S.C. motorcycle rally attracts N.C. residents

Motorcycle clubs and vendors from the Triangle and the Triad were on hand for the /*Memorial Day*/ weekend annual bike rally that takes place in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

The /*Atlantic Beach*/ rally, which follows the Harley Davidson-inspired /*Myrtle Beach Bike Week*/, attracts mostly sportbike riders but is open to anyone.

The Atlantic Beach rally got its name form the Carolina Knight Riders motorcycle club. Founded in 1980, the rally was originally held in Atlantic Beach, which is located between North Myrtle and Myrtle beachs.

Over the years, the festival grew beyond Atlantic beach, eventually stretching all the way down to Ocean Blvd, a main strip in Myrtle Beach. This year marked it's 28th year, running from Friday, May 23 - Monday May 26.

At the 2008 rally, attendees enjoyed a number of planned activities hosted at Atlantic Beach, the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, and Red Line Powersports.

/*Jason Britton*/ filmed an episode of his show, "SuperBikes," which airs on Speed TV. He and his team, /*No Limit*/, performed numerous stunt shows during the weekend.

According to The Sun News, Atlantic Beach officials say more people attended this year's rally than last year or the year before. Authorities say they also saw an increase in children and families during the Memorial Day weekend.

The bike fest did not kickoff without past issues being revisited. Thursday, May 22, the NAACP held a town hall meeting announcing it would be monitoring the treatment of attendees at the Atlantic Beach rally in comparison to the treatment of the Myrtle Beach Bike Week.

The Atlantic Beach bikefest, which follows Myrtle Beach Bike Week, traditionally attracts more African-American motorcyclists who ride sport bikes. The Myrtle Beach Bike Week is geared towards Harley Davidson riders and those who own cruiser and touring-type bikes.

The /*NAACP*/ contends that attendees do not get the same treatment from business owners during their respective rallies.

According to the NAACP, in 2006, it concluded a series of settlements of discrimination lawsuits that grew out of complaints by African-American tourists who attended Atlantic Beach festivities between 1999 and 2003.

As for numbers, official attendance records have not been released for the Atlantic Beach bikefest and there was only one motorcycle related fatality. A 28-year-old Virginia woman died after a crash on Thursday, May 22. A second fatality was not motorcycle related.

A 20-year-old male was shot to death after an apparent argument over a parking space.

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