For 15 years, America’s 911 Foundation has been conducting an annual motorcycle ride to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack sites at Somerset, Pennsylvania, the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and the World Trade Center in New York, New York. The first ride in November, 2001, saw about 250 people, and over the years, the numbers have increased to the thousands. This year’s ride, held August 19–21, was the last due to complaints about traffic holdups and other logistical issues. Since its inception, the Foundation has raised $500,000 for police equipment and $330,000 for scholarships for the families of first responders… There are other 9/11 rides that take place as well, like New York Governor Cuomo’s 9/11 memorial ride that took place this year. Bikers from New York and the surrounding areas, as well as several hundred first responders, rode from the state capital of Albany to the World Trade Center where a memorial ceremony took place. We will never forget… And speaking of honoring our first responders, The Brattleboro Retreat hosted the 7th annual Ride for Heroes event on August 20, and raised $43,000 for the Retreat’s Uniformed Service Program. The Retreat treats mental health and addiction for Vermonters and beyond, and its USP offers trauma and addiction treatment for current and former military personnel and first responders. The escorted ride took motorcyclists on a scenic 65-mile loop starting and ending at the Retreat where participants could get their bikes blessed and enjoy music, vendors and giveaways… The 16th annual Valley with a Heart benefit was held September 4 at St. Faustina Grove in Sheatown, Pennsylvania. The motorcycle ride raises funds for young Wyoming Valley cancer patients, and this year’s beneficiaries were 3-year-old Vilet Pantucci of Pittston, 2 ½-year-old Angel Breha of Nanticoke and 2 ½-month-old Anthony Conklin of Wilkes-Barre. Food, music, vendors, bike games and games for kids, and even fireworks, but best of all, riders were able to help kids and their families in need… On Sunday, September 18, Doc’s Motorcycle Parts held its 47th annual Customer Appreciation Day. Doc’s parties are always fun, and this one had big-name vendors, food, music, free raffles, a tattoo contest and a vintage and custom bike show with some mighty fine Pans, Shovels, and Ironheads making the scene. And, of course, big sales on parts and apparel. I missed this year, but I’m gonna try to make it next time… Tramontin Harley-Davidson in Hope, New Jersey, held its annual new model open house. The day started off with the dealership’s weekly Biker Breakfast from 9:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m., big sales on selected apparel and then at noon, live music, free food, and the opportunity to test ride a 2017 model. I’ve had my eye on the Road King, not only because of the Milwaukee-Eight engine on the 2017 FLs, but the redesigned, slimmer primary. My feet can actually touch the ground! So I asked sales guy Christian to accompany me on a demo ride (no arm twisting required—he’s a Road King owner, too!), and wow! I think I’m in love. What an awesome bike! Seems perfect for all the long-distance touring I do. I haven’t made the commitment yet, though. Should I, or shouldn’t I? If I decide to go for it, what parts or accessories are an absolute must before I ride it out of the dealership? I could sure use some advice…


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