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Thousands of bikers expected to gather in south Cape Coral despite city’s bike night cancellation

The City of Cape Coral canceled its annual bike night event due to concerns for the spread of the coronavirus, but that’s not stopping nearly 3,000 bikers from gathering, who are not worried about the crowds.

We looked at how an expected makeshift event in south Cape Coral is impacting nearby businesses and why it has them worried for the future.

The sound of motorcycles is expected to fill the air in Cape Coral Saturday, as biker crowds gather for a celebration.

“We heard the City of Cape Coral was canceling bike night,” said John Giaquinto, the owner of Duval Street. “And we thought that we could do it here. We could have a bike night because we’re all about fun here at Duval Street.”

The city canceled both October and December 2020 bike nights due to the pandemic, so Sons of Liberty and other local groups decided to hold their own.

“To shut something down where you have a lot of participation with the local community, it’s not really a good thing,” said Chris Maslowski, the vice president of Sons of Liberty.

Maslowski expects 2,000 to 3,000 bikers to come out, and it could serve as a boost local business owners need.

“We’re just trying to make payroll,” Giaquinto said. “We’re just trying to keep our heads above water and pay our bills.”

Less than a mile away, the owner of BackStreets worries bike night is coming too soon.

“We just went through two shutdowns, and we were hoping for a little bit more time before we had the masses come out,” said Shelly Walton, the owner of BackStreets. “We are really afraid of another spike in numbers.”

But Maslowski told us people know what’s best for them.

“Just socially distance as need be,” Maslowski said, “If you don’t want to go onto the large crowds, you don’t have to.”

Cape Coral Police Department didn’t know about Saturday’s bike night until we called to ask how they plan to handle. A CCPD spokesman told us officers will be ready to respond if necessary.

A city spokesperson told us Cape Coral does not plan to host any large public gatherings for the remainder of 2020.

Sons of Liberty told us it’s also trying to plan a December bike night.

Reporter:Gail Levy
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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