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1,500 expected at bike night

July 18, 2009|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

WILLIAMSPORT -- "Ridin' buddies" John and Kathie Stone took "a little cruise" from their home in Chevy Chase, Md., on Saturday to check out the second Bike Night celebration in Williamsport.

"Beautiful day, beautiful ride. It was awesome," John Stone said after the couple parked their Harley Davidson motorcycles along Conococheague Street. "Actually, (we) didn't know it was on until we went on line and looked for some good bike rides and saw a little blurb."

The route, especially along U.S. 40, was "awesome," he said.

"That was beautiful just coming through the little towns back through there ... that was great," he said

Kathie Stone said she convinced her husband to start riding shortly after they got married.

"I needed someone to ride with," Kathie Stone said.

"She's gotta watch my back," her husband added.

The Stones were among at least 1,500 riders expected to take part in the festival.

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Bruce Logan, the event organizer, said more than 900 motorcycles turned out last year for an event that was organized in about three months.

"It was a lot bigger than we expected last year," Logan said.

Saturday's events began in the morning with a poker run charity ride for the Abilities Network, which is affiliated with the Epilepsy Foundation of the Chesapeake Region, Logan said.

Live music, motorcycle judging, children's activities and a hog roast by the Williamsport Fire Co. also were offered.

"It's going to be a good night," Logan said. "Everything we take in is for charity."

The March of Dimes, the food bank and a few other Williamsport charities also were beneficiaries, Logan said.

Downtown business owner Desert Rose Harris welcomed the event. She set up canopy-covered seating outside the Desert Rose Café that she and her mother, Beverly Kipe, opened along Conococheague Street in April 2008.

"It was great (last year)," Harris said. "We got a ton of catering orders out of the event from people stopping by and seeing what we had ... from contacts we made that night."

American Heritage Antiques owners Chad and Shannon Lemen had mixed feelings about the event.

"If the charity can benefit from it, I'm all for it," Chad Lemen said. "(But) when you shut down a street like this, it limits your customers coming by your shop."

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