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Lake Express ferry hauls motorcycle riders for Harley’s 110th

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The Lake Express high-speed ferry will be transporting hundreds of motorcyclists to and from Milwaukee this week for Harley-Davidson’s 110th anniversary celebration.

Up to 120 Harley riders are expected to be on the Lake Express for the ferry’s Aug. 28th and Aug. 29th trips to Milwaukee. Upon the celebration’s end, Lake Express expect similar numbers heading back to Michigan on Sept. 1st and Sept. 2nd (see travel schedule below).

Lake Express will continue service through the fall season with four daily crossings in September and October with a “motorcycle ride free” deal available from Sept. 5th through Oct. 27th.

Harley riders arriving in Milwaukee via Lake Express ferry:

  • Wednesday, August 28 – 11:45 a.m. CST Milwaukee arrival (10:15 a.m. EST departure from Muskegon)
  • Wednesday, August 28 – 6:15 p.m. CST Milwaukee arrival (4:45 p.m. EST departure from Muskegon)
  • Thursday, August 29 – 11:45 a.m. CST Milwaukee arrival (10:15 a.m. EST departure from Muskegon)
  • Thursday, August 29 – 6:15 p.m. CST Milwaukee arrival (4:45 p.m. EST departure from Muskegon)

Harley riders departing Milwaukee via Lake Express ferry:

  • Sunday, September 1 – 6:00 a.m. CST Milwaukee departure (9:15 a.m. EST Muskegon arrival)
  • Sunday, September 1 – 12:30 p.m. CST Milwaukee departure (3:45 p.m. EST Muskegon arrival)
  • Monday, September 2 – 6:00 a.m. CST Milwaukee departure (9:15 a.m. EST Muskegon arrival)
  • Monday, September 2 – 12:30 p.m. CST Milwaukee departure (3:45 p.m. EST Muskegon arrival) 

Gary Mahla is a Harley rider who took the ferry into Milwaukee on Tuesday, August 27th.

"It was real smooth. A piece of cake. The hardest thing was tying down your bike to make sure it was stable and not going to bounce around or anything. The ride was very smooth, very nice -- pretty quick," Mahla said.

Bob Formont also took the ride on Tuesday, and arrived in Milwaukee for the first time.

"Everybody said we should avoid Chicago. Somebody suggested 'hey, go up to Michigan and look for a ferry to come across." So we did the research and booked the ferry," Formont said.

A Lake Express spokesman says it has sold so many rides it can't hold any more bikes on a few trips, which is good problem to have.

"It's a nice way to welcome them to the festival because they meet up. They've been riding from all different destinations, as is the case with a lot of rides that are coming to Milwaukee. They pick up more riders along the way. I guess we're one of the last gathering points until people arrive right in Milwaukee," the Lake Express spokesman told FOX6 News.

The Lake Express, which began service in 2004, is the nation’s first and only high-speed auto/passenger ferry.

The ferry travels multiple times each day across Lake Michigan, has terminals in both Milwaukee, Wis. and Muskegon, Mich., and completes a one-way trip in just two and one-half hours.

Ample parking and easy interstate access is available at both terminals. The ferry is capable of holding 46 vehicles and 12 motorcycles for each passage across the lake.

Travelers may buy tickets online, in person, or by phone. To learn more, please visit www.lake-express.com or call 1-866-914-1010.

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