Wednesday, May 15, 2013
With Chamber of Commerce-type weather expected for the next few days, more bikers than in recent years are expected along the Grand Strand for the spring Harley-Davidson Bike Rally.
While the bikers have been riding into the area for the past few days, the main convergence is expected to begin today.
While the bulk of the biker activity takes place in Horry County, the northern tip of Georgetown County — and the downtown Georgetown area — are full of bikers.
And to keep problems to a minimum, the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office has beefed up patrols, although they are not quite as visible as in years past when Sheriff Lane Cribb set up a big tent that served as a command post.
His office would also serve food to all the law enforcement and other emergency workers during the festival.
Cribb said in searching for ways to save money, he decided the tent and free food will not take place this year.
But, the attention his department is giving to the rally has not diminished, he said.
“Our main goal is to make sure everyone is safe,” Cribb said. “It’s mostly just large crowds and crowd control we have to deal with. There are not usually many problems.”
Cribb said at least five additional officers will be assigned to the Murrells Inlet area during the rally.
He encourages all motorists to be on the lookout for motorcycles no matter where they are along the Grand Strand.
“It’s easy to miss one coming down the road,” he said.
“I just hope the bikers don’t decide to drink and ride. There is not usually much of that,” Cribb said.
Something new being tried this year is the promotion of a biker “loop” that takes the cyclists through Horry and Georgetown counties.
The “Cruising the Loop” begins at the Myrtle Beach Speedway and takes bikers down Highway 501 to Highway 701 to Georgetown and then north on Highway 17 back to Murrells Inlet and then back into Horry County.
Georgetown Police Capt. Nelson Brown said additional officers will be on the streets during the rally.
The Harley-Davidson bike rally is scheduled to continue through Sunday.
By Scott Harper
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