Bikers top 400 in annual Ride to Gettysburg
State Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny, hosted his 16th Annual "Ride to Gettysburg" on Sept. 24, with an estimated 400 riders participating in the motorcycle ride from the fountain on Commonwealth Avenue in Harrisburg to Gettysburg.
Rep. Readshaw and his riders, called "Readshaw's Raiders," make the annual trek to support the need to restore and maintain the Pennsylvania Civil War unit monuments on the Gettysburg battlefield.
The riders were led to Gettysburg by the God Bless America Motorcycle Color Guard.
"This year's ride was special for several reasons," Readshaw said. "Last year's Journey of Hope participant, Paula Bowman Cummings, a central Pennsylvania resident, was able to ride with us again. Journey of Hope is a Make-A-Wish organization for adults. And Colt Romberger, whose father, a U.S. veteran, died last year of Agent Orange exposure, announced his 'Ride for Veterans' which will be a horseback ride across the country next summer to raise money for veterans who are suffering from diseases related to the dreaded herbicide."
Among those who joined the ride this year were ride marshals state Reps. Bryan Barbin, Cambria and Somerset counties; and Dan Moul, Adams County. Former state Rep. Teresa Forcier, Crawford County, brought 22 members of the "Motor Maids" from around the state, as well as four from New York, along with some husbands, to join the ride.
Local police and fire departments involved in traffic control to allow the group to ride together were the Capitol Police; the Camp Hill, East Pennsboro, Lower and Upper Allen police and fire departments; the Gettysburg, Hampden Twp. and Shiremanstown fire departments; and the Gettysburg and York substations of the Pennsylvania State Police.
'With their help and support every year, this ride has become known as one of the safest motorcycle rides across the state of Pennsylvania," Readshaw said. "Many of the riders, who came to support the project and go for a beautiful ride, are not members of A.B.A.T.E., which has done a great job of sponsoring the ride over the past 15 years. The generosity of the riders and supporters never ceases to amaze me.
"President Lincoln once spoke these words in Gettysburg, 'The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.' The monuments on the field provide a permanent tribute to those who fought so bravely here, helping Lincoln's words ring true."
Rep. Readshaw added, "I will continue my mission to restore and repair the Pennsylvania monuments at Gettysburg."
Planning for the 17th annual ride, scheduled for Sept. 23, 2017, is already underway.
"Next year will be the 20th anniversary of the Pennsylvania Gettysburg Monument Project, so we will be planning something special to celebrate," Mr. Readshaw said.