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Since 2011 Andrew Cuomo, the Governor of New York State, has organized a tribute motorcycle ride for the Fallen Heroes of 9/11. Hundreds of riders from all over NY, join together and pledge to “Never Forget”.
My wife Julia and I decided to go again this year. I ride a 2012 Street Glide (FLHX) and Julia has a 2010 Street Glide Trike (FLHXXX). We left the driveway at 6am on 9/11 and rode a chilly ride to the State Museum in Albany NY. Coffee, donuts, registration, and commencement mementos started the police escorted ride with KSU 7:45am.
In a whirlwind of cameras and local news personnel, the solemn bikers headed to the NY State Thruway to start the 400+ mile journey. The parade formation of rumbling bikes spanned over a mile while we headed to pick up more riders at the Modena rest area. The refueling pit stop included light hearted comradery, a continental brunch and an unofficial reordering of the ever growing procession.
The next leg of the trip took us down the Palisades Parkway to Ft Lee New Jersey, then to George Washington Bridge that crosses the Hudson River. Like the roads we had just traveled, the GW bridge was void of all vehicles. We were then staged under a 150’ American flag that symbolized the freedom, liberty and justice.
Heading to the Westside Highway our convoy now included Western NY and Long Island riders. We rode down streets that were lined with hundreds of people who waved and ardently shouted, “We will Never Forget”. Arriving at the Javits Center, several guest speakers including Gov Cuomo and Robert De Niro, reminded us of the tragedy we all faced on that solemn day.
After lunch, Gov Cuomo, on his dark blue Ultra Classic, led hundreds of bikers down the ill-fated route that FDNY Ladder Company 3 Truck took on that tragic day. Through the city streets and onward to Fulton Street, we parked our motorcycles. We then took a somber walk past the Reflection Pool and through the 9/11 Museum. We also made our way to the top of World Trade Center 1 and the breathtaking views of the city.
As the afternoon passed we knew it was time to go home. Our bikes roared through the Lincoln Tunnel to New Jersey heading north to the NYS Thruway. A short dinner stop at Popeyes, included the final bike refueling and some stretching before riding the last 100+ miles.
The ride is an awesome experience and one that we will never forget. God Bless America
Gas for 2 bikes 83.60 Anthony “Iceman” Merritt
Food 11.14 Julia “Prof” Merritt