COLUMBIA, 8/8/10 (Beat Byte) -- An invasion of "infidels" that could disrupt primary-day voting; hog highways; increase crime; and worry law enforcement officials to the point of nervous breakdown.
That's how local news stories -- from television, newspaper, and radio -- portrayed the National Bikers Roundup until just two weeks ago.
And though headlines are still blaring about a rash of motorcycle thefts (three), an over-reaction outcry may have turned the 'tude.
"Roundup bikers share passion for open road, friendship," reads the latest Missourian headline. "Food donations allow bikers to give back" and "Rally is a family tradition," read the latest Columbia Daily Tribune headlines.
After hand wringing about the event with Columbia Police public relations officer Jessie Haden last Monday, by Thursday KFRU radio talk show host Simon Rose was throttling back. Sprinkling his comments with the word "dodgy," Rose admitted "a bit of an over-reaction."
But KFRU host David Lile later disagreed. The week isn't over, he warned, with guest co-host Columbia cardiologist Jerry Kennett, M.D. Something bad could still happen.
"The 2010 Harley Owners Group Rally Committee is excited about the having the rally in Columbia and hope you are too. In the hopes of allowing more H.O.G. members to participate, we have moved the rally dates to August 26-28. Remember, All Roads Lead To Columbia!"
Good thing there's a heart doc in the house.