Biker Village brings a different crowd to Warm Springs - WRBL

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Biker Village brings a different crowd to Warm Springs

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WARM SPRINGS, Ga. -

For years motorcycle enthusiasts have traveled from around the country to enjoy the scenic setting of Warm Springs, but over the past decade the bikers have developed their own town within a town.

Biker Village plays host to nearly 300 motorcycles on warm weekends. For over thirty years the bikers rode through Warm Springs as they explored the variety of mountain paths, country roads and covered bridges in the area. They enjoyed shopping and patronizing the local eateries but there was never a defined place for bikers to enjoy each other's company.

Nine years ago Dan Forrest decided to change that and opened Xtreme Rider, a shop that caters to the motorcyclists, and that has brought about museums, restaurants and antique stores that encompass Biker Village.

"It gives the bikers a complete community," says Forrest. "They come here, they can shop, they can eat, they can entertain, they can go up on the front street and visit all of the merchants in town."

Gary Lujan, Chapter Commander of Combat Vets Motorcycle Association, says, "It's a good place. It's a friendly place, and the people are real nice and they enjoy having the motorcycles around, so that's a big plus for us."

Lujan's Executive Officer Reggie Poissant adds, "There's so much to do in such a small area, and the hotels here are great and really nice and it's not expensive to come up here either, so it's a really good place to bring your family and just hang out."

Forrest says it took a while for Warm Springs natives to get used to the idea of bikers in town, but now they are an integral part of the community. "A motorcycle is a toy," he explains. "It's a leisure time activity and it's a very expensive leisure time activity, so they're realizing that these are the people who are in their shops. They may come in during the week in a coat and tie, and they come in on the weekends in leather."

Biker Village, nicknamed "Lil Sturgis" after the famed motorcycle rally in South Dakota, brings together riders of all ages and tastes, just like Warm Springs.

"You look around and you see all the history with bikes," says biker J. D. Walden. "You see bikes that are 20 years old and you have brand new ones and the same with people, and I think it's a good mix of both. Everybody can enjoy themselves here."

The museums in Biker Village house hundreds of pieces of motorcycle memorabilia including exclusive classic bikes, jukeboxes and pieces of art.

While warm weather certainly brings more bikers out, you can find many riders from Columbus and nearby cities in Warm Springs all year round.

Jessi Mitchell

Jessi joined the WRBL news team in October 2012 after working as a freelance production assistant for MTV Networks in Los Angeles.
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