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Americade's appeal: escape, friendship, tours

LAKEGEORGE - John and PattiHevern of Pittsford, N.Y. stood in a long line of motorcycle enthusiasts that snaked through hallways at the Lake George Holiday Inn, waiting to register for Americade 2011.

The annual touring motorcycle rally, considered the largest of its kind in the world, began checking in pre-registered participants Monday, June 6.

The parking lot behind the Holiday Inn was a sea of motorcycles, and registrants had to wait up to an hour to get to the check-in tables due to the crowd.

But regardless of the wait, nearly all of the cyclists exhibited smiles, including the Heverns, who were chatting with others in line.

"Nine years ago, we specifically planned our wedding so Americade would be our honeymoon," Patti "P.J." Hevern said. "That's how much this Americade 'family' means to us," she said.

Since that year, the Heverns have developed deep friendships with the other Americaders, and they take interstate trips over the summer months nearly every year with about 20 Americaders from five other states, John Hevern said.

"We wait for this rally all year," he said.

Rally is an escape from routine

Behind the Heverns in line, Jeff and Sharon from Utica, riders in that city's Revelation Riders, a Christian Motorcycle Association chapter, chatted with other waiting bikers. Staying nights in a Warrensburg campground, it was their fourth year to attend the rally, Sharon said.

"Americade is how we spend our vacation - and it means no children for a week, no one to answer to," she said.

Jeff said he was looking forward to the various demonstration rides, with manufacturers offering rides on motorcycle brands he'd ordinarily never get his hands on.

"Also, Americade is incredible because of the sight of so many bikes in one area - it's just amazing, so beautiful," he said.

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