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Bikefest attendees say numbers are down

(WPDE)

It was a rather quiet Friday night for Bikefest , and depending on who you ask, some believe the numbers are way down compared to last year.

"For lack of a better word, it is torment," said Lena Lyles in town from New Jersey.

Many believe this to be the case as a result of changes to safety plans in the past few years.

Lumberton resident Larhonda Pope, now 24, has been coming to Bikefest since she was 16.

She said she’s seen the number of people in attendance drop from year to year.

"Usually it'd be a whole lot bigger, well, livelier I would say, everybody be having a good time, but now they just walking," said Pope.

This year, there are fewer police on the streets with roughly 427 officers assisting Myrtle Beach police.

Some people said they're okay with stricter policing and would rather have tighter rules than have to deal with crime and violence.

"You need a little bit of extra security with this many numbers, security only goes by the number of people," said Clifton Moore, of Hampton, Va.

The NAACP cited in their lawsuit against the city of Myrtle Beach and police department that people feel inconvenienced by the extra security, and Pope agrees.

"It ain't really a racial thing, it's just, we get treated differently than other people," said Pope.

Bikers have been coming to Bikefest for almost four decades.

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