Thousands gather in Salt Lake City for weekend motorcycle rally

Posted at 9:50 PM, Jul 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-15 00:19:53-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- People from all over the world are in Salt Lake City this weekend for a massive motorcycle rally at the Utah State Fair Park.

They're not what you might think of when you think of the word 'biker.'

Usually rallies involve the loud rumble of Harley-Davidson's, but this weekend is all about the quiet hum of BMWs.

It's a niche crowd, that the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America (BMWMOA) organization considers a family.

"This is our big family reunion," said Greg Feeler, the BMWMOA rally chair.

He said BMW riders are known for their culture of wearing gear head-to-toe, and there are different approaches to riding.

For some, this is a lifestyle and a chance to meet up with friends old and new.

"We base our life around motorcycling," said Jean Copas, a BMW rider who's attended these BMW rallies for the past 30 years.

She, along with many others, rode thousands of miles just to be here.

"About 4,000," Copas said. Yes, that's 4,000 miles.

Erika Winn rode her motorcycle right next to her grandfather, Fred Winn, all the way from Tennessee.

"It was 2,115 miles from my driveway to where my bike is parked right now," she said.

Winn's been riding on motorcycles since she was a young child, and her grandfather said he picked up his first bike 63 years ago.

"Started on back of my grandfather’s bike when I was knee-high to a grasshopper," she said.

This trip, for them, has been about bonding and for Fred to show Erika the ropes.

"This has been just nothing but me teaching her this trip," Fred said. "All the way from Tennessee to here, we talk over our headsets back and forth, and I'm teaching her."

Every rider at this rally has a different story, but they all share the same passion for BMW bikes.

The BMWMOA rally continues at the Utah State Fair Park through the weekend, and features 140 vendors, live music and food.