LONGS, SC (WMBF) - One of the oldest biker groups in the area is trying something new for this coming up Bike Week. The Carolina Knight Riders started the Memorial Day Bikefest 35 years ago and say they are now looking to rebrand the event by promoting unity.
The Knight Riders began their five-hour Unity ride at noon Saturday, making their way across Horry County. They say the objective is to unify the two bike weeks and promote diversity in the biking community. The President of The Carolina Knight Riders says he wants to change the perception of Memorial Day Bikefest, after it's been given a different name in recent years.
"They called it Black Biker's Weekend - it's never been that. There's no such thing." said President Sam Cox.
That's why the group organized a unity ride Saturday to spread the word, and promote diversity.
"Ride what you want. If it's a scooter, ride it. If it's a moped, ride it. It's a Unity Bikefest for everybody. It doesn't matter what race or color you are, it's Unity Bikefest." said Cox.
The Knight Riders organized the first Memorial Day Bikefest 35 years ago, starting in Atlantic Beach. One of the group's founding members says those were simpler times.
"It didn't ever cross my mind that it would get this large, and I tell you what, I have seen a lot of bikers coming in and out." said Paul J. Livingston.
Over the years, group members feel the two bike weeks, Harley Bike Week and Memorial Day Bikefest, have become segregated, and would like to see that change.
"We want to divorce ourselves in people's minds from separating black and white bike week, or Black and Harley Week. We ride Harley's too."
The club also operates as a non-profit organization, giving all donations to families in need. They say the focus of bike fest should stay on the bikes, which is what draws everyone together.
"When it's separated, it didn't work. We want it to be like it was. We want it to stay like it was. Unity from the heart." said Cox.