Ten fatal motorcycle accidents happened in the Erie area this year. On Saturday, more than 100 bikers gathered for a memorial ride called the "Fallen Rider Ride," to remember those men and women.
To be a motorcyclist is to be part of a family, according to those who ride.
"Everybody that rides, it's more like we're brothers, we're sisters. It's more like we're just one huge family," said Kris May, an Erie resident. "We come together for everything."
"The biker community is a very tight-knit community. We look out for each other, and we do as much as we possibly can to support one another," said John Burkhart, another Erie area resident.
Today these bikers have come together for the Fallen Rider Ride, which remembers the 10 people who have died in motorcycle accidents just this year.
"I actually lost like my cousin, who was like my brother," said May. "He left my house, told her that he'd be right back, went up the street, and a car turned left in front of him and killed him."
"I've had a lot of good friends go down lately. It's really sad when you see that," said Mike Shumaker, a Conneaut resident.
"I'm going to ride for Elliot," said John Groh, a Millcreek resident. Elliot is the son of a family friend who passed away from an accident in August. "It was just so tragic when he was killed."
Given the danger in riding, why do people still ride?
"When you've got your face in the wind, there's nothing like it," said Shumaker with a grin. "You can't compare it to anything else. It gets in your blood and you can't give it up." "It's a freedom. You can have the worst day in the world, and you get on your bike, and you lose all your worries," said Vince Rizzone, one of the founders of Mission Riders.
"It's tragic that we have to get together for this reason, but it's important to remember what it's all about," said Groh. "There have been way too many people killed in northwestern Pennsylvania this year."
The bikers today are not only remembering the people who they have lost, they are also sending a message to drivers: please be careful.
"Take a second look. Sometimes when you see a motorcycle coming towards you, it might be hard to tell how fast we're coming. Maybe wait a couple of extra seconds for us to go by," said Tracy Rizzone, a co-founder of Mission Riders.
"I just wish the motorists would be more aware of us. You gotta share the road with everybody," said May.
Sunday, March 9 2014 5:33 PM EDT2014-03-09 21:33:04 GMT
One person is dead after a fatal accident in Millcreek on Sunday. Millcreek police discovered the crash just after 12:30AM while doing regular rounds; the accident was not called in. Officers discoveredMore >>
One man is dead after a fatal accident in Millcreek on Sunday. Police discovered the accident just after 12:30AM. More >>
Tuesday, March 11 2014 1:03 PM EDT2014-03-11 17:03:27 GMT
More than a half-dozen families were forced from their home early this morning when a fire broke out at their apartment complex in Crawford County. It broke out around 4:30am Tuesday at a building in theMore >>
More than a half-dozen families were forced from their home early this morning when a fire broke out at their apartment complex in Crawford CountyMore >>
Monday, March 10 2014 7:43 AM EDT2014-03-10 11:43:35 GMT
State Police were on the scene of a serious accident Sunday night, and the Coroner was called out as well. It happened around 9 o'clock Sunday night. Calls came in for a rollover accident on route 6NMore >>
Pennsylvania State Police are investigating a deadly Sunday night car crash in western Erie County.More >>
Tuesday, March 11 2014 12:26 AM EDT2014-03-11 04:26:27 GMT
The Millcreek School Board met on Monday night to discuss a number of issues that will impact their finances. One of those issues: health care. Though the district faces higher healthcare costs everyMore >>
The Millcreek school district faces higher healthcare costs every year - a 6.4 percent, or an extra $600,000 this year - but that could soon be much more with the Affordable Care Act.More >>
Tuesday, March 11 2014 3:39 PM EDT2014-03-11 19:39:57 GMT
Will Millcreek Township be short-changed if it sells its water system to the Erie Water Works?That was the question at today's Millcreek Supervisors meeting. If the sale goes through, about 30% of ErieMore >>
Millcreek Supervisors grilled about township's representation on the Erie Water Authority Board.More >>
Monday, March 10 2014 10:07 AM EDT2014-03-10 14:07:22 GMT
State troopers are searching for the suspect in reported armed robbery at a southern Erie County store. It happened around 7:30pm Sunday at the Franklin General Store on Wattsburg Road in GereeneMore >>
State troopers are searching for the suspect in reported armed robbery at a southern Erie County store.More >>
Tuesday, March 11 2014 3:09 PM EDT2014-03-11 19:09:54 GMT
Students at Penn State Behrend are gone for spring break. But the campus was still busy today, for the annual high school Science Olympiad. About 400 students from 33 area high schools competed in events,More >>