South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

Changes in store for this year's ‘Readshaw's Raiders' ride


September 18, 2007

For the seventh year in a row, the Alliance of Bikers Aimed Toward Education (A.B.A.T.E. of Pennsylvania) is preparing for its annual motorcycle convoy from Harrisburg to Gettysburg to help preserve the heritage of Gettysburg, but this year they've made a few changes.

Formerly known as the “Ride for the Monuments,” the procession is now simply called the “Ride to Gettysburg.”

State Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Carrick, said the name change better reflects that the proceeds are divided between his Pennsylvania Gettysburg Monuments Project and the historic Daniel Lady Farm owned by the Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association.

“It better demonstrates that the goal is to not only to preserve the Pennsylvania monuments, but to aid the ongoing restoration of the house and barn on the Lady Farm,” Mr. Readshaw said. “This is especially important given the residential development pressure on the properties around the farm. It's 145 acres of historic hallowed ground — possibly the last large privately held portion of battlefield land that can be saved and enjoyed by the public.”

The 2007 ride will begin at 1 p.m. Sept. 29 from Commonwealth Avenue behind the Capitol in Harrisburg. A $10 donation is requested for registration.

Last year's ride brought in approximately $8,000.

At the Daniel Lady Farm, the GBPA is putting the finishing touches on the stone farmhouse that was a Confederate regimental headquarters and field hospital during the three-day battle. Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee spent time at the farm meeting with his left flank generals on the first night of the epic clash.

This summer, a reproduction beehive oven was added that matches as closely as possible one that evidence shows was attached to the kitchen hearth at the rear of the building.

Another change in this year's ride is replacing the customary Readshaw's Raiders t-shirt given to registrants with a commemorative pewter-type pin depicting crossed swords beneath a motorcycle and the words “Gettysburg 2007 – Readshaw's Raiders.”

“We went to the pins because so many motorcyclists like to wear vests or other type of clothing when they ride, depending on the weather, and not just a t-shirt,” Mr. Readshaw said. “With the pin, they can declare their support for Gettysburg preservation no matter what they wear.”

One thing that won't be changing is the conclusion of the ride at Battlefield Harley Davidson-Buell in Gettysburg, where owners Dave and Jen LeVan will again host music, food and refreshments. Other corporate sponsors assisting the ride are Comcast, Anthony Crisi and Associates, Dominion Gas and Markel Insurance.

After the ride, refreshments and an awards ceremony, participants will be encouraged to drive to the nearby Lady Farm for a tour of the house and barn to see how the funds they raise are being put to work and can be directed to Pennsylvania monuments that have benefited from their support of the Monuments project.

Readshaw added that he hopes Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll, a long-time supporter of the motorcycle ride, will again take part this year.

Registration details and additional information about the Ride to Gettysburg can be obtained by calling A.B.A.T.E. of Pennsylvania at 717-731-8955 or by visiting the organization's Web site at

Last-minute registrants will be able to take part by signing up beginning at 11 a.m. on Commonwealth Avenue.

Information about the Pennsylvania Gettysburg Monuments Project can be obtained by contacting Rep. Readshaw's Harrisburg office at 717-783-0411 or by e-mail at


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