Bring on the bikes|Motorcycle parade, block party cap off Bike Week events for Sandusky, but it's not finished

SANDUSKY The engines roared and the tires squealed as thousands of motorcycles rumbled into Sandusky in the Ohio Bike Week pa
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

SANDUSKY

The engines roared and the tires squealed as thousands of motorcycles rumbled into Sandusky in the Ohio Bike Week parade.

At 4:45 p.m. Saturday, bikes of all shapes and sizes began rolling down Columbus Avenue.

Even as temperatures rose many of the bikers were clad in black leather jackets, vests and chaps -- for looks and protection against a fall.

Spectators brought chairs and blankets to claim their parade-watching spots as early as 3 p.m.

Richard Howell, 62, of Sandusky held a bright orange sign reading "Welcome Harley Owners ... Sandusky Loves You!" Howell said the Ohio Bike Week really brings life to Sandusky's downtown.

And the downtown was buzzing with activity all afternoon.

The McGookeys of the 600 block of Columbus Avenue hosted a cookout in their front yard to celebrate the parade.

"We've got the best seat in the house," said Carl McGookey.

The McGookeys have watched the annual parade from their front yard since Bike Week began.

"The sound of the motorcycles is like music at night," said Anne McGookey. "I fall asleep to it."

This year's parade began in Monroeville at Roeder's Harley Davidson at 4 p.m. then continued from U.S. 20 to Ohio 4 and down Columbus Avenue to the Bike Week block party.

Adrian Hamilton, 51, of Sandusky has ridden his Kawasaki 1500 in the parade for the last five years.

"This parade is really outstanding," said Hamilton. "I'm gonna ride next year too!"

The Ohio Bike Week gets bigger every year, attracting more bikers and vendors.

"The biker image is really changing," said Richard Howell.

Sue Parks, 61, of Bellevue came to Ohio Bike Week with her husband, Chuck. Parks was a schoolteacher in Bellevue for 31 years before retiring.

"Now I'm a Harley grandma," she said with a smile.

The smell of bratwurst, smoke and hot rubber flooded the streets of downtown Sandusky as the block party began.