The 'biker's paradise' [Editorial]

The Aegis

If you travel on Harford County highways on sunny summer weekends, particularly those in the more open spaces of the northern and western county, you can’t help but noticing the motorcycles.

There are a number of places in Harford and neighboring Cecil counties that have long been destinations for bikers in the Mid-Atlantic region, an easy drive on mostly open, country roads from Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and other nearby states.

As detailed in staff member David Anderson’s story on this “biker’s paradise” published in The Aegis Wednesday, the motorcyclists, who tend to be mainly Harley-Davidson owners, have their favorite weekend haunts, among them, but not limited to, the Chesapeake Harley-Davidson dealership in Darlington, the Conowingo Dam Fisherman’s Park on the Harford County side of the Susquehanna River and the Union Hotel, Lee’s Landing and Jumbo Jimmy’s Crab Shack in the Port Deposit/Perryville area on the Cecil County side.

“We’re a destination dealership,” sales manager Kevin Criswell, of Chesapeake Harley-Davidson on Route 1, said. The dealership held a three-day festival of food, live music and plenty of new model motorcycles over the three-day Labor Day holiday weekend.

Jumbo Jimmy’s Crab Bill Barton said riders make up 30 to 40 percent of his customers on the weekends, although the restaurant is not just for bikers and has a “friendly, family atmosphere,” according to Baron.

“What I hear from a lot of the bikers is, they get served here,” Barton said, explaining some other establishments are as hospitable.

What we’ve observed over the years is the weekend motorcycle trips into and through Harford and Cecil counties have been a boon to the places the bikers frequent and thus a boost to the economies of both counties, with a minimum about of negative fallout.

There are always safety concerns on the highways, as with any vehicles, and unfortunately few summers go by without one or more serious accidents in our area involving a motorcycle. But all accidents are preventable when drivers obey the rules of the road, doesn’t matter what the vehicle.

“Motorcycling is just a great sport,” Scott Delong, of Bel Air, said. “You’re out, free, you feel the wind — it's just awesome.”

On balance, we’d say being a motorcycle riders’ destination is good for everyone, because it brings in thousands of visitors, who in turn are getting the word out to many thousands more potential visitors to our county.

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