MURRELLS INLET, SC (WMBF) – There were a lot of happy faces Thursday as hundreds of bikers revved their engines, ready to go on the annual Poker Run up and down the Grand Strand.
Unlike last year, many are celebrating great weather.
“There’s a huge line waiting for signups and we already have 120 people signed up. It’s going to be 200 strong to say the least,” bike rally organizer, Katie Keech said about Thursday’s Poker Run.
Bikers left in a pack to travel to the Myrtle Beach Speedway and biker bars across the Grand Strand. Bikers are even treated to laps at the speedway behind a pace car.
SBB bar manager Bill Barber said the fall rally doesn’t see as big of numbers as the spring rally, but the gap is getting smaller.
“Fall rally is what we’re trying to make grow,” he said. “We get the same amount of time with the county and permits and everything. We’re just trying to get it up to where it matches the spring rally so all of the businesses here can make some money and make it through the winter, because this is a six-, seven-month winter before we can get back to the high times of the summer time and tourism and stuff.”
Both the spring and fall rallies are important for Murrells Inlet businesses. Bikers and people there just to enjoy themselves pack the area, spreading their business across the inlet and the Grand Strand.
Barber also gains support for his charity, the Biker Hall of Fame Foundation, during the rallies.
“We raise money to help bikers that have went down or bikers that are in need, medical reasons or whatever, to help them get through the hard times. We’ve given a lot of money away,” he said. “t’s been really nice. That was one of the dreams I had of starting, and we’ve got it going and it’s bigger than I expected it to be in four years. It really is.”
Barber was the lead bike of the Poker Run, as he is every year. However, he said he’s hanging his hat as the manager at SBB, saying he’ll still be involved during the rallies, but is getting back into the construction business.
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