LAKE PERRY More than 200 motorcycle enthusiasts gathered here Friday and Saturday for Cabin Fever 2000, a rally at Paradise Point.
"I'm showing my scooter, drinking beer and having a big time," said Dale Beurman, an Oskaloosa man. He brought his 1978 Harley Davidson, a "custom hard-tail chopper" with bright orange flames painted on the gas tank -- flames being a popular decorating motif, apparently, for area bikers.
Beurman's wife, Debra, said the couple spend a lot of time maintaining the motorcycle, but it's worth it.
"When we go someplace, people look at it," she said. "That's the great thing -- people look at it, they stop and they talk to you. It's a conversation piece."
The best thing about the rally, she said, was "being around other bikers, not caring what other people think about you."
The rally was sponsored by American Bikers Aimed Toward Education, or ABATE. Money from tickets, contests and a silent auction were to go to the organization's motorcycle safety and public awareness activities, as well as to area charities.
Events included two bands, a hog roast, poker run, pancake feed, bike show and an after-party breakfast.
The rally is fun, said Steve Schultz, but fund-raising helps combat negative perceptions of bikers.
"We're trying to get away from the movie stereotype," he said. "We've got the white collars -- doctors and attorneys -- and when they come out riding with us, it helps people know we're not all long-hairs, beards and dirty vests."
That's not to say there weren't plenty of those things on hand -- there were leather and tattoo booths set up at the rally, and bikers could be seen admiring each other's "tats."
"Harley isn't a motorcycle," Dale Beurman said. "It's a way of life."