High on the Hogs

Bikers salute the U.S. military in spirited Public Square party.

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At 9:30 this morning, Rally for the Troops organizers expect at least 5,000 bikers to shove off en masse from Harley-Davidson shops in Cleveland, Avon, Mentor, Medina, and Bedford Heights to meet on Public Square for the sixth annual tribute to the military. But you don't have to own a chopper to join in. "This is not just for motorcyclists," says organizer John "Kiks" Kikol. "It's simply to show our appreciation to the families that have had loved ones serving our nation."DJ Jim Mantel of 99.5-FM WGAR will emcee the rain-or-shine rally after WKYC-TV 3 health reporter Monica Robins sings the national anthem. An hour later, everybody retreats to a motorcycle shop on the West Side for food, drinks, and music by Eighth Day Sound. And Kikol and crew will collect donations to give to veterans' groups and their families. "They all go out of their way to go into harm's way. Those families' losses don't stop after the media stops covering them," says Kikol. "The rewards that come back to you are immeasurable. When you get a hug from a mom who's lost her son, it's priceless." The rally is from 11 a.m. to noon on Public Square, followed by food and entertainment at Cleveland Harley-Davidson Sales Company, 14450 Lorain Road. Admission is free. Call 440-327-6966 or visit www.motorcycleevents.com.
Sun., April 20, 11 a.m.-noon, 2008
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