Everybody loves a parade. Especially of motorcycles. And the Guiness Book of World Records calls the Republic of Texas (ROT) parade the "largest and longest parade of motorcycles known to mankind." The annual rally in Austin draws, according to Chamber of Commerce and Department of Public Safety estimates, as many as 200,000 people to the capital city. No official count has ever been made of the motorcycles but even if there were only one for every two people, the figure would be absurd.
Their numbers are, undoubtedly, in the tens of thousands, as is witnessed in the parade always held on the Friday night of the rally. It is eleven miles long and begins at the Travis County Exposition Center, which is where most of the rally's events are conducted. The bikes roll out of there in an orderly fashion and head to downtown Austin's Congress Avenue where the streets are lined with spectators. Police set up two lanes for riders to roll down to Lady Bird Lake and then turn around and ride back towards the capitol building. Bikers are allowed to park their machines in the middle of the street until midnight, which turns the night into a street party.
One of the highlights of the 22nd edition of the ROT Rally will be daredevil Doug Danger. He is scheduled to ride Evel Knevel's 750 cc Harley Davidson in an epic daredevil stunt by jumping 100 feet over two Robinson 44 helicopters, which will have their blades spinning. The bike will be used in one more jump before being retired to the Evel Knevel Museum when the facility opens this July in Kansas.