Women Riders

Happy New Year!

Written by  December 31, 2010

2010 seems to have flown by faster than a 20-year-old riding a Ninja down I-70 in Kansas. I probably didn’t log in as many hours on the pillion as I have in the past. The economy is apparently improving as I have not been laid off and have, in fact, worked extra hours on occasion.

Charity rides, bike nights and biker weekends seem to be increasing in number, and I tried to make as many as I could within this fine tiny state. New Jersey has over 153,000 registered motorcycles within its population of 8.7 million. That breaks down to about one bike for every 57 people, and I’m pretty sure I saw most of them at one time or another!

Some of the year’s highlights were Roar to the Shore, a four-day event held in Wildwood. Estimates tallied the participants at over 80,000. Gooch’s Garlic Run, an annual ride in June from Rockaway, New Jersey to Manhattan, almost didn’t come off after officials in New York attempted to forbid the bikes from entering the city due to parking issues. Gooch’s has been running the same route for over 20 years, and the number of participants has steadily grown to over 3,000. Not to be defeated, Gooch’s Garlic Run stayed and partied in Rockaway and, hopefully, will reinstate the run next June.

Bike Night in the city of Burlington brings thousands but this year has been rumored to be the last as the main sponsor, Mills Harley-Davidson, may be closing. Hopefully that isn’t the case and Bike Night will continue in 2011.

One of the nicest runs we participated in was the 911 Iron Motorcycle Run. The Sons of the American Legion, Squadron 184 out of East Greenville, Pennsylvania., began a lengthy process to procure a piece of the World Trade Center to be placed in a memorial they had built. The Sons expected a couple of hundred bikes. The final count, by the NJ State Police, was approximately 2,500. Past "Iron Runs," which they refer to as "a mass funeral procession for our fallen 9/11 victims," had been growing in recent years, but this particular run was open to the public. And the public obliged. The beam, secured on the back of a flatbed truck, was at the final staging place, the Courtyard Marriott in Newark, NJ. The full run began in East Greenville, about 100 miles northwest. AL Riders, Blue Knights, Patriot Guard Riders and Reading Motorcycle Club were just a few of the groups participating. New Jersey State Police gave a full escort from the NJ/PA border to the Marriott and, after organizing 2,500 bikes surrounding the hotel, escorted everyone back. As runs go, this was the one of the most organized I’ve been on yet.

Along with the “fun runs,” we had our share of Patriot Guard escorts as well, two just one week apart. Our deepest condolences and thank you’s to the families of Sgt. Christopher Hrbek, Cpl. Michael Jankiewicz, Sgt. Ronald Kubik, Lcpl. Francisco Jackson and Sgt. Michael Krispel, Jr.

Finally, ending on a good note, my cousin, about whom I wrote last month, is on the fast track to recovery. As the December issue came out, Mark awakened from his coma and is now awing everyone as he goes through intensive rehabilitation. If you believe in Christmas miracles, Mark makes the top-10 list. In less than a month he went from “We’ll give him a year to show some improvement” to walking, talking and remembering minute details of his life.

I wish you all a healthy, safe and prosperous 2011. Thanks for looking in, and if you have any ideas for future columns, I’m all ears (or eyes as the case might be).

By Louise Reeves