This spring, some motorcycle enthusiasts at Spangdahlem Air Base in western Germany lamented about having little-to-no chance of participating in the annual Harley-Davidson rally in Sturgis, S.D.

So they agreed to meet the following Friday to further discuss their shared motorcycle misfortune. The turnout — 30 Hogs in all — was quite heartening.

“There was a sea of black leather,” Lorraine Hoffman said. “It was a beautiful thing to see.”

That turnout led Hoffman and others to organize a motorcycle rally for this weekend at the air base. At least a couple of hundred enthusiasts are already scheduled to attend, though Hoffman figures more will come if the weather cooperates Friday and Saturday.

Hoffman and other organizers are calling it the “Duty Calls, Can’t do Sturgis” rally.

“It’s kind of cool,” Maj. Melinda Morgan, spokeswoman for the 52nd Fighter Wing, said of the event, “and it’s growing.”

The event covers two days, with most of the activities occurring at or near Club Eifel, the consolidated establishment for all ranks. A “bike rodeo” is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday and a “poker run” is slated for Saturday morning. The former involves a series of competitive events, while the latter is, essentially, a drive through the countryside picking up cards for a poker hand that gets played back at the base.

Other activities are planned, and base officials have granted rally organizers permission to let people pitch a tent, à la Sturgis, at a specific location on base. The event is open only to U.S. cardholders, though each biker can sponsor one guest, including the guest’s machine.

Hoffman, who is the wife of Air Force Lt. Col. Greg Hoffman, said rally organizers welcome the bikeless as well as those who own bikes that aren’t Harleys.

“It’s a motorcycle rally,” said Hoffman, the event’s chairwoman. “I don’t care if they come with Ducati, Honda or a Yamaha.”

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