ONALASKA -- The party has started! Harley-Davidson is celebrating 115 years in business, and Harley owners are converging on Milwaukee from across the world for the big celebration. Riders in Onalaska, near La Crosse, joined forces Monday, Aug. 27 with a caravan from Seattle.
Onalaska, set along the Mississippi River, became an unofficial meeting point for these riders traveling from Seattle. Julie Kaczmarek cruised in from Racine to meet the convoy as it crossed into Wisconsin.
"They are coming home to say 'happy birthday' to Harley, and we're going to help them do that," said Kaczmarek.
Kaczmarek is the "head road captain" of House of Harley's Racine chapter.
"There's 14 or 15 of us today, and the best part about this group is we have more women riders than men riders," said Kaczmarek.
Kaczmarek said she's proud to see more women riding Harley-Davidson motorcycles over the years.
"You come down to the Racine House of Harley and I'll help you. I teach. I help women all the time. It is a wonderful experience," said Kaczmarek.
The party was just getting started on Monday morning.
"They are coming in from the four corners of the United States, and they are all going to converge on Milwaukee (Tuesday) afternoon," said Rick Andersen.
Andersen, another member of House of Harley's Racine chapter and a UW-La Crosse alum plotted a scenic tour of the driftless plain.
"I tell you what, if you haven't done it, once you get on these bikes, you understand. It's one of those things. If I had to explain it to you, you wouldn't understand," said Andersen.