The Parade

A promenade through the Milwaukee area, ending at the lake front

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Welcome Back
We missed you.

The welcome home signs kind of say it all. Just look at that crowd of bikes, and of spectators. The streets, sidewalks, roofs, skywalks, and parking structures of downtown Milwaukee are full.

Definite Packer fans, but a look at their plates shows them to be from Minnesota.

An abundant sea of "Ride Loud Ride Proud" signs reminds riders of the virtues of opening up the stock Harley exhaust a bit.

A look straight down Wisconsin Avenue to the river shows it jammed with people and bikes.

With things nearly at a standstill, people have plenty of opportunity to say hello.

Yet another visitor from down under, this time a a single bike, rather than a whole group.

Milwaukee police, auxiliary police (volunteer officers with no arrest powers), and visiting police from other cities try to keep the crowds back, but there is just too much energy and enthusiasm.

One of the new V-Rod motorcycles. This is Harley's newest, and most powerful bike.

A couple of columns of reunion riders come out of the bright open streets of the boulevard around the library and the Marquette campus, and enter the shady and somewhat more congested area of downtown proper.

A couple of girls break ranks and wander out towards the bikes. Though motorcycles are traditionally considered to be a man's machine, they do stir something in the female heart.

Slowing down a bit as the route narrows. The streets here are wide, but they are full of people pressing in on the riders and their bikes. Everyone wants to see, talk to, and even touch the motorcyclists and their mounts.

The crowd closes in down Wisconsin Avenue, funneling the riders closer together, and eventually into a single lane by the time they reach the bottom of the hill.

Cameras, and extended arms at the ready, we wait for the stream of motorcycles to continue. the people on the rooftops and in the skywalks may have a better view, but they are missing most of the action, and much of the fun of being down at street level.

Packed in like sardines, riders and fans alike wait for traffic to move. At least we are waiting in the shade.

An overhead shot gives a faint idea of just how many people are gathered here, and at how many levels they are sitting, standing, climbing, and clinging to see the procession.

Riders come by with their hands out, wanting to touch the city, as much as the people of the city want to touch the riders.

This must be what the rush hour is like in hell. From time to time the parade stopped completely until traffic officers ordered the crowds back to let the bikers through.

Like deer on the first day of hunting season, the riders are surrounded by Wisconsin residents aiming things at them and firing away. Of course in this case it's cameras and camcorders. Unlike deer season, here everyone gets a trophy.

The bikers have just about been squeezed into one single file. This has backed the parade up for blocks.

This shot shows just how far out into the street the parade goers have wandered. Every once and a while, an officer comes to shoo us all back.

Motorcycles crowd the sidewalk along with people. These bikes are from visitors who did not ride in the parade but wanted to be down here to see it.

Quite the wedding party the town threw for these two. I wish them luck trying to find a vacant hall for the reception.

A bit farther down the street things get even more tightly packed.

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