The Republic of Texas Biker Rally has roared into Central Texas this weekend. With an estimated 200,000 participants, there are noticeably more motorcycles on the local streets and highways. The official ROT activities take place east of downtown at the Travis County Expo Center. Bands including Lynryd Skynyrd and Los Lonely Boys are scheduled to perform there.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the ROT Rally. In keeping with tradition, the bikers drove into downtown Austin on Friday evening. The leaders arrived around 8:15 PM. The long parade of cycles headed south on Congress Avenue to Lady Bird Lake and then back up to the State Capitol before parking in two rows in the center of the street.
I enjoyed this year’s parade more than last year when everyone just zoomed down Congress Avenue and parked in South Austin. The line moved slowly, allowing more time to look at the bikes and their riders. Let’s just say that ROT attracts a unique mix of people.
After the recent biker gang violence in Waco, there was some concern about safety at this year’s ROT rally. We noticed more law enforcement officers than usual on Friday evening, and haven’t heard of any major problems so far.
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