If you’ve been following the Street Bob journal you’ll know that I’m gearing up to ride 1,000 miles to Prague in a few days. I won’t be the only one; some 100,000 people are expected to turn up for a four-day celebration of Harley-Davidson’s 115th anniversary.
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Harley-Davidson, of course traces its history back to 1903 (though, as Lemmy of Common Tread has pointed out it hasn’t always picked that year as a start date) and no doubt takes pride in being able to claim to have been constant production longer than nominally “older” competitors like Indian and Triumph. The company has been and will be celebrating all this year at various events, but is also throwing two very big special parties. One will be in Milwaukee, of course, over Labor Day weekend, but the first will take place in Prague, capital of the Czech Republic.
Why Prague? Well, apart from beautiful scenery and cheap, good beer, Prague is home to the longest-running Harley-Davidson club in the world. Harley-Davidson Club Praha has been in continuous operation for more than 90 years.
Some 60,000 riders from 75 different countries are expected to roll into town for the event, which runs 5-8 July. The thing I’m most looking forward to is the parade of bikes through Prague’s historic old town; I get to be in a parade! But I suspect most folks will be interested in the food, beer, attractions, and entertainment.
Some six stages will host acts appealing to pretty much all tastes. Rock bands galore, as you would also expect, but also “bluegrass, reggae, rap, Czech, and Slovak music” will be in the mix, according to a Harley-Davidson media release. And because nothing’s more entertaining than watching two people beat the living hell out of each other, a number of major muaythai title matches will be held in conjunction with the European Championship series.
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There will be a number of interest-specific areas set up, including the H.O.G. village, Dark Custom Arena, Family Zone, and Custom Bike Showdown. A special collection of historic Harleys will also be on display, tracing the company’s history.
The underlying activity being celebrated in all this, however, is motorcycling, so there will be a Biker Games where riders can competitively show off their skills. Folks like me who don’t want to botch a gymkhana course in front of a crowd, however, can take part in a number of organized rides through the region. A large demo fleet will also be on hand to give visitors an opportunity to find out whether the new bikes are better than their trusty old ones.
And because reasons, Harley has partnered with Jeep, which will also have a demo fleet on hand, “including the new 2019 Renegade which… will be available in Jeep showrooms across Europe from September.”
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You can find out more about Harley’s 115th Anniversary in Prague, as well as order tickets and sign up for rides, by visiting the event’s official website: www.h-dprague115.com