After being unable to make the Quick Throttle Magazine’s Annual 9-11 Patriot Ride happen last year, 2006, due to last minute circumstances that were out of our control, this year’s Ride successfully took place thanks to the folks at Corona Harley-Davidson/Skip Fordyce Harley-Davidson and the organizational skills of Mr. Bob Wolf and many volunteers.
Traditionally, Quick Throttle Magazine pays respects to the tragic losses that took place September 11th, 2001 by honoring the event with a unified ride that commemorates the anniversary of that horrific day that shook our lives and affected the USA forever. The ride typically takes place on the 11th of September, this year however, the ride took place on Sunday, September 9, 2007 due to the fact that logistics of actually conducting the ride on a business day that becomes more of a challenge to orchestrate traffic control, leading the ride of approximately 900+ motorcycles through the streets and freeway system to a destination that is utilized during business days of the week. I, as many of you, am baffled as to why the Feds have not yet declared September 11th Patriot Day and made it a national day of remembrance. But the Patriot Ride will be conducted whether or not that ever happens!
On the subject of remembrance, the Patriot Ride is not an event that is intended to be conducted “party-style”, but more of a somber salute expressing our thoughts and concerns of every American in addition to those poor souls lost on that day. That said, our hope is to also celebrate the HEROES of 9-11 (“those who ran in, while others ran out.”) and truly, of all our American heroes who sacrifice for us every day, like those in the Armed Services.
The ride was staged at the new Corona Harley-Davidson Dealer just north of the infamous 91 freeway at the Serfas Club Drive exit. Riders converged to Corona from all areas of the southland to find hot coffee and doughnuts awaiting them before the ride was scheduled to commence. Many of the riders have participated every year of this event and there were also many first timers present to pay their respects. KFRG Radio 95.1 was set up and handed out free American Flags for riders to attach to their bikes to fly the three colors that never run, Red, White and Blue!
Each year proceeds generated from the event are proudly donated to the Freedom’s Flame Memorial Foundation in order to raise enough funds to construct a permanent Memorial that will be built at the new site in Ontario, CA. This year some proceeds were also going to benefit the Planes of Fame Air Museum.
At precisely 9:11 am the ride began to roll as the anxious riders revved their engines and activated their emergency flashers to caravan along the 91 freeway to highway 71 and arrive at the Planes of Fame Air Museum within the Chino Airport. This year’s route was approximately nine miles (next year they hope to lengthen the ride, as many felt is was just a “tease,” or we’ll parade on side streets so families and kids can wave flags and share in the day). The ride was escorted by Highway Patrol Motor Officers and a Black Hawk Military Helicopter, which actually started the ride, then flew over us and with us until we arrived in the parking lot!
The event featured a concert from multi-platinum, Country Music Star, Jo Dee Messina. Since she started a bit late, there was too much “down time” and the natives were growing restless. But when she finally came on, everyone agreed she was worth the wait! Next year, Bob Wolf plans on having two stages with non-stop music.
There was also a chance to win a ride in a P51 Mustang Fighter Plane! Many vendors were present and the ticket price also included a BBQ lunch and entry to the Planes of Fame Air Museum to see aircraft from all eras, including a replica of the Wright Brothers “first to fly” contraption. The winner of the P51 Ride was Dennis O’Conner and he fulfilled his obligation by showing us what he was made of as he experienced a ride of a lifetime! Everyone else hated to lose, but it was cool to see the antique fighter plane fly directly over the event.
In all, the event was a success and shows lots of promise for the future of the Patriot Ride considering that this was the first year that Skip Fordyce/Corona Harley-Davidson had put together the event. With combined efforts and your future participation, The Patriot Ride will continue to grow, showing our loving and loyal support and living on as a meaningful remembrance, and a celebration of our Heroes.