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High on the Hog

Bedford Heights cycle dealership pays tribute to the king of all bikes: The Harley.

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Even after nearly 20 years, Dave Bundus still fondly reminisces about hopping on his first Harley motorcycle and tooling to the Flats with his buddies. Their mission was to impress the ladies by rolling by the old Beach Club in their leather gear, as if they were a teen version of Hells Angels. "It seems like all of us started when we were kids. We were doing wheelies down the road, and 100 miles an hour from light to light. That's just what we did," says Bundus, who's organized tonight's South East H-D Ferrari Night in Bedford Heights. "The funny things is, I ride with the same four guys I rode with all those years ago."The 19th annual bike fest is expected to attract nearly 4,500 hog riders from around the Midwest for a night of bike and car shows, two stunt-filled demos by Alabama-born daredevil Bubba Blackwell, and a raffle of a limited-edition Screamin' Eagle model worth $25,000. The party also helps the South East Harley-Davidson dealership mark its 60th anniversary as Ohio's largest single-site cycle seller. "Riding a Harley is about as cool as it comes," says Bundus, who's the company's financial services manager. "If you ask 90 percent of the guys who ride bikes, they'd pick a Harley over anything. We're all still a bunch of kids." Dealership owner Paul Meyers started the annual revel in 1989 to promote cycle-riding over cars and trucks. Now 81, he still rides his Harley to work every day to help his two sons run the business. "Even when I ride to work, I take the long way around. And it's nice to get your head on straight for the day," says Bundus. "When you're going home and you've had a bad day, you get on a motorcycle. And before you know it, you're home, and it's not so bad."The fest also promotes the 400-member Cleveland chapter of the Harley Owners Group. "A Harley is really a lifestyle. You talk about Chevrolet or Ford, but you can think of nothing that says "American" more than Harley-Davidson," says Bundus. "I'm doing all I can to keep it that way." Rev up your engine between 6 and midnight tonight at South East Harley-Davidson, 23105 Aurora Road in Bedford Heights. Admission is $10 in advance and $15 at the gate. Call 440-439-5300 or visit www.southeastharley.com.
Fri., June 27, 6 p.m.-midnight, 2008

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