From August 16th to 19th America's 9/11 Foundation will host its 11th annual motorcycle ride from Somerset, PA to New York, NY. The goal is to raise money for, and honor the 9/11 victims and their families, especially the first responders who were called to duty during September 11, 2011's terrorist attacks on the nation.
A change was made to registration this year establishing a cap of 1,000 motorcyclists. Roger Flick, Promotions Manager for the Foundation, said they were expecting fewer riders this year compared to last, which had 1,800 motorcycles and 150 police officers.
"We knew for the 10th anniversary it was going to be a big ride." Flick said. "This year, because of the pure logistics of putting a ride that big together, we are limiting the ridership to 1,000 motorcycles this year."
On Thursday, the registered riders from all over the country will meet at the Highland Harley Davidson in Somerset. They'll have some time to visit the Flight 93 memorial and participate in festivities like listening to a performance from a live band.
"We leave there from Friday morning between 7-7:30 and we actually just ride past the crash site and then we make our way down through Cumberland and pick up Interstate 68," Flick said.
From there motorcyclists will stop at the Hagerstown Outlet Mall for lunch, ride through the Foundation's hometown of Leesburg, and by Friday afternoon they will arrive at the Pentagon. Saturday morning they leave northern Virginia and make their way to New York City.
Flick asks motorists to take caution when traveling past the motorcade.
"We like to tell people that we do cause a little bit of traffic congestion," Flick said. "We ask them to be patient with our ride and think about what we're doing and why we're doing it."
Which is more than raising money for 15 yearly scholarships the foundation awards to children of first responders. Another purpose of the ride is to commemorate the victims, first responders, and their families who were affected by the terrorist attacks on the nation 11 years ago.