT PERRY LAKE

September 4, 1995

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— About 1,900 bikers attended the 20th annual ABATE Labor Day weekend rally at Perry Lake.

Don't tell Trisha Martin that bikers mean trouble.

The 34-year-old mother of four might ask you to take part in a rally before passing judgment on her peers.

"Once you've tried it, you'll really get into it," she said. "We're just everyday people. We're mothers, we're doctors.

"We're everywhere."

Martin, a certified motorcycle instructor and board member of the state's ABATE motorcycle organization, was one of about 1,900 biking enthusiasts who gathered here for the group's 20th annual Labor Day weekend rally.

ABATE first met at the Paradise Point area on the lake's northern side two decades ago to raise awareness of motorcycle laws and form pro-motorcycle state organizations.

The acronym initially stood for "A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments," but it was changed about 12 years ago to "American Bikers Aimed Toward Education," said organizer Jacque Sue.

Since its first rally, the group has met here each Labor Day weekend, with some members coming from as far away as Washington, Pennsylvania and Georgia.

As part of the event, participants camp out, take group rides and compete in various motorcycle games and contests. Rally fashion includes lots of leather, bandanas, black T-shirts and bikinis.

Eight bands and several vendors offering food, flags, clothes, jewelry and tattoos also participate.

"I didn't get on a motorcycle until I was 45; my mom wouldn't let me," said Sue, a 59-year-old hospice worker from Garden City.

"Now I can't stop," she said.

A 48-year-old man from Denver who identified himself only as Moose said, "I just like the gathering ... it's a nice time for everybody."

Al Kimber, a tattoo artist from Kansas City, Kan., said, "I wouldn't keep coming back for the last 14 years if it wasn't something that meant a lot to me."

Phil Pfortmiller, a carpenter from Stuttgart, said rallies like the Labor Day gathering at Perry Lake are just part of many activities that bikers favor.

"We do a lot of rides for charity," he said. "It's a lot more than wet T-shirt contests."

The event runs through today.

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