Africa Bike Week, the largest free motorcycle rally in Africa, took place from Friday 26 to 29 April in Margate KwaZulu-Natal attracting over 80 000 enthusiasts and visitors. By Nadia Louw.
The 110th Anniversary celebrations kicked off in Milwaukee in August 2012 and over the course of an entire year, millions of fans from 11 countries across six continents are celebrating their shared passion for freedom and the stories that unite them. An estimated 25 000 riders attended the event and the highlight of the weekend was the Mass Ride on Sunday morning. Led by Bill Davidson and the Honourable Madam Mayor Cynthia Mqwebu of the Hibiscus Coast Municipality, 3242 bikes participated in the ride equating to approximately 11km of bikes on the road at the same time.
Bill Davidson said, “It was an amazing experience to visit South Africa and to join our fans in Africa in celebrating Harley-Davidson’s 110th Anniversary. It was a pleasure to meet, speak with and ride alongside Harley-Davidson enthusiasts from Africa. I hope I can come back one day,” concludes Davidson.
Throughout the weekend visitors were entertained with a thrilling array of activities and live entertainment which guaranteed extreme excitement for the whole family. Activities included official Harley-Davidson dealers and exhibition tents, a ride in bike show and VIP lounges and bars.
Those who only dreamed of riding had the opportunity to try out the jumpstart which gives you a feel of riding a Harley without worrying about balance. Visitors also had the opportunity to get to grips with the basics of riding at the Learn to Ride introduction course. Current riders went on free Harley demo rides where they had a choice of any of the Harley model families.
There was also an incredible line-up of live music which included Dilana, Mark Haze, Alter Irving, Spitfire Choir, December Streets, Daai Girl Band and Classic Rock Project, to name a few. DJ Fistaz Mixwell, one of South Africa’s most popular DJs and Harley-Davidson Africa’s first official ambassador ripped the decks on Saturday afternoon.
Through the support of the partners Hibiscus Coast Municipality, UGU Municipality, South Coast Tourism and Carling Black Label, the event provides a trading boom for the local travel trade in Margate. “The Africa Bike Week festival weekend is bigger than December! It represents a massive cash injection into the business which filters all the way down into our communities,” says John Fisher from the Margate Hotel.