AUSTIN (KXAN) — The first day of the Republic of Texas Biker Rally rolls into the Travis County Expo Center Thursday. Friday night, bikers will ride from the Expo Center to Congress Avenue for the annual parade, temporarily blocking off 54 blocks along Congress Avenue and 6th Street.
Based on how many campers and RVs had already arrived at the Expo Center to set up camp Thursday, and the number of passes bought ahead of time, organizers expect this to be the rally’s biggest year yet. They estimate it will bring around 200,000 people to Austin this year.
They say big-name ZZ Top performing on Saturday and more events will contribute to a larger crowd this year. Organizers are also working to draw a younger crowd in, with certain events open to teens.
With so many people on motorcycles near the Expo Center and downtown, organizers are asking drivers to be extra cautious over the weekend.
“Be aware, you know, motorcyclists are all over the place, so look around, look twice, as they say, for motorcycles coming,” said ROT Rally spokesperson Bob Kay. “If you’re on a motorcycle, kind of stay in line and pay attention. Don’t be darting out and trying to pass around.”
Kay says heat will also be a big concern this year. Medics will be on-site, and everyone attending the event is encouraged to stay hydrated.