Inaugural Bike the Beach draws 400 bikers to MGM Park - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Inaugural Bike the Beach draws 400 bikers to MGM Park

Paul Tuetel Jr., of 'American Chopper' fame, signs an autograph for a fan at Bike the Beach at MGM Park in Biloxi on Saturday. Paul Tuetel Jr., of 'American Chopper' fame, signs an autograph for a fan at Bike the Beach at MGM Park in Biloxi on Saturday.
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

David Cameron owns Cycle Lab bike shop, but loud noise isn’t the only thing he likes about his travels to bike shows like Bike the Beach.

“Because we’re guys and we love loud bikes," said Cameron. “It’s just a great thing to do, you know. Get on your bikes and just ride. Leave the world behind for a day or two.”

In its first year, early indications of Bike The Beach show it may be around for a long time. The event drew close to 400 bikers at MGM Park on Saturday, like Kraton Egelhoff of Ocean Springs.

The bike fanatic has several bike repair projects going on, and says the kind of people events like Bike the Beach draws are among the most helpful you can find.

“When you’re working on one and you have a malfunction or a problem you can’t figure out, you call anybody that you know that owns one and they’ll come over and help,” Egelhoff said. “They don’t care. It’s not about the money; it’s about getting you up and riding again.”

Greg Gray of Pratville, Ala., is one of the Notorious Ones bike group; an ominous name for a minister to join.

But, he sees no conflict.

“It allows us to escape the pressures and the stresses in the world throughout the work week, throughout dealing with issues within the community,” Gray said.

The star power came from Paul Tuetel Jr. of the television series “American Chopper,” who signed autographs and posed for pictures on the Geico Valor Bike he custom-designed on the show.

“Motorcycles have been a great way to kind of get in touch with the public,” Tuetel said. “We had a 10-year run with ‘American Chopper’ on Discovery Channel that really was a global success. So everywhere we go in the country, people are familiar with us and our bikes. I think it’s family, and it’s the bikes as well; so I think those are both relatable things.”

Event coordinator Wesley Martin of Overtime Sports, expects the Coast’s newest Labor Day holiday event to grow even more in 2017.

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