Biker group against longer spring rally

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF)- A Myrtle Beach-area biker advocacy group is fired up about plans to extend the spring Harley rally, even threatening to boycott the Myrtle Beach Harley shops.

In an email to members ABATE Coordinator Gary Balcom asked for help to dissuade Myrtle Beach Harley from extending the event, citing concerns over backlash from county leaders.

"Just when things are calming down and bike week's building back up [Myrtle Beach Harley] is kind of throwing a wrench in the gears," said Balcom.

Horry County Council has already threatened to do away with all outdoor permits for the event this year, which Balcom says will ruin the rally.

"You're not giving the people that come in from out of town anywhere to go. It'd be like shutting down all your T-shirt shops and gift shops on the boulevard in Myrtle Beach," he said.

Myrtle Beach Harley announced this week the spring rally would run from May 18-28, spanning 10 days as opposed to the traditional seven.

Balcom says ABATE will vote on a possible boycott at its next meeting in February.

Others bikers say they don't mind the rally's extension.

"Myrtle Beach Harley Davidson in Surfside ought to be able to extend it and get it back to what it used to be," said biker Jay Hartranft.

A spokeswoman for Myrtle Beach Harley tells WMBF News they don't want any trouble with ABATE and they'd be happy to discuss the rally with representatives of the group.

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