Margate bears witness to record crowd for annual Africa Bike Week

2014-05-05 00:00

THE SIXTH annual Africa Bike Week has been touted as a record, after an estimated 25 000 roared through the streets of KZN’s South Coast.

Hosted by Harley Davidson Africa, the event — which ran from Workers’ Day and ended yesterday — booked out all available accommodation in Margate.

Harley Davidson Africa marketing manager Michael Carney said while the official numbers had yet to be tallied, the free event “felt much busier” than previous years with the public holidays having played a part.

“On Thursday the nearby tolls clocked 100 motorcycles every hour. Margate is a great town to host such an event which would not be possible without the support of the Hibiscus Coast Local Municipality, the Ugu District Municipality or the South Coast tourism association,” said Carney.

In 2013, over 25 000 people attended the Africa Bike Week.

Yesterday, over 3 000 bikers took part in the mass ride led by Hibiscus Coast mayor Cynthia Maqwebu and Harley Davidson senior vice president Mark-Hans Richer. The 34 km ride began on the Shelly Centre rooftop and wound along the coastal roads to Margate.

“Richer flew in from the U.S. and rode from Johannesburg through Swaziland to Margate with a group of Japanese journalists,” said Carney.

The weekend event consisted of fashion shows, live music and loads of bike fanatic activities such as test rides, a riding academy and demonstrations.

“This was a family festival and it was free because we wanted everyone and any­one to come and join in. From feedback we have learnt that all accommodation was booked out. This is great for the event, local business and the South Coast economy. We chose Margate because it has a history of hosting large corporate events,” said Carney.

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