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Feb 29, 2016

A Bike Rally Through the Streets of Belize City

Belize City was invaded by international bikers on Saturday. The revving of the engines and the energy of the riders was felt through the principal streets of the City. Actually, the third “Meet in the Middle” event started on Thursday but it is the parade on Saturday that was a huge attraction for city folks. And by far, the Harley Davidson, stood out as the hottest item in the pack.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

A scream of motorcycles, ridden by bikers from as far north as Canada and as deep south as Nicaragua, proceeded through the streets of Belize City on Saturday.  The rumble which included a number of popular brands, drew the attention of many bike enthusiasts, particularly children.

 

Carlos Ysaguirre, Bike Enthusiast

Carlos Ysaguirre

“It’s amazing when you get together and you meet new people.  It’s like making friends and I like that.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Do you have any particular bike on this lot that you’re into?”

 

Carlos Ysaguirre

“I’m mostly into Harleys.”

 

Arguably the most sought after feature in the annual bike rally is the Harley Davidson.  With a myriad classic models and limited editions, including those that are no longer being manufactured, this slice of Americana is easily the biggest draw.

 

Rolando Sedd

Rolando Sedd, Guatemalan Biker

“This is a heavy touch spring, as you see, they don’t have shocks, they have springs and that’s what makes the bike a beauty because it’s a classic model, you know.  There are more than a hundred models in Harley Davidson but this

is my girl.”

 

Rolando Sedd, a retired mechanical engineer, has made the ride from neighboring Guatemala.

 

Rolando Sedd

“Let me tell you that this is my third time coming to the rally.  I have good friends around here so it’s a beautiful place to rest.  I have been twice here to the Lobster Festival in Placencia.  So for me it’s beautiful coming to Belize but, you know, I don’t know what they did with the publicity because it’s a lot of people from Mexico.  More than five hundred.”

 

Indeed, this was Chopper City for bikers from Mexico.  Several clubs headed south of the border to celebrate bikes, beers and rock and roll.

 

Charles Vernon, Belizean Biker

Charles Vernon

“For about four years or so we’ve been riding out into other rallies in Mexico and Guatemala and from there we started meeting people and they keep asking us, they want to come to Belize, they want to have fun.  So they started the first rally three years ago, this is the third one, you know, and we just spread it on Facebook and from there it just took off.  We have people coming in, well in the first year we had people all the way down from Panama and from California.  The second year we had all the way from Canada and it’s the same thing every year, you just come enjoy the ride, come and enjoy Belize.  Everybody loves Belize because of the friendship, you know, the Belizean way, having fun and greeting people with all smiles, you know.”

 

Charles Vernon is from a local chapter.  A long time biker, his knowledge of almost everything on this lot is astounding.

 

Charles Vernon

 “The reason why I’m showing you this bike is because it’s fully custom and it’s ridden by a guy that’s about this high so when he sits on this bike he’s all the way up here and for some reason he goes far with it.  He’s from Cancun, he’s a friend of ours; however, this bike is really radically customized.  For the extremely tall apes, as they call them ape hangers.  Why they call it ape hangers because you ride around looking like a monkey, right.  And one particular special feature about this bike is this. This is the gear shifter, you don’t use your foot.  They removed the clutch from up here and they put the clutch there like a car and you shift it with your hand here.  So they call it, instead of shifting with your foot, you shift with your hand.  In doing that they call it a suicide shift.  It sounds weird and stuff like that but it’s because whenever you shift the gear you have to take one hand off the handlebar to shift the gear.  So if you’re in a particular position and you want to slow down real hard, you only have one hand on the steering which makes you a little unstable.”

 

And that camaraderie isn’t limited to only biker boys, their ol’ ladies are also very much in on the action.

 

Dori Sergeant, Belizean Biker

Dori Sergeant

“It’s just a great meeting place and as a biker group we’re a family.  So it’s nice, it’s kind of a big reunion. The first night was great, I had a super nice time, there was lots of energy and, you know, everybody’s coming together so you get to see everybody all over again and it was just a great party.  We had a great time.”

 

Isani Cayetano reporting for News Five.

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