World Record

Adam Sandoval excitingly raises his fist in the air before starting the Harley-Davidson Bring It Home World Record Parade in October 2019 at Cox Field.

The Paris Harley-Davidson dealership and philanthropist Adam Sandoval have set a new Guinness World Record for continuous Harley-Davidson motorcycles on parade.

“I don’t even know what to say. Let’s hear it for America. We officially brought it home,” Sandoval said.

In an event dubbed Bring it Home 2019, 3,497 motorcyclists from across the country rode their Harley Davidson bikes through Paris on a 3.5 mile ride, the Guinness official announced. The record has been taken from Hellas making a 2.8-mile trip.

On Saturday the scene at Cox Airfield was one of controlled chaos. The airfield choked with columns of motorcycles, stretching about a mile back, yet neatly organized five deep. Pre-registered bikers rested in the shade of airplane hangers or dozed in the sun next to their rides, while lines of leather-clad, tattooed newcomers — some fresh off a full night of riding across the country — stretched up underneath canvas tents manned by volunteers.

Harley-Davidson bikers from 48 states and three-plus countries — Germany, Canada and Serbia — gathering all in one place could only mean one thing: time to break a world record.

Paris Harley-Davidson’s parade, dubbed Bring it Home 2019, marked an effort to break the record of continuous Harley-Davidson motorcycles on parade. The parade was led by philanthropist and die-hard military supporter Sandoval, well known in the motorcycle community for his work with charities such as the Wounded Warrior Project, Motorcycle Missions, the American Legion and the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association.

Hellas Motorcycle Club of Patras, Greece, set the previous record with a 2.8-mile trip. In September 2018, Sandoval teamed up with Paris Harley-Davidson for his third attempt at bringing the record home to America. It was the first time Paris Harley-Davidson had been involved — but the attempt failed at Choctaw Casino & Resort in Grant, Oklahoma, as some participating motorcycles were not Harley-Davidsons, and as others overheated on the route after counting took longer than expected.

This year, things were different.

Molly Beaudin, dealer development manager for Paris Harley-Davidson, manned a hefty utility vehicle at the airfield Saturday, supervising almost every aspect of the event with a quick eye and sharp wit. She whipped out a radio from her back pocket as chatter came across — can she pick up some gas? But she waved off praise for her role. It takes an army, she said.

“It’s a team effort. And with (Sandoval’s) team and his following to other influencers, it was like a waterfall effect. People want to just jump on board and bring home a world record,” she said. “Paris, Texas, like, holy cow. Let’s put it on the map.”

The parade raised money for Motorcycle Missions, a nonprofit that helps first responders with PTSD. The $15 registration fee was donated entirely to the nonprofit, with over 3,400 pre-registrations, Beaudin said.

“I’ve been in this business almost 10 years now, and I’ve never seen a rally or anything quite like this,” she said. “To see this many bikes, it gives me goosebumps.”

Sandoval greeted the crowds with high fives and whoops on his way to kick off the parade.

“I’m just humbled, really. The fact that this many people come together to support our veterans, our country, our nation, says nothing to me but that America is strong, united, working together,” he said. “Four years. It’s been four years trying to get this. And this year, it’s happening. I’m surrounded by really good people with really great intentions, and I never could have done it on my own. It’s all about who you surround yourself with, and I’m surrounded by the biker community — that is one of the most powerful communities in the world.”

Macon Atkinson is a staff writer for The Paris News. She can be reached at 903-785-6963 or macon.atkinson@theparisnews.com.

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