At the end of August, thousands of Harley riders from all over the world will rumble towards the star on their map over Milwaukee. According to Harley-Davidson’s Bob Klein, motorcyclists will arrive from all corners of the world to celebrate the company’s 105th anniversary, Aug. 18-21.
"Many riders come from Europe, Japan, Australia and Canada," says Klein. "We’ll have representation from many other international countries, too."
Klein says a fair share of riders come from Mexico, other parts of Central America and South America. "We know of one person riding a vintage Harley from Brazil," says Klein.
Most riders who attend the 105th, however, are within a day’s ride from Milwaukee. Klein says Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Iowa and Missouri supply a large portion of the anniversary attendees.
More than 40,000 riders are expected to attend the anniversary bash. One of these riders is Mike Darius, a self-employed carpenter who plans to ride his Sportster to Milwaukee from Columbus, Ohio.
"I’m certainly not close to being one of the guys coming the furthest, but it’s still going to feel like a pilgrimage," says Darius, who plans to make the trip alone.
"My wife couldn’t get enough time off from work, but I’m still going to go," he says. "I’m sacrificing my real family for the Harley family. My wife’s not thrilled about this, but I didn’t make it to the 100th. I gotta do it."
For riders who don’t have a group ride planned, but would like to meet up with other Harley enthusiasts on their way to Brew City, the Harley-Davidson Web site has a section called "The Ride Home," a ride planner that provides all of the designated routes. It also allows riders to create their own route by entering in their zip code to a trip calculator.
The new H-D ride planner provides directions, hotel information, dealer locations and events happening along the way. Also, the planner offers a special feature to track Shell gas stations on the route.
Harley-Davidson recognizes 105 starting points and 25 official group rides all over the country. Some of these meeting spots include Seattle, a large ride departing on Aug. 18. On the other side of the map, dozens or more riders will leave from Bangor, Maine, on Aug. 18 for a week-long cruise that ends in Milwaukee.
Other rides include a nine-day ride that starts in McAllen, Texas, a nine-day ride leaving from San Francisco, Calif., and a week-plus ride leaving from Mobile, Ala.
"We look forward to a great international and regional presence," says Klein.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.