KZ Kleinheitz gave us a ride on his bright yellow Gold Wing motorcycle. "For everybody who has been on a motorcycle," Kleinheitz said, "you understand the feeling. The Gold Wing is kind of like the epitome of it."
This was the 15th year the Gold Wing Road Riders Association pulled into Biloxi. What started as a rally with about 100 bikes now has 5,000 Gold Wing owners riding through town.
Terry Adkins is the Mississippi Gold Wing group's district director. "I'm going to tell you what," he said. "It's probably the best money that we ever spend."
The annual Gold Wing rally is a lot like a swap meet. Some people shop for accessories. Other have their bikes checked out. Everybody swaps stories with good friends.
David Schutz and his wife competed for couple of the year honors. Schutz said what he likes best about the Gold Wing group is the people. "That's what it's all about, it's the people. It's just like an extended family. Our main goal most of the time is to find a good buffet." At that point, Schutz's wife Susie laughed and said, "That's true. We ride to eat."
The Skivers rode down from the mountains of Georgia for food and camaraderie. Marty drove. Lorina sat right behind him. So what's it like to sit in the back of a two wheel Gold Wing? "That depends," Lorina Skiver said. "It's nice sometimes. But it can get scary."
Lorina's husband said the view from up front is worth the investment. According to Marty Skiver, "You get out and enjoy life a little bit."
The annual Gold Wing rally is a shot in the arm for nearby hotels. The three properties next to the Coliseum have contracts with the Gold Wing group. Most of the rooms remain full from Thursday through Sunday.