Harley owners take to the Coast Road on their Thunder Run from Ballina to Williams Reserve in Lennox Head.
Harley owners take to the Coast Road on their Thunder Run from Ballina to Williams Reserve in Lennox Head. The Northern Star

Harley riders go the whole hog

FORMER Ballina resident Kathy Thompson got a motorcycle licence without her husband knowing.

"I remember sneaking out of the house to buy my Harley," she said.

But this weekend Mrs Thompson wasn't hiding her passion for the iconic bike.

She proudly joined a record 2200 Harley riders at events in Ballina and Lennox Head for the 18th annual Australian HOG (Harley Owners Group) rally and 25th overall anniversary.

Highlights of the event included a Show and Shine on Saturday, a disco night that evening and a thunder run of bikes along the Coast Road yesterday.

Explaining why some people catch the Harley bug isn't easy according to Mrs Thompson.

"If you have to ask what it feels like to ride one, you'll never know why," she said.

"You just need to do it."

Harley enthusiast Larry Jones travelled from Sydney for the event, and said riding a Harley was all about feeling 'like a rebel and feeling free'.

"Every young boy wants a Harley," he said.

Larry's wife Pam said the flamboyant paint job on his bike reflected her husband's 'outrageous' personality.

Having ridden more than 76,000km on his beloved motorcycle, Mr Jones said the annual HOG rally was a great way to meet other Harley enthusiasts and a great excuse to see Australia with his wife.

"We organise our annual holiday around the HOG rally," he said.

Even riders from New Zealand had shipped their bikes across the Tasman.

HOG event organiser Jolynn Miller believed the record number of riders for the 25th anniversary had much to do with the event being held on the beautiful North Coast.

"It's a great area and the locals have just been wonderful," she said.


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