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March 1, 2002

A Night On Two Big Wheels

By Gregory Bresiger

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Is decimalization driving you up a wall? Is the market driving you mad? Time to find some relief? Need a hobby? Ask Gerry "Doc" DeCaro.

DeCaro, a veteran sales trader with Knight Trading Group in Jersey City, New Jersey, knows how to blow off a bad day at the desk.

The 54-year old DeCaro, a trading professional for some 35 years, rushes home from his New Jersey office. He jumps on his beloved Harley Davidson and takes to the open road, often the Garden State Parkway. He is often joined by several other biking friends from his office or with trading pros at other firms.

"It's a great way of letting go," said DeCaro, who says part of the freedom comes from not having a radio on his bike, from the physical and the mental experience of the ride and nothing else.

"To be out in the open. To feel the wind and to hear the birds singing. It's so different from riding in a car, even with the windows open," according to DeCaro, a resident of Middletown, N.J.

Mountains and Stars

"You see everything, the mountains and the stars; you hear everything on a Harley. In a car you can't hear it," he said. Every Sunday, DeCaro said, he meets with a group of his fellow bikers and they go riding for several hours. "Most times we don't even know where we're going," he said.

And, he adds, it doesn't matter where one rides - other parts of the Garden State, Pennsylvania, Daytona, Florida or even the Black Hills of South Dakota, which he visits every year during his vacation along with thousands of other biker enthusiasts. Sometimes, he adds, "I'll say to my friend at Knight, Joe Crisalli, let's go for a ride and we'll meet after work and head for the open road." He's taken many trading pros on the road.

DeCaro's typical ride - on a multi-day trip - is 200 to 300 miles a day. Trips can be a few hours after work, a day or a week. They can include visiting Mount Rushmore or Deadwood, South Dakota as well as many other Rocky Mountain states.

"It is a great experience. What makes it great is being with friends. It's almost like being a cowboy," according to DeCaro.

One of DeCaro's favorite biking experiences is an annual Harley event in Sturgis, South Dakota in August. The Black Hills Classic Motorcycles Run dates back to the 1930s and today attracts some 750,000 bikers each year.

"There's more people in Sturgis for that than there are in the entire state of South Dakota," he said. Rather than discouraging so many bikers from gathering in one place, he says the state encourages bikers to come because of the economic benefit they generate. He notes that, at the annual event, rally shirts are sold for $25 each.