Sunday, September 11, 2011
9-11 Ride to Remember
I'm usually not one to go on huge group rides or even poker runs for that matter. I generally prefer to ride the roads less traveled with a small group(2-5 bikes) of friends.Today was different. I participated in a local 9/11 Ride to Remember put on by a local ALR chapter. 290 bikes and quite a few cages gathered in the heartland of America to remember 9/11 and pay tribute to our heroes. The route was right at about 88 miles and traveled though 6 small towns. There was a stop in each town and each town rolled out the red carpet for the bikers, streets lined with American flags, refreshments for the riders, and eager citizens, from infants to the elderly out showing their patriotism. The ALR did a great job coordinating with local law enforcement so that all crossroads were blocked and the huge group never got separated. I've to be honest though, it was also the longest 88 miles of my life taking almost 6 hours as speeds rarely exceeded 40 mph, mainly due the fact that probably 50 of the lead bikes were flying 3'x5' flags with the rest of us flying smaller ones. It was an awesome sight. The one image that is etched in my mind is that of an older gentlemen standing along the street as we came into the last town, hand over his heart in honor of all the American flags passing in front of him and tears flowing down his face. He wasn't the only one, a lot of tears flowed today as 9/11 was honored, our heroes were honored, and our pride as Americans was reaffirmed.